Film Prize 2018 opens with a kick off party Thursday at Artstation.

Prize Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind Louisiana Film Prize, Startup Prize, Food Prize, Music Prize, and Film Prize Jr., is celebrating the launch of year seven for the Louisiana Film Prize. The kickoff event is a free event and will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Artstation, 801 Crockett St. in downtown Shreveport. Filmmakers who register before the announcement will be entered into a drawing for a $1000 filmmaking grant – participants must be present to win.

“We are over the moon about starting our seventh year,” said Associate Director Chris Lyon. “We invite all filmmakers, cast, crew, film enthusiasts, and whole northwest Louisiana community to celebrate this new year of Film Prize with us.”

Since its inception in 2012, the award-winning Film Prize has helped filmmakers choose Shreveport and northwest Louisiana as a place to make movies and try out new ideas, leading to the creation of over 600 short films along with feature films currently in development. In 2016, Film Prize created a high school version of the competition, Film Prize Junior, which teaches creative entrepreneurism, problem solving, planning and teamwork to students in the region.

“The Film Prize has become a proving ground for indie filmmakers from all over the country,” said Gregory Kallenberg, executive director of the Prize Foundation. “We are proud to be such an important part of the indie film scene and even prouder that it happens here in Shreveport/Bossier.”

Last year, 127 film crews registered projects, entering into the short film competition which boasts the world’s largest cash prize of $50,000. The 2017 grand prize winner, Travis Bible’s “Exit Strategy,” was selected by voting audiences and judges at Prize Fest last October. Teams entering the competition also vied for filmmaking grants, distribution deals, and festival appearances as well as acting and other awards.