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Shapeless directed by Samantha Aldana
Shapeless directed by Samantha Aldana

New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) announced the first wave of films for the 32nd annual edition of the Oscar®-qualifying festival which will take place between November 5-21 showcasing 170+ films through NOFF Virtual Cinema available globally, and a selection of films at The Prytania Theatre, The Broad Theater sponsored by Film New Orleans and City of New Orleans, The Orpheum Theater, and The Broadside between November 5-14.

Overall, films directed by women and gender non-conforming directors account for 64% of the lineup, and films helmed by directors of color make up 73% of the lineup, with 36% of films coming from Black directors. Films made in the American South represent 60%, and Louisiana-made films represent 22% of the lineup and the directors of selected films represent 24 different nationalities. Additionally, the lineup boasts 28 world premieres and 11 US premieres.

“We’re particularly excited to be showing so many films from the American South this year,” said Clint Bowie, Artistic Director at NOFS. “This region is full of talented artists and storytellers, and we’re happy to be prioritizing space in the festival for Southern filmmakers to share their work.”

“In these challenging times, we’ve included a mixture of films that address the issues of our time, but also look beyond trauma and celebrate the beauty of life. We are excited to be partnering with organizations such as Third Horizon, Center for Asian American Media, NOVAC, Reel South, and Firelight Media to showcase new works by Southern filmmakers in several shorts programs,” added Kiyoko McCrae, director of Documentary Programming and Filmmaker Labs at NOFS.

FEATURE FILMS IN COMPETITION AT THE NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL 2021

NARRATIVE FEATURES

Baby, Don’t Cry | dir. Jesse Dvorak | USA | 90 min.

Anonymous 17-year-old Baby is struggling to get by in an abusive home. When she meets Fox, they collide and launch into a destructive relationship neither may ever recover from.

The Conference of the Birds | dir. Kevin Contento | USA | 78 min.

After their imaginations are sparked by a medieval Persian poem, three boys in the Florida cane fields reconstruct their daily life as a mythic quest.

Have a Nice Life | dir. Prashanth Kamalakanthan | USA | 82 min.

After hitting dead ends in life, Jyothi, an Indian housewife, and Sophie, a stoner musician, find themselves on the run from the law, together on a wild, surreal American road trip from Durham, North Carolina to Montreal, Canada.

Homebody | dir. Joseph Sackett | USA | 75 min.

9-year-old Johnny is transported into the body of their babysitter, Melanie, in this body-swap comedy.

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) | dirs. Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina | USA | 85 mins.

Amid mounting pressure, and with roller skates as her only means of transportation, widowed single mom Danny has to somehow manage to get the money she needs to secure a place to live for her and her 8-year-old daughter.

Islands | dir. Martin Edralin | Canada | 94 min.

Joshua, a shy middle-aged Filipino immigrant, has lived in the comfort of his parents’ home his entire life. As their health declines, he longs for a partner, terrified of being alone after they pass.

Ludi | dir. Edson Jean | USA | 81 min.

“Hardworking and goody-two-shoes nurse Ludi has her virtues put to the test as she deals with co-workers and clients over the course of a really bad day.”

Perfume de Gardenias | dir. Macha Colón | Puerto Rico, Colombia | 100 min.

After the death of her husband, 80-year-old Isabel finds new purpose in creatively staging funerals with her neighbor.

Shapeless | dir. Samantha Aldana | USA | 87 min.

Ivy, a struggling singer in New Orleans, slowly transforms into something she can’t control. She must confront her fears or risk losing all she has worked for.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

100 Years From Mississippi | dir. Tarabu Betserai Kirkland | USA | 60 min.

111-year old Mamie Lang Kirkland who survived racial terrorism and segregation returns to Mississippi with her son one hundred years later in an unforgettable journey.

Accepted | dir. Dan Chen | USA | 92 min.

Four high school seniors in rural Louisiana are pushed to their breaking point at an unconventional school made famous for sending its graduates to elite universities.

The Bengali | dir. Kavery Kaul | USA, India |72 min.

African-American writer Fatima Shaik crosses deep divides of culture from New Orleans to India searching for the truth in the stories of her grandfather’s birthplace.

Betye Saar | dir. Angela Robinson Witherspoon | USA | 66 min.

At age 94, groundbreaking artist Betye Saar is finally receiving accolades for her body of work that spans six decades.

Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away | dirs. Devin Amar, Charles Todd, Matt Mitchener | USA | 82 min.

The documentary captures the story of Buddy Guy, who transcended his early years sharecropping in 1940s Louisiana to become one of music’s most influential guitarists.

Refuge | dirs. Erin Bernhardt, Din Blankenship | USA | 75 min.

Chris Buckley, a veteran and former KKK member, and Dr. Heval Kelli, a cardiologist and Kurdish refugee form an unlikely relationship.

Forget Me Not | dir. Olivier Bernier | USA | 99 min.

Will Emilio be included? Set in New York City, two parents of a child with Down syndrome intimately document their navigation through America’s largest and most segregated school system.

Fruits of Labor | dir. Emily Cohen Ibañez | USA | 77 min.

When ICE raids targeting her community threaten to separate her family, Ashley Solis, a Mexican-American teenage girl in central California is forced to become her family’s breadwinner.

I’m Wanita | dir. Matthew Walker | Australia | 87 min.

Australia’s self-crowned ‘Queen of Honky Tonk’ has one last shot at fame if she can make it Nashville and record her album.

The Laughing Man | dir. Zack Godshall | USA | 73 min.

A tragicomic portrait of a part-time actor who’s just trying to stay on his meds and off the streets.

Many Fires This Time: We the 100 Million | dir. Jason R.A. Foster | USA, Mexico | 69 min.

100 million people in the U.S. face economic insecurity – 1 in 3 Americans. New Orleans activist, poet, and educator A Scribe Called Quess? journeys across the country connecting the stories of those fighting for justice.

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust | dir. Ann Kaneko | USA | 83 min.

From the forced removal of indigenous people from this land to the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans during WWII to this land, Manzanar has been the site of atrocities committed by the same government who forced the diversion of water away from this place.

Mary Queen of Vietnam | dir. Bao Ngo | USA | 57 min.

When a refugee community stages a huge celebration, it reveals one version of what assimilation looks like in 21st Century America.

The Neutral Ground | dir. CJ Hunt |USA | 90 min.

CJ Hunt investigates why a losing army from 1865 still holds so much power in America.

On The Divide | dirs. Maya Cueva, Leah Galant | USA | 79 min.

Three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border.

Playing with Maracatu (Brincando com Maracatu) | dir. Mike Filippov | Brazil, Canada | 75 min.

Maracatu is a Brazilian drumming-based parading culture that has made its way over to Canada by Aline Morales and is passionately practiced by a small community lead by her. But when the group travels to Brazil, they are forced to question their own motivations and appropriation of the culture.

Queens of the Revolution | dir. Rebecca Heidenberg | USA | 80 min.

Queens Of The Revolution is a portrait of Mejunje, a cultural center in Santa Clara that paved the road for LGBTQ+ rights in Cuba.

Shared Resources | dir. Samantha Aldana | USA | 98 min.

Director Jordan Lord follows their parents over their 5-year-long bankruptcy, as they reckon with the risks of representing and living through debt, dependency, and disability.

Socks on Fire | dir. Bo McGuire | USA | 93 min.

Director Bo McGuire composes a cinematic love letter to his grandmother as his homophobic aunt and drag queen uncle wage war over her estate in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.

Stay Prayed Up | dirs. D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning | USA |74 min.

The mighty spirit of one woman and her church gospel noisy crew.

SHORT FILMS IN COMPETITION AT THE NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL 2021

Recipients of the Jury Award for Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, and Animated Shorts competitions will be eligible for consideration in the respective categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Narrative Shorts

  • 17 Year Locust | dir. Logan LeBlanc | USA | 22 min.
  • Al-Sit | dir. Suzannah Mirghani | Sudan, Qatar | 20 min.
  • Artistic | dir. Nina Lee | USA | 14 min.
  • Be Somebody | dir. Edelawit Hussien | Ethiopia | 15 min.
  • Beautiful They | dir. Cloudy Rhodes | Australia | 11 min.
  • The Binding of Itzik | dir. Anika Benkov | USA | 18 min.
  • Birds | dir. Katherine Propper | USA | 14 min.
  • Birthday Boy | dir. Jordan Michael Blake | USA | 11 min.
  • Blue Country | dir. Jordan Johnson | USA | 19 min.
  • The Boys Outside | dir. A.J. Riggins | USA | 10 min.
  • Buzzkill | dir. Kathy E. Mitrani | USA | 11 min.
  • Chip & Kevin Make a Movie | dir. Owen Hornstein & Kevin Hughes | USA | 9 min.
  • Close Ties to Home Country | dir. Akanksha Cruczynski | USA | 15 min.
  • Cold Wall 冷墙 | dir. Lilly Hu | USA | 19 min.
  • Colossus | dir. James Roe | 17 min.
  • Congratulations (Mabrook) | dir. Asada’s Farooqui | USA, Pakistan | 14 min.
  • Cousins | dir. Mandy Marcus | USA | 13 min.
  • Customs | dir. Armada Keyani | Norway | 14 min.
  • Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma | dir. rubberband. | USA | 35 min.
  • Eavesdropping on the Elders | dir. Kiah Clingman & Robinson Vil | USA | 18 min.
  • Execution | dir. Stativ Allweis | USA | 45 min.
  • For Jean | dir. Eritria Pitts | USA | 14 min.
  • Ghost Girl | dir. Paavo Hanninen | USA | 12 min.
  • Habib & The Thief | dir. Naures Sager | Sweden | 15 min.
  • Inheritance | dir. Annalise Lockhart | USA | 14 min.
  • Jelly | dir. Jack Barr | USA | 9 min.
  • Like the Ones I used to Know (Les Grandes Claques) | dir. Annie St-Pierre | Canada| 18 min.
  • Limestone | dir. Paula Andrea González-Nasser | USA | 11 min.
  • Mama’s Little Orphanage | dir. Matthew Paul Martinez | USA | 11 min.
  • Mask It | dir. Cadden Jones | USA | 11 min.
  • Menarca (Menarche) | dir. Lillah Halla | Brazil | 22 min.
  • Monologs | dir. Kat Broyles | USA | 19 min.
  • Ms. Blue | dir. Jordan Johnson | USA | 13 min.
  • My Dear God | dir. Tara Sheffer | USA | 13 min.
  • Outside (Baahar) | dir. Prakshi Malik | USA | 14 min.
  • Pearl and Henry | dir. Gibrey Allen | USA | 11 min.
  • Peau De Chagrin / Bleu De Nuit | dir. Baloji | Belgium, Democratic Republic of the Congo | 10 min.
  • Plaisir | dir. Molly Gillis | USA | 19 min.
  • Pure | dir. Natalie Jasmine Harris | USA | 13 min.
  • The Rodeo (El Rodeo) | dir. Carlos Melián Moreno | Cuba | 30 min.
  • Sales Per Hour | dir. Michelle Uranowitz, Daniel Jaffe | USA | 7 min.
  • She Wolf Totem | dir. Verónica Echegui | Spain | 23 min.
  • Sirens of the Swamp | dir. Hali Gardella, Emery Matson | USA | 9 min.
  • Some Still Search | dir. Near Tchaas | USA | 16 min.
  • Strong Son | dir. Ian Bawa | Canada | 4 min.
  • Sunrise in My Mind (Tngaireah knong chet) | dir. Danech San | Cambodia | 14 min.
  • Super Nova | dir. Juliette Saint-Sardos | France | 16 min.
  • Terry+Sam | dir. Eritria Pitts | USA | 11 min.
  • Untitled Post-Baby Project | dir. Lorna Street Dopson | USA | 21 min.
  • Van Sanctuary | dir. Salome Reshamwala | USA | 11 min.
  • When You Clean a Stranger’s Home | Sharon Arteaga | USA | 7 min.
  • Windchimes | dir. Alice Aguiar | USA | 7 min.

Documentary Shorts

  • Absolution | dir. Gina Lizama, Gabriel Harvey | USA | 3 min.
  • Ale Libre | dir. Maya Cueva | USA | 17 min.
  • Aquí | dir. Carlos Mario | Puerto Rico | 10 min.
  • BABYBANGZ |dir. Juliana Kasumu | USA | 11 min.
  • Bad Boy of Bonsai | dir. Juan A. Moreno | USA | 6 min.
  • Bayou For Us | dir. Mizani Ball | USA | 14 min.
  • Beautiful! | dir. Caydon LiRocchi, Liv Layhee | USA | 7 min.
  • Big Girls Don’t Pray | dir. Sarah Tang | USA | 9 min.
  • Blondie: Vivir En La Habana | dir. Rob Roth | USA, Cuba | 18 min.
  • The Booth | dir. Michael Arcos | USA | 7 min.
  • Comida Pa’ Los Pobres | dir. Arleen Cruz-Alicea | USA | 14 min.
  • Dear Philadelphia | dir. Renee Maria Osubu | USA | 28 min.
  • Death Is Our Business | dir. Jacqueline Olive | USA | 32 min.
  • Descended from The Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street | dir. Nailah Jefferson | USA | 23 min.
  • The Diamond | dir. Caitlyn Greene | USA | 16 min.
  • Different Mardi Gras | Alejandro de los Rios | USA | 9 min.
  • Disrupted Borders | dir. Alejandra Aragón | USA | 19 min.
  • The Door of Return | dir. Koku Musebeni, Anna Zhukovets | Germany | 30 min.
  • Elena | dir. Michèle Stephenson | Dominican Republic, USA, Canada | 30 min.
  • Fifty miles (Sju mil) | dir. Eilif Bremer Landsend | Norway | 11 min.
  • The Fourth World | dir. Nash Consing | USA | 12 min.
  • Glen Eden | dir. Rebecca Blandón | USA | 14 min.
  • Halmoni | dir. Hae jin, Cataño Lee | Mexico | 13 min.
  • Here is the Imagination of the Black Radical | dir. Rhea Storr | The Bahamas, UK | 10 min.
  • Homegoing | dir. Yeon Park | USA, South Korea | 18 min.
  • How to Program Your Animatronic Band | dir. Abraham Kinkopf | USA | 10 min.
  • I Am One of the People | dir. Cameron Woodle | USA | 4 min.
  • Joychild | dir. Aurora Brachman | USA | 6 min.
  • Listen to the Beat of Our Images (Écoutez le battement de nos images) | dir. Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Audrey Jean-Baptiste | French Guiana, France | 16 min.
  • Lolo | dir. Keone & Mari Madrid | USA | 11 min.
  • Madame Pipi | dir. Rachelle Salnave | USA, Haiti | 25 min.
  • Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again | dir. Courtney Montour | Canada | 34 min.
  • May June July | dir. Kevin Jerome Everson | USA | 8 min.
  • Meltdown In Dixie | dir. Emily Harrold | USA | 40 min.
  • Men Who Talk | dir. Cristin Stephens | USA, Brazil | 14 min.
  • Missing Magic | dir. Anissa Latham | USA | 10 min.
  • my mom (mẹ con) | dir. Melanie Ho | USA | 8 min.
  • Nape of the Nape (Vaivén) | dir. Nisha Platzer | Cuba, Canada | 14 min.
  • Nasir | dir. Nasir Bailey, Jackson Kroopf | USA | 17 min.
  • New Orleans: Organizing and Abolition | dir. Jordan Flaherty | USA | 10 min.
  • No Soy Óscar | dir. Jon Ayon | USA, Mexico | 15 min.
  • Now Let Us Sing | dir. Dilsey Davis | USA | 15 min.
  • The Panola Project |dir. Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine | USA | 17 min.
  • Princess | dir. Jason Vu, B Gosse | USA | 8 min.
  • Rebyrth | dir. Cydney Tucker | USA | 6 min.
  • Resurrection! Airto Moreira & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band | dir. Dale Djerassi | USA | 21 min.
  • Searching for Ana Veldford (Buscando Ana Veldford) | dir. Ronald Baez | USA | 6 min.
  • The Seeds We Keep | dir. Gabrielle E. W. Carter, D.L. Anderson | USA | 7 min.
  • Since you arrived, my heart stopped belonging to me (Desde que llegaste, mi corazón dejó de pertenecerme) | dir. Erin Semine Kökdil | USA | 21 min.
  • Southern Malditas: Artifacts of Grief | dir. Bree Nieves | USA | 10 min.
  • Sushi Nachos | dir. Kei Matsumoto | USA | 11 min.
  • Sweet Soul | dir. Marlon Johnson, Chad Tingle, Dennis Scholl | USA | 29 min.
  • Ten Leaves Dilated | dir. Kate E Hinshaw, Ebony Blading | USA | 14 min.
  • There Was Nobody Here We Knew | dir. Khaula Malik | USA | 9 min.
  • This Body | dir. Zac Manuel | USA | 13 min.
  • To Live Here (sống ở đây) | dir. Melanie Dang Ho | USA | 22 min.
  • Udaan | dir. Amman Abbasi | USA, Pakistan | 15 min.
  • Uncle Zaiman | dir. Sana Saif | USA | 16 min.
  • U Tense Soul | dir. Matthew Wilder | USA | 8 min.
  • Video Visit | dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall | USA | 23 min.
  • We Stay in the House | dir. Kiyoko McCrae | USA | 15 min.
  • What Remains | dir. Paavo Hanninen | USA | 14 min.
  • When Angels Speak of Love | dir. Helen Peña | USA | 13 min.
  • Wonderfully Made | dir. Benita Ozoude | USA | 15 min.
  • Ya Heard Meh? | dir. Milo Daemgen | USA | 13 min.
  • You Can Always Come Home | dir. Juan Luis Matos | USA | 6 min.
  • You Can’t Stop Spirit | Vashni Korin | USA | 16 min.

Animated Shorts

  • Anxious Body | dir. Yoriko Mizushiri | France, Japan | 6 min.
  • Drawing on Autism | dir. Alex Widdowson | UK | 10 min.
  • In the Shadow of the Pines | dir. Anne Koizumi | Canada | 8 min.
  • The Little Sparrow | dir. Elahe Falahian | Iran | 2 min.
  • Mine | dir. Luisa Dantas, Randall Dottin | USA | 14 min.
  • Our Bed Is Green | dir. Maggie Brennan | USA | 7 min.
  • Trona Pinnacles | dir. Mathilde Parquet | France | 13 min.
  • Where Are You Really From? | dir. Steven Lee | USA | 5 min.

Experimental Shorts

  • bustitOpen | dir. Danielle Deadwyler | USA | 41 min.
  • Desert Air | dir. ANDiLAND | USA | 2 min.
  • Fireflies (Vagalumes) | dir. Léo Bittencourt | Brazil | 19 min.
  • Her Teeth and Where To Find Them | dir. Kelsey Scult | USA | 6 min.
  • In Beauty It is Unfinished | dir. Greko Sklavounos | USA | 16 min.
  • Nitty-Gritty Punjab Police | dir. Kabir Mehta | India | 12 min.
  • No Garden Beyond | dir. Anna Kipervaser, Rhys Morgan | Bermuda | 11 min.
  • Pride | dir. Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold | USA | 7 min.
  • Saturday Afternoon (pài-la̍k ē-poo) | dir. Erica Sheu | USA, Taiwan | 2 min.
  • She Gather Me | dir. Miatta Kawinzi | USA | 11 min.
  • Show Me Other Places | dir. Rajee Samarasinghe | Sri Lanka, USA | 11 min.
  • Sinking of the Natchez (Grounding Exercise no. 13) | dir. Jimmy Bassett | USA | 7 min.
  • Two Sons and a River of Blood | dir. Amber Bemak, Angelo Madsen Minax | USA, Mexico | 11 min.
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