Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit, the husband-and-wife filmmaking duo behind many influential documentaries and films, visited Missouri State University as part of the Public Affairs Conference and also held two workshops for students. Pitre and Benoit participated in the panels “Communicating Sustainability Through Media and the Arts,” “Social Networking and Sustainability Issues,” and “Common sense vs. Common Sense: The Design of Communities.” In addition to their participation in these panels, Pitre and Benoit held two workshops on April 22.
In “Performing on Camera,” students participated in mock auditions and the filmmakers shared their insights into the film industry. Later that day, they held a screening of their film American Creole: A New Orleans Reunion, which aired on PBS in 2006 and features musician Don Yappie’s struggle to rebuild the community in New Orleans after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
With their production company, Cote Blanche, Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit have brought the rich history of southern Louisiana to audiences across the world. In addition to American Creole, films by the couple include Harvest to Restore America’s Coastal Heartland, the latest in a series on coastal wetlands loss for the National Estuary Program; The Man Who Came Back, about the first post-Civil War labor strike; and The Scoundrel’s Wife (released as The Home Front), about the bayou home front during World War II. Pitre and Benoit’s films have won international acclaim and multiple awards, in addition to featuring the talent of such stars as Armand Assante, Tim Curry, Robert Duvall and Tatum O’Neal.