Piers Kids, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, Always in Season and Mossville: When Great Trees Fall among docs playing this weekend
The 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival enters its opening weekend with dozens of fiction and nonfiction films on tap.
Friday night will see the festival debut of Pier Kids, the documentary by Elegance Bratton about homeless LGBTQ youth in New York who build community in an area along the Hudson River. Friday's schedule also features a screening of Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen.
Scream, Queen! focuses on actor Mark Patton, "the first male scream queen," who starred in the 1985 sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. The horror flick appeared poised to make a star of Patton, but the documentary argues homophobia preempted that. In recent years Patton has overcome that earlier disappointment to become a "gay horror icon," according to the festival program guide.
Among fictional fare, the acclaimed historical drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire, directed by Céline Sciamma, screens Friday evening.
Returning to documentary programming, Saturday's schedule includes the screening of Mossville: When Great Trees Fall, directed by Alexander Glustrom. It's a disturbing story of environmental racism set in a historic Louisiana town that witnessed black residents involuntarily displaced when petrochemical companies wanted their land to build giant refineries. All of this happened with the blessing of then Governor Bobby Jindal.
In my opinion it's one of the best documentaries of the year. The tragic hero of the film, Stacey Ryan, defied the petrochemical invaders to remain the last resident of Mossville.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.