BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An LSU alumna has been selected to participate in a filmmaking grant celebrating the 300-year history of New Orleans. Although selected, her journey isn't quite done yet.
As the Crescent City celebrates its 300th anniversary, four Louisiana film and artist support organizations join forces to celebrate and share the rich history and culture of the city by cultivating and funding five short films focusing on New Orleans. Kickstarter, along with NOVAC, The New Orleans Film Society, #CreateLouisiana, and Film New Orleans have come together to form The New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator.
Each filmmaker selected in the incubator will each receive a $5,000 grant, after first raising an initial $5,000 on their own. It is an 'all or nothing' project, Kickstart says, meaning the filmmakers must raise the initial $5,000 or their film will not receive any funding.
Zandashé Brown, along with four other filmmakers, have been selected as participates in the film project. Brown, who is also the Communications Coordinator for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, will be bringing to life her southern mysterious horror film "Blood Runs Down" for the project.
Brown describes Blood Runs Down as an Afrofuturist Southern Gothic horror film focused on a toxic mother-daughter relationship. Filmed in one shotgun house with rich art direction, the film ratchets up the tension between the two women as they face down family dynamics, intergenerational trauma, and religious fervor.
"New Orleans sets the scene for this story in a way no other place can," Brown says. "Its interwoven relationship with Catholicism and Afro-diasporic religions such as Vodou make it a breeding ground for mysticism and magic in a very beautiful way."
In a matter of 20 days, Brown has raised more than 50% of the $5,000 needed for her film, but she isn't done just yet. The filmmakers have until Nov. 29 to raise the necessary funds.
A part of the mission of the Blood Runs Down team is to employ young, emerging filmmakers of color in New Orleans and provide them with the necessary tools to tell their own stories, Brown says.
"My work aims to speak first to people of my own diaspora, but I believe its existence will also promote sympathy for black bodies and minds to larger audiences by showcasing our vulnerability," says Brown.