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The cajun culture spotlight is on: 2023 Cinema on the Bayou, French Film Festival ready to kick off

Jan 20, 2023 | Film Festivals, Louisiana Filmmakers, Louisiana Productions

cinema on the bayou film festival

Supporting Louisiana filmmakers is a year-round activity, and the Cinema on the Bayou Festival is ready to spark it off for 2023.

The international eight-day festival begins January 25th and runs to February 1st in and around downtown Lafayette, Louisiana. The festival will screen more than 175 films and starts off Wednesday night with the world premiere screening of Director Nicholas Campbell’s The Ragin’ 13, a documentary about a championship weightlifting team that had common roots in their exiled ancestors.

The Cinema on the Bayou Festival spotlights narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental films with a concentrated emphasis on the Cajun and Creole cultures of Louisiana. Of course, in between these screenings, a Cajun film festival wouldn’t feel without authentic cuisine and music with Francophone roots. 

The festival was founded in 2006 by Artistic Director Pat Mire and is now Louisiana’s second-oldest film fest. Unique to Cinema on the Bayou is its presentation of the “goujon caille” award, which is an artistic rendering of cajun culture’s treasured spotted catfish. As we warned in the film submission announcement last year:

DISCLAIMER: You will not receive an actual catfish if your film wins. If you win, you’ll have to simply settle for international recognition instead.

Cinema on the Bayou film festival

Photo credit: cinemaonthebayou.com

Of the 17th Cinema on the Bayou Festival, festival founder Pat Mire said:

Each year, Cinema on the Bayou brings to Acadiana the best in independent film, and the filmmakers who make those films, from across the United States and Canada and from around the world.

For those who can’t physically attend, the films will be available for online screening beginning on Wednesday, January 25th. The full schedule is available now. Some of the intriguing screenings unique to Cinema on the Bayou include:

  • The documentary feature The Secret Order, about a powerful French-Canadian secret society in the ‘60s
  • The narrative feature The Banality, about the mysterious death of a local legend named “feral boy”
  • The festival’s closing film, Roots of Fire, which chronicles five award-winning musicians carrying forward the music of their ancestors

All-access passes are only $100(!) and are available for purchase here.

The 2023 French Film Festival ready to spotlight French-language films

2023 French Film Festival

It’s the only Louisiana film festival older than Cinema on the Bayou – the 26th annual New Orleans French Film Festival. The 2023 festival will run from March 9th to 13th and last year’s festival was screened entirely at the historic Prytania Theatre.

If the festival follows its previous format, festivalgoers will see a curated selection of purely French-language films – last year’s festival included 16 narrative features, three documentary features, and four short films. Each film included English subtitles. 

Members of the New Orleans Film Society will receive two complimentary all-access passes to the 2023 French Film Festival. Non-Film Society members can purchase all-access passes for $95. The all-access pass gives complete access (well, duh) to the screenings and includes entrance to the Festival Patron Party. Individual screening tickets will be available for non-members for $16 each. The explicit screening lineup has not yet been released. 

For current information on each festival, follow Cinema on the Bayou on Twitter and Instagram and follow the New Orleans Film Society for information on the 26th annual French Film Festival. 


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Fable House is a video production company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that specializes in production for film, video, commercials, and TV. Our team are experts in physical production, post-production, and VFX. We produce content for major brands, TV networks like Syfy and Lifetime, and provide production services to Louisiana’s never-say-die indie filmmakers.

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