The opening gala of the New Orleans Film Festival kicked off its 25th anniversary this year with the U.S. premiere of Mike Binder’s New Orleans-shot film, Black or White, starring Kevin Costner. The festival kick off was “a testament to the thriving film industry in Louisiana and the meaningful stories being filmed here,” says Jolene Pinder, New Orleans Film Society Executive Director.

Opening night attendees included New Orleans native Anthony Mackie, New Orleans Film Society president Alexa Georges and Jerry Armatis, Allison Kendrick with daughter Megan Kendrick, Anna Beth Goodman, Faith Ford and Campion Murphy, Susan Brennan, Jane Booth, Randy Fertel, NOFF executive director Jolene Pinder, Rita Benson LeBlanc, Ivy and Shawn Barney and Django Unchained actress Laura Cayouette.

After the film screening, all opening night film attendees second-lined from the Civic Theatre to the Board of Trade where guests were greeted with old Hollywood pinup girls handing out a specialty cocktail. Everyone celebrated the quarter centennial of the New Orleans Film Festival with a silver anniversary cake by Melissa’s Fine Pastries, food by Pigeon Caterers, wine provided by Pearl Wine Co., and true to tradition, music by Sasha Masakowski.

Partygoers at The Civic and at the after party included Steve Armbruster, Teresa Cole and Wayne Troyer, Tracie Ashe, Helene and Rob Florence, Aylin and Steven Maklansky, Kristin Shannon, Sandie McNamara, Sean Gerowin, Ellen Johnson and Dr. Ronnie Swartz, Jack Forbes and Brian Bockman, Rebecca Snedeker, Ashley and Skipper Bond, Linda Novak and Adam Marcus and Lee McDonough.

This monumental birthday for the festival marks several unprecedented achievements: the 2014 lineup of 237 films was selected from a pool of more than 2,100 submissions from a record-breaking 86 countries, making this the largest and most far-reaching submissions pool in the festival’s history. 




What: “Opening of New Orleans Film Festival,” benefiting the New Orleans Film Society
When: Thursday, October 16
Where: Civic Theater