Yesterday Clayton and I attended the 2015 LA Film Prize kick-off party at Artspace in downtown Shreveport. The LA Film Prize is a short narrative film contest with two restrictions: 1. Must be filmed within allotted time frame (January – June) and 2. Must be filmed within the Shreveport-Bossier area. The Times (my new employer) is a sponsor of the event – which happens to hold the record for world’s largest cash prize for a short film: a whopping $50,000. The birth of the film prize, as told by their website:
The Louisiana Film Prize is an idea born out of a boozy, tequila-soaked night where our fearless leader slammed his fist on the table and shouted to the heavens: “Why the hell isn’t there a contest/festival where filmmakers could use their creative prowess and impressive technical skills to make short films and compete for a huge pile of cash?” The next morning, hung-over, he found a new tattoo that read “Louisiana Film Prize. Shoot a short film, Win $50,000.” The rest is history. We at the Louisiana Film Prize are here to spark creativity and support our home town of Shreveport-Bossier.
Film makers from all over travel to Hollywood South (as Shreveport has been affectionately dubbed since the early 2000’s) and compete in the contest. A panel of judges narrow down the entries, 104 in 2014, to 20 films that are shown to the public over a 2-day period for voting in October… and I can’t wait.
Mardi Gras is in full swing here, the season begins on the Twelfth Night (January 6th) and ends on Fat Tuesday (February 17). Among the season’s traditions is the decadent king cake – a wreath-shaped, Danish dough cake topped with icing and decorated with traditional Mardi Gras colors. In each cake is a tiny plastic baby (said to represent Baby Jesus – try to avoid saying that in your best Ricky Bobby voice, betcha can’t). At the event where the cake is served, whoever receives the piece with the plastic baby in it is blessed by good fortune to be the ‘king’ for the day and bound by custom to host the next party (and supply the king cake)… resulting in multiple gatherings throughout the season.