Programmer Profile: Jenn Murphy, New Orleans Film Festival

Muppet Jenn MurphyMy name: Jenn Murphy My current festival: New Orleans Film Festival

My title: Program Director

Movies that best represent my personal tastes: My top 3 would probably be: Requiem for a Dream, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and My Neighbor Totoro. The longer list would include: Rear Window, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Princess and the Warrior, Wild at Heart, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Control, Dancer in the Dark, Oldboy, Heavenly Creatures and The Muppets take Manhattan.

When I'm not watching movies I like to: Play roller derby with the Big Easy Rollergirls, make delicious vegan meals and cakes, hang out with my boyfriend and two cats, and reading film magazines and comics. A movie I recently programmed that I consider to be a great personal discovery: I saw Make-Out with Violence at SXSW and was blown away by the story and the beautiful cinematography. It was the first time I had seen a film and knew immediately I wanted to bring it to New Orleans and show it to everyone I know, which I did!

Jenn MurphyWhen filmmakers ask me "What's different about your film festival?" I say: Well, it is in New Orleans which speaks for itself. But beyond the general appeal of the Big Easy, the New Orleans Film Festival really wants to be a filmmaker's festival. We provide ample opportunities for filmmakers to network with one another and really try to make the filmmaker feel at home. We can't pay the way for you to get to NOLA yet, but we are working on exciting partnerships and sponsorships so that in the future we can fly our filmmakers in and give them a place to stay.

Our festival audience has come to expect: Eclectic programming, fantastic parties, great Q&As, and a chance to see something they wouldn't otherwise see in NOLA.

We program the following categories of films: Narrative Features, Narrative Shorts, Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts, Animation (Shorts & Features) and Experimental Shorts.

A recent trend I have noticed in submissions of which I disapprove: This isn't a trend but it is something that happened to me this past year which I totally disapprove of. Do not have a contest on your film's website in which you tell your fans to email me and tell me how great your film is. I don't make decisions based on 30 e-mails showing support for your film, I make a decision based on your film itself. You shouldn't have to sell it to me.

If I could impart one thing to filmmakers about submitting to my festival, it would be: Read the Call for Entries information throughly, most of the answers to your questions are in there. Also, please please please don't send us press kits, we have no need for them and they usually end up in the bin headed for recycling. And finally, don't take it personally. Ok that was 3 things!

The submissions period for our next festival is: Our call for entries began at the end of December and the final deadline is April 30, 2010.

Filmmakers can contact me here:

Twitter account: @jambot0110

Last words: I want to give a shout out to my uber talented counterpart, Artistic Director John Desplas, he handles all the curated films that are invited to screen at the festival. He has been with the festival for 20 years and really knows what will play well in NOLA.