21 March, 2012
by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
In the last few years of the economic downturns, individual states in the USA have been offering strong incentives to international producers and filmmakers to come to their communities to shoot and even post-produce their films. The state of Louisiana has been particularly aggressive in attracting these, with generous tax incentives, on location shoots and use of their actors, technicians and production services. Now the city of Shreveport in the northwestern part of the state is enticing international filmmakers with a prize. The inaugural Louisiana Film Prize pays out a grand total of USD $50,000 (35,000 Euros) and invites filmmakers from all over the world to create and present a short film under one condition – it must be shot in the Shreveport-Bossier area.
Filmmakers have until July 9, 2012 to submit their film. Each filmmaker will be provided with an ambassador, to guide them to find the appropriate resources and aids to help with production, housing, promotional events and other needs during their stay. On August 9, 2012, the top 20 films will be selected to screen as part of the LA Film Prize Festival Weekend, October 5-7, 2012. The grand prize winner will be chosen based on the votes of a panel of expert judges from all over the country and the festival audience.
The film community in Shreveport-Bossier in Northwest Louisiana has rapidly expanded, with more than 100 films and television shows shooting on location in the past 5 years. Recent shoots have included the films THE GUARDIAN, BATTLE LOS ANGELES, THE MIST, LEAVES OF GRASS, DRIVE ANGRY, SUPER and STRAW DOGS, to name a few. Shreveport is also home to Moonbot Studios, who recently won their first Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film with THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE. The community offers great locations at low cost, as well as four sound stages, full grip/electric rental facilities, local camera rentals, experienced crew, and a wide base of talent.
The initiative is headed by filmmaker Gregory Kallenberg, whose latest film HAYNESVILLE: A NATION’S HUNT FOR AN ENERGY FUTURE premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. After touring the world, talking about the importance of moving towards a cleaner energy future, Kallenberg returned to his home in Shreveport, Louisiana and became a part of a vibrant, emerging film community. For more information on the Louisiana Film Prize contest and festival, visit: www.lafilmprize.com