Plan Your Indie Memphis Schedule: Ten Must-See Films

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 28th 2014 4681 0

Indie Memphis Film Festival kicks off this Thursday night and rages all through Sunday with tons of films. Plan your Indie Memphis schedule with this handy guide to the ten films you'll want to pick and choose from.

GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away two 4-Day Standby Passes* (worth $100) to one person who comments on this post telling me which movies they'll see. I'll do a random drawing on Wednesday at noon. *Read about Standby Passes here.

**GIVEAWAY ENDED: Congrats to our winner, Christopher Marshburn! Enjoy the passes! **

If you can't spend your whole weekend at the movies, no worries. You can buy individual tickets to screenings for $15. Or if you want to buy a weekend pass, it comes with all kinds of perks like shows and parties. Or you can volunteer and get some cool perks, too. Check out all your options for tickets here.

indie memphis 2014

1. Gabriel (Opening Night Film/Gala Screening), Thursday, Oct. 30 7 p.m., Playhouse on the Square, watch the trailer here
Rory Culkin plays Gabriel, a troubled young man who tries to reunite with his first love. As his search gets tougher, he gets crazier. 

No Way! Rory Culkin and director Lou Howe are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Gabriel 

2. Hometowner Shorts (Gala Screening), Friday Oct. 31 6:30 p.m., Playhouse on the Square
11 locally-made short films, ranging from four minutes to 15 minutes long, will play one right after the other. This one is really fun, because the theatre will be full of the Memphis actors, directors, and crew members who made the movies. 

Buy tickets to Hometowner Shorts 

3. Wild Canaries, Friday Oct 31 6:45 p.m., Circuit Playhouse, Watch the trailer here
Brooklyn couple Barri (Sophia Takal) and Noah (writer-director Lawrence Michael Levine) neighbor dies. Barri suspects foul play and sets out to investigate. Boasting a stellar supporting cast including Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Kevin Corrigan (The Departed), and Annie Parisse (The Following), Wild Canaries is a freshly comedic take on classic film noir. 

Buy tickets to Wild Canaries

4. Art & Craft, Saturday Nov 1 3:30 p.m., Playhouse on the Square, Watch the trailer here
For decades, art forger Mark Landis has recreated amazing works of art, passed them off as authentic and given them away to museums and galleries (including the Brooks Museum in Memphis!) posing as a philanthropic donor. This documentary is about how he got caught and what happens next.

No Way!: Mark Landis and Director Sam Cullman are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Art & Craft

5. Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back, Sat, Nov 1 3:35 p.m, Studio on the Square, Watch the music video here
The career of Frankie Banali, drummer of Quiet Riot, took a major sideswipe when his singer and best friend Kevin DuBrow died in 2007. At times both utterly tragic and downright hilarious, the film follows him going through the emotional feat of trying to fill the void left by Kevin and get the band back together one more time. 

No Way!: Director Regina Johnson and Frank Banali are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back 

6. Evolution of a Criminal, Sat Nov 1 3:45 p.m., Hattiloo, Watch the trailer here.
How does a 16 year-old evolve into a bank robber? Filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe asks this very question — about himself. Years after robbing a bank to help his family make ends meet, Monroe returns to his neighborhood to examine lower class struggles and the desperation of a teen under pressure.

No Way!: Director Darius Clark Monroe is scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Evolution of a Criminal 

7. Heathers (Gala Screening), Saturday, Nov 1. 6 p.m., Playhouse on the Square, watch the trailer here 
25th anniversary screening of one of the most subversive films of the 1980s, Heathers. Audiences were not ready for this merciless black comedy when it debuted in 1989, but…it's now regarded as one of the greatest high school movies ever made.(Synopsis by C. Scott McCoy). 

No Way!: Director Michael Lehmann and screenwriter Daniel Waters are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
buy tickets to Heathers 

8. Glena, Saturday Nov. 1 6:30 p.m., Circuit Playhouse, watch the trailer here
Craig Brewer described this film to me like this: "A documentary about a Germantown soccer mom type who becomes a badass cage fighter." I'm sold. (Synopsis by Holly). 

No Way!: Glena Avila and Producer Ashley Scherman are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Glena

9. Who Took Johnny?, Sat Nov 1 6:45 p.m., Studio on the Square, Watch the trailer here
Johnny Gosh was the first missing child to appear on a milk carton more than thirty years ago. His case is cold, but this film focuses on his mother's quest to find the truth, and the endless intrigue and conspiracy theories surrounding the case. 

No Way!: Directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Who Took Johnny 

10. Hoop Dreams, Sunday, Nov. 1 5 p.m., Hattiloo Theater, watch the trailer here
20th anniversary screening of the 1994 documentary which follows the lives of two inner city Chicago boys (Arthur Agee and William Gates) who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. 

No Way!: Arthur Agee, William Gates and Peter Gilbert are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Buy tickets to Hoop Dreams. 

BONUS!! Lights, Camera, Bullsh**, Sunday, Nov. 2 5:30 p.m., Circuit Playhouse, watch the trailer here (warning: adult language in the trailer)
Support your fellow Memphians by going to see this debut from local director Chad Allen Barton that stars Ron Gephart and Eric Tate (who made me cry with his role in The Poor and Hungry). The story: Gerard Evans comes back to Memphis to make legit films, but is thwarted by his crazy day job, mobsters, family obligations, and of course, two psychotic gangs of historically inaccurate presidential impersonators. 

No Way! Director Chad Allen Barton and Producer Joseph Carr are scheduled to attend and participate in a Q&A after the screening. 
Buy tickets to Lights, Camera, Bullsh** 

To see the full Indie Memphis 2014 schedule, go here

A huge, huge thanks to the folks at Indie Memphis who helped me out with this post and picking films. Y'all are the best. 

(Ed. Note: Film synopses ares edited versions of those provided by Indie Memphis, unless otherwise noted.)

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Katie says:

    DEFINITELY Art & Craft.  Recently finished the book the Art Forger (fabulous, btw if you haven't read it) and can't wait to see something similar with a Memphis connection.  Plus, who doesn't love Dave?

  2. Nick says:

    Through a Lens Darkly, Halloween, and Lights Camera BS! And everything else I can get into.

  3. Christopher Marshburn says:

    Looking forward to seeing Gabriel and Heathers for sure.

  4. Mark Adams says:

    Some good looking films this year. I'm interested in the Hometowner Shorts (always cool to see what Memphis locals are up to), Art & Craft, Evolution of a Criminal, Heathers, Glena (which looks hella fun) and Hoop Dreams, among others!

  5. Elle Perry says:

    I plan on seeing Pharoahs of Memphis, The Hip Hop Fellow, Evolution of a Criminal, Romeo and Juliet in Harlem, Lights, Camera, and Bullshit. 

  6. Adam says:

    Halloween, the Adventure Time panel, and Wild Canaries hopefully

  7. Gal f says:

    Definitely Gabriel and evolution of a criminal. As a huge fan of hoop dreams, I would love to attend their q&a. 

  8. Karen says:

    I would love to see them all, but if I had to pick…oh man, still can't decide…perhaps Lights, Camera, Bullsh**!

  9. Mary K. says:

    I'd like to see Gabriel, Wild Canaries, Glena, and Light, Camera, Bullsh**

  10. Libby says:

    I am volunteering, but hope to catch some of Gabriel and the Q&A afterward! 

  11. Elisha M says:

    Must see Heathers!! Such a darkly amazing movie…and Winona!  🙂

  12. Jonathan T says:

    I'll be checking out the Hometowner shorts to see what the kids are up to these days!

  13. Erica says:

    What fun! I'll definitely be checking out the Hometowner Shorts, Glena, the 78 Project, and the Imitation Game… plus more! Can't wait! 

  14. Micah says:

    Gabriel, Whiplash, The Hip-Hop Fellow, Evolution of a Criminal Mind, and the Animation/Experimental Shorts

  15. Veena says:

    Evolution of a Criminal — because I'm fascinated by these things.

    Heathers — because I'm a child of the 80s and I've never seen it.

    Who Took Johnny? — because I remember the milk carton kids from when I was a child.

    Hoop Dreams — because I am a self-professed sports fanatic who is ashamed to admit I've never seen it.

    Pick me pick me!

  16. Patty Padgett says:

    Art & Craft, or  Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back, World Boogie is Coming the Movie, The 78 Project, Hometowner Shorts,Little White Lie,Low Down

  17. Christine says:

    I definitely want to see the Hometowner Shorts – they're great every year! And Hoop Dreams, of course: it's such an amazing documentary. Can't wait to discover new films as well!

  18. Melanie Montgomery says:

    Wild Canaries & Who Took Johnny top my list.

  19. Holly says:

    My film-geek best friend extraordinaire and I would love to see many of these movies. I am particulary intrigued by documentries because of the many ways of apporaching a real story about the real people in front of you. Most of my interests are not just in the dialouge itself but also about the places chosen for filming to tell the story, but also: lighting and camera angles. I am excited to see what Memphis has to offer! 

    – Just another writer. Pick this college kid!

  20. Dave says:

    Two Step, Dead Snow 2, Time Lapse, Glena, Kumiko:Treasure Hunter, Gabriel and hopefully Whiplash plays twice because I'll be at the Hometwoner Shorts Program.


    I'll be a bus boy this weekend.

  21. Denzelle says:

    Views of Memphis!! 🙂

  22. Denzelle says:

    Vires of Memphis, Adventure time, hip hop.

  23. Melissa says:

    I am hoping to see some combination of The 78 Project, Whiplash, (totally wanted to see The Heart Machine but a Halloween party won out), Art + Craft, Heathers, and Off the Floor. So, I guess I'll be watching a lot of movies this weekend. 🙂

  24. Erin says:

    I'll never get tired of Heathers…and on the big screen at that! Definitely looking forward to checking out Gabriel too, gotta love those Culkin brothers. 

  25. CarlyWill Sloan says:

    Evolution of a Criminal and Who Took Johnny? 

  26. Hailey Hall says:

    I am a Film/Production major at University of Memphis & I don't have the money to attend, but I really want to see these films: (and all of them really)
    I Believe in Unicorns
    Wild Canaries
    Evolution of a Criminal
    Who Took Johnny
    Llights, Camera, Bullsh**
    Time Lapse
    I also want to see the Hometowner and Documentary Shorts
    Please Please!

  27. Crystal Walker says:

    1. Wild Canaries 

    2. Evolution of a Criminal 

    3. I'm having a HARD time choosing between Glena and Heathers, but I will be at one of those. I'm leaning more towards Glena. Soccer mom to cage fighting? Huh? How does that happen? Yeah, I just convinced myself that it will be Glena! 

  28. bill rehberg says:

    to Hailey Hall:

    No film major should be excluded from a local film festival. If Indie Memphis won't let you in for free (they should), if you can figure out how to contact me (i can't do everything) – I'll give you the money for a three-day pass.

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