Five New Orleans Filmmakers Launch Kickstarter Projects to Mark the City’s Tricentennial

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Poet Sunni Patterson, the subject of the short film Artist in Exile
Poet Sunni Patterson, the subject of the short film Artist in Exile

This summer, Kickstarter joined forces with four film and artist support organizations in New Orleans — NOVAC, The New Orleans Film Society, #CreateLouisiana, and Film New Orleans — to form the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator. The plan? To help bring to life five films from local filmmakers about their city, ahead of NOLA’s 2018 Tricentennial celebration.

This week, the five films launch their Kickstarter campaigns. Each aims to raise $5,000 so that they can access a $5,000 matching grant, production support from Film New Orleans, 10 hours of ongoing support during production from NOVAC, and a premiere event in the spring of 2018 in New Orleans. The selected filmmakers have already enjoyed All Access passes to the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival and fundraising consultation support from our Director of Narrative Film, Elise McCave, who traveled to the festival to meet with the filmmakers.

New Orleans holds a special place in our heart. Our founder, Perry Chen, came up with the idea for Kickstarter while living in NOLA in 2001. And in the eight years since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, New Orleans has been the source of many inspired projects from across the creative spectrum, including Music Box Village, Love Letters from New Orleans, Parisite DIY Skatepark, and Blights Out for Mayor, to name just a few.

The New Orleans film community, in particular, has found a welcome home on Kickstarter, from NOLA natives Bill and Turner Ross’s musical documentary, Tchoupitoulas, to Paper Chase, a comedy set in the city about a young girl raising money for college by any means necessary, to the drive to help Court 13 Arts — the team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild — create a home for community-based art, filmmaking, and creativity in New Orleans and beyond.

Forming the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator with these four outstanding organizations is our way of recognizing and building on this rich culture of cinematic creativity.

Read more about — and support — the five exciting projects selected for the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator below.

Artist in Exile 
dir. Jason Foster/Kiyoko McCrae, prod. Kiyoko McCrae

World-renowned poet Sunni Patterson was displaced for twelve years following Hurricane Katrina. Set in the Desire/Florida neighborhood where Patterson grew up and the Algiers neighborhood she now calls home, this film merges documentary and poetry to tell the story of her return to New Orleans and the beauty of her people, who, despite it all, still call New Orleans home.

Blood Runs Down
dir. Zandashe Brown, prod. Lauren Domino
An Afrofuturist Southern Gothic horror film focused on a toxic mother-daughter relationship. Filmed in one shotgun house with rich art direction, the film ratchets up the tension between the two women as they face down family dynamics, intergenerational trauma, and religious fervor.

Blood Runs Down
Blood Runs Down

Corner Stores
dir. Julia Evans, prod. Weenta Girmay
The story of one New Orleans corner store. This verité documentary alternates between ethnography and narration, highlighting the personal stories behind a neighborhood institution and showing how New Orleans' corner stores are linchpins of their local communities.

Le Grand Remix
dir. Austin Alward, prod. Win Riley
Faced with being barred from the the US if she leaves the country, a young African teacher at a French immersion school in New Orleans drowns her sorrows in dance to a soundtrack by a teenage Vietnamese-American DJ. At the 20th anniversary of their school, the 50th anniversary of CODOFIL (Council of French in Louisiana), and the tricentennial of La Nouvelle-Orléans, real-life New Orleans French immersion educators, parents, and students chime in to the musical crescendo.

Le Grand Remix
Le Grand Remix

The Heart Is an Organ
dir. David White, prod. Todd Voltz
For 29 hours every March, Albinis and Manon Prizgintas pour their hearts into putting on a continuous performance of classical music at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans. There are families in sleeping bags in the balcony, musicians from NOLA and around the world in attendance, a constant supply of cookies and juice, and the creation — occasionally at the expense of health and sanity — of one of the most original musical performance events in the world.

Explore more live Film projects on Kickstarter — or start your own here.