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What’s happenin’ in New Orleans: Spend your holiday break applying to the 2023 Southern Producer Lab and other 2023 NOFS resources for Louisiana creators

New Orleans Film Society Southern Producers Lab

The world’s toughest jobs? Ecuadorian mining at 6,000 feet below the earth’s surface. Guiding wealthy adventurers up Mount Everest and hoping they don’t die. How about effectively articulating your entire body of work in 2,700 words or less?

Okay, it’s really not that daunting once you get into it, but that’s the general outline for the New Orleans Film Society’s 2023 Southern Producers Lab. So, you can spend your winter break inhaling cookies and drinking rum-inspired egg nog, or you can…inhale cookies, drink rum-inspired egg nog, and work on building your film with the following resources.

The 2023 Southern Producers lab is accepting applications until January 16th

New Orleans Film Society Southern Producers Lab

Photo credit: New Orleans Film Society

The Southern Producers Lab is an annual four-day virtual lab for emerging southern filmmakers who want to explore the challenges faced by independent creators in a diverse, peer-driven setting and apply this learned knowledge to an active project. Participating producers are assigned a mentor who will offer guidance for six to eight months following the lab. Participating filmmakers also receive a $2,000 grant to support their films. Yeah, it’s not too shabby. 

The Film Society chooses eight to ten filmmakers for the Southern Producers Lab each year. The program alumni are offered professional development opportunities throughout the year following the initial lab. Besides the tangible benefits, participants receive the invaluable camaraderie of growing with their peers in an intensive environment and helping each other navigate the obstacles affiliated with creating and distributing a film. 

According to the NOFS, specific topics addressed in the lab include “funding, budgeting, permitting, marketing, film festival strategy, distribution and impact strategies.” The Southern Producers lab’s applications are open to producers with an active project until January 16th, 2023. Chosen filmmakers will be notified on March 3, 2023. The lab will spark up from May 30th to June 2nd, 2023.

Emerging Voices Directors Lab applications for BIPOC filmmakers open until January 16th

New Orleans Film Society Southern Producers Lab

Photo credit: New Orleans Film Society

There’s a running theme here and it’s called “spend the next three weeks securing funding and expertise for your film”.

The New Orleans Film Society is hosting a sibling program of the Southern Producers Lab that is focused on supporting filmmakers of color in Louisiana. According to the NOFS program call, the Emerging Voices Directors Lab is designed to “gain greater access to gatekeepers and to promote the unique perspectives and cultures of Louisiana to the rest of the country, and the world”.

The parameters are similar to the Southern Producers Lab and include a four-day virtual lab through Zoom, one-on-one support from a mentor for six to eight months following the program, and professional development opportunities for program alum. Each participant will also receive $2,000 to support their project. This lab includes six to eight filmmakers and participants will be notified of their selection on March 3rd.

Eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria can be found on the Emerging Voices Directors Lab page. It’s a free application that might take a filmmaker an afternoon to work through, and the program is designed to showcase and open doors for emerging filmmakers of color in Louisiana. Especially if you’ve never had a film screen in a festival, or you’re a southern BIPOC filmmaker unsure of where to find support…go get it!

Submissions open for 2023 New Orleans Film Festival

No need to panic – you’ve still got three months to get a film in for the 2023 New Orleans Film Festival. The “earlybird” deadline is January 20th, and the “regular” deadline will be March 17th, 2023. 

The New Orleans Film Festival, held annually in the first week of November, is an Oscar-qualifying festival that serves audiences of more than 30,000 and showcases up to 500 filmmakers each year. The Festival spotlights films that are impassioned, urgent, and display a unique perspective, and often presents a lineup that is filled with directors and crews from southern film communities. 

Filmmakers can discern whether they align with the Festival’s selection criteria on the New Orleans Film Festival’s Programming Practices page and the submission process is open now on FilmFreeway.


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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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