Disclaimer: Chris Lyon, the editor of Heliopolis is also Associate Director of the Louisiana Film Prize.

Written with Valerie Delatte.

“Long live Louisiana Film Prize!” is quite the fitting rallying cry. This year, the Prize Foundation is inviting all of us to celebrate “Five Years of Film Prize” at the Robinson Film Center (RFC). If you are like me, and just cannot contain your excitement for Louisiana Film Prize 6, do not miss your chance to relive the best of the best this April.



For five years, Film Prize executive director Gregory Kallenberg has shepherded the festival from small town shindig to a nationally-acclaimed cultural event. After five $50,000 grand prize winners, filmmakers from across the globe are flocking to Shreveport to compete for the world’s largest cash prize for a short film. When talking with Kallenberg about LAFP, he had you hooked from the start with his energetic nature. He states that the Northwest Louisiana and LAFP have a synergistic relationship, both helping each other flourish in many ways. Thus, it is significant for RFC to commemorate the last five years of film prize and all it has accomplished.

LAFP has sounded the horn to begin a worldwide battle; one caveat: short films must be made right here in North Louisiana. Over 100 finalists and five grand prize winners have come for this world-class incentive. The winners include 2012’s The Legend of Luther Anderson by Noah Scruggs, Chris Armand, and Thomas Woodruff of Shreveport; 2013’s Silo by Kyle Clements of Baton Rouge; 2014’s True Heroes by Chris Ganucheau of New Orleans; 2015’s The Bespoke Tailoring of Mister Bellamy by Alexander Jeffery of El Dorado, Arkansas; and 2016’s The Man From Mars by Jonnie Stapleton of Los Angeles.

Growing a Culture and an Industry

Being able to cultivate an event of this magnitude and cultural significance is no easy feat. Kallenberg attributes the festival’s success to the dedication of the entire LAFP team, which includes Chris Lyon, Associate Director and Filmmaker Liaison, and Sabrina Adsit; Media, Event, and Sponsor Coordinator. Special thanks to the entire region of Northwest Louisiana, because it takes a village to raise a rambunctious and rapidly growing festival.

The citizens of Northwest Louisiana are Kick-Ass! Whether it’s a local business sponsor or a family welcoming a set-weary film crew into their home for a home-cooked meal, the people of Shreveport have played an important supporting role in making LAFP successful.

Jonnie Stapleton, the 2016 Grand Prize Winner, remarked, “Getting to Louisiana is the hard part, but once you’re there, the people make shooting a breeze. It’s now our favorite state to shoot in, I recommend it to all my filmmaker friends.”

Alexander Jeffery, who took the prize in 2015 shares that esteem, explaining, “from audiences, to staff, to the other filmmakers, there are so many creative and inspiring individuals in [Shreveport’s] community.”

Five Years, Celebrated

Half a decade has passed since the beginning of LAFP. Now, to celebrate the past five winners, the RFC and the Prize Foundation are bringing these prize-winning films back to the big screen on April 7-8, 2017 for a special event dubbed “Five Years of Film Prize!”

The reunion-style event is open to the public and will include standard film screenings of all five films (get tickets and showtimes at robinsonfilmcenter.org) Friday and Saturday. There will be special Q&A screenings with all five winning short film directors at 7:00pm on both nights. It is a perfect way to support the RFC, LAFP, and everyone involved in the making of these amazing films.

Film Prize is successful because Shreveport has, perhaps unwittingly, fostered the genesis of a creative class here, and is primed to support its momentum going forward. The fact that LAFP connects motivated artists to stimulate the local economy and improve the cultural atmosphere, proves Shreveport is a hotbed for creative innovation, which is about to explode.

“It’s pretty damn magical,” says Kyle Clements, 2013 Film Prize winner.

With the magic our community continues to bring, Shreveport can expect the next five years to be even more bright. As they say in Prize Land, VIVA LA FILM PRIZE!

For more information on upcoming Film Prize, including 2017 festival dates, and how to enter the competition, visit www.lafilmprize.com.

To purchase tickets for the “Five Years of Film Prize!” event, visit robinsonfilmcenter.org

Robinson Film Center
617 Texas St, Shreveport, LA 71101 // (318) 459-4122