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NOFF 31 Kickoff

Virtual Festing During the Pandemic

Nov 08, 2020 By Zach Hollwedel
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The 31st Annual New Orleans Film Festival kicked off Friday night, albeit under atypical circumstances. The decades-old festival, an official Academy Awards qualifying event, which every year highlights some of the best independent, Louisiana-made, international, and marquee films of the year, is one of the most highly anticipated week and a half periods in the New Orleans fall calendar. While COVID-19 has caused festival organizers to dramatically reimagine the event, the festival is sure to deliver an amazing virtual experience through November 22, with even a few in-person screenings thrown in.

This year, over 160 films will screen through the festival's Virtual Cinema slate. Viewers can enjoy timed releases from the comforts of their own homes on any mobile, laptop, Roku, or Apple TV device. Once they have unlocked a film, virtual attendees will have 48-hours to view the content, up until 11:59pm on the final night of the festival.

Attendees won't have to spend the entire festival on their couches, though. Festival producers introduced an entire "Open Air Cinema" program for this year. Staged on the Lafitte Greenway, a public space and bike path that runs from the Quarter up to Mid-City, the series will feature multiple, limited capacity screenings daily throughout the fest. Everything from Centerpiece Films to Louisiana Shorts to Documentary Features will play to crowds of 50-people in socially distanced, outdoors settings, granting a sense of normalcy to a festival that has otherwise been relegated to a digital format.

Every year, the NOFF hosts some of Hollywood's most recognizable - and most upcoming - filmmakers for its panel discussion series. Despite the pandemic, this year is no exception. Organizers have scheduled 14 panel events throughout the festival (all free, virtual, and open to the public). One of the headline panels is a conversation with George Clooney about his new film, The Midnight Sky, set for 1pm CST on Wednesday November 18.

Find the schedule, lineup, information on how to attend, and links to all NOFF 31 events here. Be sure to check back, as we post reviews of NOFF films here in the coming weeks.

 



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