Cinema on the Bayou 2017 is one for the record books. Thank you to all who helped kick-off the Festival with the U.S. Premiere of Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart, which played to a standing-room only crowd along with Canadian filmmaker Phil Comeau and our own Zachary Richard. And thanks to all of you who helped close out the Festival with the U.S. Premiere of Tatara Samurai, a full-house Red Carpet event with Japanese director Yoshinari Nishikori and Japanese Superstars Sho Aoyagi and Naoki Kobayashi.
It was a remarkable eight days of over 160 films, including World, U.S. and Lousiana Premieres, from around the world and more than 100 filmmakers in attendance from across the United States and Canada, as well as Japan, Australia, India and Sweden. We laughed and cried and made new friends and saw old ones again. We worked hard to foster an environment of warmth and acceptance for our artists friends and, by all accounts from those in attendance, we fully succeeded in our mission. Already, filmmakers are planning their next submissions to COTB 2018, and our loyal attendees are looking forward to next year's offerings.
This is a community event, one that requires community support and participation, and we appreciate and thank every sponsor, every Friend of the Festival, every individual donee, all-access pass holders, all attendees, volunteers, everyone. We are all the big winners in this wonderful, moving event.
Films and filmmakers are also big winners, with the "goujon caille" awarded as follows:
DIRECTOR'S CHOICE AWARD - NARRATIVE FEATURE
Tatara Samurai / Japan / U.S. Premiere
Director: Tokyo-based Yoshinari Nishikori (in attendance)
BEST ACTOR - NARRATIVE FEATURE
Tokyo-based Sho Aoyagi (in attendance), Tatara Samurai / Japan / U.S. Premiere
DIRECTOR'S CHOICE AWARD - DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Phil Comeau (in attendance)
LE TRAIN BLEU AWARD
L'odeur apres la pluie (The Scent of Rain) / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Sara Bourdeau (in attendance)
INSPIRATION AWARD and AUDIENCE AWARD
Brother David / U.S.A. / World Premiere
Director: Ronnie Clifton (David Egan's wife, Rhonda, and son, Reuben, in attendance)
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Railway Spine / U.S.A./ Louisiana Premiere
Director: L.A.-based Samuel Gonzalez, Jr. (in attendance with actor Emily Trosclair)
NARRATIVE FEATURE SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARDS
Saturn Returns / U.S.A. / World Premiere
Director: Toronoto-based Shawn Tolleson (in attendance)
Khoj (The Lost) / India / Louisiana Premiere
Director: India-based Arka Ganguly (in attendance)
A Quiet Storm / U.S.A.
Director: New Orleans-based Jason Affolder (in attendance along with producers Aaron Rushin and Jon Wood and cinematographer Jake Springfield)
Far-West / France / Louisiana Premiere
Director: Frederic Radepont
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Balkan Roots / Australia / World Premiere
Director: Australia-based Chris Rabbitt (in attendance)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARDS
I am the Blues / Canada / Louisiana Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Daniel Cross (in attendance)
Shepherds in the Cave / Canada (Vancouver) / U.S. Premiere
Director: Vancouver-based Anthony Grieco (in attendance)
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Prisonnier 9157 (Prisoner 9157) / Canada (Quebec) / World Premiere
Directors: Montreal-based Emmanuele Vandycke and Andre Elias (in attendance)
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARDS
Belle-ile-en-mer, ile Bretonne et Acadienne (Bell-ile-en-mer, A Breaton and Acadian Island) / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Phil Comeau (in attendance)
Soy Cubana / U.S.A., Cuba
Directors: Jeremy Ungar and Ivaylo Getov (producer Robin Miller Ungar in attendance)
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Break the Will / U.S.A. / Louisiana Premiere
Director: L.A.-based Jonathan Siebel (in attendance)
NARRATIVE SHORT SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARDS
After October / U.S.A. / Louisiana Premiere
Director: L.A.-based Pierre Finn (in attendance)
Formol / Canada (Quebec) / Louisiana Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Mikael Huot (in attendance)
La nouvelle-Franciase (I Want You, Moi Non Plus) / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere
Director: Montreal-based Sebastian Messinger (in attendance)
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Agrinoui / Cyprus / Louisiana Premiere
Director: Alexis Chaviaras
ANIMATED SHORT SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARD
Moon of Sleepless Night / Japan / Louisiana Premiere
Director: Takeshi Yahsiro
BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT
Laura, Or Scenes from A Common World / U.S.A., Norway / North American Premiere
Director: Charles M. Pepiton (in attendance along with director of cinematography Wes Kline)
SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION AWARD FOR FILM PRODUCTION EDUCATION
Cinema on the Bayou Film Society is pleased to announce the 12th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival’s opening night feature film, Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart, which will make its U.S. Premiere at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a gala reception with honored guests, Canadian filmmaker Phil Comeau and Zachary Richard.
This beautiful, cinematic showcase follows renowned singer Zachary Richard on his quest to understand why Acadians and Cajuns are a resilient people and to assess the status of the Acadian identity today. The film made its world premiere in November at the Festival International du Cinema Francophone en Acadie, where it played to a 700+ sold out crowd at the historic Capitol Theatre in Moncton and won the Festival's Best Documentary and Audience Awards.
The annual eight-day international film festival will close on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., at Acadiana Center for the Arts with the U.S. Premiere of the feature filmTatara Samurai. The evening will end with a closing gala reception with honored guests, Japanese director Yoshinari Nishikori, executive producer Eugene Nomura and actors in the film, as well as a Japanese TV and press crew.
Set in 16th century Japan, this visually stunning film tells the story of a young master blacksmith who inherited an ancient steel-making technique, known as Tatara, for creating the purest form of steel used to craft samurai swords, but decides he can best defend his village by leaving to become a samurai and then returns to see his village embrace guns for defense with devastating results. The film made its world premiere in August at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Artistic Contribution.
Pat Mire, founder and artistic director of the Festival said, “Our opening and closing night films, both U.S. Premieres, will be two of our most exciting red carpet events since the second year of the festival, when we sold out more than 800 seats at a local movie theater for our opening night film. We are extremely proud to open this year with a documentary film featuring our own, beloved Zachary Richard and our friend and COTB alum, the award-winning director Phil Comeau, and then to close out this truly international festival with a narrative film featuring an all-star Japanese cast and the award-winning director, Yoshinari Nishikori, as our guest.”
The Festival will screen 163 official selections from COTB’s open call for submissions from independent filmmakers around the world along with panels discussions, workshops, music and parties. Over 200 directors, producers, cinematographers, distributors, actors, grant sources and other industry professionals are expected to attend the festival from across the United States and Canada, as well as from Japan, Australia, India, the U.K. and France. Film screenings will take place at Acadiana Center for the Arts, Cité des Arts, the Vermilionville Performance Center, and the Lafayette Public Library South Regional Branch.
The 2017 festival lineup was chosen from a total pool of more than 1,200 submissions, and includes 106 narrative films, of which 22 are features and 84 are shorts; 40 documentary films, of which 23 are features and 17 are shorts, and 17 animated short films. The majority of the films are World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres. Included within the official selections are more than 32 French-language films and 23 films from Japan, as well as films from Cuba, Spain, the U.K., India, Australia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, China, Mauritius, Cyprus, the United Republic of Tanzania, Canada, France and across the United States. Of the 163 official selections, 43 are directed by women, the highest percentage of women directors to date at the festival. Films in competition will be eligible to win our coveted “goujon caille” award created by local artist Pat Juneau and his son Andre.
Rebecca Hudsmith, who acts as the festival director, said “Once again, independent filmmakers new to the Cinema on the Bayou community, as well as many of our loyal alums, who continue to spread the word about what a great time is had at our festival, have given us the privilege of presenting their precious films to our audiences here in Acadiana. We look forward to providing them the nurturing environment, for which COTB is so well-known, within which they can thrive and be inspired to create their next great moving image.”
Film submissions are now closed for the 12th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival to be held on January 25 - February 1, 2017. Thanks to the hundreds of filmmakers who submitted their films! Official selections will be announced in early December, 2016, and a schedule of films and events will be posted in early January, 2017. Information on festival passes and tickets will be available soon!!!
The 2016 Festival lineup of 198 films was chosen from a pool of over 1,000 submissions and included 27 narrative features, 24 documentary features, 99 narrative shorts, 30 documentary shorts and 18 animated shorts. The vast majory of the films were World, U.S. or Louisiana premieres. Included within the official selections were more than 30 French-language films and 20 films from Japan, as well as films from Nepal, India, Australia, the Dominican Republic, the U.K., Algeria, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Argentina, Canada and France. More than 200 filmmakers, actors, musicians and other industry professionals attended from around the United States and the world, including from Canada, Japan, France, the U.K. and Australia. As Festival Director Rebecca Hudsmith said about our 2016 Festival, "I am so poroud of the quality and breadth of the films screened this year. From the Canadian Yukon to the mountains of Nepal to the streets of Tokyo to the wetlands of Louisiana, these films presented heartfelt stories that entertained us, yes, but they also enriched our lives."