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Carter Lacoste takes Randy Livingston's story to All-American High School Film Festival
The New Orleans ninth grader's film 'Keep Your Head in the Game' is one of more than 800 to debut at the 'world's largest high school film fest' this week.
New Orleans ninth grader Carter Lacoste is heading to New York this week for the 2023 All-American High School Film Festival, and he is taking his cinematic tale of local New Orleans basketball legend Randy Livingston.
The freshman at the International School of Louisiana will join 883 other high schoolers showcasing films at the world’s largest high school film festival.
Last year, while he was a student at Isidore Newman School, Lacoste wrote, filmed, and produced “Keep Your Head in the Game,” using an iPad provided by the school.
“To be quite honest, I hadn’t had an interest in filmmaking before I’d taken the media arts class at school where it was a requirement to make a short documentary which would be submitted to the film festival,” said the 14-year-old student who learned filmmaking with media arts teacher Meghan Niehus.
While in middle school, Lacoste had full control of the project and worked alone. “The most interesting part of working on the film was wondering if what I was doing was too much or too little. I could never find a comfortable place to just sit and watch the film without making any slight changes,” he said. "I learned at some rate you just have to force yourself to sometimes let things play out. In working on the film I’ve learned to simply trust the process and see the beauty of how things turn out instead of constantly trying to edit things," he said.
Throughout the early development of the film, Lacoste said he wanted to produce a film that included older and younger generations, however, he wasn’t completely sure of the topic. He has many interests from competitive swimming, traveling, and studying history to "learn how the world worked all those years ago." But, he eventually decided on featuring retired professional athlete Randy Livingston who played basketball at Isidore Newman before going to the NBA in the early 2000s, then returned to the school as head basketball coach.
Lacoste’s documentary, “Keep Your Head the Game,” reveals how retired athletes manage to find ways to stay in their sport.
“The goal of this film was to shed light on the fact that just because you may not be able to play doesn’t mean you have to give up your passion completely,” he said.
Livingston, who is a New Orleans native, attended the Isidore Newman School and led the Greenies to three consecutive state championships 1991-1993 and a four-year record of 114-15. As point guard, he won Parade Magazine’s Player of the Year, was named the Naismith National Player of the Year, and played in the McDonald’s All-America game and Magic Johnson’s Roundball Classic. Professionally, Livingston played in the NBA for parts of 11 seasons. He also played in the CBA, the Turkish League, and the NBA Development League where he earned MVP honors. Later, he moved to Australia and started a scouting service for college prospects. He was also named to the USA Today All-America first team and his jersey was retired at Newman in 2013. In 2016, he was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.
“Keep Your Head in the Game” is one of 29 productions selected for the middle school category of the All-American High School Film Festival. It will be screened before judges on October 21 at the AMC Empire 25.
“I am sure someone will get crowned winner,” he said. “I’m very excited for the New York trip and won’t be needing anything but support from my friends and family for it,” said Lacoste whose parents Victoria and Joseph are excited for him.
Following the festival, LaCoste will share “Keep Your Head in the Game” on YouTube.