The New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) is a media-arts non-profit organization that promotes the work of local independent filmmakers and film workers in the New Orleans area. Founded in 1972, it is the longest-running organization of its kind in the Southeastern United States, with a mission to 'cultivate a sustainable film community by providing access to resources, education and locally generated content.'
NOVAC has a wide array of initiatives aimed at bolstering the New Orleans film scene and supporting the efforts of its workers, from technical training to film preservation to political advocacy. It offers technical and financial assistance to local small-budget films as well as low-cost equipment rental. It represents New Orleans at various film events and festivals around the country and brings notable film professionals to the city to engage with local filmmakers and workers.
NOVAC also maintains an archive of local films that document New Orleans culture, music and daily life and showcase the region's rich tradition of film-making. One of its notable items is "This Cat Can Play Anything," a nationally aired PBS documentary from 1977 which follows jazz musician Mannie Sales around the city.
Because a thriving film community requires a skilled workforce capable of supporting both local and national productions, NOVAC collaborates with IATSE, the local film workers union, and various educational and vocational institutions to provide training opportunities in film-related fields, such as: sound editing, screen-writing, set design and construction, grip and electric, and production assistance. It also works in several area high schools teaching students about film and media production.