All On A Mardi Gras Day


All On A Mardi Gras Day is being honored with the Louisiana Filmmaker Award by the 2003 New Orleans Film and Video Festival.

The one hour program, which aired nationally on PBS stations, will be screened at the Prytania Theatre on October 12 at 5 p.m. Producer Royce Osborn and consultants Charles Siler and Mardi Gras Indian Chief Tootie Montana will take part in a discussion following the screening.

Mardi Gras — “the greatest free show on earth” — has been part of New Orleans culture for more than 200 years, and has attracted millions of visitors from around the world. But few tourists – and even natives have witnessed the culmination of the Carnival celebration that is part of the city’s black culture.

All On A Mardi Gras Day, a one-hour documentary, celebrates black Carnival in New Orleans in all its riotous, colorful and spiritual glory. Incorporating classic New Orleans music, previously-unseen photographs and film footage, and interviews with major Carnival players, the program will explore African-Creole Carnival traditions. These celebrations date from colonial times, through Reconstruction and Jim Crow – and into the 21st century.

The men and women who make Mardi Gras happen in the black community include: the Indians and the Skeletons, the Baby Dolls and the Second Liners, the marching bands and flambeaux carriers, and the Kings and Queens of Zulu. Songs, stories, costumes and dance reveal a living, unique folk art culture.

Historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall refers to New Orleans as the “most African of cities in the United States.” These Carnival traditions clearly are rooted in an African-Caribbean-Creole culture that is unique to the Crescent City, and have had an enormous impact on the music and culture of New Orleans – and beyond.

All On A Mardi Gras Day is produced by Royce Osborn and Jerry Brock. The program is made possible by grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts Council of New Orleans.

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