"Patois," the name given to the New Orleans

International Human Rights Film Festival, kicks off Thursday with

the premiere of "American Violet," a film shot in New Orleans

that tackles the issue of racial profiling in a Texas town.

The film is one of roughly 50 that will be shown in New Orleans

during the 11-day festival that, as in years past, explores

social-justice issues both in Louisiana and across the nation and


Among the films being shown are this year's Oscar-nominated

"Nerakhoon (The Betrayal)," a documentary feature about a Laotian

family's decision to relocate to the United States, and "Dos

Americas: The Reconstruction of New Orleans," a documentary on the

Hispanic laborers who have come to help rebuild the Gulf Coast

since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.