Looking forward to the New Orleans Film Festival’s 30th year

Nurah Lambert, Staff Reporter

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Every October, films of all genres, directors of many walks of life and devout movie lovers descend on New Orleans to assemble the New Orleans Film Festival. This October is no different. With more than 200 films and 500 filmmakers set to kick off Oct. 16-23, the 30th annual festival has attracted the nickname “Cannes on the Mississippi.” While there are several films to get excited about, these are the three Arcade is most thrilled to see:

Waves

Written and directed by “It Comes at Night” director Edward Trey Schults, Waves encapsulates the dynamic but tragic story of an African American family in South Florida. After hard-working athlete Tyler injures himself playing football, his life and the lives of his loved ones are turned upside down. The film explores trauma, familial relationships, drug addiction and death. Waves stars a mix of upcoming as well as seasoned actors including Kevin Harrison Jr. (“It Comes at Night”), Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Alexa Demie (“Euphoria”) and Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”). Described by The Hollywood Reporter as a “tender, bruising, exuberant film,” Waves will be showing Oct. 18 as a Centerpiece Film at the Ranch Theater in the Contemporary Arts Center.

Honey Boy

Former child star and household name Shia LeBeouf (“Even Stevens,” “Transformers”) wrote Honey Boy in rehab, likening the making of the film to “an exorcism” in an interview with Variety.com. The film is autobiographical, based on LeBeouf’s childhood experiences as a child actor living with an abusive, alcoholic father (whom LeBeouf plays himself). General reception to the film has been quite positive, receiving exceptional reviews and a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Honey Boy will be showing Oct. 20 as a Spotlight Film at the Ranch Theater in the Contemporary Arts Center.

Pier Kids

Pier Kids offers an intricate, raw portrait of the struggles and survival faced by a group of LGBTQ+ New York youths, all linked together by the Christopher Street Pier (historically a safe space for homeless queer youths of color). The documentary was directed by Elegance Bratton, who himself was a homeless queer youth in the area for several years, and it spans the course of five years, beginning in 2011 and closing in 2016. Pier Kids will be showing Oct. 18 and Oct 21 at the Tubi Theater in the Contemporary Arts Center.