Showdown at the Mon Ami

In Showdown at the Mon Ami, filmmaker Alex Clark returns to his former home state of Louisiana to find the truth about a rumored Mardi Gras competition. After meeting the competitors, we follow three krewes who build elaborate costumes and face-off for the titles of Mardi Gras King and Queen.

  • Alex Clark
  • Laura J. Fong
  • Alex Clark
  • Laura J. Fong
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Panasonic EVA-1
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Alex Clark, Laura J. Fong

Alex Clark, is an Emmy-nominated producer and filmmaker for PBS and adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School. He co-produced Crypto Decoded (2022) and edited for The Picture Taker (2022), as well as for NBC News, NowThis, and Vox.

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Director Statement

This film is part competition documentary, part personal story. My approach as a director is to allow each character to guide the narrative process, and introduce us to other community members as we experience the film and capture moments through unguided vérité.

We felt it was important to not have talking heads or academics describe the historical significance of the holiday, but rather let the participants explain the event in their own words.

In the production and the film, we first meet Jarred Benoit of the Unknown Krewe as he prepares for the competition. Then we went "house to house," visiting other krewes ahead of the event. This "house to house" structure is intentional, as intimate home visits are an essential part of the Mardi Gras experience.