By: Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
December 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM
The Third Street Film Festival returns to Baton Rouge four times bigger than before, and it's only in its second year. The festival, which features only films produced in Louisiana, received more than 100 submissions in its sophomore year.
The 2012 festival will run for two days at the Manship Theatre with four blocks, each with three to seven short films, a 30 minute break and a feature length movie. The four separate film blocks will also be peppered with panels featuring filmmakers, government officials and other industry-specific speakers.
TSFF is the brainchild of 23-year-old James Hebert who first wanted to produce a film contest early last year, but the solicit for films on Facebook quickly turned from contest into festival.
"Somehow, just through Facebook, we got 70 films last year," Hebert said. Hebert immediately saw the potential and secured a night at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center downtown for the festival.
"It was two weeks before the festival and we had like 10 tickets sold. That's just like my immediate family," Hebert said of the inaugural event. "Then two days before, we had 100 sold, and then we sold out ... We had pretty overwhelming success."
With more than 100 submissions this year, Hebert and a group of friends are having a difficult time choosing what films to fill the available time slots.
"We have a lot of good films and so little time. I still have 18 more hours of film to watch," Hebert said.
"It's hard because everything's so good. I was thinking about making my directorial debut next year, but I want to put something out that's good. I don't want it to just be, 'oh look, it's the founder's film; he put it in there just because it's his, not because it's good,'" Hebert said.
Moving forward, Hebert would like to see TSFF turn into the "Sundance of the South," with a bigger imprint and, of course, a bigger staff. The staff currently consists of only Hebert and assistant director Mary Legendre.
"I'm in this position where I can show films and inspire people, but some days it's a lot to do, and it's just me," Hebert said. "Next year, it's going to be too big for just me. It's almost too big for me right now, but we didn't have another option."
The second annual Third Street Film Festival will be Friday, Dec. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 29. Showcases on Friday will be 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and showcases on Saturday will be at 1:30 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m. A New Year's party will be held Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Shaw Center.
Tickets are $60 for a weekend pass, $35 for a day pass or $20 for each showcase block.