Jan. 26, 2017 03:00 PM

Lafayette's oldest film festival returns to downtown venues Jan. 25 - Feb. 1.

Festival Director Rebecca Hudsmith presents the coveted Goujon Caille Award.
Photo submitted


The 12th Annual Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival returns to Downtown Lafayette this week with its tradition of bringing filmmakers and the community together with signature films at the epicentre of Cajun and Creole Cultures.

The annual eight-day festival continues now through Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m., at Acadiana Center for the Arts with the U.S. Premiere of the feature film Tatara Samurai. The evening will end with a closing gala reception with honored guests, Japanese director Yoshinari Nishikori, executive producer Eugene Nomura and actors in the film, as well as a Japanese TV and press crew.

Set in 16th century Japan, this visually stunning film tells the story of a young master blacksmith who inherited an ancient steel-making technique, known as Tatara, for creating the purest form of steel used to craft samurai swords, but decides he can best defend his village by leaving to become a samurai and then returns to see his village embrace guns for defense with devastating results. The film made its world premiere in August at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Artistic Contribution.

The Japanese period piece "Tatara Samurai" will close out the festival on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Photo submitted

The eight-day Festival will screen 163 official selections from COTB’s open call for submissions from independent filmmakers around the world along with panels discussions, workshops, music and parties. Over 200 directors, producers, cinematographers, distributors, actors, grant sources and other industry professionals are expected to attend the festival from across the United States and Canada, as well as from Japan, Australia, India, the U.K. and France.

Film screenings will take place at Acadiana Center for the Arts, Cité des Arts, the Vermilionville Performance Center, and the Lafayette Public Library South Regional Branch.

The 2017 festival lineup was chosen from a total pool of more than 1,200 submissions, and includes 106 narrative films, of which 22 are features and 84 are shorts; 40 documentary films, of which 23 are features and 17 are shorts, and 17 animated short films. The majority of the films are World, U.S. or Louisiana Premieres.

Included within the official selections are more than 32 French-language films and 23 films from Japan, as well as films from Cuba, Spain, the U.K., India, Australia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, China, Mauritius, Cyprus, the United Republic of Tanzania, Canada, France and across the United States. Of the 163 official selections, 43 are directed by women, the highest percentage of women directors to date at the festival. Films in competition will be eligible to win our coveted “goujon caille” award created by local artist Pat Juneau and his son Andre.

Cinema on the Bayou Film Society, a non-profit Section 501(c)(3) Louisiana corporation, presents the annual Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, Louisiana’s second oldest film festival, as well as other film events during the year. Major sponsors for Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival include the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and IATSE Local 478 – Motion Picture Studio Mechanics of Louisiana & Southern Mississippi.

Tickets for screenings, festival passes and individual tickets, as well as a complete schedule of films and events, are available on the festival website at www.cinemonthebayou.com.

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