Dates set for In­die Mem­phis fest; ‘The Keep­ers’ doc will roar again

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The 19th an­nual In­die Mem­phis Film Festival will take place Nov. 1-7, festival ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ryan Watt an­nounced this week.

The seven-day Tues­daythrough-mon­day event is one day shorter than last year’s Tues­day-to-tues­day sched­ule for a very good rea­son: This year, what would have been the eighth day of the festival falls on pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion Day, an event likely to keep most peo­ple glued to their tele­vi­sions at home.

As with last year’s suc­cess­ful festival, most week­day screen­ings will be at the Or­pheum’s Hal­lo­ran Cen­tre for Per­form­ing Arts & Ed­u­ca­tion at 203 S. Main St., while week­end screen­ings will mainly be in the Over­ton Square area, at the Malco Stu­dio on the Square, the Cir­cuit Play­house and the “black box the­ater” of the Hat­tiloo Theatre (a venue used only for panel dis­cus­sions last year).

With pre­sent­ing spon­sor Dun­can-wil­liams Inc. in­creas­ing its sup­port, In­die Mem­phis will ex­pand be­yond Down­town and Mid­town “to have a pres­ence out East,” Watt said.

Some week­night screen­ings will take place at the Malco Ridge­way Cinema Grill, while a screen at the Malco Col­lierville Towne Cinema will be de­voted to In­die Mem­phis on Nov. 5. Movies shown at these the­aters also will be screened dur­ing the festival at the tra­di­tional venues.

Also ex­pand­ing is the “Indiegrants” pro­gram, which will grow to what the festival de­scribes as “a to­tal of $21,000 in cash and in-kind ser­vices” to sup­port “veteran” and “emerg­ing” film­mak­ers.

Spon­sors in­clude Mark Jones, Fire­fly Grips & Elec­tric, Len­ and Archer Records.

With a mix of lo­cal films, true in­de­pen­dent cinema, cult and clas­sic re­vivals (Whit Still­man last year hosted the re­turn of his “Metropoli­tan”) and pres­tige “art­house” fare (“Carol,” “Brook­lyn” and “Ano­ma­l­isa” screened dur­ing the 2015 festival, a cou­ple of months be­fore their reg­u­lar the­atri­cal book­ings and Os­car nom­i­na­tions), In­die Mem­phis is ar­guably the re­gion’s top film festival.

This year’s event likely will host close to 140 films, in­clud­ing shorts and fea­tures of all types. New for 2016 is a “mu­sic” cat­e­gory, in recog­ni­tion of Mem­phis’ mu­sic her­itage and the grow­ing num­ber of mu­sic-themed fea­tures and shorts pro­duced these days. Also, the festival is bring­ing back its “mu­sic video” cat­e­gory.

An­other new ad­di­tion is a “youth film” cat­e­gory for video made by Mem­phi­ans 18 and un­der.

To sub­mit a film for con­sid­er­a­tion for In­die Mem­phis, visit the Film­free­way link found at­diemem­ In­for­ma­tion on how to ap­ply for an Indiegrant also is on the site.


Di­rected by Mem­phis­based film­mak­ers Sara Kaye Lar­son and Joann Self Selvidge,“the Keep­ers” — an award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary about the men and women who work with the an­i­mals at the Mem­phis Zoo — be­gins a week’s run at the Malco Stu­dio on the Square today.

Some three years in the mak­ing, “The Keep­ers” of­fers a be­hind-the-scenes look at the re­la­tion­ships Sara Kaye Lar­son (left) and Joann Self Selvidge bring their Mem­phis Zoo doc­u­men­tary “The Keep­ers” back to the Stu­dio on the Square. that de­velop be­tween the zoo an­i­mals and their 2

Pro­duced by Selvidge’s True Story Pic­tures com­pany, the film’s fo­cus on the work­ers on the front line of an­i­mal care places it out­side the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal/cul­tural con­tro­versy re­gard­ing park­ing for zoo cus­tomers on the Over­ton Park greensward. The peo­ple in the film work long hours for mod­est pay out of what seems to be a gen­uine love for their as­signed mam­mals, birds, rep­tiles, am­phib­ians, fish and arthro­pods.

“The Keep­ers” pre­vi­ously screened here at the 2015 In­die Mem­phis Film Festival, where it won the Best Home­towner Fea­ture award. It also won a grand jury prize at the Nashville Film Festival. The Stu­dio on the Square book­ing rep­re­sents the movie’s first the­atri­cal run, and con­tin­ues a Malco tra­di­tion of find­ing space for worth­while lo­cal films. Craig Brewer’s de­but fea­ture, “The Poor & Hun­gry,” Mark Jones’ “Ten­nessee Queer,” and, most re­cently, “Mem­phis Heat: The True Story of Mem­phis Wrasslin’” are among the Mem­phis movies that have played for at least a week in a Malco au­di­to­rium.

For tick­ets to re-pre­miere of “The Keep­ers” visit For more on the film, visit www.truesto­ryp­ic­tures. org.

You can reach John Bei­fuss at bei­fuss@com­mer­cialap­ or at 901-529-2394.

Courtesy of True STORY Pic­tures



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