This October, everyone is invited to one of the biggest film festivals in the Southern United States. The New Orleans Film Festival, the longest-running annual film festival in Louisiana, will once again showcase the best of the best from filmmakers from the U.S and the rest of the world.

The New Orleans Film Festival, also known as NOFF, showcases the works of emerging filmmakers to help promote their work and reputation.

The festival was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Southern State where creativity meets a famed cultural diversity. The venues of the event include the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in the New Orleans Central Business District, the Broad Theater, Prytania Theater, and the Orpheum Theater.

The annual event attracts about 25,000 from all over the world. There are over 400 filmmakers present each year at the New Orleans Film Festival, and about 240 films are shown throughout the event.


The New Orleans Film Festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as a qualifying Festival in all three categories: Documentary Short, Narrative Short, and Animated Short.

The festival has built a strong international reputation over the years. It has gained the support of the big distributors in the film industry, including Paramount, Gunpowder & Sky, Array, and the Orchard.

“The Book Of Love” Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

NOFF has also earned the recognition and assistance from established film related institutions, such as Cinereach, The Tribeca Film Institute, FX, Kickstarter, ITVS, The National Black Programming Consortium, Seed&Spark, the National Association of Independent Latino Producers, the Southern Documentary Fund, the International Documentary Association, and many others.

2018 New Orleans Film Festival

This year, the New Orleans Film Festival will be celebrating its 29th year. The festival received over 6,000 film and screenplay submissions from 120 countries.

NOFF is proud to announce that they have the most diverse line-up of films ever this year. 60 percent of its Oscar-qualifying films were produced by female directors, and 54 percent were made by directors of color.

Among the films entered in competition are “And We Stood Still” by Ilana Coleman, “Black Lips” by Adrian Chiarella, “A Night at the Garden” by Marshall Curry, “The Changing Same” by Joe Brewste and Michele Stephenson, “Crushed in Space” by Janice Chun, “Cry Baby” by Xiner Jiang, and many more.

Aside from the official Oscar-qualifying competition, NOFF also has a program of events, including discussion panels, an opening and closing night party, and Spotlight Films.

History, Prestige, and Programs

The New Orleans Film Festival was founded in 1989 by the nonprofit organization New Orleans Film Society. The festival’s mission is to help promote a rich film culture in the South and to share innovative cinematic experiences with audiences. At the same time it strives to help filmmakers build connections with key players in the film industry.

Jessica Biel – ‘The Book of Love’ Premiere in New Orleans

The festival has attracted growing local and worldwide attention in recent years. Here are just some of the notable mentions for the New Orleans Film Festival:

In 2012, it was named by as one of the “Fifteen Fests You Should Enter”.

Also in 2012 and every year since then, MovieMaker Magazine hailed the New Orleans Film Festival as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”. The same magazine recognized the Festival as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” in 2016 and 2017.

Forbes named NOFF as a “Top Growing Festival”.

Paste Magazine made a noteworthy mention to NOFF for presenting “a platform to voices that still fight to be heard.”

The New Orleans Film Festival operates under the mission of “diversity and discovery”. It has three essential commitments to filmmakers:

  • Ninety percent of the 230+ films will be taken from film submissions.
  • Fifty percent or more of the films will be produced by women and gender non-conforming directors.
  • Forty-five percent or more will be created by filmmakers of color.

Under the guise of community and connectivity, the New Orleans Film Festival guarantees a unique festival experience of distinct films, all shown in beautiful historic venues, all in the heart of the vibrant cultural city of New Orleans.

In 2014, the New Orleans Film Society founded the Emerging Voices Mentorship Program. This aspires to nurture budding filmmakers by making them partner with a film industry leader through one-on-one meetings.

The New Orleans Film Society has launched its first screenplay competition in time for the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival. This is open to short, feature-length, episodic screenplays.


The New Orleans Film Festival presents the following awards to the best filmmakers throughout the event.

  • Best Narrative Short (Academy Award Qualifying)
  • Best Documentary Short (Academy Award Qualifying)
  • Best Animated Short (Academy Award Qualifying)
  • Best Louisiana Short
  • Best Experimental Short
  • Best Narrative Feature
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Louisiana Feature
  • Audience Award: Spotlight Film
  • Audience Award: Narrative Feature
  • Audience Award: Documentary Feature
  • Audience Award: Louisiana Feature
  • Audience Award: Narrative Short
  • Audience Award: Documentary Short
  • Audience Award: Animated Short
  • Audience Award: Experimental Short
  • Audience Award: Louisiana Short

Special Awards

  • Apex Post Award for Best Sound in a Feature Film
  • Cinematography Award: Louisiana Narrative Short
  • Cinematography Award: Louisiana Narrative Feature
  • #CreateLouisiana Tribeca Film Institute Travel Grant

Last year’s winners, which earned an Academy Award Nomination, include “Miss World” by Georgia Fu (Best Narrative Short), “The Rock” by Hamid Jafari (Best Documentary Short), and “The Noise of Licking” by Nadja Andrasev (Best Animated Short).


How to Enter your Film

The New Orleans Film Festival has partnered with online submission platforms such as FilmFreeway, Withoutabox, and Festhome, for film submissions.

Unfortunately, for the 2018 Festival, the call for entries has concluded on June 22, 2018.

To read up on film submissions FAQs, rules and regulations, you can visit the following websites.





NOFF Official Website:

You can also send an email to for other questions and concerns.


The 29th New Orleans Film Festival will run from October 17 to 25, 2018.


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