New Events, Noted Films Await Visitors as 4-Day Indie Memphis Film Festival Begins Thursday

A lineup of 40 features and 70 shorts will be screened at four locations beginning Thursday (November 1) at the 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival.

Presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., the four-day festival has added a new innovation and technology program to its usual schedule of independent film screenings and live musical performances. Innovation topics range from digital storytelling and data management to the innovation economy and inclusive innovation.

Venues for this year’s festival are Playhouse on the Square, the Circuit Playhouse, Malco’s Studio on the Square, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. 

For the complete schedule, as well as information concerning tickets, passes, the innovation and technology events, and even the jurors, visit

This year’s fest will include the U.S. premiere of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, a film about a 1970s Memphis rock band. The film, which will be shown opening night at Playhouse on the Square, had its world premiere in London earlier this month.  Also on Thursday, the 900 minute documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey begins its six-part screenings at the Brooks Museum of Art.

Part One of the gigantic undertaking will be shown at 10:15 am and Part Two at 6:15 pm.  The initial segment will show that ideas and passion have always driven film more than money and marketing. It includes the very first movie stars, close ups and special effects, and creation of the Hollywood myth. 

Part Two includes the Roaring 1920s when Hollywood became a glittering entertainment industry with star directors such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. But the gloss and fantasy was challenged by movie makers like Robert Flaherty, Eric Von Stroheim and Carl Theodor Dreyer, who wanted films to be more serious and mature. This was a battle for the soul of cinema. This resulted in some of the greatest movies ever made.                 

Of special interest to Indie Memphis fans will be Craig Brewer’s Indie Origins, a 90-minute program of short films from the early days of the fifteen-year-old festival. Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Footloose) will chronicle the films and filmmakers that inspired him at the beginning of his career.

Indie Memphis’ new innovation and technology events, which complement the independent and creative spirit of the film festival, include topics ranging from design trends and digital storytelling to data management and the innovation economy, in addition to screening independent films and showcasing musical acts. The speakers for these new events come from top companies such as FedEx, Microsoft, IBM, Google, BBDO and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others.              

Two noted documentary filmmakers, Daniel Lindsay and Bruce Sinofsky, whose films both were nominated for Academy Awards last year after earlier screening at the 2011 Indie Memphis Film Festival, will serve as jurors at this year’s festival, which will be held November 1 through 4.            

Lindsay was co-director of Undefeated, which won the 2011 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Sinofsky was co-director of the Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, which also was nominated for best documentary.

In all, 14 jurors will participate in this year in the city’s nationally-ranked film festival, named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker magazine and a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society.