Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival

Lafayette, United States

Logo of Cinema On The Bayou Film Festival

05 Nov 2021

Published: 27 Apr 2021
 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 2022 Festival, which we expect to be in person.

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 2021, the Festival was held virtually due to the pandemic. We screened over 140 films from across the United States and from around the world, including World, U.S. and Louisiana Premieres of narrative, documentary animated and experimental films. Included within the official selections were more than 40 French-language films.

Filmmakers, actors, producers and other industry professional and film fans participated virtually from throughout the United States and across Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Moncton, Quebec City, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, as well as from Puerto Rico, England, Frand, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Spain, Albania, greece, Australia and Japan. Judges participated from Shreveport, Baton Rouge and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; Austin, Denver, Brooklyn, Montreal, Quebec City and Paris. At our virtual awards ceremony, the Festival awarded 22 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

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