Writes: ‘This Is Why We Go To Film Festivals: “Bespoke” And The LA Film Prize’

Film expert judge Kristy Puchko wrote a glowing review of this years festival and its films. Here’s a snippet:

For three years I’ve had the great pleasure of being a judge at the Louisiana Film Prize, a short film festival that offers an astounding $50,000 as its grand prize. The first year, LA Film Prize (as its commonly referred) made such an impression on me that I wrote an impassioned plea to aspiring filmmakers to take notice. This year, I saw one such filmmaker take the festival by storm with a short that reminded me why I attend events like this in the first place.

The LA Film Prize is unique not only in its bounty of prizes (that include $500 awarded out the gate to the 20 submissions accepted for the festival), but also in its breadth in displaying the local culture. This year, the film festival extended its Music Prize competition to include celebrity judges, and introduced The Food Prize, which had local chefs compete in a mystery box challenge before a live (and drooling) audience. Essentially, it’s an ever-growing celebration of Shreveport culture, grounded by a Film Prize rule that the submitted shorts must be shot locally.

Despite similar surroundings, the LA Film Prize’s top 20 shorts offered a wide array of settings, styles, and content. Impressive True Detective-style long takes were displayed into two crime films, one a comedy about a chicken lover (“Made Hen”), the other a bank heist thriller (“In Progress.”) An adopted child’s quest for acceptance was spun into a surreal adventure with “Honey and the Hive.” And Salem star Tamzin Merchant directed a subversive and smart coming-of-age comedy called “American Virgin.” There were also tastes of horror, family-drama, and science fiction. But the film that hit me to my core was a 15-minute short called “The Bespoke Tailoring of Mister Bellamy,” which ultimately won the fest’s top prize.

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