New Orleans 2016: Documentary Overview

2016-new-orleans-film-festival-program-artwork-7180218f2046ebf2The 27th annual New Orleans Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, October 12. More than 60 new feature films will screen over the course of the event before it wraps on Thursday, October 20, including more than 30 documentaries. This year’s edition is notable as the swansong of Executive Director Jolene Pinder, who (together with Director of Programming Clint Bowie) grew the event substantially since coming on board in 2011. Among the doc highlights are:

ellabrennancommandingthetable-1_copy-1474344527Several higher profile slots have been afforded to nonfiction, including the fest’s Centerpiece, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, Raoul Peck’s masterful exploration of race in America, as embodied through James Baldwin’s writing on Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X; and Gala title ELLA BRENNAN: COMMANDING THE TABLE (pictured), Leslie Iwerks’ look at a local restaurant impresaria.

backstory-4-1473715218Docs appearing in special sidebar programming includes: Renee Edwards’ look at efforts to support New Orleans’ local musicians, ONE NOTE AT A TIME, appearing in music doc strand Keeping {Score}; Raúl de la Fuente’s exploration of the lives of various Haitians, I AM HAITI, in the Caribbean Cinema section; and Iman Shervington’s chronicle of the lives of young black New Orleanians, BACK STORY (pictured), and Victoria Greene’s exploration of a Cajun community forced to evacuate their homes, FORGOTTEN BAYOU, both in Made in Louisiana.

theshelter-3-1473700804Among the other new documentaries in the lineup are: David Feige’s UNTOUCHABLE, a comprehensive consideration of sex offender laws; Brent Renaud and Craig Renaud’s SHELTER, an inside look at a New Orleans institution that provides services to the homeless and needy; Zeinabu Irene Davis’ SPIRITS OF REBELLION: BLACK CINEMA FROM UCLA, a tribute to influential but unsung black filmmakers collectively known as LA Rebellion; and Abbas Sendi’s THE SHELTER (pictured), an observational portrait of an Iranian woman’s work tending to animals.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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