SHORT DOCUMENTARY

A quick-tongued, Cajun hustler celebrates his 55th year working for the oldest family-owned hotel in America.

Director's Statement:

This film is about a neighborhood that was built for another age, a place Tennessee Williams called his spiritual home. As we interviewed residents and employees of the hotel, I became keenly aware that the conditions that produced writers like Tennessee (and figures like Hotel Al), were opposite to mine as an artist coming of age in a generation whose unifying experience is largely digital. I am drawn to a time that can never be recaptured, when there was an Italian grocer on every corner in the Quarter, oysters were ten cents, and bohemian parties happened in hotel rooms and apartments, echoing down the gaslit streets that became the muse for an entire generation.

Hotel Al isn’t a romantic, or a great writer, but he became my muse-- a prolific storyteller and comedic philosopher, a ferryman of sorts on a boat headed nowhere in particular.

As Al approaches his 80th year of life, and 58th year of service, I am reminded that it is the family-owned history of the Hotel Monteleone that makes this film possible. Many of the employees we interviewed believe strongly that a corporation would have fired them years ago, when technology or old age had rendered them obsolete.

We live in a time in our country when people are always looking for the next best thing. Progress fuels our ideals, and as Dr. Kenneth Holditch says in the film, “Progress is necessary, but it’s also a dirty word.” I hope this film serves as a contrast and a celebration of a dying breed of men and women who spent their lives in service to something or someone with no regrets.

Colleen Keeley
Nathan Johnson, Frank J. Monteleone, Anne Burr, Colleen Keeley
2018
24 Minutes
Watch the Trailer
premiere v3
contributing v6
2018 international sponsors