The 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival, taking place at venues across New Orleans October 10th- October 17th, 2013, announced the Narrative and Documentary Competition feature film selections that will compete for the grand jury prize. The twelve competing films include five world premieres and three U.S. premieres. The rest are Southern premieres. Several of the films have connections to Louisiana: Molly Green (one of the two directors of FOREV) is a New Orleans native; THE WHOLE GRITTY CITY is about marching bands in New Orleans; a significant portion of SEARCHING FOR BILL was filmed in Southern Louisiana; and Zack Godshall, a previous winner of the Louisiana Filmmaker of the Year award, is a Louisiana resident and his film profiles the coastal Louisiana town of Leeville.
The winner in each of the two categories will be determined by a three-person jury. Narrative features jurors include Cullen Conley, agent at ICM Partners (and former manager of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute); Michael Gottwald, producer of the films Tchoupitoulas and the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild; and Roya Rastegar, scholar and film programmer. Documentary features jurors include Donal Mosher, director of the award-winning films October Country and Off-Label; Sadie Tillery, director of programming at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; and Debra Zimmerman, executive director of Women Make Movies.
The winning filmmaker in each category will receive a camera package from Panavision valued at $10,000.
NARRATIVE FEATURES IN COMPETITION
ABOARD THE CAROUSEL (dir. Kevin McMullin)
Promiscuous Daphne moves back home to babysit her teenage brother Vincent while mom is away. She crushes on Vincent’s shy art tutor, Alex, and decides to take him on as a project, giving him intimacy lessons. *World Premiere*
FOREV (dir. Molly Green and James Leffler)
Sophie and Pete are kind of friends, but mostly they’re just neighbors. On a whim, they become engaged—and then stranded in the middle of the desert. Forev is romantic comedy about how far you can go without saying what you mean. Southern Premiere.
THE REPUBLIC OF TWO (dir. Shaun Kosta)
A close examination of the high-stakes game of heterosexual cohabitation in Los Angeles. Tim wants to be a doctor and Caroline doesn’t quite know what she wants. They both know their love is real, but can that love endure a town full of possibilities and temptation? Southern Premiere.
SHADOW ZOMBIE (dir. Jorge Torres-Torres)
A lonely drug dealer finds peace in the Louisiana country when he transforms into “Shadow Zombie” by merely painting his face and snorting painkillers. With its hybrid doc/narrative approach, this is an existential horror film rooted in the tragedy of its characters. *World Premiere*
SKOOK (dir. Connor Hurley)
New York City fashion student Amy returns home to rural Pennsylvania and unexpectedly falls for the guy who made her life hell in high school. Caught off guard by the excitement of a new love, she starts to have flashbacks of the high school event that made her leave in the first place. *World Premiere*
YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG (dir. Zach Weintraub)
When her boyfriend lands a job at a recently renovated arthouse theater, Justine relocates with him to a small, nameless town. Dropped suddenly into an unfamiliar place and stripped of all routine and distraction, she is left to sit quietly by and observe the early signs of her own deteriorating relationship. North American Premiere.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES IN COMPETITION
FOR I KNOW MY WEAKNESS (dir. John Dentino)
At the margins of America, a filmmaker helps an alcoholic vagabond return to her children, only to find that her secret is the mother of human nightmares. U.S. Premiere.
PURGATORIO (dir. Rodrigo Reyes)
Leaving politics aside, this provocative essay film takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the U.S./Mexico border and the people caught in its spell. Southern Premiere.
SEARCHING FOR BILL (dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
A Louisiana man has his car and money stolen by a con man called Bill. When the car is found in Detroit, he decides to take a roadtrip to track down the man who stole his car, a journey that eventually takes him from New Orleans to Detroit, Los Angeles, and the Mojave Desert. U.S. Premiere.
TOUGH BOND (dirs. Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg)
Shot over three years, Tough Bond is the story of Kenya’s “Survivors”- a fiercely loyal tribe of children living together in an urban wilderness, huffing glue to endure the hell of street life. Southern Premiere.
WATER LIKE STONE (dir. Zack Godshall)
An impressionistic portrait of Leeville, Louisiana, a small fishing village in the midst of the disappearing wetlands along the Gulf Coast, Water Like Stone is a documentary about people living in a dying landscape. *World Premiere*
THE WHOLE GRITTY CITY (dir. Richard Barber)
This documentary plunges viewers into the world of three New Orleans marching bands, where mentors help guide kids past the lures and dangers of the streets, while passing on a powerful musical legacy. *World Premiere*