We are a festival with a mission.

Founded in 2004 by New Orleans artists and activists, PATOIS has premiered hundreds of powerful social justice-oriented films from around the world while highlighting brilliant local filmmakers and vital local grassroots organizations. PATOIS is dedicated to nurturing the New Orleans' human rights community, supporting the work of local organizers and organizations involved in these struggles, and providing a forum for artistic expression of local and international issues.

In addition to the film festival every spring, PATOIS hosts a variety of community screenings, workshops and organizing events all year. Because Patois has always prioritized community accountability, we curate our programming in consultation with a range of New Orleans’ grassroots organizations and community members.



Jordan Flaherty is an award-winning journalist, producer, and author. He has produced television documentaries and news reports for Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera English, Democracy Now and The Laura Flanders Show, and has also worked in fiction, producing the award-winning feature film Chocolate Babies and worked on several other independent features. He was the first journalist to bring the case of the Jena Six to a national audience, he played himself on HBO’s television series Treme, and he was a target of the New York City Police Department’s spying programs. He is the author of the books Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six and No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality. You can see more about his work at jordanflaherty.org.


Jazz Franklin is a videographer and documentary producer from the u.s. south. she produces work that relies on black feminist praxis and critique of the classic narrative structure. jazz currently lives in New Orleans and is working as a projection artist and filmmaker with the Gallery of the Streets Network


Shana M. griffin is a feminist activist, independent researcher, applied sociologist, artist, and mother. Her work is interdisciplinary and undisciplinary, and engages research and organizing projects that attend to the lived experiences of the black Diaspora—centering the particular experiences of black women most vulnerable to the violence of poverty, carcerality, polluted environments, reproductive legislation, economic exploitation, and housing discrimination. Rooted in black feminist theories, praxes, and methodologies, Shana’s activism and research explore critical questions concerning the political economy of reproductive violence and policies of population control, surveillance, and policing; discriminatory housing practices and the racial-sexual politics of urban development; black geographies and insurgent realities; and histories of racial slavery and everyday violence in contemporary life. Whether serving on a board, a member of a collective, conducting research, collaborating on an art project, documenting social movements, organizing a conference, coordinating an action, leading a campaign or establishing a new initiative, her work is expansive and exists in multiple social justice formations, contexts, and capacities.

Shana’s current project, PUNCTUATE, supported in part through her Weavers Fellowship, seeks to provoke the creative uses of black feminist discourses and geographic space to address the intersecting forms violence and subjectivity experienced by black women and their communities; and encourage new spatial relationships and strategies of engagement. Put differently, PUNCTUATE is an insurgent intervention, spatializing black feminist practices through the cultural production of engaged inquiry, art, activism, and public programming. To learn more about Shana’s work, projects, and upcoming events, visit her at www.shanamgriffin.com.


Danielle Miles aspires to create works that leave a lucid legacy of interpretation that obligates the observer to remember that art is a freedom and depth of life that manifests when truth is fearlessly embraced.



Emily Ratner is a lawyer whose practice focuses on civil rights and indigent criminal defense. She has studied film production with the New York Film Academy and the Cleveland Film Society. She has trained in social justice organizing and conflict resolution with a number of organizations, including Witness for Peace and the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond.


Zac Manuel is a New Orleans bred-and-based filmmaker whose work in film and music video has been exhibited at festivals and on platforms around the world. His work focuses on the intersections of politics and social psychologies, mostly in communities of color. As cinematographer, his credits include Cover Me (Rotterdam International Film Festival; Prospect 3, New Orleans), Like (Field of Vision, SXSW) and Aloné (New York Times OpDocs, Sundance 2017 Jury Award Winner, Best Non-Fiction Short). As director, his films In The Garden, The Clock, Thelema, and Painted Lady have played in competition in festivals nationally and internationally, and as well, he has premiered content on various agencies including The Washington Post, MTV, Billboard, Stereogum, and Pitchfork. His current work is a documentary feature entitled Bloodthicker which follows three young rappers as they fight to build upon their father's legacies while navigating the pitfalls of rap culture (www.bloodthickerfilm.com).



Get your tickets to the 2017 Patois Film Festival