Arata, a local stage and film actor and Tulane Law graduate, was a partner in VooDoo Productions, one of the 807 Esplanade Ave.'s original developers. He is married to Deputy New Orleans Mayor Emily Sneed Arata.The list of people snagged by these schemes just keeps growing.
VooDoo Productions produced the locally shot horror film "Autopsy" in partnership with Seven Arts Pictures in 2008. Arata is listed as an executive producer on recent films "Odd Thomas," based on a Dean Koontz novel, and "The Courier," starring Mickey Rourke and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, among a dozen films, according to the Internet Movie Database.
He was an early advocate for the state's 2001 expansion of film tax credits and has continued to promote the program. In December, he taught a certified legal education course organized by the New Orleans Bar Association to instruct lawyers about getting and using entertainment tax credits. The other presenter in the class was a staff lawyer for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.
This grift has hit so many politicians, prominent businessmen, and pro athletes now that it's clear you're really not anyone who's anyone in this town until you've stupidly thrown some money at a movie scam. Maybe there should be a New York Times feature on the trend.