NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana-made films are being shown alongside the work of filmmakers from across the world at the New Orleans Film Festival, which opened Thursday night with a red-carpet showing of the Louisiana-shot thriller "The Paperboy."
The film starring Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, but it's being celebrated in New Orleans because it was filmed in Louisiana and released by Millennium Entertainment, a production company based in the Bayou State.
"There's no doubt this has been an exciting year for filmmaking in Louisiana," said Jolene Pinder, executive director of the New Orleans Film Society, the group that organizes the festival.
Roughly 60 of the 200 films being shown have a Louisiana connection, including a documentary about New Orleans jazz singer Meschiya Lake and her struggle to overcome drug addiction as the city recovered from Hurricane Katrina.
The festival is in its 23rd year and will run through Oct. 18. It will also include a documentary about former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, R-New Orleans, who was the first Vietnamese-American to serve in Congress.
"It's an interesting portrait and a very well-respected film, so we are proud to be showing it here," said Clint Bowie, program director for the New Orleans Film Society.