November 6th-27th, 2020
Headquarters will be at the Ace Hotel New Orleans : 600 Carondelet Street
The New Orleans Film Festival, now in its 31st year, is an Oscar-qualifying event that has been called the “top-growing festival” by Forbes and listed as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine for five years running. The festival’s growing reputation is built upon a commitment to discovering new voices with more than 90% of the lineup coming directly from submissions. The festival is also committed to spotlighting work by a diversity of filmmaking voices and works to create a lineup that is inclusive and representative of many different types of stories.
The duration of the festival has been extended—from 8 days to 18 days—to account for what we’re sure will be additional measures required for social distancing and the general well-being of participants.
We are in close touch with other fall festivals, as well as local and regional officials, about what may or may not be possible, and right now we are preparing for a variety of scenarios. We have been really heartened and inspired by the creativity shown by peer festivals during these times. We‘ve attended many online festivals already, used every screening platform imaginable, taken part in filmmaker talks on Facebook Live, attended and presented panels on Zoom (so many panels on Zoom…), and all along the way have continually been impressed with the ingenuity these festivals and events have shown as a response.
We are looking into backup plans of online screenings and events as well, in addition to the potential of drive-in screenings, something that we hope to pilot in the coming months. We remain dedicated to bringing audiences the quality curation and experiences that New Orleans has become known for, and offering participating filmmakers opportunities that are meaningful to their professional development and career pathways.
Regardless of the shape our own festival may take in 2020, it will most definitely move forward, as will the conference-style elements that we produce in order to support the careers of our exhibiting filmmakers—if we must go online, filmmakers can expect the same number of industry panels and curated one-on-one meetings with door-openers, filmmaker roundtables, and deep attention community engagement and community partnerships.