Filmmakers and Politicians Come Together to Celebrate the Launch of the Louisiana International Film Festival
BATON ROUGE, La., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A movie-like cast of characters came out to celebrate the launch of The Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
The special guest for the evening was Jeff “the Dude” Dowd, who amused the packed audience with his cult-like status as the inspiration for the main character in the Coen Brother’s hit film The Big Lebowski. Dowd was central to the launch of the Sundance Institute and is a nationally recognized authority on film marketing and distribution.
Also in attendance were Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne and Baton Rouge Mayor Melvin ‘Kip’ Holden, both of whom have championed the film industry’s economic development. Actress Laura Cayouette, who appeared in Enemy of the State, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and served as Producer on Hell Ride, also attended the launch. She is slated to act in the upcoming Django Unchained Directed by Quentin Tarantino currently filming in her native Louisiana.
“So far, the foundation is focused on the film festival’s premiere next year, but the concept is far larger,” says Cayouette.
LIFF aims to hold celebratory events throughout the year prior to its inaugural festival April 18 – 21st, 2013. Dardenne and Holden opened the evening by noting recent key achievements in the state’s film industry. The acclaimed Louisiana films, Beasts of the Southern Wild received the “Grand Jury Prize” at Sundance and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore received an Academy Award® for “Best Animated Short Film”.
Dardenne notes, “It’s been a tremendous week for our state in the movie world. We are one of the top three movie-making states. That is just a tremendous statement.”
This convergence of talent and opportunity is at the heart of the festival’s creation. With the development of an on-set mentorship program in mind, Dowd shared his life-changing experience as intern on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, “That can be happening right now on a film set. And, young people here would love to do that. You are talking about the whole State to draw the creative people from. It can be anything you want it to be.”
SOURCE The Louisiana International Film Festival