Film New Orleans

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Indie film competition opens new season, director honored by state

Tiana Kennell, Shreveport Times Published 8:00 a.m.  CT Jan.  13, 2019

Registration is open for the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize – the high-stakes, short film competition that forks out $50,000 to the winning director.

Independent filmmakers are tasked with producing an original five to 15-minute short film in designated parishes in northwest Louisiana.  The competition filming locations will expand to include Lincoln Parish, which includes downtown Ruston and Louisiana Tech University.

“The filmmakers were wanting to film on Louisiana Tech campus — we get a least a half dozen requests to do that every year,” said Prize Foundation founder and executive director Gregory Kallenberg.

The registration to submit a short film is discounted at $25 for a limited time at lafilmprize.com.

On Wednesday, directors, writers, actors, producers and other cinephiles gathered for the Film Prize kickoff ceremony.  The event served as a networking meet-up allowing the creatives opportunities to connect.

Video testimonies were shared by past Top 20 finalists and winners who have used the competition to launch new short film, feature film, web-based and other productions.

An objective is to elevate the region as an independent filmmaking capital for the U.S, Kallenberg said.  In its eighth year, Film Prize will continue to highlight the opportunities and possibilities available in the area.

“It’s crazy that we’re in Shreveport, Louisiana and there are people not only moving here to be a part of Film Prize, but they’re moving here to do the work you’d do on a national scale on one coast or another—but right here in Shreveport,” he said.

The accomplishments of the filmmakers and non-profit organization are noticeable on a local, regional and national level.

The Prize Foundation announced more than $15 million was generated locally on the production side of the Film Prize from 2012 to 2016.

“We’ve been around for seven years so it’s not like we’re a crazy idea anymore.  We are a galvanized entity.  We are an economic driver,” Kallenberg said.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities announced Kallenberg as the recipient of its 2019 Champion of Culture Award.  The award is presented in honor of “individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities,” according to the non-profit organization.

“The Prize Foundation is really the recipient of this award and the Prize Foundation’s engine and fuel is Shreveport and Bossier,” Kallenberg said.  “Without the energy, spirit and the light that’s up here, I don’t think that award would ever be up here like it’s going to be up here.”

The LEH’s 2019 Bright Lights Awards Dinner will be 6 p.m.  April 4, hosted at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Student Union in Lafayette. 

The Prize Foundation projects more growth and impact in 2019.

The foundation is comprised of the Louisiana Film Prize, Film Prize Jr.  — a high school competition – Music Prize, Startup Prize and Food Prize.  Each arm of the organization highlights independent, local and rising talents in its respective industry and promotes entrepreneurial development and advancement. 

“We have the ability – and we certainly have the platform — to make this an area where creative entrepreneurship thrives.  That’s our ultimate goal,” Kallenberg said.  “We think everything we do is the catalyst for creative entrepreneurship and we want to make its capital Shreveport, Louisiana.”

Follow link below for article with accompanying photo gallery and full links:

Link: https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/entertainment/movies/2019/01/13/louisiana-film-prize-opens-registration/2528817002/