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.



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