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Tootie's Last Suit

New York Premiere

USA | 92 MINUTES | English |


Female Director(s), Documentary
Eighty-one-year-old Allison "Tootie" Montana is a New Orleans icon, famed for his brilliant handmade Mardi Gras costumes and renowned as a community leader for his onetime role as Big Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas Indian tribe. His family life, however, is undoubtedly more complicated. When he decides to come out of retirement to participate in one last carnival, a long-simmering conflict with his son (and heir apparent) Darryl erupts. As both vie for the spotlight, it becomes evident that they are fueled less by animosity than by a deep passion for their craft. For Tootie, the costumes are artistic creations as well as emblems of a long-standing family history; for Darryl, they are a means of self-expression but also a way of distinguishing his own carefully honed suit-making skills from those of his father. At once a riveting family drama and an insightful exploration of the history of Mardi Gras within the city's vibrant African American community, Tootie's Last Suit is above all a celebration of the resilient spirit of a man determined at all costs to preserve a vital tradition. Directed by Lisa Katzman, the movie includes footage of New Orleans filmed both before and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Copresented with Margaret Mead Film Festival.


Directed by Lisa Katzman

LISA KATZMAN is primarily a writer; Tootie's Last Suit is her first documentary. Ms. Katzman has written for numerous publications including: The New York Times, Village Voice, Film Comment, Interview, Los Angles Times, and Chicago Reader. Ms. Katzman has taught screenwriting and film courses at Bard College, and the Graduate Program of New York University. Her screenplay Rachel and Gerard is slated to be directed by Charles Burnett; she is currently developing two other feature projects and a documentary, while continuing to work as a journalist.