"Louisiana Crossroads," a program of the Acadiana Center for the Arts, premiered "Songs from the Coast" on Friday at the James Devin Moncus Theater. It will run again Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
The hour-long film features segments on D.L. Menard, filmed on location at his home in Erath; Irma Thomas, filmed during a June performance at the Acadiana Center; Sonny Landreth, filmed both at the Acadiana Center and the Festival International de Louisiane; and Allen Toussaint, filmed at Preservation Hall in New Orleans.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/tZXBmg) filmmaker Allison Bohl worked with "Louisiana Crossroads" director Dirk Powell to create the pilot, which was funded by the state‘s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.
Gerd Wuestemann, executive director of the Acadiana Center, said the film crew used multiple high-definition cameras to create an "extremely polished piece" that "can hold its own against anybody" despite its limited budget.
Wuestemann highlighted the segment on Landreth, which features, in part, close-up shots of Landreth‘s technical prowess on the guitar through the use of multiple cameras set up within the theater.
"We want to show the expected Louisiana but we also want to showcase, perhaps more importantly, the unexpected, the part of Louisiana and the story that we all know is here but that I think the national audience hasn‘t seen yet," Wuestemann said.
When the idea for a TV component first arose more than a decade ago, Wuestemann said it initially aimed to be Lafayette‘s own "Austin City Limits," the popular concert series that airs on public television.
Wuestemann said that concept was expanded to include stories behind the music through interviews with the artists and a further exploration of how Louisiana music connects to other music cultures.
"We felt there was a big opportunity and also a big need here to take this extraordinary treasure trove of Louisiana music, which really is almost unmatched in the country, and create a series that brings that extraordinary gift to the rest of the country," Wuestemann said.
Powell said the state has much to celebrate. "And I know that, in true Louisiana style, the celebration will not only honor what is past but strengthen immeasurably what is to come."
To view the trailer, http://www.acadianacenterforthearts.org/Louisiana-Crossroads