Context and background on films and filmmakers
The talents of Fats Domino & Dave Bartholomew burst out of the neighborhoods of New Orleans to change America's landscape forever. While recordings and television footage abound, Joe Lauro, a vintage collector and archivist of musical performance footage, uncovered a film recording of a live performance of the two musicians and their band and decided it was time to create a feature documentary about Fats and his contribution to rock and roll. The discovered concert footage is included in its entirety, allowing viewers to see an extended evidence of the energetic performers.
Gideon's Army is a stripped-down documentary that captures the early careers of three young public defenders in the Deep South. It's a look at the reality of dealing with an overwhelming caseload, providing a street-level look at the energy and focus of these often overlooked defense lawyers who offer the only guidance through the legal system that some people have. Rob Cameron Fowler talks with Porter about the film and needed reform.
Charity Hospital, the iconic institution that was the birthplace of so many New Orleanians and often the last resort for care, has been closed since its ground floors were inundated with water in the flooding of Hurricane Katrina. A long, complicated battle has been fought over what to do with the city-owned building since then, but tied up in the conflict are memories of the public hospital's higher mission as exemplified by its staff, a mission that hasn't been revived since. This film tells the story of the hospital from its beginnings in the early 1700s through interviews with staff, notable citizens, and government leaders.
Rob Cameron Fowler talks to the close-knit friends who co-wrote and directed Buttercup Bill. The New Orleans-shot film is a tense, sensual drama about Patrick and Pernilla, soulmates during childhood but who wrestle with their intense feelings for each other after a tragic event reunites them. With females all writing, directing, and producing, the film offers an update on the primarily male-dominated southern gothic tradition.
Filmmakers Chelsea and Andrew Moynehan spent months in a rural community in southwestern Virginia to create this close look at one corner of the Appalachias. The stories and beliefs of four residents living along Big Moccasin Road provide the center of this documentary that is also rich in scenery and the bluegrass and gospel music that is so identifiable with the region.
Angola Prison has such an almost mythic reputation that it's almost easy to overlook the personal stories of the inmates themselves, but Cast the First Stone gives a unique access point to some of them as they come together to put on an amateur theatrical production of the Gospel story--inside the prison walls.
A small theater troupe comes together to put on an original drag play called Skanks in a One Horse Town in Birmingham, Alabama, and this documentary follows the crew and actors as they interact with their community both in and outside of the playhouse.
Three 20-somethings, a single mother, an ex-felon, and a listless wanderer, make their way to New Orleans with hopes of finding a foothold they can use to eventually establish their independence.
Each day leading up to the festival we'll add a new list of picks with trailers, sorted by genre