Experience Louisiana as the Hollywood South

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

Louisiana, aka the Hollywood South, is becoming known as the third largest movie producing destination after Hollywood and New York. With its blockbuster successes churning out the Oscar nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild and the picturesque The Paperboy featuring Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman, the Bayou State has a spotlight shining on its scenery and cinematic splendour.

As a hot destination that’s bubbled together with a historic mix of French and Spanish traditions, age-old ghost tales, antebellum buildings, jazz, alligator swamplands, plantations and a blend of voodoo, it serves as an ideal setting for storytelling. This multi-cultural backdrop along with attractive tax incentives has made Louisiana a hot spot for film producers this past decade.

Those feeling inspired can take tours within Louisiana to appreciate the reasons why it proves to be such a cinematic destination. The New Orleans Movie Tour allows guests to visit all of New Orleans’s historic landmarks that filmmakers love, making favourite movies come to life. The tour visits the Garden District, Warehouse District and Central Business District, Treme, St. Louis Cemetery and more. The guides discuss the art of film making and everything that goes into creating movie magic. Examples of movies featured on the tour include King Creole (starring Elvis Presley) and the Interview with a Vampire (starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt). To learn more, visit: http://www.nolamovies.com

Further tours of interest include the Cajun Country Swamp Tours (http://www.cajuncountryswamptours.com) in Breaux Bridge where tourists can enjoy seeing birds, huge moss-draped cypress trees, alligators and more, and the Historic New Orleans Tours (http://www.tourneworleans.com) with author Robert Florence as he guides excursionists through cemeteries, the French Quarter, the Garden District and places of voodoo and hauntings. For a full selection of tours visit: http://www.louisianatravel.com/outdoor-adventure

Those wishing to experience the Louisiana film industry at its best can visit the Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF). In the upcoming April 18th-21st inaugural festival, LIFF will proudly feature an exciting selection of world premieres, Louisianan premieres and American independent films. An all access pass can be purchased to see the premieres and to open the doorway to workshops, industry expos, producer conferences, a secret festival, a photo exhibition and more. For further information visit: http://liff2013.com

The New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) was born in a city known for its eclecticism and artistic vibrancy. Thus, the organisation is seeking out bold and passionate storytellers and encourages those interested to take part in the festival by sending film submissions to win the chance for their film to be screened. With top-notch programming, the New Orleans Film Festival serves up a dose of southern hospitality that’s hard to beat. For more information, visit: http://neworleansfilmsociety.org

The 48 Hour Film Project will return to New Orleans this August (date TBC). Filmmakers will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against movies from around the world for the title of ‘Best 48 Hour Film of 2013’. The website states it will be a “wild and sleepless weekend in which you and your team have a blast making a movie. All writing, shooting, editing and scoring must be completed in just 48 hours.”* To learn how to enter and for more information, visit: http://www.48hourfilm.com

Shreveport is the hotspot movie producing area of Louisiana and has produced big blockbusters. In 2012, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore earned an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. With their award win, Moonbot Studios (owned by the movie’s directors William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg) showed the world that the Shreveport film industry is a force to be reckoned with. Shreveport was ranked 3rd out of the top 10 cities to live, work and make movies in by Movie Maker Magazine in 2010. To learn more about Shreveport, visit: http://www.shreveport-bossier.org/

Houma in Cajun Country is a destination that is increasingly entering the spotlight as Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest actress ever to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, was born there. The city of Houma has a network of bayous and shipping channels running through it which creates a swashbuckling crisscross of waterways throughout the city. Houma is widely considered the de facto capital of deep bayou country and is where the many pleasures of the region’s robust culture are easily accessible. Learn more at: http://www.louisianatravel.com/houma and visit: http://houmatravel.com

For further information about New Orleans and Louisiana, visit www.neworleanscvb.com and www.louisianatravel.com

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