Stars shine in Crescent City for New Orleans Film Festival

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor

The 26th annual New Orleans Film Festival brought a bit of Hollywood to the bayou.

The event rolled through this past week, ending with its closing film “Brooklyn” and its afterparty Thursday evening. The festival hosted Q&A’s with filmmakers, parties and workshops in addition to the almost 200 movies, documentaries, animated shorts and music videos screened.

Within the wide selection of films available, there were eight spotlight movies, including the centerpiece and an opening and closing film. The Arcade had the opportunity to review the opening and some of the spotlights, which upheld the event’s reputation as an Oscar-qualifying festival that is renowned throughout the film fest circuit.

The festival also provided Tulane with a stronger presence in the movie industry than its recent publicity as a backdrop for “Scream Queens” and “22 Jump Street.”

Jonathan Nguyen, a Tulane senior, and Ashley George, a Tulane graduate, created a film that was not only entered into the film festival but won a distinguished Jury Award in the Louisiana Features category.

The Jury Awards are presented to films in eight categories that are chosen based on the decision of a number of experts and celebrities in the movie industry, which has included Oscar winners, industry writers, famous producers and other top-ranked members of cinema. The jurors for this category were veteran distribution professional Liz Ogilvie, who has worked with movie megaliths 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros Records, and Greg Hamilton, who is a member of the board of directors for the Hollywood Theatre.

“It’s hard to believe that a semester ago, all we had was an idea,” Nguyen said. “Then we had a script, then a film, then it got accepted and now it even won an award. Getting into the festival was an award in itself for me, as well as seeing so many people I know attend the premiere.”

Nguyen was awarded a trophy as well as a $10,000 rental credit for Panavision, a company that rents high-end filming equipment.

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