New Orleans Events

Louisiana Film Prize Social

Join NOVAC and the Louisiana Film Prize team on March 30th from 6-8PM at Black Penny (700 N. Rampart) and learn how YOU can become THE PRIZE! This is the world’s most generous short film competiton ($50,000!!!) so don’t miss out on your chance to participate!

For more information about the Prize, please visit:


NOLA: Retroperspective, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation Documentary Festival




The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the New Orleans Video Access Center, presents the second annual RETROPERSPECTIVE, a documentary showcase featuring the best in documentaries by and about southern Louisiana, with classic feature-length films paired with upcoming works-in-progress by current New Orleans filmmakers.  This three-day showcase aims to connect the legacies of documentary filmmaking in the region with new and innovative works happening today.


The weekend kicks off with a cocktail reception on Friday, February 3rd at 6pm at the new George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street). The New Orleans Video Access Center and the New Orleans Documentary Meetup are partnering to host the event, which will be followed by the opening night film, A House Divided.



Black and White

7pm: A HOUSE DIVIDED (Ware, 1987), preceded by NEUTRAL GROUND & GOMELA.  Retroperspective kicks off with a documentary filmmaker meetup, and at 7pm we will show Burwell Ware’s 1987 documentary, executive produced by Sybil Morial,  about the segregation and integration of New Orleans through the eyes of those who remember it. Featuring New Orleans politicians, luminaries including Oretha Castle Haley and narrated by James Earl Jones, this film begs the question of how much progress we have made in race relations in New Orleans today.  Paired with this film will be a work-in-progress screening of Neutral Ground, by CJ Hunt, which looks at the Confederate Monument scandal, and Gomela, a poetic short accompaniment to Junebug Theater’s dance and theater production.  Filmmaker Burwell Ware will be in attendance.



1pm: 2017 Music Video Production Project Launch.
NOVAC will host an informational session on the annual class, followed by a showcase of videos completed in the past two years. Musicians interested in a free music video are strongly encouraged to attend.


2:30pm: Forgotten Bayou (2016). Bayou Corne, Louisiana was once a thriving Cajun community. On August 3, 2012 a sinkhole swallowed a swath of nearby swamps and after a mandatory evacuation ordered, residents were left with an impossible choice: start their lives over elsewhere, or stay and face the risks. Forgotten Bayou chronicles the events leading up to the tragedy as well as the continuing ways it has altered their lives.


4:30pm: Tootie’s Last Suit (2009). In the aftermath of Katrina, the film bears witness to the Mardi Gras Indians who, in picking up the threads of their torn lives and tradition, are the spiritual healers of New Orleans. Followed by a Skype Q&A with filmmaker Lisa Katzman. The feature will be preceded by Hail To The Queens, a work-in-progress by local filmmaker Brian Nelson.


7pm Doctor: Untitled Professor Longhair Documentary (2016). This is the first screening of an extraordinary work-in-progress about an infamous local character.  We welcome you to attend this “piano night” and you will not “shuffle” away disappointed.



3pm: My Louisiana Love (2012). Tracing a young woman’s quest to find a place in her Native American community as it reels from decades of environmental degradation, My Louisiana Love is a modern story of love, loss, and resilience in Southeast Louisiana. Co-producer and co-writer Monique Michelle Verdin will be in attendance.


5pm: A Look at Street Photography: a program by the New Orleans Photo Alliance. This block will include In the Spirit: The Photography of Michael P. Smith (2009), a short film by Kevin McCaffery, and Don’t Blink (2016), the award-winning documentary about the life and times of Robert Frank, followed by a discussion on the ethics of street photography. The New Orleans Photo Alliance strives to be a cultural stimulus, which fosters economic and artistic growth while preserving the rich and diverse photographic culture of New Orleans and the southern region.


The weekend is free and open to the public. Please email with any questions.




Music Video Production Launch @ Retroperspective

Join us on February 4th at 12pm at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N Rampart St. New Orleans) for the official launch of the 2017 Music Video Production Project. This will be a one-hour info session, free and open to the public, where you can learn all about the class, what we’ve done in the past and what we will be producing this year!

Thanks to the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, this is the third year in a row we are able to offer free music videos to a variety of local musicians, as we pair talented filmmakers and eager students in the A-Z process of making a top quality creative product.

If you’re ready to dive in, you can reserve your spot today!



Sync Up Cinema 2016

Louisiana’s film industry conference during Jazz Fest! FREE & open to the public




Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in unconventional spaces within the community. Each month, eight storytellers have seven minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on All Things New Orleans and is a biweekly podcast on We’re teaming up with BYO on Thursday, April 21st at the Jazz and Heritage Center for our 3rd Thursday to kick off 2016 Sync Up Cinema with stories based on the theme:

“(Not) For The Money”

….things you did just for the money, or what you did knowing there was no paper at all; rent parties, Japanese commercials, egg selling? You tell us.

7:30pm: BYO happy hours- drinks from rozzie+leggy, grub from Goodman’s BBQ, tunes from Lost in the Holler. 8pm- stories. Oh yes, and we’ll be outside! To learn more or sign up to tell a story, email



1:30pm – The Master: best practices in film and video preservation. Panel featuring Toby Armstrong (preserving a film via NOJHFF grant), Ben Solovey (local film print preservationist), and more.

3pm – Best of the Fests & Local Works. Top Louisiana produced short films from NOFF 2015, 48HRFF, the Louisiana Film Prize 2015, and other local works, including The Boatman and Shotgun Boogie.

5pm – Louisiana Film Prize Social. Meet the crew behind the LA Film Prize and have some drinks to the jams of DJ Loira Limbal!

6:30pm – Queen Sugar Panel.  Meet the team that’s producing Oprah and Ava’s QUEEN SUGAR, a Louisiana Story being produced in Louisiana.  Discussion of Duvernay’s drive for #inclusivecrew and developing voice and vision in white male dominated Hollywood.  Producer Paul Garnes in attendance. More to come as we approach the date.

8pm – The Glamour and The Squalor, presented by Shotgun Cinema. As a rock DJ in late-’80s Seattle, Marco Collins achieved something virtually impossible: he became a star, and in the process helped make the city synonymous with grunge music. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains – Collins championed them and countless other bands, was the first to play their breakout albums, and became the go-to source for the newest and greatest in rock. But although he became one of music’s most influential tastemakers, Collins is more than his on-air personality – music is just one of his complex, unquenchable, and uncompromising passions. Director Marq Evans in attendance.



3:30pm – Music Licensing for Film. With Rob Filomena and more.

4:30 pm – Documentary development and diversity panel with N’Jeri Eaton (ITVS) and Loira Limbal (Firelight Media). MacArthur Foundation, which funds normally 20-25 docs a year, just announced that it won’t be funding individual films any more, but will be funding 5 regrantors.  Two of them are ITVS and Firelight, and both have expressed concrete interest in highlighting voices from the South.  This is a direct opportunity for local filmmaker to hear about the types of projects and applications that two of the largest documentary funders in the country are interested in.

5:30pm – A Woman, A Shark, A Robot with Misty Talley. Misty is Louisiana filmmaker who started with a dream, a very cheesing dream that involved comic books and cheesy genre movies. Today, she is the first woman ever to have directed a feature for the Sci Fi channel and she is busy producing in Louisiana a slate of films that play on her eye for detail and sense of fun. In a keynote presentation, Misty will talk about how she built a career in film and TV, her Baton Rouge robotic shark builders and what it’s like to be a woman in a very bullshark world.

6:30pm – Springbreak Shark Attack Happy Hour with WIFT. Then join us in the courtyard for a reception hosted by WIFT and some delicious shark attack cocktails!

8pm – I AM THE BLUES (SXSW). This film takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and Moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country. Visiting the last original blues devils, many in their 80s, still living in the American deep south and touring the Chitlin’ Circuit. Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, RL Boyce, LC Ulmer, Lil’ Buck Sinegal and their friends awaken the blues in all of us. Director Daniel Cross in attendance and a performance by Little Freddie King.



1pm – First Friday. Oakland made it onto two “top” lists: Top Five travel destinations in the U.S., and Top Five most dangerous cities. Once a month, those two realities meet at First Friday. What started as simple art crawl on the first Friday of every month has grown into a cross-cultural and intergenerational event drawing thousands of people to downtown Oakland for food, entertainment and every kind of art imaginable. The event’s popularity has fueled the city’s larger cultural and economic renaissance. But after a teenager was murdered during one of the events, the future of First Fridays is uncertain. Directed by N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni.

4:30pm – Made in Japan (SXSW). Made in Japan is the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the world’s first Japanese country music superstar. It is a funny yet poignant multicultural journey through music, marriage and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman. In partnership with the New Orleans Japan Society. The Diamond Brothers, directors of the film, in attendance. Preceded by Garrett Bradley’s LIKE, a 6 minute short about clickfarms, produced with Field Of Vision.

7pm – Belizaire The Cajun 30th Anniversary. In 1859 Louisiana, a wily root doctor must save his friend’s life, win a woman’s heart, outfox a crooked sheriff, stop marauding vigilantes, expose an evil villain, heal the sick, play music for the dance, keep himself off the gallows, and, of course, rescue the inheritance of three orphaned children in a picture that helped launch both the 1980s all-things-Cajun craze and the independent film movement. The film screened in the Official Selections of Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Munich, Torino. Produced by Sandra Schulberg, Allan Durand, & Glen Pitre. Written & directed by Glen Pitre. With Glen Pitre in attendance. Preceded by Atchafalaya, The Construct Films Southern Gothic Thriller.


RETROPERSPECTIVE: 2016 Jazz & Heritage Documentary Film Festival

Showcasing the best in documentaries by and about southern Louisiana, with classic feature-length films paired with upcoming works-in-progress by current New Orleans filmmakers.


The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents its first annual retrospective of documentary films, Feb. 19-21 at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street).

Covering topics ranging from Louisiana politics to New Orleans street culture to impending environmental catastrophe, the films we’ll screen offer unique perspectives on our community, often viewed through the prism of history.

It’s a rare opportunity to see important films – some of them funded by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation through its Community Partnership Grants – that are either seldom seen, or, in some cases, still in progress.

In addition to 13 screenings of feature-length films and shorts, we’ll host a kickoff party, a panel discussion on fair use of copyrighted material in films – and even a vinyl records swap. Admission to all events is free; no advance registration is necessary.


Thursday, Feb. 18:

6:00 p.m.: Festival Kickoff Party
Join NOVAC at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center for cocktails in the courtyard to kick off the RETROPERSPECTIVE festival!

Friday, Feb. 19:  Political Culture and Cultural Politics in New Orleans

Filmmakers: Andy Koelker and Louis Alvarez, 1993
In Louisiana, Mardi Gras and elections run neck and neck as the favorite pastimes. This film presents a cast of characters only Louisiana could produce: Huey P. Long – “His Excellency,” the “Dictator of Louisiana”; Earl K. Long, Huey’s uncle, committed to an asylum while he was still governor; and Jimmie Davis, singing his farewell speech to the state legislature. This film is a romp through the high jinx and low morals of Bayou State politics.

7:15 p.m.: THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana
Filmmakers: Andy Koelker and Louis Alvarez, 1982, plus Q&A with filmmakers
This is the story of the Perez family and how its political wheeling and dealing have affected Plaquemines Parish. The film features interviews with Judge Leander Perez, whose total control of the parish was legendary. We also see clips of Leander Perez, Jr., and Chalin Perez, plus conversations with voters and prominent Plaquemines residents. The film reveals how – in a once-forgotten parish rocked by the discovery of oil in 1933 – poverty and wealth coexist uneasily amid political tyranny.

Saturday, Feb. 20: The Art of the Matter

3:30 p.m.: Vinyl Record Swap and DJ Session hosted by Euclid Records
Come exchange bona fides and jam to undiscovered gems with the gentlemen DJs from Euclid Records!

5:00 p.m.:  Panel Discussion: FAIR USE REVOLUTION – Yes you can! (use that footage)
When is it allowed – or not – to use film footage, a magazine cover, a family photo, a YouTube video (yes, the one with the celebrity in it), in your film? Fair use expert Patricia Aufderheide of American University explains how the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use makes those decisions easy and dependable.

6:00 p.m.: Screenings: WORKS IN PROGRESS
We offer sneak previews of exciting projects by respected New Orleans filmmakers before they’re released – or even finished – plus Q & A with the filmmakers.
BUCKJUMPING (Lily Keber, 2016)
THE FREE SOUTHERN THEATER (Jason Foster and Kiyoko McCrae, 2016)

Relive Mardi Gras with a trio of 2015 short films that focus on the bacchanal, plus Q & A with filmmakers.
FLOTSAM, Olivia Motley, 2015
BIG CHIEF, Paavo Hanninen, 2015

Filmmaker: Rebecca Snedeker, 2008, plus Q&A with the filmmaker
New Orleans filmmaker Rebecca Snedeker explores the insular world of the elite, white Carnival societies and debutante balls of Mardi Gras. Questioning their racial exclusivity, she takes an unprecedented insider’s look at the pageantry and asks: What does it mean to be the queen of the masked men? As she examines her own place in an alluring tradition, Snedeker challenges viewers to reflect on the roles we all play – and disguises we wear – in our own lives.  

Sunday, Feb. 21: A SENSE OF PLACE – Everywhere else is just Cleveland

2:00 p.m.:  YEAH, YOU RITE! Andy Koelker and Louis Alvarez, 1984) explores the unique accents and vernaculars that make the spoken language of New Orleans so unique.
RUTHIE THE DUCK GIRL (Rick Delaup, 1999) tells the fascinating story of one of the French Quarter’s most dynamic and eccentric characters, Ruth “Ruthie the Duck Girl” Moulon. For more than 50 years, the wedding dress-clad Ruthie roller-skated through the streets of the quarter with her pet ducks in tow. But, as we learn, every visible feature of Ruthie’s outlandishly public existence echoes an event from her hidden past.

4:00 p.m.: THEY’RE TRYING TO WASH US AWAY – Environmental Justice in Louisiana
WORKS IN PROGRESS SCREENING: Learn about brewing environmental disasters in MOSSVILLE (Alex Glustrom, 2016) and FORGOTTEN BAYOU: Life on the Bayou Corne Sinkhole (Victoria Greene, 2016), followed by Q&A with the filmmakers.

5:30pm: BLUE VINYL
Filmmaker: Judith Helfand, 1995
The hazards of bio-accumulation, pollution, and the makeup of what we commonly hope are benign plastics are tackled in this documentary. Judith Helfand follows the pathway of the siding destined for her parent’s house and traces its toxic origins in Louisiana.  Plus Q&A with the filmmaker.

“Retroperspective” is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation with assistance from the New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC).


Sync Up Cinema 2015

Louisiana’s Film industry conference during Jazz Fest

Scheduled for April 27th – 29th and held at the The Jazz & Heritage Center, Sync Up Cinema 2015 is just around the corner! NOVAC is thrilled to partner once again with the Jazz & Heritage Foundation to bring back leaders and tastemakers in the national and local film industry for an exciting reprise of our conference, screenings, and events – all during the week of Jazz Fest!

The Sync Up conference started in 2008 as a music industry conference during the week of Jazz Fest, and due to a growing film community, Sync Up Cinema launched in 2012. Showcasing Louisiana productions, upcoming trends in the film industry, and also bringing experts in the film industry to connect with local filmmakers, Sync Up Cinema merges music, film, Louisiana culture, and more.


Josh Penn (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Western), Angela Tucker (Black Folk Don’t, (A)Sexual), Amy Mitchell-Smith (Zipper), Michael Goi (American Horror Story, Salem and Glee), Natalie Kingston (Construct Films), Travis Bird & Angela Catalano (Shotgun Cinema), George Wein (Newport Folk Festival and NO Jazz Fest founder).

2015 FILMS

Fresh Dressed (2015, Sascha Jenkins), This Ain’t No Mouse Music: The Story of Arhoolie Records(2013, Maureen Gosling), Keeper of the Flame (2015, Brian Nelson), Screening of The Music Box Kiev and Vice Versa (Airlift), Digital Youth: Project 10 (NOVAC), The Newport Effect  (2014, Beverly Penninger and Alyson Young), Gimme Shelter (1970, David & Albert Maysles), Best of the Fests (2014 New Orleans Film Festival, the LA Film Prize, TimeCode NOLA and the 48 Film Project NOLA).


Actors Showcase

NOVAC’s Actors Industry Showcase is back again, this year with a fabulous cast and scene selection! Designed to connect filmmakers seeking talent for their next project, aspiring actors, and industry professionals, the annual showcase spotlights rising Louisiana talent at an intimate evening of scene performances followed by a networking after party.


For Actors: Want to build your resume? Actors Showcase connects talent to filmmakers looking to cast for their next project. You can also meet industry professionals that provide creative support services like headshots, coaching and reels. Bring your headshot, resume, and business card and get to mingling at the reception.

For Filmmakers: Prepare your character breakdowns, elevator pitch and logline. NOVAC and Lanzardis Productions have hand-picked up-and-coming local actors that will perform scenes especially for you and be available to network at the reception, where you can view performing actors’ reels and connect with attending talent, casting directors and other creative professionals.

For Industry Professionals: Connect with actors in the market for professional services and filmmakers seeking casting support. Industry representatives receive complementary passes to the showcase, as well as the invite-only cocktail hour beforehand, reserved seating, recognition at the event, and promotional opportunities.

Sponsorship Levels

$500 – Presenting Sponsor
Presenting Sponsors will get their names on all publicity materials directly below the title “NOVAC Actors Showcase presented by:”, on all Actor’s Showcase publicity materials, including the web site, press release, social media publicity and event materials, will be a named sponsor of the VIP reception and will receive on-stage recognition for their support. Presenting sponsors will be able to place company materials at the event. In addition, the Presenting sponsor will receive a full-page ad in the Actor’s Showcase program. Presenting sponsors will receive reserved seating for six at the Actor’s Showcase.

$250 – Featured Sponsor
Featured Sponsors will be recognized on all publicity materials, including the web site, press release, social media publicity and event materials. They will receive on-stage recognition at the event, a half-page ad in the program and reserved seating for four at the Actor’s Showcase.

In partnership with:  lanzardis-logo-large

Since 2004, Lanzardis Productions has been providing professional training to actors in the entire Southeast market, including but not limited to Alabama, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Based in New Orleans, Lanzardis Productions offers On-Camera courses in Acting for Film and Television, Auditioning for Film and Television, Making Money in Commercials, Video Auditions, as well as Acting for Beginners and Monologue Workshops. Career Consultation and Private Coaching are also available on a one-on-one basis. Skype and Google Hangout were recently added as a service to “out of town” clients.

Lance Nichols and his wife of 34 years, Zardis, strongly believe that the talent here in New Orleans is just as qualified and capable of creating stellar performances as ANYONE in Los Angeles or New York. Great actors are found EVERYWHERE and it is Lanzardis Productions’ goal to spotlight our local talent to Casting Directors, Agents, Directors and Producers. With 30 plus years of experience working in Los Angeles and around the country in film and television, Lance offers the perspective of a working actor who has his finger on the pulse of an ever changing industry… To that end, he is committed to serving as a mentor to those whose desire and drive to succeed in the entertainment industry is only exceeded by their talent and commitment.


Sync Up Cinema 2014


Julie Plec, Executive Producer, The Originals
Franklin Leonard, Founder, The Blacklist (
Nailah Jefferson, Director, Vanishing Pearls
Yolonda Ross Actress, Go For Sisters, Writer/Director, Blinded by the Light
Garrett Bradley Director, Below Dreams
Allen Toussaint, Ron Yager & Jim Dotson, team, A Tribute to Toussaint

2014 FILMS

Go For Sisters, Dir. John Sayles, presented by the New Orleans Film Society
Vanishing Pearls, dir. Nailah Jefferson
Bayou Maharajah, dir. Lily Keber
A Tribute to Alan Toussaint, WLAE Original
The Whole Gritty City,  dir. Richard Barber and Andre Lambertson