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Film crews descend on Shreveport preparing Louisiana Film Prize entries

Kate Archer Kent

Over the past few weeks, a number of small film crews have taken to the streets of Shreveport. They’ve been shooting all around northwest Louisiana, like in a vacant former restaurant in the Highland neighborhood. They’re making short films – that must be shot locally – to enter into this year’s Louisiana Film Prize contest.

Candace McGowen is a nurse practitioner in Memphis. She and seven crew members loaded their gear into two vehicles and caravanned to Shreveport recently for a long weekend shoot. Their effort will serve as a portfolio piece for their budding production company, Raines Down Productions.

“We’re trying to develop a few shorts this summer, and hopefully by the fall have something to show investors and looking forward to shooting our first feature next year with a good budget," McGowen said while sitting on their set.

Director and producer Christopher Raines works for FedEx back in Memphis. He partnered with McGowen less than a year ago, and they’re trying to grow their production company on the side. When they learned of the Louisiana Film Prize, Raines said, they were in.

“We thought the concept was really cool because we like things that are original and we’re able to kick up the creativity from that perceptive," Raines said. "We were impressed with the fact that the winner gets $50,000."

Raines wrote the script and the whole production was assembled in less than a month. Their entry titled “Five Courses” is about a dating couple who breaks up before a five-course meal, and the guy goes through the five stages of grief at each course.

The entry deadline for films is July 9. Tomorrow, a look at the creation of the Louisiana Film Prize and its impact on northwest Louisiana.

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