Glen Pitre is best known as the writer/director of acclaimed Louisiana-set movies such as The Man Who Came Back, Home Front, Belizaire the Cajun, Huit Piastres et Demie!, and La Fièvre Jaune, several of which featured Oscar-winning actors in their casts.
Born at Cut Off, Louisiana, Pitre worked his way through Harvard by fishing shrimp each summer. After graduating cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies, he returned to the bayou where he supported his filmmaking by working in the offshore oil fields. By age 25, American Film magazine dubbed him “father of the Cajun cinema” as his low-budget, French dialect “gumbo westerns” broke house records in bayou country theaters. With the help of the Sundance Institute Director’s Lab, his internationally-lauded Belizaire the Cajun became his first English-language production.
Since then Pitre’s work, frequently in collaboration with wife Michelle Benoit, most often about life in his native Louisiana, has encompassed a variety of media. Determined to master every item in the storyteller’s toolbox, his credits jump from internationally released feature film, to designing the exhibits for a natural history museum, to an IMAX movie, to a book project, to a 14 screen video wall, to a PBS/CPB commissioned documentary, then to on-stage storytelling at a folk festival in Martinique or Montreal.
Beyond Louisiana, Pitre has gigged as director in Chicago, producer in Hollywood, documentarian in New York, and screenwriter in Mumbai. His for-hire scriptwriting spans almost every genre, sit-com to horror to musical to sports to drama. He often works solo, but has employed at times over 300 people.
Pitre’s body of work as a movie director, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, documentary filmmaker, museum designer, TV and radio producer, songwriter, and non-fiction author has earned him numerous awards including an honorary doctorate and a knighthood from France. He’s been interviewed on CNN and MSNBC, and featured in the New York Times and USA Today. His work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. In a 2006 book, America’s most famous film critic, Roger Ebert, acclaimed Pitre “a legendary American regional director.”
How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
According to the 2018 Louisiana Survey, when it comes to trusting news organizations, more Louisiana residents put their faith in local media than national media outlets. Despite that trust, only 36 percent of the state’s news consumers say local news deals fairly with both sides.
So, why is there so much mistrust of the news media? Where are consumers primarily getting their news? How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on a special encore presentation of “News about the News” airing Wednesday, December 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.