Northwestern State University is joining the city of Natchitoches and the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau in sponsoring the Louisiana Film Prize, a contest that requires filmmakers to shoot a short narrative film in northwest Louisiana to win a prize of $50,000. The LA Film Prize was established five years ago to draw filmmakers to Shreveport-Bossier, foster the creative vibe in the region, showcase the beauty and resources of northwest Louisiana and spur economic development through the film industry. This year, filming boundaries have been extended to include Natchitoches Parish.
“I believe our Parish will be greatly impacted by now being included in the approved film zones,” said Madeline DeBlieux, marketing and public relations manager at the Natchitoches CVB. “Knowing the impact it has brought to the Shreveport area and northwest Louisiana, I can only imagine what it can do for Natchitoches and the parish. The landscapes and architecture the city and NSU have, the wildlife areas, Landmark Districts; NSU and the Historic District and not to mention the Cane River National Heritage Area. This will bring endless opportunities for Natchitoches and I can’t wait to see filmmakers and their crews here in Natchitoches Parish.”
Twenty finalists will be selected, who will receive $500 and an invitation to the LA Film Prize Weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 2 where the winner will be determined. Half of the selection will be through a panel of celebrities and film experts and half by audience vote. Last year, 86 teams participated.
The 2016 contest began with a kick-off party at ArtSpace in Shreveport Jan. 12 that celebrated the contest’s fifth birthday. Rough cuts of films are due July 12 and announcement of the 20 finalists will be Aug. 16.
“We hope that as the LA Film Festival grows, Northwestern State will be a resource to filmmakers shooting in our parish,” said Cole Gentry, NSU’s director of Marketing and Branding. “The university’s involvement in the film contest creates opportunities for our students in creative and performing arts, communication arts and hospitality management and tourism engaging with filmmakers and as aspiring filmmakers themselves.”