“There is so much diverse talent in the state of Louisiana, it’s teaming with talent. How do we create a platform for all of those people to come together and meet one another?” -Chesley Heymsfield, LIFF Executive Director.
Baton Rouge 360 was able to sit down for a few minutes with Chesley Heymsfield, the Executive Director of the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program to be hosted this year at Perkins Rowe, May 8-11, 2014. She gave us some first hand insights into how this event has been organized and how it will be a unique experience for Louisiana.
Last year, 2013, was the first year the LIFF. Chesley mentioned that “Without the support of the community we can’t have the film festival.” Grass roots marketing is vital to LIFF’s rapid expansion and is about networking through good people and the communities they already have in place.
This year Baton Rouge is the host city, but LIFF is reaching out to different cities and parishes across the state. “This is a festival that represents the talent that is in the whole state and everything that is happening here.”
Last year’s event was an “incredible” launch in New Orleans. The turnout was good and the programming was “world class.” Leslie Zemeckis and Jeff Consiglio were part of the event last year. Chesley shared, “A film is a community effort, much like a film festival. You really have to get all these different people from different disciplines involved.”
Throwing a festival allows each person attending the opportunity to get to know new people. The annual ritual helps to create an easier process going forward for all involved. A festival is a chance to meet new talent as well.
“There is so much diverse talent in the state of Louisiana, it’s teaming with talent. How do we create a platform for all of those people to come together and meet one another?” Cheslea Heymsfield explained.
Chase Bank is partnering with LIFF to start doing master training classes during the festival to help develop Louisiana talent. Intimate discussions will be held with experienced filmmakers.
A special guest will be announced this year for the festival. Dan Ireland, who helped to discover Renée Zellweger, is the artistic director of LIFF this year. Dan also founded the Seattle International Film Festival, the largest in the country.
Chesley is involved with making connections and coordinating the festival so Baton Rouge 360 asked her, “How do you know if you have the right person for something?” Her answer was quick, “If they think of everything before you do, then they’re a keeper.”
“You should come to it. Are you going to come this year? You should definitely come!”
If Chesley were talking to you face to face she would probably persistently ask you what she asked us, “You should come to it. Are you going to come this year? You should definitely come!”
For more complete information including ticket purchases visit: LIFF 2014.