The traveling CineFlix Film Fest, organized by two local filmmakers, will make its final stop in Baton Rouge later this month, showcasing 25 independent films at Movie Tavern Citiplace and ending with an awards ceremony and concert at the Old State Capitol.
John Schneider—a local writer, director and actor perhaps best known for playing Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard television series—partnered with film producer Alicia Allain of Maven Entertainment to host the film festival in an effort to support and promote independent filmmakers on a budget.
“The business model for most film festivals is first and foremost about the film festival, which is certainly noble, but there are enough of those,” Schneider says. “The emphasis we think should be on the filmmaker, the story teller.”
The idea is to provide independent filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work and make money, as a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to the filmmakers. Schneider and Allain also set up a distribution platform at CineFlixdod.com where the films will be streamed online for users to view and purchase.
“Most independent filmmakers never have access to this,” says Allain. “The more you practice your art the better you become. If you never have an opportunity to see your movies projected in front of an audience, you miss nuances.”
The eight-week tour began in Slidell and traveled to theaters in Mississippi, Georgia and Florida before it returns to Baton Rouge on Nov. 21-23. The festival includes feature-length movies, documentaries and short films. Four of the films were directed by Schneider and produced by Allain. Schneider also stars in an award-winning film called Hate Crime, produced by Allain.
An intriguing documentary in the line-up is Among the Discarded, in which the director spends 30 days living homeless on the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles. Allain says the festival also features two films on gun rights, one of which is pro-gun rights, Liberty Waning, and the other anti-gun, 91%.
“The reaction has been fantastic,” Schneider says. “More people are coming to see our movies at tour stops than big Hollywood movies because it’s something new and usual.”
Schneider and Allain are long-time supporters of indie films. Allain has worked in the film industry in Louisiana and Los Angeles for more than 20 years and is former president of Robert Evans’ production company. Schneider has a film studio in Holden for independent filmmakers.
Although John Schneider Studios flooded in August, they still pushed forward with the CineFlix Film Fest. The flood even inspired Schneider, also a musician, to record a new album on his damaged living room floor with a band aptly named the Cajun Navy. After CineFlix’s final showings in Baton Rouge, the film festival will wrap up on Nov. 23 with an awards ceremony and concert debuting John Schneider and the Cajun Navy at the Old State Capitol.