Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival

Lafayette, United States

Logo of Cinema On The Bayou Film Festival

26 Oct 2020

Published: 21 Apr 2020
 Has submission fees
Short films
Feature films

Located in the heart of Cajun country, the annual eight-day Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival is an international, juried film festival dedicated to presenting narrative, documentary, animated and experimental films and filmmakers with truly original voices in one of the friendliest, most unique cultures in the world. COTB is also committed to promoting both established and emerging filmmakers and the relationship-building that is crucial to their continued work. The dedication and commitment of COTB in this regard continue regardless of the pandemic -- we will have a juried 2021 Festival whether in person or, if necessary, on line.

Cinema on the Bayou, Louisiana's second oldest film festival, was founded in 2006 in Lafayette, Louisiana, by filmmaker Pat Mire after Hurricane Katrina caused the cancellation of the New Orleans Film Festival in the fall of 2005. Pat was contacted by the National Film Board of Canada, which offered a U.S. premiere of the documentary MAROON, by famed Quebecois filmmaker Andre Gladu, which was originally scheduled to premiere in New Orleans. Cinema on the Bayou was launched in response, and Gladu and his film opened the inaugural Festival. Pat continues to serve as Artistic Director of the Festival.

Since 2006, Cinema on the Bayou has presented hundreds of internationally acclaimed documentary, narrative fiction, animated and experimental films, with filmmakers in attendance from across the United States and around the world. The Festival is now unique among film festivals in the U.S. in that it also regularly screens a large number of French-language independent films and presents filmmakers from throughout the Francophone world. The Festival also has the distinction among film festivals of having given the Audience Award to Moonbot Studio's animated film THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE one year before the film was nominated for and won an Academy Award in the animated short category.

In 2010, the Festival screened nearly 200 films which were chosen as Official Selections from a pool of more than 1,200 submissions. The vast majority of the films chosen were World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres. Included within the official selections were more than 60 French-language films. In addition to screening films from across the United States, the Festival also screened films from Canada, France, Japan, Australia, the U.K., Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Haiti and Argentina. More than 200 filmmakers, actors, musicians and other industry professionals attended from Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Hamburg, Madrid, Sydney, Denmark, Haiti, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Memphis, Nashville, Austin, Houston, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, New Mexico, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Baltimore, Kansas City, Toronto, Ontario, Calgary, Moncton, Nova Scotia and a large group from the Quebec Provence, including Montréal, Québec City
and Gaspésie. Representatives from Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA), Le Festival de cinema de la ville de Québec (FCVQ) and Le Festival international de cinema et d’art de Percé, Les Percéides, were in attendance. The Festival awarded 35 goujon caille (spotted catfish) awards.

Cinema on the Bayou has been selected as the Editors' Choice for "goings-on in the South and beyond" by Garden and Gun Magazine. Describing our Cajun Country setting as a "stew of French, Spanish, and African influences," the Editors concluded that it was an ideal spot for Cinema on the Bayou, an international film festival "charged with exposing attendees to the most original voices in film while fostering cultural exchange among the French-speaking peoples of the world."

Cinema on the Bayou also made the list of the Top 15 Winter Film Festivals in the U.S. by AudNews, an on-line magazine for filmmakers and film lovers.

Over the years, the Festival also has earned the respect of its many loyal filmmaker alums who come from around the world to share in the joie de vivre that defines the culture here. It says a lot about the festival that these highly talented independent filmmakers not only make repeat visits to Cinema on the Bayou, but also recommend the Festival to their filmmaker colleagues.

Cinema on the Bayou also has partnered with several independent film distribution companies in the United States and Canada, whose representatives attend the Festival, in order to facilitate relationships designed to provide opportunities for filmmakers to reach wider, more diverse audiences.

The Festival is committed to creating these essential connections amid exquisite Cajun cuisine, amazing local music performances, and thought-provoking discussions, both on expert panels and at after-hours parties, about all that is near and dear to that creature known as the independent filmmaker.

International Festival

Short film festival

Feature film festival

 Fiction  Documentary  Animation  Experimental

Photo of Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival
Photo of Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival
Photo of Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival
Photo of Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival

Share on Social Networks