The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) stages several screenings a month, many of which are free or cheap for members; its New Orleans Film Festival has included soon-to-be Oscar winners, such as 12 Years a Slave, which was screened at the 2013 fest at an opening night event attended by Hollywood “it” girl Lupita Nyong’o; and it hosts the most fun Oscar viewing party in town. One of its annual events is filmOrama, which the Prytania Theater hosts April 4-10. Films include Lars von Trier’s two-part Nymphomaniac starring Shia Labeouf (who has been in the news recently for some puzzling public behavior), Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, the documentary about the Sondheim star; and many more. Many screenings will feature audience Q&As with visiting filmmakers including Cecilia Peck, daughter of Gregory and director of Brave Miss World. NOFS Program Director Clint Bowie talks about the upcoming event.
What films are you most excited about this year? We’ve got some really good documentaries in the lineup this year. I tend to be a little partial to docs myself, and they always seem to play well with local audiences. The Galapagos Affair is one that I haven’t seen but sounds so crazy and compelling that I can’t wait to. Anita, a portrait doc about Anita Hill, is another one that I really hope people go see – it’s a bold film about a strong woman, and it was made by the Oscar-winning director Frieda Lee Mock.
In terms of narratives, I’m excited to showcase a new film called 13 Sins. It was shot in New Orleans and it just had its world premiere at South By Southwest. It features a lot of local talent, from actor Lance Nichols to production designer Jim Gelarden, and lots of other local cast and crew members. We’re always excited when we can put the spotlight on Louisiana talent.
It’s a pretty diverse group of films – 24 in total. It’s designed to have something for everyone, and that really is the case … if you can’t find something that interests you in this lineup, I’d question whether you really like movies.
Nymphomaniac is one of this year’s films. Have you seen it? I haven’t seen the whole thing yet, just a few clips, but what I have seen is, as expected, pretty provocative. We have shown the past couple of films that von Trier has made – Antichrist and Melancholia – and both have had sell-out crowds. We’re expecting the same for Nymphomaniac.
You all have the New Orleans Film Festival, French Film Fest and the Children’s Film Fest – all of which are pretty self-explanatory. What’s the purpose of filmOrama? Unlike the NOFF, which is almost entirely populated by work submitted by filmmakers, filmOrama is an all-curated fest and it gives us a chance to offer local audiences access to films that have acquired distribution but would likely not otherwise screen in the city. It’s also six months after our big festival in October, so it’s a way for us to keep local interest in independent film alive throughout the year.
What is Lupita Nyong’o like in person? Such a sweetheart! She … (is) as far from a diva as you can get: very approachable and real.
For more information on filmOrama and the New Orleans Film Society, visit NewOrleansFilmSociety.org.