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Patois New Orleans Film Festival Announces New Co-Directors and Dates

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Patois New Orleans International Human Rights Festival (PATOIS) announced its new co-directors for the 16th edition of the festival taking place from March 25 – 30 at the Broad Theater, with an opening event at the Neighborhood Story Project on March 25. Visit the newly-remodeled patoisfilmfest.org for more information.

This year’s festival will be headed by New Orleans-based filmmakers Zandashé Brown and Zaferhan Yumru. Both directors officially joined the Patois Collective in the Spring of 2019 alongside members Jordan Flaherty, Jason R.A. Foster, jazz franklin, Zac Manuel, Kristina Kay Robinson and Shana M. griffin.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of bringing the legacy of Patois into the new decade,” says Brown, “New Orleans has a rich history of resistance, which makes this a special place for a human rights festival. We aim to showcase work spanning the range of concerns in today’s cultural and political climate.” The directors also hope to engage in solution-based and informative dialogue with the community through their non-film programming endeavors. “We will create a safe space for people to meet, share knowledge, and initiate collaborations on their own future projects, whether it’s a film or organizing a campaign” says Yumru.

Festival goers can expect five days of films, panels, community discussions, workshops, and events centered around important topical dialogue. Patois 2020 will showcase feature-length and short documentary and narrative films from filmmakers local to Louisiana and from around the world. The complete lineup and schedule will be announced to the public later in February.

Visit the newly-remodeled website at patoisfilmfest.org for information on how to support Patois through volunteering or membership. Festival passes and merchandise are also currently available for purchase on the site.



Zandashé Brown is an award-winning filmmaker with a background in social justice work. As a student at Louisiana State University in 2014, she co-founded Baton Rouge Organizing, a group committed to connecting the community with existing progressive groups working toward social justice and advocacy. Brown has since shifted her passion for uplifting underserved voices into narrative filmmaking. Her last film, BLOOD RUNS DOWN, which addressed Black women’s generational trauma, has screened at nearly twenty festivals across and beyond the country and brought back several awards.

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Zaferhan (Zaf) Yumru is a film and arts marketing professional, writer, and filmmaker. After a decade of working in film festival programming, film production, distribution, and marketing in Turkey, he immigrated to New Orleans in 2017 and is now working at the New Orleans Film Society as Director of Marketing and Communications. Zaf is also currently developing his first narrative short film, Bush, which will begin production in May 2020.



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