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Locally shot films lIght up Cannes

The quality of locally produced films is starting to catch up with the quantity, as evidenced by the top films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Of the 22 films from across the world selected for competition, five are American. Of those five, two were shot entirely in New Orleans.

Brad Pitt in the locally filmed 'Killing them Softly' (Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon)

Killing Them Softly, directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) stars Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, an enforcer called in to track down and exact vengeance on the petty thieves who hijacked a Mob poker game. The film also features James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta.

'The Paperboy,' with Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron, also was shot in New Orleans.

The Paperboy, directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), is the story of a young man who returns to his small Florida town to help his reporter brother uncover the truth about a potentially wrongly convicted man on death row. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman.

Another film, On The Road, an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel and produced by an international crew, was partially shot in the Crescent City. That film was directed by Brazilian Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) and stars Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart and features Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen.

The 65th Cannes Film Festival began May 16 and runs through May 27.

Writer and filmmaker Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.