NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Film Festival kicked off its weekend long festivities on Thursday, Nov. 2, celebrating 34 years, and this year first-timers can see one movie for free!

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez gets a preview of this year’s fest!

For six days the New Orleans Film Fest will be taking place at various theaters around New Orleans with seminars, films and parties celebrating everything the film world has to offer.

“150 films this year coming from 4,000 submissions, plus multiple studio films,” New Orleans Film Festival Managing Director Monika Leska said.

Many of the 150 films are Louisiana-made.

“We are a huge community for filmmakers and especially from the South who need resources and connections to the industry and then we provide that platform,” Leska said.

This year the festival made connections with Oscar-winning directors like Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman whose new documentary, “Musica!,” is showing at the fest.

“This film is about the importance of music and art in people’s lives and how it can give meaning and purpose to our lives, and you can really see it in these young musicians who are so devoted to their craft. There are great connections to Cuban music and New Orleans music, and we try to reflect that in the film,” Friedman said.

Other standout films include, “Commuted,” a documentary about a woman’s quest to regain her life after a prison sentence and “Maxine’s Baby,” an intimate story of Tyler Perry’s rise to the top.

“If people don’t know, Tyler Perry has roots in New Orleans and he comes from the city,” Leska said.

This year with the support of The Helis Foundation, the film fest will be offering first-time festgoers the opportunity to see one movie for free. Those wishing to attend have to visit the box office and inform them this is your first time at the fest. You can also book a ticket online to one of the films using promo code, “NOLA LOVE.”

“You can get a taste of what the film festival is and then maybe come to the other events as well. For audiences it’s a connection and community bonding event,” Leska said.

Information on films and showtimes can be found on the New Orleans Film Society’s website.

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