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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Tulane’s Green Wave Films assists with HBO’s ‘The Welcome Table’

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For many, taking on the silver screen and being in a movie is a faraway dream. Josh Fox’s “The Welcome Table” has given Tulane students the opportunity to make this dream come true, all while making a difference in the community.

On April 20, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox will shoot the final scene of his documentary “The Welcome Table,” which centers on climate-displaced people and the harsh immigration policies that bar them from relocating.

And he is looking for 500 volunteers in the local area to join the scene.

Plus, Tulane’s Green Wave Films club members can participate in the film shoot and assist with its production.

Fox investigates “the front lines of displacement — Paradise, CA; Boulder, CO; Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, the Caribbean” and New Orleans, interviewing victims of climate crises and their decision to leave their homes. Fox has gathered climate change leaders, refugees and musicians to gather at the Music Box Village on April 20 to embark on a second line to the levee, where a table with seats for 1,000 will await the crew and volunteers.

This will be the Welcome Table, a celebration of acceptance, climate action and cultural appreciation. The volunteers will join the second line and sit at the Welcome Table for the film’s powerful final scene.

The partnership began when the film’s event producer Julie Green contacted Noah Levine, co-president of Green Wave Films. Originally, Green tasked the students only with helping the crew acquire the folding tables needed for the 1,000 foot-long celebration scene. After Levine met with Green, the partnership grew and the role of Green Wave Films increased. Now, club members are assisting with serving food and monitoring the set, and some are even acting as official production assistants on the day of the shoot.

Not only are Green Wave Films members and “The Welcome Table” crew working on a tight budget and harsh time constraints, they also face the challenge of motivating volunteers. One of the largest aspects of the project for Green Wave Films has been spreading awareness and promoting the film’s shoot among the student body.

“Communication is such a huge part of that. People will help you and people will care if they know what it is they’re helping,” Levine said. When speaking of the difficulty of wrangling student volunteers on the day of Tulane’s Crawfest, he said, “People really get involved and really realize the potential when you meet with them face to face.” He also noted that he and Green had better success collecting tables when they contacted organizations that aligned with the film’s message.

Levine and Green also mentioned the ability to work in and interact with the New Orleans community as one of the project’s highlights. Local singer John Boutté is the film’s executive producer and musical director.  Local musicians, Mardi Gras Krewes and various community sponsors have all been invited to “The Welcome Table” event and have become involved with the project. “We have chefs… volunteers to drive, volunteers giving up space in their home to house international [volunteers]… it’s pretty easy to see how much love New Orleans has,” Green said.

Levine notes that this opportunity has helped Green Wave Films grow in budget and scope. He hopes the club will continue to be an important part of Tulane’s film department and the entertainment industry in New Orleans as a whole.

“[New Orleans] is an amazing place for college age students to get involved in projects bigger than themselves… Without this club, I wouldn’t have nearly the connections, the opportunities, and the experience that I have today, and giving everyone at Tulane that opportunity will help grow the film department.”

“The Welcome Table” is still seeking volunteers for their event/film shoot on April 20. Click here for the link to sign up.

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