Call For Entries

Call For Entries

The call-for-entries for the 2014 Indie Memphis Film Festival have closed. Filmmakers will be notified in mid-September. Thanks for your patience :)

Named one of "50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" in the spring 2014 issue of MovieMaker magazine, and called "one of the coolest film festivals around" in their previous issue, the Indie Memphis Film Festival is a two-time Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences grant recipient and was named a "Top 20 Event" by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2012. MovieMaker also ranked the festival as "Worth the Entry Fee" in 2011 and 2013, and as one of their "25 Coolest Film Festivals" in 2009. With a focus on regional filmmaking, the festival brings a broad range of dynamic and engaging independent features, documentaries and short films to Memphis from all corners of the country.

Filmmaker Magazine's Brandon Harris moderates a Q&A with Joe Swanberg after a screening of 'Drinking Buddies' at Indie Memphis 2013. Photo by Nicki Newburger.

Now entering its 17th year, the 2014 festival is presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc. and will once again take place during Halloween weekend (October 30 - November 2) in Midtown Memphis' Overton Square entertainment district, home to a plethora of restaurants, clubs and bars that celebrate all that makes Memphis unique. Screening venues include the Playhouse on the Square, The Circuit Playhouse, the new Hattiloo Theatre, and three screens at Malco Theatre's Studio on the Square -- all within just a few blocks of each other, creating an accessible community-friendly atmosphere unlike any other on the festival circuit.

Actor/producer Drew Smith with his Best Hometowner Feature award for 'Being Awesome.'
Photo by Nicki Newburger.

Audience and jury awards are presented across all categories, with winners receiving award sculptures designed and produced by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo. Jury awards include cash prizes for Best Narrative Feature ($1,000), Best Documentary Feature ($1,000), Best Narrative Short ($500), Best Documentary Short ($500) and the Duncan-Williams Scriptwriting Award ($1,000). Additionally the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission presents $2,000 in cash prizes in the Hometowner category each year. Additional prizes and awards TBA. Click here to check out last year's award-winners.

Jurors Craig Brewer ('Hustle & Flow') and Daniel Waters ('Heathers') at the Indie Memphis 2011 awards show.

Jurors from the past few years have included Filmmaker Magazine Editor-in-Chief SCOTT MACAULAY, former New York Times film critic ELVIS MITCHELL (KCRW's 'The Treatment'), documentarians BRUCE SINOFSKY ('Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory'), PETER GILBERT ('Hoop Dreams'), and DAN LINDSAY ('Undefeated'), producers SCOTT MOSIER ('Clerks') and ALICIA VAN COUVERING ('Tiny Furniture'), screenwriters LARRY KARASZEWSKI ('Man on the Moon') and DANIEL WATERS ('Heathers'), writer/director CRAIG BREWER ('Hustle & Flow'), FilmThreat publisher MARK BELL, and former Saturday Night Live cast member CHRIS PARNELL ('30 Rock'), who pulled double-duty as host the 2011 festival's closing night Awards Show.

Amy LaVere and her band performing before 'Red Flag' at Indie Memphis 2012. Photo by Brian Anderson.

Indie Memphis also connects filmmakers and festival attendees to the live music scene that pulses through the city, each year producing a themed Indie Memphis Music Sampler CD with the Memphis Music Foundation. Memphis musicians, including VALERIE JUNE, STAR & MICEY, AMY LAVERE, SNOW GLOBE, BLUFF CITY BACKSLIDERS, and KEITH SYKES, have performed in theatres prior to festival screenings, at festival parties and receptions, and during music showcases throughout the festival weekend.

Glory performing before 'This Is What Love In Action Looks Like' at Indie Memphis 2011.
Photo by Michael Norris.

The 2013 Indie Memphis Music Showcase featured TEENIE HODGES and the legendary HI RHYTHM SECTION, hip-hop artist AL KAPONE ('Hustle & Flow'), HOPE CLAYBURN'S SOUL SCRIMMAGE and THE GRIFTERS, reuniting for the first time in over 10 years to play the show. Prior years have also featured special performances by visiting musicians including BOBBY BARE JR, the ALLOY ORCHESTRA and British singer/songwriter ROBYN HITCHCOCK, who closed the 2009 festival with an intimate solo concert in one of the festival theaters.

General Rules

  • Submissions may not be publicly screened or aired in Memphis or Shelby County, Tennessee prior to the 2014 festival dates. Hometowner short films are excluded from this rule; please see the Hometowner category rules for details.
  • Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2013. Films previously submitted to Indie Memphis will not be reconsidered.
  • Entries must be postmarked by the deadline date for which a film was submitted. Paper sleeves and minimal packaging are encouraged. Please do not material in fiber-filled envelopes. DVDs should be labeled with the entry confirmation number, film title, and running time. Please note: DVD screeners will not be returned. (Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes.)
  • Films accepted to screen at the festival will be categorized in competitive and non-competitive categories at the sole discretion of Indie Memphis. Films with theatrical distribution may not qualify for juried competition, but would still be eligible for audience awards. Instructional films, industrials, promotional videos, music videos, concert films and sponsored works-for-hire are generally not appropriate for submission. Submissions must be independently produced artistic content; filmmakers must have final creative control over their work.
  • Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status around Sept. 19, 2014. If accepted, five additional DVDs of the final film must be provided ASAP to Indie Memphis for jury screenings and media requests. Exhibition materials for selected films must be available by October 10, 2014 for inclusion in the festival. 
  • Indie Memphis does not pay screening fees or artist stipends for submitted work. 
  • Entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • Copies of accepted films will be archived in the Indie Memphis DVD library, and made available for Indie Memphis members to borrow at no charge. Filmmakers may opt out of this and pull their film from the library at any time. 
  • Indie Memphis may deny acceptance of any film at its sole discretion, or waive rules for any submission it deems appropriate for the festival. If accepted, the screening schedule (including venue, time and number of screenings) is at the sole discretion of Indie Memphis.
  • The entrant is responsible for the cost of shipping the submission and exhibition materials to Indie Memphis. Films being sent from outside the United States must be sent "free domicile" to the Indie Memphis office, with all transportation charges, duties and taxes prepaid by shipper. Indie Memphis will cover return shipping (or will ship to another festival) only within the continental United States via ground shipping. Indie Memphis cannot cover overnight or priority shipping costs, or ship US films to an address outside the United States. 

Word on the street...

Indie Memphis made me enjoy going to festivals again.
— Scott Mosier ('Clerks,' 'Chasing Amy'), 2010 juror
Indie Memphis is a fantastic, well-curated festival blessed with hometown strengths — the city’s special cultural and political history as well as its great food — that other fests can only dream about.
— SCOTT MACAULAY (editor-in-chief Filmmaker Magazine), 2013 festival juror
A truly great stop for any filmmaker on their festival tour, with great audiences both local and global, who really invest in the ethos of the entire weekend. Indie Memphis is a festival with an eclectic program that challenges, inspires and always leaves you wanting more. Long may it continue. Films, music, food and craft beer. Is this heaven? No, it’s Indie Memphis.
— JUSTIN DOHERTY (co-founder Filmstock International Film Festival), 2012 & 2013 festival juror
Indie Memphis knows how to treat their filmmakers right. With trips to Graceland, Stax, and Sun Studios (and this year a Halloween party in an old brothel) they incorporate the amazing history of Memphis into a festival experience like no other. The receptions, screenings, and dedicated volunteers really make you feel like you are part of a community. Can’t wait to come back!
— RYAN SCAFURO ('Bending Steel'), 2013 filmmaker
Indie Memphis is a unique blend of quality, truly independent filmmaking, cultural identity and a Memphis-centric curated experience. It’s the only festival I can see a barrage of amazing films and hang out with incredible filmmakers; but at the same time tour Elvis Presley’s mansion (plus an unparalleled amount of Elvis paraphernalia at a crazy man’s house in Holly Springs, Mississippi), party at an allegedly haunted former bordello, gorge myself on buckets and buckets of Gus’ Fried Chicken, and catch a Huskies game courtesy of some really rad volunteers. Indie Memphis is more than just a film festival; it’s a complete history of Memphis over a long weekend.
— ADAM DONAGHEY ('Bob Birdnow's Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self'), 2013 filmmaker
Indie Memphis has so much that I look for in a film festival: programming with a thoughtful and idiosyncratic point of view that reflects its leadership, and reaches out to promising new filmmakers whose work has an unmistakable sense of place; an excited and eager community that attends the films in force looking to be surprised by the fare, rather than congratulated for coming out; and, oh yeah, barbecue.
— ELVIS MITCHELL (host of KCRW's 'The Treatment'), 2008, 2009 & 2010 juror
I’ve had screenings of my films all around the world. I’ve watched my films premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, as well as the Prince’s Palace in Marrakech. But there has never been an experience to equal my premiere at Indie Memphis
— CRAIG BREWER ('Hustle & Flow') on premiering his debut feature, 'The Poor & Hungry,' at Indie Memphis in 2000