Category Archives: Industry News

State Entertainment Group Changes Name, Refocuses Efforts

The Louisiana film and entertainment leaders recently went through a strategic planning process and have refocused their efforts. During that process the industry leaders voted to change the name of the organization from the Louisiana Industry for Film and Entertainment (LIFE) to the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (LFEA). The new name reflects the organization’s mission to ensure continued long-term growth of an industry that now helps employ thousands throughout the state of Louisiana.

Currently, Louisiana ranks third in film and television production nationwide behind only California and New York. According to Louisiana’s Office of Entertainment Industry Development, in 2011 alone, more than 100 productions in the state wrapped with more than 50 percent of all productions made by companies based in Louisiana.

In addition to its impressive quantity of productions, Louisiana is developing a reputation for quality. Produced entirely in Louisiana by Moonbot Studios of Shreveport, the animated Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore was nominated for an Academy Award in January. The Academy also nominated New Orleans’ mainstay Brad Pitt for Best Actor for his role in the feature film Moneyball. And on January 28th, Louisiana filmmaker Benh Zeitlin’s independent film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which shot mostly in Terrebone Parish, won the top prize at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The Association will continue as a focal point of industry activity in the State of Louisiana. LFEA will help bring together all aspects of the entertainment industry. The association provides a wide variety of services to its members including industry updates, legislative and regulatory monitoring and reporting, and a variety of networking and communication services. The organization offers a range of membership levels to accommodate all businesses and individuals involved or in support of the entertainment industry.

David Tatman serves as the Executive Director and lobbyist for LFEA. Board representatives from across the state include Blade Studios, Cast & Crew OnSet, Celtic Media Centre, Cineworks, LA, Digital FX, Entertainment Partners, Film Production Capital, Hollywood Trucks, IATSE Local 600, Millennium Studios, Moonbot Studios, Second Line Stages, Stageworks, and Swelltone Labs.

For more information about LFEA and membership, visit www.lfea.org.

R-Squared Productions Commissions Local Artist

Monroe-based R-Squared Productions has commissioned local artist Lissy Sanders Compton to design the New Hope movie poster.

New Hope is R-Squared Productions’ latest feature-length film, which addresses teen issues, including suicide. The painting will be auctioned off with 50 percent of the proceeds being donated to The Children’s Coalition. The Children’s Coalition is a non-profit children’s advocacy group and a coordinator for Teen Screen, a mental health screening that benefits over 1,500 students in Ouachita Parish for issues like depression and suicide.

Rodney Ray, owner of R-Squared Productions, said, “We selected The Children’s Coalition because of their involvement with area teens.  We believe their mission and our movie go hand in hand. We’re also very excited to have Lissy working with us and look forward to seeing her finished work.”

The painting will be auctioned off at an event preceding the premiere of New Hope, which will be held on February 10, 2012.

In correlation with the painting, R-Squared Productions is encouraging all area students to submit their personal rendition of a New Hope movie poster.  As many paintings as possible will be displayed when the movie premieres at First Baptist Church in West Monroe. Additionally, students that submit a painting will be in the running to win three different prizes of $100 each. The winning artists will also be VIP guests at the premiere showing of New Hope.

For official rules, visit www.R2Films.com and click on the New Hope Poster Contest.

Free Health Care Seminar for Entertainment Professionals

The Actors Fund’s Artists Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC) will offer a free health care seminar to visual and performing artists and entertainment professionals at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center (located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans) on November 2 from 6 to 8pm.

The seminar, co-sponsored by Sweet Home New Orleans and the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, will address how our nation’s artists can benefit from recent health care reform. The seminar will show attendees how to evaluate their current coverage, and whether there’s a better plan or program available. Seminar topics will include understanding health care reform; applying for government programs; finding affordable health insurance and health care; getting insured despite a pre-existing condition; and lowering the cost of medications. The seminar will be followed by a Q&A and individual consultations.

The event will mark the next stop on AHIRC’s “Every Artist Insured Tour,” encompassing dozens of cities across the country. To register, call the Ashé Cultural Arts Center at 504-569-9070, or visit ahirc.org/everyartistinsuredtour for more information.

Other Louisiana cities upcoming on the tour include:

Baton Rouge
Tipitina’s Music Co-Op
2600 Government St.
November 3, 2 – 4pm

Lafayette
Acadiana Open Channel
101 Jefferson St. Suite 100
November 4, 2 – 4pm

Jerry Katz Announces the First in a New Series of Teaching Products

Louisiana acting coach Jerry Katz, who teaches weekly acting classes in New Orleans, has just launched the first of a series of products designed to help actors “on the go.”

The first product, entitled AUDITION PREP is an audio pod that can be loaded onto a CD, MP3, and/or computer (etc.) that helps actors prepare for their audition so they can perform with confidence and power.

The audio files feature a five-minute “private session” with Coach Jerry Katz, and also a five-minute meditation that helps listeners to breathe and focus.

Information on this product and all upcoming products can be found at www.katzactingjoint.com.

Louisiana-Shot Films Now Available at Rouses

Two award-winning local movies, Belizaire the Cajun and Home Front, are now for sale in Rouses stores across the state.

Both films were shot in Louisiana, and were written, produced, and directed by Louisiana native Glen Pitre and Côte Blanche Productions.

Belizaire the Cajun, starring Armand Assante, is an award-winning romantic adventure set in 1859 Louisiana. To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, it has been fully remastered and the DVD includes many special features. Home Front (originally titled The Scoundrel’s Wife when it was released in theaters in 2002) is a World War II-era film about a woman who is suspected of being a saboteur.

You can find both films at your local Rouses store. Visit their service desk and pick up either DVD for only $19.95.