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Louisiana Film Prize announces top 20 filmmakers

The 2021 Louisiana Film Prize announced the 20 finalists who will compete for a $25,000 grand prize (the world’s largest cash prize for a narrative short film) during a masked rooftop outdoor celebration at the Remington Suite Hotel. Year 10 of the award-winning Louisiana Film Prize will return to the streets of downtown Shreveport during Prize Fest’s second weekend, September 30 through October 2. The festival will also offer a virtual option this year, with viewing and voting online open to an international audience. The grand prize winner will be determined, as always, by a unique combination of voting from audience members and judges composed of film and industry veterans, tastemakers, and celebrities. The grand prize winner will be announced on October 3.

“This year’s Louisiana Film Prize competitors are, across the board, the best we’ve ever had,” said Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Prize Foundation. “We can’t wait for everyone to be a part of this year’s Film Prize and see the amazing work of these independent filmmakers.”

In addition to filmmakers from all over Louisiana vying for this year’s $25,000 check, the class of 2021 includes filmmakers from California, Washington D.C, Arkansas and North Carolina. Each of those out of state filmmakers (among numerous others) made the trip to Louisiana to shoot their films, so they would qualify for the Film Prize competition.

Film Prize has routinely had a strong contingent of female filmmakers, with this year’s line up once again following suit with seven women directors in the mix– Abigail Kruger (Amber the Acrobat), Jaya McSharma (Nana Ki Dum, directed with husband, Jacob), Virginia Tucker (Touched), Jency Hogan (Bamboo), Kari Kennon (Hard Up), Vernae Thompson (I’ll Follow You) and Melissa Moore (MOMento).

“The Film Prize has always been an endeavor that gives opportunity and access to everyone and anyone who wants to communicate their voice, vision and ideas through film,” says Kallenberg. “Because of this access, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to naturally create a diverse community of creators.”

The event has made an undeniable yearly impact on both filmmaking in Northwest Louisiana and the local economy (over the 10 years Film Prize has brought in over $20 million in economic impact for the area) achieved by encouraging filmmakers from around the world to journey to the area to make their films and then return to Shreveport for the film festival/competition itself.

In order to qualify for the Louisiana Film Prize, filmmakers created a short film (5-15 minutes) in which the production was shot in the state of Louisiana. In addition to the one $25,000 grand prize winner, the Top 5 Louisiana Film Prize films will receive distribution through Shorts International on iTunes and will also screen at various festivals across the country. Louisiana Film Prize will also distribute filmmaking grants and $500 “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” accolades. To date, the Film Prize Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in cash to independent filmmakers.

For more information about the festival and to purchase passes, visit www.prizefest.com.

Louisiana Film Prize 2021 Top 20 Films and Filmmakers

The Adventures of Cheeto and One-Eyed Booger
Directed by Drew Wheeler

Amber the Acrobat
Directed by Abigail Kruger

Bamboo
Directed by Jency Hogan

Gary
Directed by Benjamin Donnellon

Hard Up
Directed by Kari Kennon

Hit
Directed by Blayne Weaver

House-Sitters
Directed by Alexander Jeffery

I’ll Follow You
Directed by Vernae Thompson

Independence
Directed by Matthew Carona

Last Day
Directed by Rich Hansil

MOMento
Directed by Melissa Moore

Moonlight Dancer 

Directed by Gray Fagan

Nana Ki Dum
Directed by Jaya and Jacob McSharma

Pictures of the Sky 

Directed by Reece Roark

Promises of Snow
Directed by Matthew Ramsaur

Shreveport Son
Directed by Mark Bonner

Skip Ads
Directed by Ian MacFadyen

Stakeout
Directed by Josh Munds

Touched
Directed by Virginia Tucker

We’ve Got Your Siz
Directed by Danny Zanelotti

About author

Paul Savage, Jr. is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana and currently serves as Director of Marketing, Communication, and Public Relations for the Greater Shreveport Chamber. He also owns a full-service, integrated marketing agency, Savage Creative Solutions. Savage is a local marketing and communication professional, entrepreneur, and accomplished author. His debut memoir, "Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor," has been featured on Amazon's best-seller list.
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