The 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival held earlier this month attracted 11,028, shattering the record of 8,000 set in 2011, according to final figures announced today.
Marking its 15th anniversary this year, the festival’s ticket and pass sales grew by more than 60 percent. The new mark for the four-day event represents a 37.5 percent jump in attendance over last year. The festival, which was presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., was held November 1 through 4.
“From the enthusiastic support of the Memphis business community to the unprecedented increase in attendance, we couldn’t be happier with the success of this year’s festival,” said Erik Jambor, executive director of Indie Memphis. “We look forward to expanding the festival in 2013, and engaging even more of Memphis in our year-round programs and special events.”
Central to the festival’s growth was the new Innovation component, which presented a program of panel discussions and presentations by innovation and technology leaders, including FedEx CIO, Rob Carter; Google’s Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, Abigail Posner; Digitas VP of Brand Content, Eric Korsh; and Hustle and Flow filmmaker Craig Brewer.
The festival also featured a "48-Hour Hack" presented in collaboration with LaunchMemphis and sponsored by Microsoft, as well as a series of Microsoft education and training opportunities.
The 2012 festival, which was named a "Top 20 Event" by the Southeast Tourism Society, included 39 feature films and about 70 shorts at four locations: Playhouse on the Square, the Circuit Playhouse, the Malco Studio on the Square and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The event has been recognized by MovieMaker magazine as a "Coolest Film Festival" and a "Best Film Festival Investment."
Also new this year was the festival’s award sculptures, designed and created by Yvonne Bobo and commissioned by Duncan-Williams, Inc. The awards were presented by a jury of noted filmmakers and industry leaders, including Oscar-winner Dan Lindsay (Undefeated), Oscar-nominee Bruce Sinofsky (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory), screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (Man on the Moon, The People vs Larry Flynt), music supervisor Joe Rudge (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Zoetrope All-Story editor Michael Ray.
Jury award-winners included the United States premiere Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Best Documentary Feature), Alex Karpovsky’s Red Flag (Best Narrative Feature), Sun Don't Shine (Nice Shoes Award), Redlegs (Duncan-Williams Scriptwriting Award), Throat Song (Best Narrative Short), and Open Five 2 (Best Hometowner Feature). Audience Awards were led by C. Scott McCoy's documentary, Antenna, about the famed Memphis rock club, and Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet. For the complete list of winners, visit click here.
Sponsors and supporters of the 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival included Duncan-Williams, Inc., Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, ArtsMemphis, Combustion, Malco Theaters, Microsoft, Modern Production Concepts, Nice Shoes, Nolan AV, Playhouse on the Square, Comcast, Elvis Presley Enterprises, FedEx, Hohenberg Foundation, Launch Memphis, Loeb Properties, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, The Memphis Flyer, SAGIndie, Tennessee Arts Commission and WKNO-FM.