Since 1989, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) has taken place annually ... until Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc with the city last year, causing NOFF to cancel the October festival. While NOFF may not be one of the larger U.S. festivals, it's been most beneficial in giving New Orleans and the surrounding area some exposure to little-known independent and arthouse movies, including local productions. My only complaint with the festival in years past has been that it occurred the week after Austin Film Festival, and I've always been too busy recuperating (or making up lost time at work) to drive 500 miles for another weekend-long movie marathon.

Like many other New Orleanians, NOFF organizers won't let the hurricane keep them down. They want to proceed with an abbreviated film festival this spring to make up for the festival that never happened last October. They also plan to hold the usual annual festival in the fall. To raise much-needed funds for these events, NOFF advisory board member Tom Varisco is donating a portion of the profits from online sales of Spoiled, a collection of photos of those crazy taped-up, graffiti-laden New Orleans-area refrigerators that lined the streets after the hurricane. NOFF is also accepting donations.

I hope to attend NOFF's next festival, abbreviated or otherwise, and can't wait to hear more details about what they will be able to do this year. Just don't schedule it the week after SXSW, okay? Thanks.
categories Movies, Cinematical