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Film Festival Roundup: Louisiana Film Prize Announces Finalists, ‘Lion’ Set As BFI London Gala And More

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.

Rooney Mara and Dev Patel in Lion

“Lion”

The Weinstein Company

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

– The Louisiana Film Prize has announced their 21 finalists for their annual competition. Each of the 21 films will compete at The Louisiana Film Prize Festival Weekend, taking place September 30-October 2 in Shreveport, LA. Each year, the Prize asks filmmakers to create a short film (5-15 minutes), with all production shot in northwest Louisiana.

The Prize reports a record number of film registrations and that 48% of the films were directed by or produced by women or minority filmmakers.

The winner will take home a $50,000 cash grand prize, one of the world’s largest cash prizes for a short film. Aside from the one $50,000 winner, the top Louisiana Film Prize films will receive distribution through Shorts International on iTunes and will also screen at various festivals across the country. The Film Prize will also distribute $15,000 in filmmaking grants and $1,000 “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” awards. You can check out the full list of finalists and more information about the competition at the Prize’s official site.

– The 60th BFI London Film Festival has announced that “Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman, will be the American Express Gala at this year’s festival. The film will receive its UK premiere on Wednesday, October 12 London’s Odeon Leicester Square, with both Patel and Kidman expected to attend.

Directed by Garth Davis and adapted from Saroo Brierley’s memoir “A Long Way Home,” the film “tells the true story of how a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home; he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, haunted by memories of his childhood, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family.” The film will be released domestically on November 25.

"Loving"

“Loving”

Focus Features

– The 39th Mill Valley Film Festival has announced that Jeff Nichols’ fact-based Cannes premiere “Loving” will close this year’s festival. Nichols, along with stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, will be on hand to attend the festival and the Closing Night celebrations.

The film “celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who fell in love and were married in 1958. Their historic civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry.” It will be released domestically on November 4.

– The official lineup for the inaugural Film Invasion L.A festival has been announced. The festival brings the work of great filmmakers together and injects them into the heart of Los Angeles. Founded by industry veterans who have spent more than two decades regularly visiting the great film festivals of the world, Film Invasion L.A. looks to discover new talent and give great filmmakers an opportunity to shine. The festival runs August 25 – September 1.

The lineup “presents a diverse collection of works from stories about love and loss to dark secrets and ghosts real and imagined that can take hold of each of us.” The festival includes 13 feature films, along with 23 shorts. You can check out the full lineup and find out more information at the festival’s official site.

– The 26th Annual Florida Film Festival has announced its official call for entries. The festival takes place in Orlando from April 21-30. Qualified filmmakers can submit their entries through Florida Film Festival’s online entry form on FloridaFilmFestival.com or through Withoutabox.com.

Competition categories include short films (both narrative and animation), documentary films (both short and feature length), narrative features and international films (both short and feature length). Awards are determined by a jury of film professionals and by audience ballot. The shorts deadline is October 21, while features are due by November 11.

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