Monday, September 11, 2006

Contraband Film Festival

On the left is the poster for the 2nd Annual Contraband Film Festival, which will be held in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the end of the month. Here is the Lake Area Film Group's press release for the event:
The Lake Area Film Group was founded in September 2004 by a group of passionate individuals interested in growing a film making community in Southwest Louisiana. That original group committed to this mission statement:

To create a network of people, ideas, and resources to be shared collectively, enabling the independent filmmaker in the Lake Area,

And to host an annual film festival in Lake Charles, which would serve to both motivate and to inspire.

This year will be the 2nd such festival hosted by the LAFG. The event will take place Saturday, September 30th at 6:30PM and there is no admission charge. Central School Auditorium will be the site of the event once again.

Last year's program included 10 short films and was well-received by the community. This year, the program has been expanded to include the LAFG's first feature length film, Mercy, directed by Patrick Roddy. The movie, which stars Gary Shannon, was shot in Lake Charles and DeRidder, Louisiana. Other notable cast includes Shelly Farrell, Charles McNeely, Julie Ann Fay, Mike Mayo and Carol Anne Gayle. DVDs will be on hand, for sale after the film’s screening. In conjunction with the premier of Mercy, set photographer, Hilary Gayle will be opening an exhibit featuring still images taken during the filming of the movie. The exhibit will be on display in the Black Heritage Gallery, located at Central School, across from the auditorium where the festival is held. The exhibit will remain on display through the month of October.

Another new element that has been added to the Contraband Film Festival this year is a Video Confessional. During the Arts and Humanities Council's Gallery Promenade, the LAFG will be filming volunteers on the third floor of the 1911 City Hall. Participants will have the opportunity to perform in front of the camera in any way they see fit, be it singing, reciting a monologue, dancing or they may choose to actually confess what's on their mind. The footage will be collected and edited together so that it may be shown at the film festival. So if you have always wanted to be in a movie, this is your chance. The booth will operate from 6-9 pm on Thursday and Friday (September 7 and 8) and 10-2 on Saturday, September 9.

Other films on the program include three short films produced during the LAFG's 24-hour film sprint, an event where filmmakers were all given the same generic script and were required to create a story to accompany the dialogue they were give. The teams would then shoot and edit their films with a 24-hour period.

Continuing from last year, student work from the Mass Communication’s department at McNeese will be screened at the festival. Through the Cracks, a documentary by Dan Robertson, takes a look at skateboarding in the Lake Area.

In addition, Single Malt is a short film shot at The Shamrock in Lake Charles and features performances by Carl Bergeron and Cade Chisholm. The short is written by Ken Henderson and directed by Scott Waldrop.

"Eternal" is another short film on the program that originates from Irony Coast Productions, a group whose members span from Lake Area to Houston. The film found success at the 48-hour Film Project in Houston last May, where it was recognized by judges in six categories including: Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Design, Best Use of Line of Dialogue, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.

The Lake Area Film Group meets monthly at the Central Library in Lake Charles. Meetings take place at 7:30PM on the first Tuesday of each month. The LAFG is open to anyone (18 and up) who is interested in making movies. For more information, visit or email us at
This will be the first film fest I've attended here in Lake Charles, and it will mark the premiere of the Director's Cut of Irony Coast's "Eternal," our entry into the 48 Hour Film Project.

For links to more Irony Coast stuff, check out the sidebar on the right.

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