Student filmmakers invited to enter Indie Memphis’ ‘Youth Fest’ contest
Student filmmakers in grades 7-12 (including graduates of the Class of 2016) are invited to submit work to Indie Memphis for the organization’s first “Youth Film Fest,” a daylong event of screenings, workshops and more that is scheduled to be held Sept. 24, at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main.
“This is your chance to see your film on the big screen, work with top professionals, and even find a mentor,” a project brochure released this week promises young filmmakers.
Film and video submissions of all types — including fiction, documentary, animation, music videos and experimental work — are welcome, and may be shot with any type of camera or device, including phones and ipads. Films can be of any length, but films under 10 minutes in length are preferred.
Selected films will compete for awards, $1,000 in cash and the opportunity to be screened during the 19th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, set for Nov. 1-7.
Indie Memphis executive director Ryan Watt said he wants this to be a “big” event that will attract large numbers of budding filmmakers from Memphis and the Mid-south.
“We always have parents asking for something like this, asking about programming or camps for kids,” Watt said. “We’ve always been interested, but we knew it would take some resources.”
To that end, the Youth Film Fest is being made possible by a $10,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and its Give365 initiative.
Watt said filmmakers whose work is accepted will participate in seminars and workshops with such local artists as director Craig Brewer (coscripter of the current “The Legend of Tarzan”). “This is a great way for our alumni filmmakers to educate and mentor future Memphis storytellers,” Watt said.
Also participating will be Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, who as kids between ages 12 and 17 in 1980s Mississippi created a shot-for-shot nobudget remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that became a word-of-mouth underground cult classic. (The remake is the focus of “Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made,” a feature documentary that screened at last year’s Indie Memphis festival and currently is in national theatrical distribution.)
The submission deadline is midnight Aug. 21. (A full schedule of “Youth Film Fest” events will be released about that time.)
For more information, visitindiememphis.com/ youthfilmfest.
Dedicated to new works of international cinema, the 12-year-old Wider Angle Film Series returns next week to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library for another six months of programming.
An impressive Arabiclanguage drama filmed entirely in the graniteand-sandstone “Valley of the Moon” in Jordan, “Theeb” screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday to begin the new half-year season. Part adventure yarn, part survival saga and part coming-of-age story, director Naji Abu Nowar’s movie is both intimate and epic as it follows a young Bedouin boy named Theeb (“wolf”) through the 1916 Arabian desert, where he experiences his first encounters with British soldiers, bandits and the new railroad. The startling, beautiful landscapes are reminiscent of Monument Valley and the vistas found in American and Spaghetti Westerns (but with camels instead of horses), while the premise and setting make the movie a downand-dirty sidebar to events depicted in more heroic fashion in such films as “Lawrence of Arabia.”
Another highlight of the schedule is U.S. writer-director Matt Sobel’s “Take Me to the River,” which screens Sept. 14. A 2015 Sundance Film Festival premiere, the movie was produced by Memphisborn Nick Case, also a producer on such Memphismade movies as Kentucker Audley’s “Open Five.”
(Case also is a co-producer of the acclaimed 2016 Sundance premiere “Christine,” which stars Rebecca Hall as Christine Chubbuck, the reallife Florida news reporter who committed suicide on live television in 1974. “Christine” is scheduled to begin its theatrical run in October.)
No relation to the recent Memphis soul-meets-hiphop music documentary of the same name, Sobel’s “Take Me to the River” is the story of a California A Bedouin boy (Jacir Eid Al-hwietat) experiences a perilous journey in World War I-era Arabia in “Theeb,” which screens Wednesday at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. teen (Logan Miller) whose family reunion in Nebraska takes a sinister turn.
Other Wider Angle films through the end of the year include Italy’s “Wondrous Boccaccio” (Aug. 10), about a group of 14th-century friends who escape to a country estate to avoid the Black Plague (the movie was directed by the Taviani brothers, perhaps best known for “Caesar Must Die”); France’s “Breathe,” a dark drama about teenage infatuation directed by Mélanie Laurent, an actress whose credits include “Inglorious Basterds”; Ireland’s “Glassland,” which stars Toni Collette as the alcoholic mother of a taxi driver who turns to crime; and South Korea’s “Sea Fog,” about a desperate captain who becomes involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants.
Screened to generally small but appreciative audiences, the Wider Angle films are shown via digital projection in Meeting Room A of the library at 3030 Poplar Ave.
Admission is free, and children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
All screenings begin at 6 p.m., with the exception of “Wondrous Boccaccio,” which begins 15 minutes early due to its 120-minute length.
Contact John Beifuss at email@example.com; 901-529-2394