From our 12th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival and other year round programs, to on-going partnerships and collaborations with organizations including Live from Memphis, the Brooks Museum of Art, Common Ground, the Memphis in May International Festival, the Memphis College of Art, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, the Memphis Music Foundation and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, 2009 was certainly our best year yet.
In the summer issues of MovieMaker Magazine, Indie Memphis joined the ranks of the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin and the 62-year-old Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland as one of the ''25 Coolest Film Festivals.'' Even more recently, Indie Memphis was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which produces the annual Academy Awards, with one of their Film Festival grants, the first awarded to a Memphis-area organization.
These two honors presaged the success of the October festival itself, which saw an attendance increase of more than 30% for the second year in a row -- bringing the overall festival attendance to more than 7,200 attendees.
In addition to more than 50 films by Memphis-area filmmakers, the 12th annual festival showcased more than 90 features, documentaries, shorts and animated films from the South, throughout the United States and from the far corners of the Globe.
Over 80 filmmakers, industry veterans, panelists and special guests (including former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, Northern Exposure's Barry Corbin, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Ray McKinnon) came to Memphis to screen their work, participate in panel discussions and conversations, network with local filmmakers and connect with other festival attendees and members of our community.
Indie Memphis' roots run deep in the cultural landscape that our city is famous for, and this year our festival set new milestones connecting music and film:
-- Singer/songerwiter Robyn Hitchcock performed an intimate solo concert at Malco's Studio on the Square, co-presented by the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, and recorded two new songs at Ardent Studios as part of a documentary film project being produced by Indie Memphis and filmmaker Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams).
-- Live From Memphis' Music Video Showcase, a cornerstone of the Indie Memphis Film Festival since 2005, presented 20 music videos by Memphis filmmakers and featured the work of musicians from Muck Sticky and Skillet to 8 Ball and Snowglobe.
-- The Alloy Orchestra returned to Memphis for this year’s festival to perform their live acclaimed accompaniments to silent film classics The General (1926) and Man With A Movie Camera (1929), thanks to the support of Dorothy Kirsch and co-presented by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
-- Finally, in collaboration with the Memphis Music Foundation and with the support of the Tennessee Arts Commission, Memphis musicians were not just a part of the festival's parties and receptions -- but in the movie theater auditoriums themselves, exposing audience members to true, independent Memphis music as they waited for the films to begin.
As you are planning your final charitable gifts for the 2009 tax year, please consider Indie Memphis for an end-of-year contribution. Donations are critical to the continued success of our organization and, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
We thank you for your commitment to Indie Memphis, and wish you all the best during the holiday season and into the New Year!