POSTED: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 7:45pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:20pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — The weekend was a busy time in downtown Baton Rouge with celebrations for the New Year happening on every inch of Third Street. However, the night before the big event, Friday, Dec. 31, was just as exciting. That’s because a new film festival attracted more attention than its organizers ever could have imagined.
“I was very surprised to be honest,” James Hebert, Director of the Third Street Film Festival, admitted. “I think everything went off without a hitch. All the films played perfectly. The food was great and music was good. And the overall reaction from the crowd was positive.”
The goal of the Third Street Film Festival  is to spotlight all of the local talent that’s been thriving in recent years due to the increase in industry interest thanks to an aggressive tax incentive program. The concept seemed to attract more than a fare share of interest.
“By 6:20, we were completely sold out of tickets,” Hebert recapped. “At 7:00, people were still trying to buy tickets. We were told they had to turn away almost a hundred people.”
The overwhelming positive reaction has Hebert not only excited to continue the event next year, but now he has his eye on establishing even more projects throughout the year.
“I’d like to get something going for a summer film festival,” Hebert explained. “I’ve started talking with organizers of the Art Melt, and they seem interested in doing some sort of collaboration.”
For now, Hebert is riding high on a big success.
“Everyone stayed around after talking about the films, so it ended up going on until around 11 that night,” Hebert said. “Then, everyone came back, including a ton more people, for the New Year’s Eve party.”
That party was hosted by Scene Magazine . All those who attended the film festival were given a pass to the exclusive party. Some very notable figures in the film industry were in attendance and even Mayor Holden made a guest appearance. Anthony Ryan Auld of Project Runway fame was also at the party, along with NBC33 News anchor Tammi Arender!