New Orleans News

New Orleans news: The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announced the hire of director and producer Kiyoko McCrae. Her official title is Director of Documentary Programming and Filmmaker Labs. This is a new full-time position at NOFS. McCrae now leads the documentary programming for the New Orleans Film Festival. She is also the Manager of the Emerging Voices Mentorship Program and the Southern Producers Lab

New Orleans Film Society South Pitch Competition

More New Orleans news includes the NOFS South Pitch competition. Kiyoko McCrae is overseeing additional efforts to support documentary filmmakers as part of the annual South Pitch competition. Filmmakers from across the American South have only three minutes to pitch their concept or work-in-progress film to panels of film professionals and industry guests. South Pitch is an opportunity for filmmakers to win cash that will seed their film production.

New Orleans Film Society South Summit

McCrae will also contribute to the programming of the NOFS South Summit. The event is an annual convening of local, regional, and national media makers, arts funders, and institutional stakeholders. The intent of South Summit is seeding conversations and actions around creating, resourcing, and amplifying film and media content that shapes how the U.S. sees the South. And how the South sees itself. 

More New Orleans News

Kiyoko McCrae fosters professional development initiatives to connect Southern filmmakers to resources and relationships that are often inaccessible in the region. She is also an award-winning independent film and theater director and producer.

New Orleans news includes McCrae completing a short documentary about the impact of COVID-19 on a group of mothers in New Orleans. It’s for the Hindsight Project, a new initiative with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Firelight Media, and Reel South. She is also developing her first feature documentary, with support from CAAM and Southern Documentary Fund.

McCrae is the 2017-2018 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow and a 2020 John O’Neal Cultural Arts Fellow. She received her BFA in Theatre Arts from NYU’s Tisch School. Now, McCrae is happy to call New Orleans her home with husband Jason and their two children, Manami and Koji. To learn more visit Kiyoko McCrae’s website:

NOFS Initiatives

Kiyoko McCrae just wrapped the first of four weeklong filmmaker labs for this spring. This is to support 40 alums of New Orleans Filmmaker Programs, including the Emerging Voices Mentorship Program and Southern Producers Lab.

Emerging Voices Mentorship Program

The Emerging Voices Mentorship Program, a filmmaker support program initiative, was created in 2014 for BIPOC directors in Louisiana to gain greater access to gatekeepers and promote Louisiana’s unique perspectives and cultures to the rest of the country and the world.

Southern Producers Lab

The Southern Producers Lab is a program designed to bring together an annual cohort of emerging, diverse producers from around the South for an intensive series of workshops, panels, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and community-building opportunities over the course of three that are held throughout the year.

COVID-19 and NOFS Labs This Spring

In the months following COVID-19, New Orleans news includes NOFS issuing a round of support to filmmaker alumni of Emerging Voices and Southern Producers Lab programs and conducted surveys to understand better the pressing issues facing filmmakers in the wake of the pandemic. 

As a result of these conversations, NOFS decided in FY21 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021) NOFS will accept a class of fellows into Emerging Voices and Southern Producers Lab who have gone through the program in the past, rather than recruiting from a pool of new submissions.

$102,000 for 49 filmmakers

This spring, 40 filmmakers from these programs will participate in a total of four-day labs — two Emerging Voices Labs and two Southern Producers Labs — each specializing in documentary and narrative tracks. At the same time, New Orleans Film Society also makes a round of flexible project support grants. The grants are open to all who have participated in these programs, distributing a total of $102,000 for 49 filmmakers.

Participating in NOFS Labs

The New Orleans news includes Emerging Voices and Southern Producer’s Lab in the future for anyone interested in participating. For those who are not alumni, NOFS anticipates opening submissions again to a new cohort in Fall 2021. Learn more about NOFS Filmmaker Programs visit the New Orleans Film Society website:

The Director of Documentary Programming & Filmmaker Labs position is supported, in part by, South Arts Resilience Fund and Perspective Fund.

About NOFS

The New Orleans Film Society discovers, cultivates, and amplifies diverse voices of filmmakers who tell the stories of our time. Founded in 1989, NOFS produces the Oscar®-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival annually and invests year-round in building a vibrant film culture in the South to share transformative cinematic experiences with audiences and connect dynamic filmmakers to career-advancing resources.

Year-round programming includes free and low-cost screenings for members and the broader community of cinephiles in New Orleans, a 24-year running French Film Festival featuring contemporary and classic French cinema, and filmmaker professional development programs created to nurture diverse voices in filmmaking in the American South. NOFS is a 501(c)(3) organization.