20 Things You Should Know About The 20th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival

20 Things You Should Know About The 20th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival

The annual Indie Memphis Film Festival kicks off today! This year’s fest is November 1-6, 2017 and features more than 200 film screenings around town. Shout-out to Duncan Williams, Inc. for being a major sponsor.

Photo by Katie Mars. Used by permission. Photo by Katie Mars. Used by permission.

Since this is the 20th year of Indie Memphis, I asked Indie Memphis Executive Director Ryan Watt to send me the 20 things you all need to know to take full advantage of this eclectic fest.

Read more about tickets, venues, passes, etc, here. I really suggest you check out that link!

1. Weekend Block Party. Indie Memphis celebrates their 20th anniversary in style with a block party on Cooper this weekend in front of the venues Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse, and Hattiloo Theatre. The block party is free to the public, featuring a large outdoor screen, drinks and food trucks, filmmaker talks under a big tent, art exhibits and more. Cooper will be blocked off from Union to Monroe, plus the west side of Monroe between Circuit Playhouse and Hattiloo.

2. Rainn Wilson. You probably know him from The Office, but Mr. Wilson has a long list of other film credits. He's attending Indie Memphis for the World Premiere of Thom Pain along with the filmmakers. In addition, Rainn stars in Permanent with Patricia Arquette, which screens immediately after. Read more.

3. Abel Ferrara. The iconic director will attend for anniversary screenings of Bad Lieutenant (1992) and The Blackout (1997) as a reunion with the cinematographer, editor and composer. Abel’s band Flyz also will perform before his new documentary Alive in France as well as a full concert at Hi Tone on Nov 5th.

4. Honoring MLK50. The MLK50 series includes eight feature films and a special Hometowner Shorts presentation. These films speak to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

5. A whole week of Indie Memphis. The festival has grown to a six-day-long event at seven venues across town, which provides audiences with plenty of options for enjoying the festival. Read more about the Fest's origins and "greatest hits" here.

Photo by Breezy Lucia. Used with permission.

6. See premieres in Memphis. Most films have never appeared in Memphis, be the first to see them and meet the filmmakers before they are famous. For real. A few examples of folks who made early appearances at Indie Memphis: David Lowery (Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story), Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Win it All) and, of course, Craig Brewer's very first film The Poor & Hungry premiered at the fest.

7. Live music. Expect live music in the theaters before each film.

8. You choose! Tickets or passes. Buy your single film tickets a la carte (most are $10) or purchase a Festival Pass ($100) for access to parties and a dozen films that you can pick at any time (via the app on your phone or the day-of). For all the details, go here.

9. We know you like to party. Meet the filmmakers and actors at after-parties including Earnestine & Hazel's (Nov 1), Old Dominick Distilliery (Nov 2) and Hi Tone (Nov 5). The big events are at the block party on the evenings of Nov 3 and Nov 4 (this Friday and Saturday). 

10. Easy mobile access. Reserve films and access your tickets anytime on the festival mobile friendly site, no printing necessary

11. Primary venues +East satellite venues: Catch films on South Main on weeknights and at Overton Square on the weekend, or attend Indie Memphis at Malco Ridgeway (Nov 1 & 2) and a day of encore screenings at Malco Collierville (Nov 11). 

12. Welcome, filmmakers! More than 200 filmmakers from around the country will be in Memphis for the festival this year.

November 7, 2016 - MEMPHIS, TN: 2016 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Andrea Morales

13. Q&A Talks. More than half of all Indie Memphis films (that's about 100 flicks) include filmmakers who will attend and answer questions.

14. Free panels. “IndieTalks” panel discussions with industry experts are FREE and open to the public during the block party Nov 4 and Nov 5.

15. National recognition. Indie Memphis has been named by MovieMaker Magazine as a 2017 "Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" for the fifth time and sponsored by Amazon Studios.

16. Prestige films. These are the big ones, folks. Be sure you catch Last Flag Flying and Love After Love.

17. Support your hometowners. Support over 90 Memphis filmmakers with feature films, shorts and music videos. 

18. Short films: If you want variety, short film blocks are the way to go. Most feature 8 - 12 short films of all kinds and most filmmakers attend.

19. Local sponsors. Again, big shout-out to the local sponsors who make this happen. The festival is presented for the 7th consecutive year by Duncan Williams, Inc and individual films are sponsored by local businesses to increase the involvement and ownership of the community.

20. IMPORTANT: Your vote counts! Participate at the competition films by voting in the audience awards

Photo by Breezy Lucia. Used with permission.

Huge thanks to Ryan for helping put together this great list!


Go there:

20th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival
November 1 - 6, 2017
Various Locations


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