One of the city's core arts institutions, Indie Memphis connects and inspires indie filmmakers and film-lovers through the unique creative landscape that is the home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll. Now entering its 21st year, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization is a two-time Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences grant recipient, receives project support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and is the only film organization to receive annual funding from ArtsMemphis.
The year-round organization is best known for its annual Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., which transforms the city into a connecting point for filmmakers, musicians, artists, and audiences. The festival brings a broad range of independent features, documentaries and short films to Memphis from all corners of the country. In 2015, the festival expanded to include weekday gala screenings at the Halloran Centre, a new state-of-the-art venue in Downtown Memphis. The weekend portion of the festival continued at Overton Square in Midtown, the city's cultural and creative center and home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, and clubs. The 2015 festival attracted record-setting ticket sales and high profile screenings including 2016 award winning & nominated Brooklyn, Anomalisa, Carol, Tangerine, & The Look of Silence. Special guests and jurors included Academy-Award nominated production designer Judy Becker (Carol, American Hustle), Academy-Award nominated director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan), CEO of BAFTA New York Julie La'Bassiere, Producer Ben Nearn (The Way Way Back, Mississippi Grind), Danielle McCarthy of Magnolia Pictures, Kent Osborne (Adventure Time, Uncle Kent), actor Jeremy London (Girl In Woods, Mallrats), Chris Strompolos (Raiders!, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation), and many more! Memphis Grizzlies in-house PA announcer Rick Trotter hosted the festival Award Show.
Other past festival attendees have included Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Footloose), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell (KCRW's The Treatment), Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams), Scott Mosier (Clerks, Chasing Amy), Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs Larry Flynt), Matt Lopez (Race to Witch Mountain, The Sorcerer's Apprentice), Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue), John Sayles (Matewan), Gary Clark, Jr. (Honeydripper), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Do The Right Thing), Ray McKinnon (The Blind Side, Footloose), Barry Corbin (No Country For Old Men, Northern Exposure), Angela Bassett (What's Love Got To Do With It), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), Bob Mondello (National Public Radio), and Ted Hope, Head of Production at Amazon Studios.
Indie Memphis also connects filmmakers and festival attendees to the live music scene that pulses through the city. One of our recent featured guests was musical icon Syl Johnson (Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows) who performed with the Bo-Keys at Minglewood Hall. Memphis musicians including The Mighty Souls Brass Band, The Maitre D's, Motel Mirrors, Caleb Sweazy, Luke White, Brennan Villines, Alex da Ponte, Chris Milam, Jason Freeman, Rev. John Wilkins, Jeff Hulett & Leah Keys, Tori Whodat, DJ Nyce, Graham Winchester, Paul Taylor, James Godwin, JD Reager, Singa B, Kip Uhlhorn, and more performed in theatres prior to screenings, and at various festival parties and receptions throughout the week. Prior years have also featured special performances by visiting artists including the Alloy Orchestra, who performed their acclaimed live accompaniments to silent film classics The General and Man With A Movie Camera, and British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock, who closed the 2009 festival with an intimate solo concert at Malco Theatres' Studio on the Square.
But Indie Memphis is more than just an annual film festival, with year-round programs that inspire, encourage and promote independent films and filmmaking in Memphis. More than 50 screenings and special events fill the calendar in the upcoming months leading to the 2016 festival, providing Indie Memphis members with numerous discounts and free admission opportunities to take advantage of. Upcoming highlights include: Canadian cinema presented in collaboration with the Memphis in May International Festival at Malco Theatres’ Studio on the Square; our monthly filmmaking forum Shoot & Splice and the short film showcase MicroCinema presented at Crosstown Arts; Soul Cinema in collaboration with Stax Museum, and many more to be announced throughout the year!
Other highlights from previous years include: a live Q&A session via internet with Francis Ford Coppola (which included special appearance by Sophia Coppola) after a screening of Tetro at the Brooks Museum of Art; David Lynch presents Interview Project with a live performance by musician Stoll Vaughan at the Brooks Museum of Art; screenings of animator Bill Plympton's feature films Hair High and Idiots and Angels at Malco's Studio on the Square, with Plympton in attendance for Idiots and Angels and presenting a free lecture at the Memphis College of Art about his work and career; Essential Art House Cinema screenings presented in collaboration with the Brooks Museum of Art, bringing restored high-definition transfers of Truffaut's Jules and Jim (1962), Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) and Fellini's La Strada (1954) to The Brooks and a new, restored 35mm print of Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950) to Malco's Studio on the Square; and the World Premiere of Craig Brewer's $5 Cover at the Malco Paradiso, co-presented by Malco and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, which drew a crowd of more than 1,100 attendees and served the launch platform for the Indie Memphis' membership program.
Our Form 990 is available for download at www.guidestar.org, and our exemption application and supporting documents are available for public inspection at our offices by appointment during regular business hours