Cinema on the Bayou Festival: Acadian cinema well represented in Louisiana
From January 22 to 29, the Festival Cinema on the Bayou in Lafayette will roll out the red carpet for Acadian films.Five works by Acadian filmmakers are on the program, which offers a wide range of productions from the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia.
The drama Pour mieux t’aimer by Gilles Doiron and Denise Bouchard, as well as the documentaries Vague d’Acadie and Belle-île en Acadie by Phil Comeau, and Le Prince de l’Acadie by Gilles Doiron and Julien Robichaud are among the 40 or so feature films (documentary and fiction) that will be screened at the 15th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival.
The selection also includes the short fiction film 54 North by Mélanie Léger, which I bought the dvd in second-hand a few months ago… I love it ! And Émilie Peltier.All of these works will therefore have their American premiere in Louisiana.
Filmmaker Gilles Doiron, who co-directed two of the works in the Acadian selection, believes that the common roots and shared history between Acadia and Louisiana encourage exchanges between filmmakers.
The Moncton-based filmmaker has already been to the festival to present his award-winning film, Aller-retour en 2012.
“It’s super important to build this relationship between Acadia and Louisiana.The last time we were here, we were welcomed the same way the world is welcomed here.”
The director will be there this year with Julien Robichaud and Martin Goguen, co-owners of Botsford Bros.As this is a small festival, the atmosphere is friendly and the filmmakers have the chance to meet some great encounters that could eventually lead to co-productions with Louisiana.
Founded in 2006, the festival is directed by renowned filmmaker Pat Mire.
According to Gilles Doiron, the director’s knowledge of the film industry also facilitates discussions.By having two feature films in the festival, the Acadian filmmaker believes that this could open doors for them for concrete projects.
“The fact that we come up with a feature-length documentary and a feature-length fiction film opens the door to both possibilities.We’ve got some projects in development that we’d like to see if there’s any possibility of shooting in Louisiana.”
For Mélanie Léger and Émilie Peltier, it will be a first at this festival.Their short film 54 North on homelessness will be in its 7th selection in Louisiana after Moncton, Fredericton, Quebec City, Toronto, India and Haiti.
Independently produced with financial support from the provincial government, the short fiction 54 North explores the theme of homelessness in Moncton through the story of a homeless woman.
This phenomenon, which is very present in Moncton, is also echoed in the rest of the world.Unfortunately, homelessness exists just about everywhere,” says co-director Émilie Peltier.
“Basically, it’s a project we did for Moncton, but at the same time for us, it’s still something universal and we’re happy that the film travels,” said co-director and actress Mélanie Léger.
Based on an original idea by Mélanie Léger, the project began to germinate during one of their long walks through the city of Moncton.
“By taking the time to walk around the city, you come across people you don’t necessarily see when you’re in your car,” said Émilie Peltier.
She plans to attend the festival at the end of January.Other directors and programmers from the Acadian film community will be in attendance.
“It’s a good time to network, meet people, programmers and get the word out about Acadia.”
The Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival generally gives Acadian cinema a great deal of prominence.Phil Comeau, who presented several of his films at the festival, opened the festival in 2017 with his documentary Zachary Richard, always a fighter.This documentary was awarded the festival’s grand prize.