HUSTLE & FLOW filmmaker Craig Brewer this evening lifted the curtain and revealed the entire feature film lineup for this year's 16th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival that kicks off on Halloween night.
The noted Memphis film director and screenwriter, whose rise to international stardom began at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, presented this year’s lineup during his second annual Indie Memphis Peep Show preview party at the new Hi-Tone Café on North Cleveland. The program for the four-day event will include more than 45 feature films to be shown on five screens in Midtown’s Overton Square area.
Nationally-ranked as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker magazine and named a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society, the festival, which begins October 31 and runs through November 3, will again be presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., an investment banking firm headquartered in Memphis with offices in 10 states and presenting sponsor since 2011.
$6,000 in cash awards and prizes will be awarded along with award sculptures designed by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo.
Attendees at the festival will have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers and special guests following many of the showings and panel discussions. Among the special guests already scheduled are actor Harry Lennix (MAN OF STEEL, NBC’s THE BLACK LIST) and noted horror film director Ti West (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL).
This year’s films of special note include:
• ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW – Opening Night film, 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 31 at Playhouse on the Square.
Filmed undercover at both Disney World and Disneyland. In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father's sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday. Written and Directed by Randy Moore, starring Roy Abramsohn and Alison Lees-Taylor, both scheduled to attend and participate in a Q and A after the screening. Sponsored by Alarum Pictures and Modern Production Concepts.
• AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY – Friday Gala Screening, 6:15 pm Friday, Nov. 1 at Playhouse on the Square.
A hilarious, dark and deeply touching look at the strong-willed women of the Weston family, brought back to the Midwestern home and dysfunctional woman who raised them at a time of familial crisis. Directed by John Wells, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewen McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliet Lewis, and Sam Shepard.
• SHORT TERM 12 – Saturday Gala Screening, 6:15 pm Saturday, Nov. 2 at Playhouse on the Square.
A 20-something supervising staff member of a foster care facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend. Written and directed by Destin Cretton, who, along with actors Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield, is scheduled to attend and participate in a Q and A after the screening, along with representatives from Youth Villages, a national leader in helping at-risk former foster youth live successfully.
• H4 – Saturday Spotlight Screening, 9 pm Saturday, Nov. 2 at Playhouse on the Square.
Shakespeare’s Henry IV set in contemporary Los Angeles to explore political struggles in the black community. Actor and executive producer Harry Lennix and screenwriter Ayanna Thompson are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q and A after the screening. Sponsored by The Pearce Shakespeare Endowment and the African American Studies and Film Studies programs at Rhodes College, and the African and African American Studies program at the University of Memphis. Presented in collaboration with Hattiloo Theatre.
• MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – Sunday Gala Screening, 4 pm Sunday, Nov. 3 at Playhouse on the Square.
A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba. Presented by the National Civil Rights Museum.
• THE SACRAMENT – Closing Night Film, 6 pm Sunday, Nov. 3 at Studio on the Square.
Two journalists set out to document their friend's search to find his missing sister. Written and directed by Ti West, who, along with actors AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, and Joe Swanberg, is scheduled to attend and participate in a Q and A after the screening.
Films will be screened at Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse and at Malco Theatre’s Studio on the Square. Additionally, a Halloween evening screening of the 1931 film Frankenstein will be held at the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Auditorium at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
“This party is a fun way to start getting our community excited about the upcoming festival and build the Indie Memphis membership base at the same time,” says Brewer. “Indie Memphis has been a huge factor in my career and I want to play a role in its fantastic growth.”
The complete list of festival features is available here.