Category Archives: Events

In the queue for a LIFF screening.

4th Annual LIFF Continues to Entertain Despite Tragic Loss

In the queue for a LIFF screening.

In the queue for a LIFF screening.

Story by W. H. Bourne
Photos by Odin Lindblom and Amy Ransow

This year’s Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) at the Cinemark Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge featured 5 days of programming which showcased more than 70 films including some world premieres.

The newly created Southern Perspective category for features was a welcome addition providing more opportunities for local filmmakers to screen at LIFF. LIFF 2016 hosted over 30 filmmakers in attendance including Executive Producer Christy Turlington Burns (Giving Birth in America) and star Kelsey Grammer (Breaking the Bank) as well as world-renowned Louisiana-based musicians including Honey Vibe, The Batiste Father and Son of The New Millennium, Renew Cultural Arts Academy, and Princess Shaw (Presenting Princess Shaw). The Festival also treated attendees to food by Chef Sean Rivera of Driftwood Cask and Barrel, street performance by members from the LSU Golden Band from Tigerland & Golden Girls, live painting by TJ Black & Alex Harvie and Frank Venadas, and the popular Mentorship Program which included free makeup and hair services.

Princess Shaw performs at the awards ceremony.

Princess Shaw performs at the awards ceremony.

LIFF announced the Audience Award-winners for 2016 on Sunday night at the Closing Night Gala Reception for the 5-day film festival. (Note: There were no jury awards this year.) Winners included Best Feature Film: The Innocents, Audience Award: Presenting Princess Shaw, Best Louisiana Feature Film: My Father, Die, Best Documentary Film: No Greater Love, Best Louisiana Live-Action Short Film: With My Soul, and Best International Live-Action Short Film: Hotel Bleu. There was a tie for Best International Animated Short Film between Cuerdas and A Prank Time.

Chesley Heymsfield, executive director of LIFF

Chesley Heymsfield, executive director of LIFF

The festival ended on a somber note as Chesley Heymsfield, Founder and Executive Director of LIFF, noted the following about the death of Artistic Director Dan Ireland,  “… Our team was eagerly anticipating Dan’s arrival at the 4th annual Louisiana International Film Festival, so when we did not hear from him on Opening Night, we instinctively knew something was wrong. The last thing I would have ever expected would to be standing in Dan’s place addressing the audience on Closing Night with a memorial to him. The impact of Dan’s passing was made even more poignant by being surrounded with people who have come to know and love him. The outpouring of sympathy for his passing with endless hugs and tears was overwhelming and still continues. No sense can be made from the unexpected loss of a good friend, especially during a time we expected to celebrate the festival together. Dan Ireland left us too soon. Dan was more than our Artistic Director, he was a very dear friend and valued mentor to everyone on our entire team offering his guidance, thoughts, encouragement and laughter. There was a lot of laughter. Dan leaves a legacy that lives within all of those who he touched and inspired.”

Ian Birnie, Program Director of LIFF, added, “I am so sorry I couldn’t tell Dan that the attendance at LIFF has doubled this year, screenings are selling out, and there is real energy in the place and on a weekend where my close friend and colleague is being greatly missed. But for the will of God, Dan would have been racing the halls of the Cinemark with me this past weekend urging audiences to clap for themselves and listing the merits of upcoming films in true pitchman style. If this small regional festival, which has grown by leaps and bounds this year, has a future, it is due in large part to Dan’s high standards and willingness to dream big on behalf of any project he was involved with…”LIFF Logo

Despite this adversity, LIFF 2016 was one to remember with great films in a fun, festival environment that delivered good times and plenty of networking opportunities.


LF&VM Sponsors LIFF Party

Louisiana Film & Video Magazine was proud to be a sponsor of 2015 LIFF.

Louisiana Film & Video Magazine was proud to be a sponsor of 2015 LIFF.

Louisiana Film & Video Magazine was proud to be a sponsor for LIFF’s 2015 event. Film, food, seminars, parties, music and fun filled the weekend in Baton Rouge. To learn more about the winners of this year’s LIFF, check out the latest issue of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine.

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2015 NOFS Gala

Recently, the New Orleans Film Society honored actor Matthew McConaughey at a gala in his honor.

The most exciting event of the evening was the Gala auction. A picture is indeed better than a 1000 words as Matthew McConaughey auctioned off his shoes and his jacket.

To learn more about the gala, auction and Matthew’s award check out our story in the latest issue of Louisiana Film and Video Magazine:




February 9, 2015
For Immediate Release
Megan Hebert
Cell: (504) 799-8678
Louisiana International Film Festival
Louisiana International Film Festival hosts Midnight Masquerade, a Louisiana Party at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
PARK CITY, UT-  JANUARY 26, 2015 – Over 1,200 elated guests attended the anticipated third annual Louisiana Film Party at Sundance Film Festival themed MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE on January 26th at the newly renovated OP Rockwellin Park City, Utah. The hosts prepared a sultry masquerade of authentic Louisiana culture with hot, dark, swamp rock & roll performed by the legendary CC Adcock (True Blood) & the Lafayette Marquis brought to you by Lafayette Entertainment Initiative (LEI). Industry and local guests warmed up with savory cuisine and scrumptious deserts prepared by the “King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood,” Chefs Samantha and Cody Carrol from the soon to open Sac-A-Lait restaurant in New Orleans. Classic cocktails from the heart of Thibodeaux, Louisiana sponsored by distilled Oryza vodka & RougaRoux Rum were served to an impressively costumed crowd of festival goers. A runway of Midnight Masquerade fashion from beguiled to brazen strutted the red carpet. Party goers included actor David Lipper, actor Jordan Hodges of Sand Castles, jewelry designer Merideth Marks, and celebrity fashion stylist Derek Warburton.

The Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) launched the popular themed celebrations for the State with “Mardi Gras” lead by a second line parade up Main Street with Jon Batiste & Stay Human Band and festival revelers in 2013, “Voodoo Love” with CC Adcock in 2014 and the most recent “Midnight Masquerade”. This spectacle of culture has become known as one of the best parties at Sundance where you can mingle with some of the State’s most notable talent from film, music, food and fashion. Louisiana has the most competitive tax incentives in the country for films such as Mississippi Grind starring Ryan Reynolds and Sienna Miller, and Zipper starring Lena Headey and Dianna Agron, both which premiered at Sundance 2015. Both films selected the beautiful bayou state of Louisiana for filming locations.

LIFF is a non-profit organization created to provide access to education and opportunity for Louisiana’s talent in film, music and innovation industries. The Mentorship Program was launched in 2014 with a grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. If you would like to sign up to become a Mentor, Guest Speaker, Industry Partner or Sponsor please visit

Presenting Sponsors for Midnight Masquerade included: Cineverse, Louisiana Film & Video, Lafayette Entertainment Initiative, Southern Screen Film Festival, Louisiana’s Pick Your Passion (, Cinemark, The Advocate and the Louisiana Technology Park, LSU School of Digital Media Arts & Engineering.

Supporting Event sponsors included: Haydel’s Bakery, Carl Mac Presents, Southern Costume Company, Bonjour Lingerie, Maskerville, Liz Blaz Masks, Rougaroux Rum, Oryza Vodka & Gin, Sac-A-Lait Restaurant, Pro Sound, Wrapture, All Star Printing, & Blue Cube Promotions.

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