With millions of dollars in annual economic impact, Hollywood South is alive and thriving in Louisiana. A study commissioned by Louisiana Entertainment, a division of Louisiana Economic Development, indicates the state’s motion picture industry generated annual economic activity of more than $800 million in 2020 alone, despite pandemic shutdowns. Multiple facets of the industry, including widespread opportunities for individuals and businesses to benefit, will be presented when the Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition and the City of Slidell present “The Art of the Film: Louisiana Film Industry Expo” on Saturday, January 8, 10 am to 6 pm at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium. Admission is free.

The stellar lineup of presenters includes Ed and Sue Poole, Hollywood on the Bayou internationally renowned movie experts; Linda Thurman, executive director and author; Greg Barnhill, composer, songwriter and master vocalist; Reid Wick, Membership and Industry Relations, Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, Jay Weigel, music composer, producer and conductor; Christopher Stelly, LEDA Executive Group Director, Entertainment & Digital Media; Trey Burvant, Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association Executive Committee President; Katherine Brooks, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, writer and director; Carroll Morton, Director of Film New Orleans, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy; Jason Waggenspack, The Ranch Film Studios Head of Possibilities (CEO); Bill Rainey, The Holding Tent casting liaison Bill Rainey, actor/stuntman Austin Naulty and actress Nicole Ferrier.

Presentations will include a focus on how to break into the business, creative and unexpected career options, music songwriting, production and placement, behind-the-scenes glimpses, industry incentives, business opportunities, and a focus on women in the film industry.

A panel presentation on casting and actors’ experiences will be presented at 11 am, followed by an opportunity for individuals and businesses to register for film resource directories if interested in serving as move extras and principals, provider of goods and/or services and to list properties for consideration as film locations.

The event also will feature winners of the “Create Your Own Movie” high school student poster competition. Popular Hollywood South food truck, Old School Eats, will be on site from noon until 4 pm.

The Louisiana Film Industry Expo will be complemented by “Fifty Shades of Louisiana: A Filmmaker’s Paradise” movie poster exhibition, presented by Hollywood on the Bayou, Movie Poster Archives and The City of Slidell, in the Slidell Cultural Center, which will be open from noon to 8 pm the day of the Expo, including the opening reception from 6 to 8 pm. Admission is free.

On Jan. 7, The Northshore Collaborative will present “The Business of Film” luncheon featuring Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. Reservations are available through Dec. 30 at NSCollaborative.com. Reservations are available at NSCollaborative.com.

Additional information about the expo is available via the Art of the Film Expo tab at northshorecec.org. The 2021 economic impact study, conducted by Camoin 310, is available at LouisianaEntertainment.gov.

The Art of the Film Expo is made possible by sponsors Louisiana Northshore/St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, Movie Poster Archives, The Northshore Collaborative, St. Tammany Corporation, Slidell Magazine and Northshore Media Group/The Lake WYLK 94.7 FM. The event is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as administered by the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The mission of the Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition, founded in 2009, is to facilitate growth, development and increased awareness of the cultural economy and its impact by focusing on coalition building, public policy, business support, outreach, advocacy and arts education. Membership is free and open to all cultural economy workers, organizations and businesses.