Stu­dent film­mak­ers in­vited to en­ter In­die Mem­phis’ ‘Youth Fest’ con­test

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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, vis­itindiemem­ 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 bei­fuss@com­mer­cialap­; 901-529-2394




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