An Interview with Emerging Voices Alum, Kenna J. Moore

NOFS: Tell us about yourself and why you were in attendance at the Cannes Film Festival?

KM: My name is Kenna and I’m an independent filmmaker from New Orleans via Plaquemines Parish. I own and operate a NOLA independent film company, Ghost of Elysian Films. Founded in 2012, our mission is to tell stories through the exploration of uncommon perspectives.

NOFS: Why did you decide on Cannes to be a valuable platform for your organization?

KM: Let me start by saying that I’ve never been to the Cannes Film Festival and had NO idea what to expect other than the horror stories so elaborately described by online bloggers. But! The value that I have gained from the experience is tremendous. It is THE market and everyone there is serious about their careers in this industry. The network that I’ve gained including personal emails, numbers, etc. of almost everyone from sales, agents, buyers, distribution, investors on an INTERNATIONAL level has been the prime value for me. Furthermore, I believe having this experience has provided a little more legitimacy to my company. I am bringing ‘Cannes’ back to our city. Secondly, I went to Cannes with a film, She Was Famous, to sell. I got an offer! That was kool, lol.

NOFS: Did you get to see any films? What stood out?

KM: Yes! I got to see so many wonderful foreign films. ‘Spoor’ is the film I keep finding myself telling everyone about. I’ve listed the official program description below because it’s perfect as is.

Spoor (Pokot)
Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden – Drama – 128 min – Polish 2017 – Director: Agnieszka HOLLAND – Cast: Agnieszka MANDAT, Wiktor ZBOROWSKI, Miroslav KROBOT, Jakub GIERSZAL, Patricia VOLNY

When a number of murdered hunters are found, eccentric animal activist Janina has her own explanation: the murders were committed by the animals themselves – finally taking their revenge…

NOFS: What did you find most exciting in the conversations happening around Cannes and on the state of the industry?

KM: I was invited to go on this trip by our local chapter of Women in Film & Television – Louisiana where I am an active member. We went to London first for about 4 days for our annual WIFT International Conference. Afterward, we all traveled to France for the festival. So, there were many suggested events and curated happenings for me to get involved. One, in particular, was the 50/50 By 2020 – Global Reach conference hosted by the Swedish Film Institute and Women in Film & Television – Sweden. Simply, this initiative is by [the year] 2020 film productions should have a goal to hire at least 50% women for their behind the camera crew. This includes writers, directors, producers, etc. Our industry is finally acknowledging the problem that women have little to no voice as a whole due to not being hired by major backers/productions. This conversation was everywhere.

NOFS: Anything else you want to highlight about your recent trip?

KM: Yes. I couldn’t afford this trip. Not on my own, at least. So, I must acknowledge how very blessed I am to have been able to piece together this trip and still make it back home. I only had a one way out there with nowhere to stay once I got to France. Somehow, the Gods (&, my FRIENDS/FAMILY) were with us and created a way. But, I must mention my local sponsors, as well. Personally, I knew that no matter what… I needed to LOOK GOOD while I was there. So, I reached out to a few companies for help. I’m always for the home team so I really wanted to present an opportunity for local NOLA shops to be promoted and exposed, as well.

Kay, the owner of Kay’s on Magazine Street, was a lifesaver. She supplied an entire wardrobe for my trip. She gave so many lovely pieces and I can’t thank her enough. She definitely turned on my sexy. Unfortunately, I could not show everything on social media due to strict media/camera rules during the festival and in Cannes… But, nonetheless… I posted what I could and I’ve never imagined my looks equated to anything greater than 43 likes. I owe it all to Kay and I hope that this has given her great promotion. Also, Leah Messer of the Potence Collective located on Magazine Street was so super. She is the designer of the majority of the jewelry I’m wearing in those posts. She is amazing and there is so much love in every piece that she makes. I literally asked her 3 days before I needed to leave and she gave me the green light immediately. I love her. Lastly… Dawn, the owner of The Red Carpet located on Magazine Street, was an angel. I needed 2 gowns and she made it happen. My fittings with her were interesting. I’ve never had my clothes stripped off so quickly on the first date… But, Dawn did it. Anyway, these women got me together in so many ways :)

Check out Kenna’s instagram page to see Cannes and her great pieces of fashion @kennajmoore