Sunday, June 23, 2024

Louisiana Film Prize announces Top 20 Filmmakers

by BIZ Magazine

SHREVEPORT—The 2021 Louisiana Film Prize announced the 20 finalists who will compete for a $25,000 grand prize — the world’s largest cash prize for a narrative short film —vduring a masked rooftop outdoor celebration at the Remington Suite Hotel.

Year 10 of the award-winning Louisiana Film Prize will return to the streets of downtown Shreveport during Prize Fest’s second weekend, September 30 through October 2. The festival will also offer a virtual option this year, with viewing and voting online open to an international audience. The grand prize winner will be determined, as always, by a unique combination of voting from audience members and judges composed of film and industry veterans, tastemakers, and celebrities. The grand prize winner will be announced on October 3.

“This year’s Louisiana Film Prize competitors are, across the board, the best we’ve ever had,” said Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Prize Foundation. “We can’t wait for everyone to be a part of this year’s Film Prize and see the amazing work of these independent filmmakers.”

In addition to filmmakers from all over Louisiana vying for this year’s $25,000 check, the class of 2021 includes filmmakers from California, Washington D.C, Arkansas and North Carolina. Each of those out of state filmmakers (among numerous others) made the trip to Louisiana to shoot their films, so they would qualify for the Film Prize competition.

Film Prize has routinely had a strong contingent of female filmmakers, with this year’s line up once again following suit with seven women directors in the mix– Abigail Kruger (Amber the Acrobat), Jaya McSharma (Nana Ki Dum, directed with husband, Jacob), Virginia Tucker (Touched), Jency Hogan (Bamboo), Kari Kennon (Hard Up), Vernae Thompson (I’ll Follow You) and Melissa Moore (MOMento).

“The Film Prize has always been an endeavor that gives opportunity and access to everyone and anyone who wants to communicate their voice, vision and ideas through film,” says Kallenberg. “Because of this access, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to naturally create a diverse community of creators.”

The event has made an undeniable yearly impact on both filmmaking in Northwest Louisiana and the local economy (over the 10 years Film Prize has brought in over $20 million in economic impact for the area) achieved by encouraging filmmakers from around the world to journey to the area to make their films and then return to Shreveport for the film festival/competition itself.

In order to qualify for the Louisiana Film Prize, filmmakers created a short film (5-15 minutes) in which the production was shot in the state of Louisiana. In addition to the one $25,000 grand prize winner, the Top 5 Louisiana Film Prize films will receive distribution through Shorts International on iTunes and will also screen at various festivals across the country. Louisiana Film Prize will also distribute filmmaking grants and $500 “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” accolades. To date, the Film Prize Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in cash to independent filmmakers.

For more information about the festival and to purchase passes, visit

Louisiana Film Prize 2021 Top 20 Films and Filmmakers:

  1. The Adventures of Cheeto and One-Eyed Booger  – Directed by Drew Wheeler
  2. Amber the Acrobat – Directed by Abigail Kruger
  3. Bamboo – Directed by Jency Hogan
  4. Gary – Directed by Benjamin Donnellon
  5. Hard Up – Directed by Kari Kennon
  6. Hit – Directed by Blayne Weaver
  7. House-Sitters – Directed by Alexander Jeffery
  8. I’ll Follow You – Directed by Vernae Thompson
  9. Independence – Directed by Matthew Carona
  10. Last Day – Directed by Rich Hansil
  11. MOMento – Directed by Melissa Moore
  12. Moonlight Dancer  – Directed by Gray Fagan
  13. Nana Ki Dum – Directed by Jaya and Jacob McSharma
  14. Pictures of the Sky  – Directed by Reece Roark
  15. Promises of Snow – Directed by Matthew Ramsaur
  16. Shreveport Son – Directed by Mark Bonner
  17. Skip Ads – Directed by Ian MacFadyen
  18. Stakeout – Directed by Josh Munds
  19. Touched – Directed by Virginia Tucker
  20. We’ve Got Your Six – Directed by Danny Zanelotti

The Louisiana Film Prize invites filmmakers across the country to make a short film between five- and 15-minutes-long to compete for the largest short film cash prize offered in the world. The chief requirement is that the films must be shot in Louisiana. The top 20 films that have been submitted are then screened for audiences and judges in October and a winner is chosen based on the voting from those two factions.

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