Festival judge and fan Katie Calautti wrote an awesome perspective on what she thinks LAFP means for filmmakers everywhere. Here’s the first few graphs:
So where’s the next big filmmaker starting out? The Louisiana Film Prize in Shreveport, LA. The festival – a city-wide extravaganza feting a competition among 20 short films by directors from across the country – also includes a Music Prize, Startup Prize and Food Prize. Think: a small-scale SXSW, plus heaps of southern hospitality.
The winner of the Film Prize receives $50,000 and – along with the other four highest judge-and-audience-voted films – gets iTunes distribution once their short is done touring various festivals, which sets them on a path for an even bigger honor: the Academy Award (more on that later). And the Prize plays host to surprising talent: this year, one of my fellow judges was actor Kevin Rahm (who you may know as Ted Chaough from “Mad Men“), and actress Tamzin Merchant – whose directorial debut “American Virgin” placed in the top five – currently stars in “Salem.”
After the whirlwind weekend-long festival wrapped, I caught up with some of the Prize’s budding talent: Alexander Jeffrey, who helmed this year’s outstanding Prize-winning film, “The Bespoke Tailoring of Mister Bellamy,” along with Merchant and fellow top five-placing director Travis Champagne of “Jackdaw,” to talk everything from turning the tables on a former teacher to directing Jonathan Bennett (aka Aaron Samuels from “Mean Girls”) to (literally) putting a price on virginity to seeking influence from the Coen brothers. Prepare to say you knew all this emerging talent way back when a short film festival in Shreveport placed them on the road to the Oscars.
Read the rest on mtv.com!