The 25th annual New Orleans Film Festival, featuring 237 films, runs Thursday through Oct. 23.

“Black and White,” a New Orleans-filmed drama starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie, is the festival’s opening night film. The festival will close with the world premiere of “The Big Beat,” Joe Lauro’s documentary about New Orleans music star Fats Domino and his producer-collaborator, Dave Bartholemew.

This year’s festival features two new series, the Centerpiece series and the Louisiana-centric Marquee series.

The festival is also screening an eight-film music series, keeping{SCORE}, including “The Big Beat” and “B.B. King: The Life of Riley,” a documentary about the 89-year-old blues star.

Screenings will take place at a dozen venues, including the Prytania Theatre, The Theatres at Canal Place, Chalmette Movies, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Civic Theatre, the Carver Theater and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center.

Panels, workshops and daily parties are also part of the festival. Topics will include the New Orleans indie-film scene, film financing and a look at the making of the festival’s opening night film, “Black and White.”

Tickets are available at; at the festival’s main box office at the Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St. (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday, Oct. 21); and at box offices at each screening.


Basic six-film packages are $45 for film society members, $55 non-members; deluxe six-film packages are $60 members, $70 non-members (tickets including closing night plus five additional regular or Marquee screenings).


Film society members $9, non-members $11.


For “Black and White,” film society members $25, non-members $35. Limited tickets will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis at the Civic Theatre box office starting at 6 p.m. opening night.


For “The Big Beat” first screening, film society members $15, non-members $20. Includes extended filmmaker Q&A and special guests. Ticket holders for the first screening are also invited to attend the closing night party at the Degas House. Second closing night screening, film society members $12, non-members $15.


Available for screenings with open seats remaining at the start of the film. $5, student ID required.


For more information and the full schedule see


DEAR WHITE PEOPLE — Four black students navigate college life and racial politics at the predominantly white Winchester University. This satire won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s special jury award for breakthrough talent and the best picture audience award at the San Francisco International Festival. Showing 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, Prytania Theatre

FOXCATCHER — Directed by Oscar nominee Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher” tells the story of two brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) whose hopes for love and redemption are threatened by their unpredictable mentor (Steve Carell). Showing at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, The Theatres at Canal Place.

THE GREAT INVISIBLE — “The Great Invisible” documents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill through the stories of rig workers and Gulf Coast residents who are still recovering from the drilling disaster. Showing at 7:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, Prytania Theatre.


AMERICAN HEIST — In this New Orleans-shot film starring Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster and Akon, two brothers with troubled pasts participate in an ill-fated bank robbery led by dangerous criminals. Showing at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, Joy Theater.

BELOW DREAMS — The sounds and images of “Below Dreams” loosely follow three New Orleans residents: Elliott, who’s newly arrived from New York, single mother Leann and unemployed father Jamaine. Some real-life local musicians appear in the film, including singer Meschiya Lake, jazz artist Mario Abney and sissy-bounce performer Vockah Redu.

Showing at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18th, at the Joy Theater and 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23rd, at the Prytania Theatre.

BIG CHARITY — A documentary about Charity Hospital, from its beginning to its controversial closing after Hurricane Katrina. Showing 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, Joy Theater.

BIG STAR: LIVE IN MEMPHIS — Twenty years after the breakup of the 1970s Memphis power-pop band Big Star, original members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens enlisted members of the Posies to help revive the group. “Live In Memphis” features footage from the only full-length concert film of Big Star. The film is making its festival premiere in New Orleans, Chilton’s longtime city of residence when he died at 59 in 2010.

LAST SPRING BREAK — Fraternity brothers experiencing midlife crises reunite during Spring Break to film footage for their quickly invented game, “Bikini Girls Behaving Badly.” A film by the New Orleans-based team behind “Trailer Park Jesus,” the audience award-winning comedy shown at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2012. Showing at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, Joy Theater.

OIL & WATER — This documentary explores the relationship between coastal-dwelling Cajuns and the oil and gas industry. It follows a family and their seafood business as they continue to support deep-water drilling despite the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Showing at 8:45 p.m. Sunday, October 19, Joy Theater.

UNA VIDA — Dr. Alvaro Cruz, a neuroscientist disillusioned by the death of his mother and his inability to help her, finds redemption in helping a jazz singer he hears performing on the streets of New Orleans. Showing at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, Joy Theater, and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, Prytania Theatre.

WE WON’T BOW DOWN — Suspense builds as Mardi Gras Indians throughout the city sew day and night, racing to finish their suits in time for Mardi Gras day. More than 40 active Mardi Gras Indians were interviewed for this documentary. Showing at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, Joy Theater, and 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Prytania Theatre.

WHITE RABBIT — Filmed in New Orleans, “White Rabbit” is the story of Harlon (Nick Krause), a man who’s been tormented since childhood by visions of the white rabbit that his father (Sam Trammell) demanded he kill during a hunting trip. Showing at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, Joy Theater.