Nov 2, 2023 - Things to Do

With New Orleans Film Festival's return, meet Zuri Obi

Zuri Obi poses for a photo while sitting in a chair against a yellow background.

Zuri Obi is the New Orleans Film Festival's film and conference programmer. Photo: Ken McFarlane

The New Orleans Film Festival returns this week, opening Uptown at the Prytania Theatre tonight and continuing through Tuesday.

What's happening: The film festival offers a collection of screenings, parties, artist talks and educational programming for filmmakers and fans.

Driving the news: We checked in with Zuri Obi, NOFF's film and conference programmer, ahead of the event.

  • We're sharing the Q&A, which has been lightly edited for clarity.

Who dat? Obi is a Haitian-American artist who has collaborated with Lizzo and Solange.

  • Her work has screened at Sundance and won awards at the New Orleans Film Festival, AFI and BlackStar.

Where she went to school: The University of Florida

How she got involved with NOFF: "After screening my first film in 2018, I started volunteering as a screener."

The film no one should miss in this year's schedule: "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt," directed by Raven Jackson.

  • The film screens Monday at 7:30pm at the Prytania Uptown.
  • It's Jackson's feature debut and it explores the life of a Mississippi woman.

Her favorite NOFF memory: "All of the parties! NOFF really knows how to celebrate New Orleans style!"

The part of NOFF that deserves more attention: "The panels and workshops that are free and open to the public."

  • You can explore the free panels, workshops and artist talks on the schedule. They begin Friday and run through Monday.

Her favorite Mardi Gras tradition: "Catching the Skull and Bone Gang at sunrise on Mardi Gras Day!"

If she could wave a magic wand for New Orleans, she would … "raise the city above sea level."

New Orleans is missing … "a saltwater beach!"

Her poboy order: "Shrimp poboy, extra hot sauce, hold the mayo."


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