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Movies & TV in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana

Southeast Louisiana – and specifically New Orleans – has been dubbed “Hollywood South” because of all the movies and television shows filmed & recorded here.

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There’s a lot of buzz around the Louisiana-shot film, ’12 years a Slave’.

’12 Tears a Slave’ is based on the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup.   It’s an extraordinary true story of a free black man who was drugged, kidnapped, and forced into slavery. For 12 years, Northup was a slave at various plantations in Louisiana.

The new film is directed by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Bryan Batt, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Dwight Henry, and Quevenzhane Wallis.

The movie kicked off the start of the 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival, which runs through Thursday.

News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez takes you to the red carpet premiere.

The red carpet is rolled out and Hollywood South is glistening bright for the 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival.

New Orleans is a powerful film force.  Filmmakers from all over are in The Big Easy through Thursday for World Premieres, Film Screenings, and a whole lot of movie magic.

“I think it says something about southern filmmaking that we are definitely a force to be reckoned with,”  Emily Mishalanie said.

“I think it’s great exposure.  It brings people to our city.  The whole thing is good for our city,”  Emily Kingston said.

Los Angeles based filmmaker, Shaun Kosta’s directorial debut, “The Republic of Two” starring Brent Bailey and Janet Montgomery is showing at this year’s festival.  Kosta wrote and directed the film.

“The Republic of Two” is a comedy/drama.  It’s a super honest portrayal of a couple.  I hope it captures the fly on the wall effect, an artful fly on the wall.  I also hope it’s something that’ll start a conversation.  My goal of this film was to capture the couple honestly,”  Kosta said.

Kosta said it’s an honor to have his film playing at the New Orleans Film Fest.  He said the entire film industry recognizes New Orleans’ “it factor”.

“It’s a diverse place geographically.  New Orleans can double as anywhere, ”  he said.

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The New Orleans Film Festival is in town through Thursday and it’s a great way to see great movies and the people who make them! WGNO’s Kenny Lopez takes you to the show!

Hollywood South is shining bright tonight with the kick off of the New Orleans Film Festival.

12 Years a Slave,” which was shot in Louisiana and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bryan Batt, and Brad Pitt, is premiering tonight at the Civic Theater of New Orleans.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez reports live from the red carpet … including an interview with Cameron Zeigler!

Here’s something to watch for: the Navy military crime drama NCIS with Mark Harmon is getting some southern flair.

The popular CBS show is looking at a potential spinoff set in New Orleans.

The hit drama opens its 11th season tonight and this season will feature a two-episode spinoff set in New Orleans that could become a new series.

The episodes will be shot in February and air in the spring.

The show’s producers say New Orleans is a magnet for military personnel on leave and with New Orleans style fun comes trouble.

We asked about it on our WGNO Facebook page, and a lot of folks say a New Orleans spinoff would be a great idea:

The 4th and final season of “Treme” rolls out this December and HBO just released the trailer:

The final season takes place about 3 years after Katrina and the trailer suggests that we’ll see some post-Katrina reunions in the last season.

This week, the mayor of Los Angeles stated he would ramp up efforts in his city to keep movie productions that are opting to shoot in other states or even Canada.

Mayor Eric Garcetti told Variety that he wants to create the position of a film czar as well as beef up tax credits.

The move comes as Louisiana’s film industry is growing.  Chris Stelly is the head of the state commission Louisiana Entertainment.  He says Garcetti’s plans could very well bring  more projects to Los Angeles.

But Stelly also says Louisiana never intended to compete with California.  Instead, he says, the state’s goal all along was to try to attract projects that were leaving the United States in favor of Canada.

Stelly also says that Louisiana’s film infrastructure is getting stronger every year.  He says a growing number of companies and talented people in the industry now live in Louisiana, meaning fewer — if any — people must be brought into the state on a temporary basis to work on projects.

Other states like Michigan and New Mexico also have solid film incentive programs but have placed caps or ceilings on them.  There has been talk in Louisiana of scaling back incentives, but Stelly says every year the Louisiana legislature keeps the current incentives in place, continuing the industry’s ability to grow in the state.

Even though Lee Daniels’ move “The Butler” made $25 million over the weekend, some people are boycotting the movie.

Here’s a picture of veterans in Slidell protesting the movie because of Jane Fonda’s role in the movie.

Fonda plays Nancy Reagan in the historical drama, but to these veterans, she’s always be known as the Vietnam War protestor Hanoi Jane.

One of the most anticipated movies opens nationwide on Friday, but it starts playing in New Orleans theaters on Thursday!  That’s because “The Butler” was filmed here.

“The Butler” is about a White House butler who is a witness to civil rights history from the president’s perspective … and from his own perspective.