New Orleans Film Festival opens with new sound stages and feature film debut

Sophia Maxim, Staff Photographer


The New Orleans Film Society, film industry professionals, and key local figures gathered at Second Line Stages, a pioneering film studio complex, this month to celebrate opening night of the 33rd annual New Orleans Film Festival.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell recognized Second Line Stages as instrumental to the recent and continual economic growth in the New Orleans film industry. She cited that film and television productions spent over $1 billion in the region in 2021 and will likely top that amount by the end of this year.

Cantrell and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser joined Second Line Stages co-founders Trey Burvant and Susan Brennan and other local leaders to celebrate the expansion of Second Line Stages’ five new studio locations with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

In his opening speech, Burvant praised Brennan for her vision in developing Second Line Stages by building the first “state-of-the-art purpose-built sound stage” in the state of Louisiana.

“She had the guts when nobody else did to step up and see what the film industry could be,” Burvant said.

The festival opened with its feature film debut The Inspection, directed by Elegance Bratton. The film is based on his real life story battling acceptance as a gay Marine.

“When I was 16 years old, I was kicked out of my house for being gay, and I spent the next ten years homeless,” Bratton said in his speech. “I really, really, really thought I was worthless, that my life had no meaning, that I could never be enough, and then I joined the Marine Corps.”

“This is a story about a young man willing to do anything to win back his mother’s love… and ultimately learn how to respect himself,” Bratton said.

The New Orleans Film Festival features a variety of feature-length and short films in-person from Nov. 3 – Nov. 8 and online until Sunday, Nov. 13.

Student passes are available for $60 for admission to all in-person and online screenings. Ticketing options and film guides can be found at