Meet Valerie M. Grubb- President, New Orleans Film Festival
You are a recent transplant to New Orleans – what brought you here?
Although I officially moved to NO in January of 2016, I’ve been coming to the City at least once a year since 1991. I have friends whom I consider my 2nd family here so when I was looking to relocate from NYC after living there for 18 years, New Orleans was a natural fit. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life!
You became NOFS’ Board President July 1st – what drew you to the organization (and the Board)?
When I moved to New Orleans, my first exposure to NOFS was the French Film Festival which I just LOVED (all those angsty beautiful people cracks me up). Having attended several film festivals in other cities, I was doubly thrilled to find out I had a world class film festival in my own backyard! A dear friend broached the subject of joining the Board and I immediately said yes! I’m honored to be helming the Society going into our 28th Film Festival!
What do you do for a living?
I’ve had my own HR Consulting and Training practice for nine years although prior to Val Grubb & Associates, I helped to found the Oxygen Channel for Oprah Winfrey, Geraldine Laybourne and Marcy Carsey. In my consulting practice, my entertainment clients include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Madison Square Garden, Fuse Network, WEtv, BET, Game Show Network, Sony Pictures and a host of non-entertainment clients as well.
What is your favorite movie?
I LOVE Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2! I love the whole revenge/cowboy/ninja theme going on with those movies! I’m a huge action movie junkie – nothing better than spending a day watching stuff blow up or a good fight scene (it can be cathartic after a tough day with a client!).
What is your favorite NOFF movie?
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table from the NOFF 2016 lineup was a favorite as Commander’s Palace was at the top of my restaurant list when I moved here! I haven’t had much exposure to short films, so I hit up a bunch last year: animated shorts at the Ace Hotel New Orleans and narrative shorts: Dark Places. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the short film format (I felt like I got double the # of films!) and I can’t wait to see what’s on the schedule for this year’s Festival!
What is your favorite film-going memory?
Oh goodness, SO many awesome movie-going memories, but two stick out in my mind. First was going to see Zoolander – it was the first movie I went to see after 9/11 (it opened on 9/28/11). It was such a terrifying time to live in NYC and the audience really bonded over the mindless goofiness of the movie. The entire audience had tears in our eyes after it was over as I’m not sure any of us thought we would laugh again. Secondly, going to the movies as a child on Christmas day with my whole family. I was born on Christmas so my parents let me pick out whatever movie I wanted to see! I felt SO important! We would then go to our favorite Chinese restaurant (it was also the only place open on Christmas!). A movie and Chinese food is still my Christmas tradition to this day!