One Filmmaker’s Take on the Louisiana Film Prize

The Louisiana Film Prize has no rival in the short film festival world. Nowhere in the world are filmmakers cared for and given the kind of opportunity like the Louisiana Film Prize presents, and it all happens in downtown Shreveport.

The grand prize is a check for $50,000 for the best short film, a title that is bestowed by a panel of judges and you, the audience. That is enough to get the attention of independent filmmakers from across the country and to encourage them to create their films in Shreveport-Bossier, which is one of the criteria to enter the festival. Seventy percent of the entries in 2013 were not made by locals.

A photo of a theatre marquee
The neon marquee of the Capri Theater, one of the screening locations of the 2013 Louisiana Film Prize competition.

2013 was only the festival’s second year, but the red carpet was rolled out for filmmakers and audiences alike. In addition to watching 20 short films in three venues over the weekend, the addition of the Music Prize saw local bands compete for recording time at Blade Studios, moviegoers pub crawled through downtown Shreveport, filmmakers organized their own events to drink and rub elbows, and, if you had a VIP ticket, there was dedicated space, food and drinks for you (the VIP tickets sold out in 2013).

As a filmmaker of one of the selected 20 films, Patience, I was excited to see all of the other films and to hear the audience’s responses to each. The Louisiana Film Prize is a great platform for the filmmaker to get instant feedback, and for the audience to play an active role in the filmmaking community.

Watch the Louisiana Film Prize website and Facebook page. Organizers have just announced the official opening of the 2014 Louisiana Film Prize competition, and it will need more filmmakers, cast, crew and audience members as the popularity of this festival continues to grow.

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