The 31st Annual New Orleans Film Festival Celebrates Southern Voices

NEW ORLEANS (press release) –

The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announced the lineup for the 31st annual, Oscar®qualifying New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), which will take place Nov. 6 – 22 showcasing 160+ films through NOFF Virtual Cinema available globally, and a selection of films at two screens at the NOFF Open-Air Cinema on Lafitte Greenway (between Dorgenois and Tonti Streets), and Broadside, the new outdoor venue of the Broad Theater. The festival lineup is now live and passes & tickets are available at

For 31 years, the Oscar-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival has been a labor of love, and that is true more than ever in 2020. After receiving 4655 submissions from 105 countries for the 31st anniversary of the festival, the festival’s seasoned team of programmers selected a slate of 165 films that represent a wealth of perspectives. Overall, the directors of selected films represent 44 different nationalities. This year, films made in the American South represent 45 percent, and Louisiana-made films represent 26 percent of the lineup. Films directed by women and gender non-conforming directors account for 57 percent of the lineup, and films helmed by directors of color make up 58 percent of the lineup. Additionally, the lineup boasts 36 world premieres.

“Our programming team celebrates work that, in its form and construction, offers a rebuke to conventional means of filmmaking and forges new storytelling pathways,” said New Orleans Film Society’s Artistic Director Clint Bowie. “Through this year’s lineup, we invite audiences to engage with work that addresses the social and political inequities of our collective past and present.”

NOFS Programming Manager Zandashé Brown added “We feel it’s vital to make space for Southern art. The South is our home, and we recognize that the American South and South Louisiana more specifically are sites where stories and inspiration have been thoughtlessly mined by outsiders, a harmful, extractive practice that sidelines artists with a greater connection to the region and often results in stereotyping and a lack of authentic representation in the work.”



The 31st New Orleans Film Festival feature film competition brings together 8 narrative feature films and 17 documentary feature films from 12 countries. The Louisiana Features Competition will host 7 feature films made in Louisiana. See the film guide at

Recipients of the Jury Award for Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, and Animated Shorts competitions will be eligible for consideration in the respective categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Scroll down to see more the list of films and loglines in the feature competitions and an index for all short films. Additional festival announcements, including Opening Night, Closing Night, Spotlight Films, keynote speeches, panels, and roundtables will be released in the days to come. Watch the festival trailer here.



Individual tickets are now available to book by NOFS members and NOFF passholders, and will be available for the general public on October 20th

Open-Air Cinemas on the Lafitte Greenway and Broadside at Broad Theater will screen films Nov. 6 – 15, see schedule at

Festival goers can purchase an All Access Pass, good for all Open-Air Cinemas and NOFF Virtual Cinema screenings or purchase individual tickets for the Open-Air Cinemas. 

NOFF Virtual Cinema will be running Nov. 6 – 22, offering all 160+ films in the festival lineup! Film lovers can buy a Virtually Everything Pass to watch all films in the lineup throughout the festival; a Virtual Shorts Pass gives access to all (120) short films in the NOFF Virtual Cinema; or buy individual tickets for each virtual screening. Students and Teachers get a deep discount on the Virtually Everything Pass!

New Orleans Film Society members get up to $30 off of passes, $5 off of Open-Air Cinema tickets, and $2 off of NOFF Virtual Cinema tickets. Become a member today and save here.


Watch this “How to Fest?” video to learn all about #NOFF2020 under 5 minutes:



See the complete film guide at




Aga’s House | dir. Lendita Zeqiraj | Kosovo, Croatia, France, Albania | 107 min.

A young boy living in a house of women must race to save a woman who is teaching him Serbian, so that he can continue the search for his missing father.


Breaking Fast | dir. Mike Mosallam | USA | 92 min.

One year after a difficult break-up, Mo, a successful L.A. doctor, is in a dark place but looking forward to the clarity he often finds during the month of Ramadan.


Drought | dir. Megan Petersen & Hannah Black | USA | 84 min.

It’s 1993 and North Carolina is experiencing a historic drought. Autistic teen Carl, fascinated by weather, predicts that a storm will soon hit nearby. His sister Sam crafts a plan to help him chase the storm, stealing their mother’s ice cream truck to embark on a road trip about family, forgiveness, and following your dreams.


The Inheritance | dir. Ephraim Asili | USA | 100 min.

The title initially refers to a West Philly row house, but continues as an exploration of the act of collective living within the Black community. The Inheritance is sustenance for a people struggling to thrive under the weight of Late Capitalism.


Inspector Ike | dir. Graham Mason | USA | 84 min.

Inspector Ike, New York City’s greatest police detective, finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse.


The Outside Story | dir. Casmir Nozkowski | USA | 85 min.

Before we were locked down, he was locked out.


Right Near the Beach | dir. Gibrey Allen | Jamaica | 80 min.

After the death of famous runner Jeffrey Jacobs, the Jamacian public becomes enamored with the details of his life and speculates as to the motivation behind his murder.


Verde | dir. Alfonso Morgan – Terrero | Dominican Republic | 88 min.

When a bystander is killed during the robbery of a goldmine, the spilled blood stains more than the three men responsible, saturating the tight-knit fabric of their tiny Dominican village, seeping into the landscape itself.




Closed for Storm | dir. Jake Williams | USA, Canada | 57 min.

The Story of Six Flags New Orleans.


A Crime on the Bayou | dir. Nancy Buirski | USA | 89 min.

In 1966 in Plaquemines Parish, La, Black teenager Gary Duncan was arrested for touching a white boy’s arm. Systemic racism meets its match in decisive courtroom battles including a landmark case in the U.S. Supreme Court.


Down a Dark Stairwell | dir. Ursula Liang | USA | 85 min.

A Chinese-American police officer kills an unarmed Black man in a dark stairwell of a NYC housing project, igniting a complicated fight for accountability and justice.


The Giverny Document | dir. Ja’Tovia M. Gary | USA, France | 42 min.

Reportage from the Black Ecstatic chorus.


Jacinta | dir. Jessica Earnshaw | USA | 101 min.

A deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma, JACINTA follows a young woman in and out of prison as she attempts to break free from an inherited cycle of addiction, incarceration and crime.


Juan | dir. Adrian Geyer | Venezuela | 70 min.

Searching for answers about his family’s legacy, Adrian starts a journey far away from the city to enter a world full of magic and nature to recover his memories about Juan, a hermit artist who changed his parents’ lives, and thus, his.


Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story | dir. Posy Dixon | UK | 63 min.

Emerging from years in isolation to an enraptured crowd, a time-travelling, transgender musical genius finally finds his place in the world.


Landfall | dir. Cecilia Aldarondo |USA | 91 min.

A kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane María, LANDFALL investigates a storm of much greater magnitude: the economic crisis crippling the island long before María arrived.


The Letter | dir. Maia Lekow & Christopher King | Kenya | 81 min.

The surprising story between a grandmother and her grandson hides an indestructible female power.


Mayor | dir. David Osit | USA, UK | 88 min.

MAYOR is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine.


A New Beginning | dir. Ala’A Mohsen | Denmark, Norway | 78 min.

Rabiaa arrives from Syria to Norway with his four-year-old son, Qais, where the two of them must start over.


The Passing On | dir. Nathan Clarke | USA | 65 min.

Renowned embalmer James Bryant puts his faith in a new generation to continue this vanishing legacy. He’s met with resistance from his young intern, Clarence Pierre, who himself is conflicted about his commitment due to the judgment he feels from the Black community as a queer, Christian man.


Proper Pronouns | dir. Megan Q. Daniels | USA | 66 min.

Proper Pronouns is a feature film that follows four transgender, ordained ministers fighting intolerance and discrimination in the Bible Belt, in particular, Dawn Flynn, as she seeks validation in the pulpit and reconciliation in her marriage, problems she did not face when she was Duane.


Through the Night | dir. Loira Limbal |USA | 72 min.

THROUGH THE NIGHT is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a childcare provider—whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center.


Two Gods | dir. Zeshawn Ali | USA | 82 min.

Hanif is a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer who takes two young men under his wing to teach them how to live better lives.


Unapologetic | dir. Ashley O’Shay | USA | 86 min.

UNAPOLOGETIC is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago, through the experience of two young, Black queer women.


Welcome to Pine Lake | dir. Elisa Gambino | USA | 84 min.

A progressive women-led city council turns a blind eye to the city’s racist practices leaving its judge and police chief to uphold the status quo in an American city too good to be true. Welcome to the City of Pine Lake, Georgia, population 765.




American Reject | dir. Marlo Hunter | USA | 90 min.

Kay Montgomery is a top finalist who gets the boot from America’s hottest singing competition and is forced to move back in with her mother as reality cameras follow her every move.


Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets | dir. Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross | USA | 98 min

In the shadows of the bright lights of Las Vegas, it’s last call for a beloved dive bar known as the Roaring 20s.


To Decadence, with Love: Thanks for Everything! | dir. Stuart Sox | USA | 62 min.

Two drag queens in New Orleans work, dance and lip-synch their way through the city’s annual Southern Decadence weekend.


Nobody May Come | dir. Ella Hatamian & Stiven Luka | USA | 88 min.

A chronicle of the private and public life of Valerie Sassyfras, a 67-year-old entertainer from New Orleans pursuing her popstar dreams.


The Offline Playlist | dir. Brian C. Miller Richard | USA | 49 min.

A first-of-it’s-kind concert that paired New Orleans artists on a Spotify playlist with the fans who were listening to it, live at the hallowed Preservation Hall. Staring Jon Batiste, Irma Thomas, Curren$y, Mannie Fresh, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more New Orleans legends.


A Place Called Desire | dir. Leonard Smith III | USA | 93 min.

A Place Called Desire is the story of an African American neighborhood found in New Orleans, told through the eyes of 60 individuals who called Desire home, and is a promising and cautionary tale of how systems and society at large can help to build and destroy a community’s pursuit of the American Dream.


Professor Longhair, Rugged and Funky | dir.  Joshua JG Bagnall | USA | 92 min.

Professor Longhair: Rugged & Funky is a comprehensive documentary about the life and times of the unsung musical genius. Known by his peers as “The Originator of Funk and Rock N’ Roll” and “The Bach of Rock”, Fess like so many black New Orleans musicians, never got his due.


Abraham Felix Change 1 Copy
Abraham Felix – Change




Recipients of the Jury Award for Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, and Animated Shorts competitions will be eligible for consideration in the respective categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.


Narrative Shorts


  • American Dream | dir. Nicolas Polixene & Sylvain Loubet | France | 19 min.
  • And She Hisses | dir. Monica Lek | USA, Spain | 11 min.
  • Appreciation | dir. Tomisin Adepeju | UK | 15 min.
  • August | dir. Cameron Morton | USA | 14 min.
  • Buck | dir. Elegance Bratton, Jovan James | USA | 14 min.
  • Cloudy Days | dir. Chuang Yung-Hsiang | Taiwan | 26 min.
  • Drifting / Piao Liu | dir. Hanxiong Bo | USA, China | 16 min.
  • Flex | dir. Matt Porter | USA | 16 min.
  • Funeral | dir. Fernando Guisa | Mexico | 13 min.
  • Gramercy | dir. Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood | USA | 23 min.
  • Hapi Berdey Yusimi In Yur Dey | dir. Ana A. Alpizar | USA | 13 min.
  • In France, Michelle is a Man’s Name | dir. Em Weinstein | USA | 12 min.
  • In Sudden Darkness | dir. Tayler Montague | USA | 13 min.
  • Kama’aina / Child of Land | dir. Kimi Howl Lee | USA | 17 min.
  • Little Chief | dir. Erica Tremblay | USA, Seneca-Cayuga Nation | 12 min.
  • Marcy Learns Something New | dir. Julia Kennelly | USA | 16 min.
  • Pond | dir. Tyler Macri | USA | 13 min.
  • See You Soon | dir. Tyler Rabinowitz | USA | 16 min.
  • Sixteen Thousand Dollars | dir. Symone Baptiste | USA | 17 min.
  • The Tongues | dir. Marja Bål Nango | Norway | 15 min.
  • Utan er (Our Land) | dir. Jean-Luc Mwepu | Sweden | 13 min.
  • Virago | dir. Kerli Kirch Schneider | Estonia | 15 min.
  • Waters of March | dir. Chase Johnson | USA | 17 min.


Documentary Shorts


  • Bug Farm | dir. Lydia Cornett | USA | 14 min.
  • Coby and Stephen are in Love | dir. Carlo Nasisse, Luka Yuanyuan Yang | China, USA | 31 min.
  • COVER/AGE | dir. Set Hernandez Rongkilyo | USA | 25 min.
  • The Cut |dir. Zac Manuel | USA | 7 min.
  • The Day They Took My Father | dir. Jillian Godshall, Anlo Sepulveda | USA | 15 min.
  • Do Not Split | dir. Anders Hammer | Hong Kong | 20 min.
  • A Fine Girl | dir. Darcy McKinnon, Biliana Grozdanova | USA | 16 min.
  • Gujiga | dir. Sunjha Kim | Germany, Republic of Korea | 19 min.
  • Huntsville Station | dir. Jamie Meltzer, Chris Filippone |USA | 14 min.
  • Invasion: The Unist’ot’en’s Fight for Sovereignty | dir. Michael Toledano, Sam Vinal | Canada | 18 min.
  • Jared Dawson is The Church of Lavonia Elberton | dir. Adam Forrester | USA | 14 min.
  • Julieta and the Moon | dir. Milena Castro Etcheberry | Chile | 7 min.
  • Landscape Fever (Fiebre del Pasaje) | dir. Gabrielle Garcia Steib |USA, Mexico |3 min.
  • Mizuko | dir. Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo | Japan, USA | 15 min.
  • My Love, Ethiopia | dir. Gabrielle Tesfaye | Ethiopia, USA | 15 min.
  • On Task | dir. Alex H. Rafi | USA | 7 min.
  • Redacted | dir. Naeema Jamilah Torres | USA | 18 min.
  • Renaissance | dir. Cavalier | Panama, USA | 4 min.
  • Seeing Sounds | dir. Jason R.A.Foster | USA | 3 min.
  • Shadegan | dir. Ako Salemi | Iran | 15 min.
  • Standing Above the Clouds | dir. Jalena Keane-Lee | USA, Hawaiian Kingdom | 15 min.
  • The Starr Sisters | dir. Bridey Elliott, Beth Einhorn | USA | 15 min.
  • Take Me to Prom | dir. Andrew Moir | Canada | 20 min.
  • Tamales y Tunas | dir. Lucia Archila-Escobar | USA | 15 min.
  • Then Comes the Evening | dir. Maja Novaković | Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia | 27 min.
  • Unmarked | dir. Chris Haley, Brad J. Bennett | USA | 27 min.
  • Viewfinder | dir. Melody Gilbert | USA | 5 min.
  • What Does The Water Taste Like? | dir. Juliana Kasumu | USA, UK, Nigeria | 8 min.
  • Wishes | dir. Amy Jenkins | USA | 6 min.
  • The Year of the Robot (L’ Année du Robot) | dir. Yves Gellie | France | 31 min.

Animated Shorts


  • Blue Fear (Filles bleues, peur blanche) | dir. Marie Jacotey, Lola Halifa-Legrand | France | 10 min.
  • Flesh | dir. Camila Kater | Brazil, Spain | 12 min.
  • Flora Borealis | dir. Casey Friedman | USA | 10 min.
  • In Her Boots | dir. Kathrin Steinbacher | UK | 6 min.
  • Kapaemahu | dir. Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson | USA | 8 min.
  • Pupa Interna | dir. Tam King | USA | 6 min.
  • Symbiosis | dir. Nadja Andrasev | France, Hungary | 13 min.
  • Umbilical | dir. Danski Tang | USA, China | 7 min.





Experimental Shorts


  • [untitled] | dir. alea adigweme | USA | 6 min.
  • 2065 | dir. Gabrielle Ledet | USA | 8 min.
  • CHOR(E)S | dir. Danielle Deadwyler | USA | 13 min.
  • Drills | dir. Sarah Friedland | USA | 17 min.
  • MEND | dir. Chris Emilie, Jackson Kroopf | USA | 9 min.
  • The Past is Foreign Country | dir. Gabrielle Garcia Steib | Mexico, USA | 3 min.
  • The Second Body | dir. Rachel Nakawatase, Ryan Betschart | USA | 3 min.
  • Signal 8 | dir. Simon Liu | Hong Kong, USA | 14 min.
  • THIS IS AN ADDRESS | dir. Sasha Wortzel | USA | 18 min.


Shorts: Riverfront


  • Homeland / Wetland | dir. Patrick and Daneeta Loretta Jackson | USA | 10 min.
  • Lonely Is Her Great Age | dir. Adam Sekuler | USA | 10 min.
  • Of the Basin | dir. Keely Kernan | USA | 25 min.
  • The Reversal | dir. Jen Boles | USA | 11 min.
  • Wet | dir. Jane Geisler | USA | 2 min.


Late Night Shorts


  • Hell and Such | dir. Enrique Buleo | Spain | 9 min.
  • Is That All That There Is? | dir. Chris Molina | USA | 6 min.
  • Paloma’s Pit | dir. Arcos | USA | 6 min.
  • Pampas | dir. Jessica Bishopp | UK | 5 min.
  • Strip It | dir. Lucrezia Pollice | UK | 4 min.
  • Urges | dir. Angela Stempel | USA | 2 min.
  • Wishes Fulfilled | dir. Madeline Gordon, Paul Gallasch | USA | 9 min.


Louisiana Shorts


  • Abbygail Was Here | dir. Keaton Smith | USA | 11 min.
  • are our mothers | dir. Riley Teahan | USA | 5 min.
  • Boucherie | dir. Bryan Tucker | USA | 5 min.
  • Le Boulanger | dir. Stanley Thomas | USA | 8 min.
  • California Creole | dir. Abby Berendt Lavoi, Jeremey Lavoi | USA | 5 min.
  • Distant Mardi Gras | dir. Alejandro de los Rios | USA | 14 min.
  • Flat Town | dir. Bryan Tucker | USA | 30 min.
  • Fragments | dir. Brittany Markert | USA | 20 min.
  • He Sees You | dir. Nathan S. Hall, Brandon Bruno | USA | 12 min.
  • It’s Me, Sarah | dir. Fabiola Andrade | USA | 21 min.
  • Jesus Is the Vaccine | dir. Nathan Willis | USA | 6 min.
  • Jose | dir. Shannon Thomas, Isabel Groedel | USA | 16 min.
  • Klip-Klopping | dir. Kenny Lass | USA | 6 min.
  • The Only Thing Left to Do Is Start | dir. Marta Rodriguez Maleck, Zac Manuel | USA | 11 min.
  • Pillars | dir. Haley Elizabeth Anderson | USA | 18 min.
  • Princess Stephaney | dir. Vaughn Schoonmaker | USA | 13 min.
  • Regret | dir. Rachel Grissom | USA | 23 min.
  • Sacred | dir. Luisa Dantas | USA | 13 min.
  • Under the Knife Overcoming | dir. Andrew Liang | USA | 12 min.
  • The Ways Station | dir. Jason Affolder | USA | 8 min.
  • A Williams Family Morning | dir. Kevin Hughes | USA | 15 min.
  • Win By Two | dir. Abraham Felix | USA | 13 min.


Series / Episodic


  • Black Lady Goddess | dir. Chelsea Odufu | USA | 25 min.
  • Frederick Douglass Boulevard | dir. Washington Kirk | USA | 15 min.
  • This Land, Our Voices | dir. Julia Thompson, Kevin Bay | USA| 45 min.
  • MANILENNIALS | dir. E del Mundo | Philippines | 30 min.
  • Pretty People | dir. Shelby Blake Bartelstein | USA | 11 min.


Shorts Screening with Features


  • Change | Abraham Felix | USA | 13 min.
  • Dixie | dir. Caroline Rumley | USA | 14 min.
  • The Morning Passing on El Cajón Boulevard | Quyên Nguyen-Le | USA | 19 min.
  • Spirit Never Dies, Only Transitions | dir. Logan L. Burroughs | USA | 10 min.


Music Videos


  • The Ceiling | dir. rubberband. | USA | 3 min.
  • Dipping Into Light Forever | dir. Lucia Honey, Sarrah Danziger | USA | 3 min.
  • Elsewhere | dir. Maya Tanaka | USA | 3 min.
  • Even If It Hurts | dir. Cara Stricker | USA | 4 min.
  • Le Petit Prince | dir. Zoe – Daniela Croci | USA | 4 min.
  • OHD – vooDO Nile Ashton Remix (feat. Shangobunmi Durotimi) | dir. Owen H. Dunne | USA | 4 min.
  • Quiet as a Mouse | dir. Virginia Walcott | USA | 4 min.
  • Tasche de la Rocha (Move Me and Sabine McCalla) – Rosalie #9 | dir. Alex Hennen Payne | USA | 4 min.
  • Time Ain’t Enough | dir. Rooftop | USA | 2 min.
  • Vodata Teche | dir. Sasha Solodukhina | USA | 7 min.
  • Water Me Down | dir. Maegan Houang | USA | 4 min.


Cinema Reset / Virtual Reality


  • Arbaeen Walk | dir. Amy Claire Nelson | Iraq, USA | 21 min.
  • The Curious Life of Bill Mont | dir. Andrea Patiño Contreras, Katrina Sorrentino | USA, Canada | 9 min.
  • Full Circle | dir. Naomi Condo, Craig Commanda | Canada | 3 min.
  • Hominidae | dir. Brian Andrews | USA | 7 min.
  • The Heart of Puerto Rico | dir. Peter Decherney, Jean Lee | USA | 6 min.






The 31st New Orleans Film Festival’s Marquee sponsors are Film New Orleans and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy’s Embrace the Culture Program and Louisiana Entertainment.

Producing level sponsors include Gilead Sciences, Inc., The Helis Foundation, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, PRG, RESTORE The Mississippi River Delta, Second Line Stages, and WarnerMedia.

The New Orleans Advocate – Times Picayune is the festival’s Presenting Media Sponsor.

 Grantors include the National Endowment for the Arts, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Eugenie & Joseph Jones Family Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Perspective Fund, Cinereach, The LGBTQ Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. New Orleans Film Festival is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.

Media partners include 4WWL TV, ANTIGRAVITY Magazine, New Orleans Magazine, OffBeat Media, Telemundo New Orleans, WGSO, WRKF, WWNO, WWOZ, and WYES TV.




Digital Sponsors

Become a sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.