Filmmaker presents 'Legends of Louisiana'

February 21, 2005|by Cheryl M. Keyser

Louisiana is more than Mardi Gras, jazz and Cajun food. It encompasses a wealth of ethnic and racial diversity - American Indian, French, Spanish and black - and harbors an assortment of cultural contrasts.

Prehistoric ruins dating back to the days of Moses, a voodoo drugstore and blues bar, the American Indian Blue Corn Festival, a haunted antebellum plantation, faith healers, alligator olympics, and hand-fishing for catfish are all part of the world that cinematographer Sandy Mortimer will present in her film "Legends of Louisiana" on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at South Hagerstown High School. The presentation is part of the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown's Travelogue Series

A filmmaker with more than 20 years of experience, Mortimer visited Louisiana six times to get deep into the culture and traditions of the Pelican State.

"I went to local communities and just started talking to people," she said.

She will tell the tales of her explorations into Louisiana life as she narrates the film.


This is a land where the sublime and the strange coexist. The Louisiana Passion Play, in the northern part of the state, evokes the essential drama of Christianity. A stop at the state capital, Baton Rouge, provides an opportunity to relive the flamboyant life and death of Gov. Huey P. Long. And the Rayne Frog Festival showcases beauty queen contestants who outfit themselves as jockeys and dress up their frogs for the jumping contest.

Of course, the highlight of any Louisiana trip is the New Orleans Mardi Gras. But Mortimer also visits the more traditional Cajun Mardi Gras held throughout the southern part of the state. Along the way, the cuisine and musical culture of the state weave a constant theme, celebrating the variety of life.

"This is great family entertainment," said Steve Geiman, chairman of the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown's Travelogue Series, now in its 30th year. "What makes it even better is that during intermission people can talk to the filmmaker, who is not only the producer, director and cameraman, but, most importantly, the traveler who shows the world to us from the perspective of someone who has been there."

Proceeds from the film series benefit the community projects of Kiwanis.

"Legends of Louisiana" by Sandy Mortimer

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23

South Hagerstown High School

1001 S. Potomac St.


At the door, single tickets cost $8 for adults and $3 for students. Season tickets for six shows cost $25 for adults and $10 for students.

For more information, call 301-739-1981.

Other travelogue shows are on Wednesdays and include:

- "Casablanca: Travels in Morocco" by Hal McClure on March 16

- "Bali and the Spice Islands" by Buddy Hatton on April 6

All presentations are about 80 minutes long.

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