What's Happened and Happening in Hollywood South, Report 1
Events, quotes, and information for the regional film culture.
Every week and weekend here in Hollywood South, LA, there are screenings to attend, events to participate in, and filmmakers who accomplish magic. The following represent but a few stories of such things and such people, from this past week and for what’s coming up:
2022 Film Prize Junior Award Ceremony Held
“Once again, Film Prize Junior showed the world the amazing work of these young filmmakers and, once again, it was a record-breaker,” - Gregory Kallenberg, executive director of the Prize Foundation and Film Prize Junior
On May 15th in Shreveport, LA, the Prize Foundation and LFEA (Louisiana Film Entertainment Association) concluded their 2022 Film Prize Junior festival with an awards ceremony, where student filmmakers, teachers, and schools from Middle to High received recognition for their hard creative work and funding for further filmmaking programs.
The festival itself screened 79 movies from 48 Louisiana schools, during SRAC’s (Shreveport Regional Arts Council) ArtBreak! event. Of the 48 schools that participated, 23 were Title One. All of the films shown can be viewed for free and in their entirety online at the Film Prize Junior website, along with a list of all winners.
According to Shadi Darzeidan, director of Film Prize Junior, the organization “maintains contact with participants from the beginning to the end of the process,” and provides monthly virtual workshops that cover “a broad array of relevant film topics led by industry professionals, including screenwriting, pre-production, video and sound editing, location scouting, marketing, and more.”
For Shane Stewart, MFA, who teaches film & theatre at McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School for Visual & Performing Arts and assisted on the award-winning entry The Love Note, teaching filmmaking was sort of “fate.” “This is only my second year ever trying film, and I am learning as I go. It’s strange how I even got started doing any film in my class. I was in the library storage and stumbled across two really nice cameras and some other film equipment just in storage. I am not even sure why it was there, but I figured it should be put to use, so I got it all out, made sure it all worked and started researching how to make a film.”
His students have gone on to bigger schools such as Tulane and even Dartmouth, working on many high-profile plays and productions. What would he recommend to future students of his filmmaking course? “Avoid big chunks of dialogue! Show me don't tell me! And have patience! Filmmaking is time-consuming!”
Awards given during the ceremony included various media grants for the progress of these programs and special rewards for teacher sponsors.
Patois Screened Powerlands Documentary at The Broad
“For this event, we were thrilled to highlight a film that connects issues of Indigenous rights and environmental justice, and collaborate with Residents of Gordon Plaza and United Houma Nation, who are on the front lines of these struggles.” - Jordan Flaherty, Patois: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
The Broad Theater hosted a screening of Powerlands on May 18th, which was presented by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and the New Orleans film group Patois. The documentary, directed by Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, covers themes from indigenous community displacements, exploitation by chemical companies, and stories from activists fighting the powers that be.
On the power of film exhibition, Jordan Flaherty of Patois commented, “We provide ways for people to take the energy they feel from the film and to turn that energy into action by supporting local organizing.”
The showing was also a benefit for Residents of Gordon Plaza and the United Houma Nation. Representations from these organizations also appeared after the event for a discussion on the film, along with the director and cinematographer.
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The Great Anime Classic Akira Comes to the Outdoor Space at The Broadside, with Live Soundtrack Performed
“We wanted to bring their show outdoors to the Broadside and Akira seemed like a natural fit because of its stunning visuals and atmospheric mood.” - Andrew Cirac, The Broadside
Shown with subtitles but without spoken dialogue and original sound, the Anime classic feature Akira comes to The Broad Theater’s outdoor music and film venue The Broadside on May 26th.
It is to be presented with a live soundtrack, as performed by local band Think Less, Hear More. On the box office page for the event, the band’s contribution to Akira is described as such: “While the players watch and cue off of the plot/movement/emotions of the movie there is no real effort to play the written score or provide foley for the movie.”
Below you’ll see a video embed for their live performance during another classic, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
The English language dub of Akira can be viewed for free on Tubi, and is described by the synopsis, “A mysterious child with psychic abilities escapes his prison and inadvertently draws a violent motorcycle gang into a heinous web of experimentation.”
The Broadside has hosted similar live score screenings, including for the silent horror Nosferatu, as performed by NolaTet - which will return to the venue later this year.
Indeed, this is one screening not to be missed.
The Late Local Actor Michael Martin Inspires Run of Plays
“If Michael found worth in a piece of writing, he was going to put it on stage come hell or high water.” - Charles Pike, playwright
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is one of the best films of the last several years and a personal favorite of mine. Lead actor Michael Martin, a dear friend, and community supporter of local film and theatre passed away suddenly in 2021.
Inspired by his many eclectic and diverse stage and screen contributions to the New Orleans culture, the Streetcar Collective for the Arts will debut their new theatre program folie à deux at The Domino in the Bywater neighborhood. Taking place from Friday thru Sunday on the weekends of May 20th and May 27th, the program will feature two plays over the course of each evening - The Two Chairs, a video installation, and an avant-garde theatre piece, and Human Troubles, a dark comedy set to live music.
Described on their website as “Equal parts night out at the theatre and evening spent at the cinema,” folie à deux proceeds will go to Michael Martin’s husband Eric Webb.
Celebrate new theatre in New Orleans.
If you know of any unique film-related events and showtimes happening anywhere across Hollywood South, LA, send information along anytime.