The New Orleans Film Festival has announced its opening and closing night films: On October 11, Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy" will open the festival, while both Ben Lewin's "The Sessions" and Ariel Vromen's "The Iceman" will close the event on October 18 in a double-feature.
"The Paperboy," starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Kevin Spacey, and Macy Gray, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Filmed on location in Louisiana, the story revolves around a reporter who returns to his Florida hometown to investigate the case of a death row inmate.
"The Sessions," which debuted at Sundance and won a Special Jury award, stars Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. Based on Mark O'Brien's true story, Hawkes plays a man with an iron lung who hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. "The Iceman," also based on a true story, about a contract killer Richard Kuklinski, stars Michael Shannon, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Chris Evans and Winona Ryder and was also partially filmed in the fest's home state. It recently premiered played the Venice, Telluride and Toronto festivals.
New Orleans Film Society exec director Jolene Pinder states, "The more we can shine a spotlight on the incredible films being shot and produced here in Louisiana, the more opportunities we can create for our indigenous film community. There's no doubt this has been an exciting year for filmmaking in Louisiana. We feel these selections only prove our place as a major contributor to the film scene, both in the U.S. and abroad."
Here's more on the festival.