#CreateLouisiana Announces Recipient of the 2023 French Culture Film Grant

Screen Shot 2023 08 03 At 110005 Pm

BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – #CreateLouisiana announced the recipient of the 2023 French Culture Film Grant, the documentary short film, Footwork.  Now in its seventh year, the French Culture Film Grant is a unique opportunity for Louisiana filmmakers designed in partnership with lead sponsor TV5MONDE USA, America’s only 24/7 French language entertainment channel.  The 2023 grant is also supported by Louisiana Economic Development’s Entertainment Development Fund, with this additional funding the grant is now able to provide further assistance to filmmakers, empowering them to perfect their craft.

“TV5MONDE USA has an unshakable commitment to both the community of Louisiana and to showcasing unique stories about the local francophone culture. We are thrilled to celebrate the newest #CreateLouisiana French Culture Film Grant winner, Footwork, as they join an illustrious group of filmmakers who have made an impact on not only their community but the greater North American French speaking community.” said TV5MONDE USA CEO Patrice Courtaban. 

The grant is designed to support a thoughtful new film that showcases francophone culture and talent.  From four finalists, the French Culture Film Grant Committee selected a documentary short film that will explore Creole trail riding culture to receive the $25,000 grant.  The film gives an abstract portrait of Creole people in Louisiana and their connection to horses. Both horse and rider dancing their way to cultural preservation. Footwork is directed by Drake LeBlanc and produced by Rachel Nederveld.

“I cannot imagine a more deserving filmmaker to receive support from #CreateLouisiana and its partners. We’re so grateful for their partnership in making this intimate portrait of Drake’s Creole roots and trail riding.” – Rachel Nederveld

“I’m excited to have support in making this documentary that will bring Louisiana’s culture to the rest of the world.” – Drake LeBlanc

The #CreateLouisiana 2023 French Culture Film Grant is supported by TV5MONDE USA, Cox Communications, Deep South Studios, Louisiana Economic Development’s Entertainment Development Fund, and the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL). The funding opportunity aims to champion indigenous filmmaking talent and celebrate the diverse culture of Louisiana.

“#CreateLouisiana is thrilled to offer this unique grant opportunity again this year. Each year, applicants statewide show us a diverse array of stories depicting Louisiana’s past and present ties to the French language and francophone cultures. We are committed in our efforts to support Louisiana creatives, and the successful continuation of the French Culture Film Grant is a great example of that commitment,” said #CreateLouisiana founder, Scott Niemeyer.

On June 26th, four finalists pitched their projects and fielded questions from the full grant review committee, comprised of representatives from the partnering organizations. The selected film will receive a $25,000 cash award, a premiere at the 2024 French Film Festival in partnership with the New Orleans Film Society (scheduled for March 2024) in New Orleans, and a chance to be broadcast on TV5MONDE USA.  The film will also take part in Enseigner Le Français lesson plan available on TV5MONDE’s website and designed for French teachers world-wide to educate their students using films that were created with the #CreateLouisiana French Culture Film Grant.

This year’s recipient and 3 finalists are:


Documentary Short Film

Director, Drake LeBlanc + Producer, Rachel Nederveld

An abstract portrait of Creole people in Louisiana and their connection to horses. Both horse and rider dancing their way to cultural preservation.


Narrative Short Film

Writer/Director, Kelsey Scult + Producer, Fabiola Andrade

A series of surreal dream-like vignettes follows the intergenerational ramifications of one mother’s resentment for her son.


Narrative Short Film

Writer, Charliese West + Director, Chasah West + Producer, Scott Tilton

A wealthy Creole woman invites five guests to a dinner at her French Quarter mansion. As the night unfolds, what truly happened on the fateful night the French Opera House burned down comes to light.


Narrative Short Film

Writer/Director, Miles Labat + Producer, Tracy Keller

Louisiana. 1958. A black Creole commits a home robbery of a wealthy white Cajun to attain money for his mother’s funeral, but his communications in French reveal the Cajun homeowner’s repressed past.


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