Luc Annest is a French-born filmmaker who got his start making short films. He makes his feature film directorial debut with the barbershop comedy NOLA Circus, featuring an ensemble cast. The film is getting released in select theaters on April 21 from XLrator Media then on iTunes and VOD on April 25.
World Film Geek had the opportunity to talk with Annest about the film.
First of all Luc, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to talk about NOLA Circus. I saw the film and found it to be really funny. I was laughing throughout the entire film.
Thank you so much.
How did you get involved in filmmaking?
I always wanted to get into films for a long time. I always loved comedies with my favorite being the Italian comedies. I’ve always wanted to do comedies. I see it as an art, it can be somewhat complicated, but it can also be very graceful. So that’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
What inspired you to do a barbershop comedy set in New Orleans?
I wanted to do an American movie but in the style of an Italian comedy. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, in fact, it was going to be a little complicated. When I went to New Orleans, I really wanted to work with the community on a film, so I had to think of an idea of what would work with the community. And what would appeal to Americans. So I thought a lot of the communities have barbershops so I thought it was a good fit and I made it a barbershop film.
When I saw the film, I noticed that there may have been influences from perhaps films like Barbershop or even Do the Right Thing? Was there an influence behind the tone of the film?
That’s funny because I’ve had a lot of African-Americans tell me about that. There are a lot of barbershops and Afro hairstyles and they were very important in the community. When you think about the community and the barbershops, yes, there are the barbers and the patrons. But yes, you have all of these various influences and I wanted to combine them yet bring something fresh to the African-American community. We have the KKK, the use of drugs, and even sexual issues, but perceive them in a comedic manner. I can actually say that I am happy because I would get such a great response from the community because they would see that it’s not to be taken seriously yet it does bring those issues to light in a way at the same time.
What was it like working with the cast and out of the characters you created, do you have a favorite?
I have to say I don’t have a favorite character because I worked with such a great ensemble cast. The cast was mainly comprised of local actors with a few exceptions and they all fit their roles quite well. It was so great to see how well they brought these characters to life and I didn’t primarily focus on one character but rather do my best to give all of these characters as much screen time because the film is all about not just the barbershops, but their lives outside the shops.
I would have to agree on that because this formula definitely worked. I felt their personalities fit the structure of the film.
I really appreciate hearing that because that can always be a challenge. It’s when the cast can actually work together and I felt very lucky because these guys really did a great job. It wasn’t a solo effort but a collaborative effort on all the actors’ parts and they did a tremendous job.
Finally, are there any new projects in the works?
Yes I am actually writing and developing another film that I’m hoping to get off the group and I’ve been talking to a few actors about making the film, but I am still working on other projects as well.
NOLA Circus comes to theaters on April 21 followed by an iTunes and VOD release on April 25. Thank you once again Luc for taking the time to talk about the film. I hope everyone gets to see it and enjoy it as I did.
Thank you so much and I’m glad you liked the film.
A special Thank You goes out to Katrina Wan PR and Luc Annest for making this interview possible. You can follow Luc on Twitter.