Festival starts in


Dirty Rice Filming Sepia

Twenty years ago, on December 4, 1997,  "Dirty Rice" had its World Premiere in Lafayette at the United Artist Theatre on Kaliste Saloom before an audience of over 1200 people. This debut narrative feature film by acclaimed Cajun filmmaker Pat Mire was released on United Artist screens throughout Louisiana. To this day, "Dirty Rice" holds the record for the longest-running film to play in a Lafayatte movie theatre -- it was booked for a two-week engagement and was held over for five months.

On December 4, 2017, Cinema on the Bayou, in conjunction with Acadiana Center for the Arts, presents "Dirty Rice" at a Red Carpet community celebration of the 20th anniversary of its World Premiere along with Mire and those who starred in, worked on and supported the film. The film screening, which begins at 7:30 pm, will be followed by a  gala reception with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

An official selection at the 42nd London Film Festival, "Dirty Rice" captures the raw essence of the rural Cajun community in South Louisiana in a tale of a man rediscovering his roots and reclaiming his heritage. As renowned movie critic Neil Norman of the London Evening Standard put it, “While The Big Easy, No Mercy and most recently, Eve’s Bayou, have flirted with the Cajun world, this is the real deal, 100% proof.”

This 20th anniversary screening is a fundraiser for Cinema on the Bayou Film Society, a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit which presents the 13th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival on January 24-31, 2018.  Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St., Lafayette, LA, at Acadianacenterforthearts.org, or by calling 337-233-7060.  

Film Synopsis (85 min.): Returning from the city of New Orleans, where he works as an architect, to his parents’ farm following the death of his father, Louis Daigle (Benjamin Mouton) is drawn back into thelife of farming and a relationship with an old flame (Myriam Cyr). But times are hard and the falling value of rice is threatening the farmers’ livelihood. Featuring the beautifully shot Cajun prairie landscape and a sound track driven by the haunting music of this unique culture, the film tells the story of a man who, like the people from whom he is descended, manages to survive with passion and grace.

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 Closing Night Red Carpet small

Filmmakers and film lovers:  come join us in the heart of Cajun country for the 13th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, Louisiana's second oldest film festival, to be held January 24-31, 2018, at venues in and around Lafayette, Louisiana.  Each year, the eight-day Festival presents World, U.S. and Louisiana Premieres of high quality narrative, documentary, animated and experiemental films and the filmmakers who make them in one of the friendliest and most unique cultures in the world.  The regular deadline for films submissions for COTB 2018 is July 21, 2017, through FilmFreeway and WtihoutABox.

In 2017, the Festival lineup of 158 films included 22 narrative features and 20 documentary features, 81 narrative shorts, 17 documentary shorts, and 18 animated shorts. The vast majority of the films were World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres. Included within the official selections were more than 25 French-language films and 22 films from Japan, including the U.S. Premiere of the narrative feature TATARA SAMURAI with director Yoshinari Nishikori and actors Sho Aoyagi and Naoki Kobayashi in attendance from Tokyo. In addition to screening films from across the United States, the Festival also screened films from Canada, France, India, Australia, the U.K., Sweden, Spain, Austria, Cyprus, Mauritius, Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 200 filmmakers, actors, musicians and other industry professionals attended from around the United States and the world, including from Canada, Japan, India, Sweden and Australia.  Our coveted "goujon caille" spotted catfish awards by artists Pat and Andre Juneau were awarded in 18 different categories.

Over the years, the Festival also has earned the respect of its many loyal filmmaker alums who come from around the world to share in the joie de vivre that defines the culture here. It says a lot about the festival that these highly talented independent filmmakers not only make repeat visits to Cinema on the Bayou, but also recommend the Festival to their filmmaker colleagues.  In 2018, we look forward to welcoming old friends, making new friends and promoting both establish and emerging filmmakers and the relationship-buiding that is crucial to their continued work. 


Phil and Zachary happy SMALLER


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 film Tatara 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.

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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.”


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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:



Tatara Samurai / Japan / U.S. Premiere

Director:  Tokyo-based Yoshinari Nishikori (in attendance)



Tokyo-based Sho Aoyagi (in attendance), Tatara Samurai / Japan / U.S. Premiere 


Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere

Director:  Montreal-based Phil Comeau (in attendance)


L'odeur apres la pluie (The Scent of Rain) / Canada (Quebec) / U.S. Premiere

Director:  Montreal-based Sara Bourdeau (in attendance)



Brother David / U.S.A. / World Premiere

Director:  Ronnie Clifton (David Egan's wife, Rhonda, and son, Reuben, in attendance)



Railway Spine / U.S.A./ Louisiana Premiere

Director:  L.A.-based Samuel Gonzalez, Jr. (in attendance with actor Emily Trosclair)



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



Balkan Roots / Australia / World Premiere

Director:  Australia-based Chris Rabbitt (in attendance)



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)



Prisonnier 9157 (Prisoner 9157) / Canada (Quebec) / World Premiere

Directors:  Montreal-based Emmanuele Vandycke and Andre Elias (in attendance) 



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)



Break the Will / U.S.A. / Louisiana Premiere

Director:  L.A.-based Jonathan Siebel (in attendance)



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)



Agrinoui / Cyprus / Louisiana Premiere

Director:  Alexis Chaviaras



Moon of Sleepless Night / Japan / Louisiana Premiere

Director:  Takeshi Yahsiro



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)



Montreal-based Louise Lamarre (in attendance)

Goujon Caille RLH HoldingPhoto Courtesy of Lee CelanoCinema on the Bayou Film Society announces the feature film official selections for the 11th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, taking place January 20-27, 2016, at venues across the city.  The festival kicks off on Wednesday, January 20th at the Acadiana Center for the Arts with the opening night film and gala party.  The festival has expanded from five to eight-days and will feature nearly 200 official selections from COTB’s open call for submissions from independent filmmakers around the world.

“The word is out among independent filmmakers that we have a top notch film festival that is very competitive and super fun with great food and music,” says Cinema on the Bayou Film Society President and Creative Director Pat Mire, “and that means we bring really good films and the filmmakers who make them here to Acadiana each January for the benefit of the community, the culture and the film industry in Louisiana.”

The 2016 festival lineup was chosen from a total pool of more than 1,000 submissions, a record number for the festival, and includes 27 narrative features and 25 documentary features, the majority of which are World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres.  The festival lineup will also include 30 documentary short films, 98 narrative short films and 18 animated short films, the majority of which are also World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres.  Included within the official selections are 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.

 Over 200 directors, producers, distributors, actors and other industry professionals will attend the festival from across the United States and Canada, as well as from Australia, India, the U.K. and France.     

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