In a city fondly known as “Hollywood South,” New Orleans Film Festival celebrates the Silver Screen with a wide selection of local, national, and international films. The 28th Annual New Orleans Film Festival runs from Wednesday, October 11 through Thursday, October 19 and features parties, Q&As, and (of course!) screenings. Here’s a closer look at this year’s film festival:

2017 New Orleans Film Festival

The Films

As with previous years, the Film Festival features a wide variety of genres—even music videos! This year’s program includes several buzzed-about films, including “The Florida Project,” which kicks off the fest’s opening night on Wednesday, October 11 and tells the story of a 6-year-old girl and her mother as they struggle to find stability among seedy motels outside Orlando. An unrecognizable Gary Oldman thrills in “The Darkest Hour,” chronicling Winston Churchill in the days leading up to World War II. The film will be shown on Sunday, October 15. Foreign film “Spoor” features one woman’s chilling quest to find a murderer in a rural part of Poland; the film’s three-time Academy Award-nominated director will speak to guests following the screening on Sunday, October 15 (see more below). Other top films at the fest include:

  • “The Upside” starring Bryan Cranston as a wealthy paraplegic and Kevin Hart as his unlikely assistant
  • “Last Flag Flying” from Richard Linklater, chronicling adult male friendship amidst tragic circumstances and starring Bryan Cranston (again!), Steve Carrell, and Laurence Fishburn
  • “I, Tonya” starring Margot Robbie as controversial (and ultimately criminal) figure skater Tonya Harding
  • “Mudbound” with Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, and an all-star cast telling the story of two families in the Mississippi Delta during the 1940s
film fest-new-orleans

Film professionals speak at a panel at the New Orleans Film Festival. (Photo via New Orleans Film Festival on Facebook)

The Events

In addition to screenings, the Fest includes pitch competitions, discussions with directors and actors, and a champagne toast right inside our hotel! Here are a few events to get extra excited about:

  • Our own Criollo Lounge at Hotel Monteleone will feature a champagne toast on Friday, October 13 from 4-6 p.m. in conjunction with Full Armor Films. Don’t miss this fun event!
  • Pitch Perfect: Various Pitches— On Friday, October 13, filmmakers at any stage in their career can pitch their next project to the Fest’s judges panel for a chance to win a $10,000 camera rental package. All who pitch will receive on-the-spot constructive feedback regarding their ideas. The pitch competitions feature sections for student filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, and Southern filmmakers.
  • If/Then Short Documentary Pitch Competition— In conjunction with the renown Tribeca Film Institute, this pitch competition features a $20,000 prize! The even takes place on Friday, October 13.
  • In Conversation with Patricia Clarkson— Native New Orleanian Patricia Clarkson takes the stage to discuss her illustrious career on Saturday, October 14.
  • Master Class with “Spoor” Director Agnieszka Holland— On Sunday, October 15, the three-time Academy Award-nominated Polish director will talk with audience members following the screening of her new film, “Spoor”
  • Check out even more events here

How to Attend

Several events, including the pitch events, are free! For others, you can often buy tickets at the door, typically for around $15. Each event has its own attendance policy and cost, so please check the Film Festival’s schedule of events for more information. Serious film buffs can opt for an All-Access Pass! The films and events take place all over the city, from our own hotel in the French Quarter to the iconic Prytania Theater in Uptown New Orleans.