Toasting 2012 and Welcoming 2013

A photo of the winners of the inaugural Louisiana Film Prize
The winners of the inaugural Louisiana Film Prize hoist a big check for $50,000.

I’ll gladly own up to being an optimist. But rose-colored glasses were not required to enjoy a few landmark events in 2012. The change I saw in Shreveport-Bossier in 2012 has me looking forward to a lot about 2013. Here are a few things that I’m particularly excited about:

The 2013 Louisiana Film Prize
I spent a glorious, sleepless weekend watching movies, standing in line, attending panel discussions, standing in line, eating at food trucks, standing in line, and shopping at pop-up record stores in downtown Shreveport’s West Edge Arts District this October.

The first edition of the Louisiana Film Prize felt like the 10th edition – it was well-organized, well-attended, affordable and fun. What’s in store for the 2013 installment? Maybe we’ll find out at this announcement party (FB link).

A photo of animator Bill Joyce
William Joyce celebrates his Oscar win during a ticker-tape parade honoring Moonbot Studios.

The (Continuing) Rise of Moonbot Studios
Moonbot Studios, the local interactive media company launched by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, started out the year by winning an Academy Award, and is wrapping up 2012 by putting the finishing touches on “Diggs Nightcrawler”, a new video game for Sony Playstation’s innovative Wonderbook.

All of us get excited when we encounter movie stars or film crews around town, but I get excited when I see a dozen of the young animators from Moonbot marching into a local restaurant, night club or movie theater. Because they’re spending money here, and, hopefully, putting down roots, buying homes, and starting lives. This little company did things that no one would ever have thought possible in 2012. Imagine what’s in store for 2013.

The logo of Great Raft Brewing, a craft brewery opening in Shreveport in 2013.

More Small Businesses Doing the Impossible
Over the course of about one month, I met the founders of Great Raft Brewing (a craft brewery opening in Shreveport in 2013), had a cup of coffee at Rhino Coffee, ate my first jalapeno-stuffed burger from the Some Like it Hot Food Truck, and bought my first piece of vinyl from Day Old Blues Records. Wait a second…craft beer, food trucks, coffee, multiple independent record stores (can’t forget about Disc Daddy). Yep, that just about covers my basic human needs. Thanks, 2012!

Also, I’m grateful to you. Thanks for reading 20× in 2012. About 5,000 visitors read this site each month – over 60% of those visitors live outside of Shreveport-Bossier – and that number is growing. I promise that we will not let you down in 2013.


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