Dates set for Indie Memphis fest; ‘The Keepers’ doc will roar again
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, Lensrentals.com 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 at www.indiememphis.com. Information on how to apply for an Indiegrant also is on the site.
‘THE KEEPERS’ KEEPS ON KEEPIN’ ON
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 www.malco.com. For more on the film, visit www.truestorypictures. org.
You can reach John Beifuss at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 901-529-2394.