Producer and distributor Jeff Dowd and director Dan Ireland have been named co-artistic directors of the new Louisiana International Film Festival and Mentorship Program (LIFF).

The festival has also put out a call for entries for its first edition, which runs April 18-21, 2013 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The festival’s first submission deadline in Jan 7.

Also appointed by the festival are Alan V Abrahams as music programme director, Los Angeles film-maker and photographer Clinton H Wallace as strategic partnership co-ordinator and New Orleans-based actress-producer Shanna Forrestall as Louisiana liaison.

Festival executive director Chesley Heymsfield said: “We founded the Louisiana International Film Festival and Mentorship Program to act as a conduit for our state’s ample and untapped creativity.

“LIFF is more than a film festival; it is a bridge between the local people who dream of becoming film makers and those veteran artists who know that mentorship can help to promote social change through direct access to opportunity.”