The Louisiana International Film Festival is already underway, with movies being screened at Cinemark Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge. The event runs through Sunday and features film presentations, gala receptions and mentorship programming.
While many eyes will be on certain documentaries, short films and features, here are the five movies I can't wait to check out at the festival.
"The Ryan Francis Story" at 7:45 p.m. Saturday — This documentary tells the story of the Baton Rouge native who was a high school basketball champion and starting point guard at USC before being gunned down in 2006. Directed by TaRhonda Bazille. Get tickets for this one fast: two other screenings have sold out.
"Score: A Film Music Documentary" at 2:35 p.m. Sunday — A behind-the-scenes look at composers scoring films, featuring Ennoi Morricone ("The Hateful Eight"), John Williams ("Star Wars"), and Hans Zimmer ("Inception).
"Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" at 1:45 p.m. Saturday — Steve James ("Hoop Dreams," "Life Itself") directs this documentary about the owners of a small community bank in New York's Chinatown, who face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. James consistently tells great stories, weaving humanity and reality into subjects that seem mountainous.
"The Commune" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday — Thomas Vinterberg directed one of the best films of 2012 with "The Hunt." "The Commune," a somewhat happier tale, revolves around a couple that lets people into their home in 1970s Copenhagen. Given Vinterberg's résumé, I can't wait to see what he does with this subject matter.
"Free In Deed" at 12:45 p.m. Sunday — This drama tells the story of young Tennessee mother who struggles to raise her son and seeks help from a local minister. A nominee in the New Voices/New Visions category at the festival, we might be hearing more about this one and its director Jake Mahaffy in the near future.