LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: 20 Shorts Compete for $50,000 – Jennifer Merin reports

Now readying for its ninth edition, the Louisiana Film Prize is calling for submissions for its 2020 competition. The Unique among 8,500 film festivals staged annually across North America, the LFP is a year-long process involving filmmakers in production of a short film to be entered into competition for a $50,000 cash award, the world’s largest short film award, and the only one requiring a film produced specifically for the competition.

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Louisiana Film Prize: Jaya McSharma on the Making and Meaning of BEST IN SHOW – Jennifer Merin interviews

Jaya McSharma wrote, produced, co-directed and starred in Best in Show, one of 20 short films selected to compete in the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize, a unique film festival that awards a cash prize of $50,000 for the film deemed best by audience members and by film industry professionals. The dramady, a searing satire of the fashion industry, follows an unconventional fashion show model whose appearance is deemed no longer fit for the runway. Her rebellion is an inspiration to all who reject the torture of trying to stick to superficial standards of size, shape and beauty.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Camille Schmoutz on the Making and Meaning of ST ESTHER DAY – Jennifer Merin interviews

Camille Schmoutz’s St Esther Day is an elaborate period drama about the clash of socioeconomic classes in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. St Esther Day is an excellent example of how much story can be told, how much atmosphere can be evoked and how much social relevance can be conveyed in a short film. Produced in Shreveport specifically for submission for the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize’s $50,000 award, the film took advantage of the city’s unique locations and ambiance.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Makenzie Smith on the Making and Meaning of CICERO – Jennifer Merin interviews

Makenzie Smith’s film, Cicero, was in competition for the $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize upon one winner. This year, more than 120 short films were submitted for the competition, with twenty selected to be screened at the festival, held from October 2 to 5 in Shreveport, to vie for the big money. Written by Smith who co-directed with Finch Nissen, Cicero was shot in Shreveport, per Film Prize submission requirements. The plot involves the tense and unexpected face off between two men — a hit man and his targeted victim — who find themselves confined together in a stuck elevator.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Rachel Emerson on the Making and Meaning of MAVEN VOYAGE – Jennifer Merin interviews

Rachel Emerson’s Maven Voyage, one of twenty short films selected to compete for the $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize, was shot in Shreveport, per submission requirements. Emerson won the fest’s $1,000 best actress award and a $3,000 Founders Circle Award to seed her next project. She comments on the making and meaning of her film, an engaging scifi adventure about a gal (Emerson) who wants to join the first manned mission to Mars.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Abigail Kruger on the Making and Meaning of SHREVEPOET – Jennifer Merin interviews

Abigail Kruger’s Shreveport was one of twenty short films selected to compete for the coveted $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize. Kruger comments on the making and meaning of her film, a lyrical ode to to the city of Shreveport, following a street poet who dances through the city on roller skates.

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