Friday, October 9, 2009

Indie Memphis: Weekend Preview

It's Day 2 of the festival and things are rolling in high gear. Yesterday opened with two great movies, followed by a chance to mix it up at an afterparty at The Vine. Predictably, all of these events were packed! If you are planning to see any screenings at the 2009 Indie Memphis Film Festival, go online and get your tickets now! I saw quite a few folks being turned away due to sold out shows (BTW, the film Paranormal Activity is long sold out, so don't bother with this one at all).

That said, there are plenty of good films going on between now and Wednesday, so check out the program and get your tickets now. Okay, so what are the 'must sees' for this weekend? Here is a preview of the Fri/Sat schedules, along with my picks (when I say 'picks,' I mean the events/films I will attend--not necessarily the best films).

Friday, Oct 9
3:45pm Kentucker Audley Film, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
5:00pm VIP Happy Hour, Festival Cafe (My Pick)
5:30pm Flipside Memphis, Studio on the Square
5:45pm The Mountain, The River, and The Road, Studio on the Square
5:45pm Naturally Obsessed, Studio on the Square
7:00pm Elvis '68 Special, Levitt Shell (Free Outdoor Screening)
7:15pm Luckey, Studio on the Square
7:45pm Alexander the Last, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
7:45pm Stingray Sam, Studio on the Square
9:30pm Living Dark, Studio on the Square
10:00pm A Plus D, Studio on the Square
10:00pm Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, Studio on the Square
10:00pm The Big Lebowski, Levitt Shell (Free Outdoor Screening)
11:59pm Paranormal Activity, Studio on the Square (My Pick)

Saturday, October 10
10:00am Filmmaker Breakfast, Festival Cafe (My Pick)
11:00am Southern Teen Filmmaking Showcase, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
11:00am Indie Kids, Brooks Museum (Free Event)
11:30am Scarred Justice, Studio on the Square
12:00pm It Was Great, But I Was Ready to Come Home, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
12:00pm The Festival Circuit, Festival Cafe (Free Event)
12:30pm Zombie Girl, Studio on the Square
1:00pm Shorts Program #1, Brooks Museum
1:00pm When Critics Converse, Festival Cafe (Free Event) (My Pick)
2:00pm Billy was a Deaf Kid, Studio on the Square
2:15pm Shorts Program #2, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
3:00pm Invisible Girlfriend, Studio on the Square
3:00pm Indie Film Q&A, Festival Cafe
3:15pm Memphis Music at SXSW, Brooks Museum (Free Event)
4:00pm VIP Happy Hour, Festival Cafe (My Pick)
4:30pm Strongman, Studio on the Square
4:45pm All In: The Poker Movie, Studio on the Square
5:15pm Wheedle's Groove, Studio on the Square
7:15pm Dear Lemon Lima, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
7:30pm Music Video Showcase, Studio on the Square
9:30pm The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, Studio on the Square
9:45pm Shorts Program #3, Studio on the Square
10:00pm American Astronaut, Studio on the Square (My Pick)
10:00pm Music Video Afterparty, The Warehouse
11:59pm Pontypool, Studio on the Square (My Pick)

Remember, you can purchase a festival pass and see all the screenings you want (pending ticket availability) and attend all the VIP events.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Follow Indie Memphis with MFS!

As all of you know, the 2009 Indie Memphis Film Festival is kicking off this evening with a free exhibition and reception at the Marshall Arts center (5pm). The event features the war photography of Robert King, the music of Jonathan Kirkscey and serves as a preview for this year's opening night documentary, Shooting Robert King (screening Thu, Oct 8 at 7:15pm and 9:45pm).

If you aren't sure about attending this year's festival, come out for this event (it's free!) and be convinced! This year's festival features great screenings, unique networking opportunities and the chance to learn about film direction from mumblecore luminary Joe Swanberg (you can also catch one of Swanberg's newest films, Alexander the Last, at the festival)!

Other key screenings at this year's festival include the recently added Paranormal Activity (can you say, 'Thank you, Craig Brewer?'), a work-in-progress screening of Kentucky Audley's new film (as well as the trailer for his upcoming movie Open Five) and That Evening Sun (the opening night narrative feature). That said, here's a preview of the opening day of the festival on Thursday, Oct 8:

5pm Opening Night Reception at the Festival Cafe
7pm That Evening Sun screening at Studio on the Square
7:15pm Shooting Robert King screening at Studio on the Square
9pm Opening Night Afterparty at the Vine
9:45pm Shooting Robert King screening at Studio on the Square
10pm That Evening Sun screening at Studio on the Square

For more information, and to get your 2009 Indie Memphis festival passes, go to their official website. Stay up to date on festival happening, reviews and previews by tuning in to this webpage each day, as well as signing up for our newsletter (button on right of page).

See you at the festival!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Batch of Indy Filmmakers

The Guerilla Filmmaking class held at the University of Memphis wrapped last weekend and was a success. Students spent two days of intensive education focusing on developing, producing and marketing their independent films. Students of the class included Thomas Pilgrim, Stephanie Langner, Ryan Hartley, Timothy Sparacello, James Blaisdell, Lionel Quinn and Glenn McDonald.

The Guerilla Filmmaking course will be offered again during the Spring 2010 semester. Stay tuned to this website, or the University of Memphis Continuing Education website for specific dates.

In other news, the Memphis Film Society monthly mixers will be kicking off again in October. Exact date and location will be announced next week. Much like the original mixers offered by MFS, the evening will open with a featured speaker (a local luminary of the film industry), followed by a couple hours of mixing. Come out and meet others in the local film community. These mixers are a great opportunity for producers/directors to meet potential future cast/crew members and vice versa. If you haven't signed up for our official mailing list, do so on the link provided on this webpage.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Memphis Film News

Guerilla Filmmaking Class This Weekend. Visit the University of Memphis' Professional & Continuing Education website to sign up for a Guerilla Filmmaking class with Rich Newman. The class covers all aspects of pre-production, production and post-production under the constraints of an extremely low budget. The course is two days long (Saturday and Sunday, Sep 19/20) and only costs $99.00. You will leave this class with clear guidance for shooting your feature or short film.

Indie Memphis Needs Volunteers. Indie Memphis is looking for volunteers for this year's film festival. Complete a volunteer form at their website to help out during the festival, as well as get a great t-shirt . The orientation meeting for the volunteers is scheduled for Sep 17, so sign up soon to make that meeting!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cigarette Girl Premiere

Support local filmmakers by purchasing your ticket to the official Memphis premiere of Mike McCarthy's new film Cigarette Girl. Your $12 ticket will get you a seat at the movie, as well as into the official afterparty at Nocturnal. The screening takes place on September 10th at Malco's Studio on the Square.

Here's the official synopsis of the film:

A STORY FOR QUITTERS In the near future laws against smoking have increased to the point where you must live in a certain part of town called the SMOKING SECTION if want to smoke cigarettes. Once you have passed the line of demarcation you just know you've crossed the tracks because things get a little grimier, a little more industrial. The sky is a little blacker. The mood is heavier. Someone might get hurt. Cigarettes now cost $63.49 a pack, yet the money derived from this tax obviously isn't going toward this dystopian corner of the city. If you travel there to smoke or to buy (because it is also illegal to buy on the 'clean' side of town) there are several options, but the main place is the VICE CLUB. There you will find old fashion Cigarette Girls like our heroine with no name. The VICE CLUB was actually a cigarette factory built in 1935 and designed by the very best deco influenced architects. The original owners even installed a giant 50 foot long IRON cigarette on top of the building that tipped into an gigantic ashtray. One hundred years later that cigarette is cancer coated with rust but still tilts back and forth - if the wind is strong enough, making a horrible squeak on it's axis that is heard through out the city. Cigarette Girl becomes an angel of death when she stops smoking and starts killing on the third day to alleviate her acute psychological withdrawal manifested primarily by the ghost of a cowboy who is always on her back to keep smoking. Cigarette Girl would rather kill than smoke. Written by John Michael McCarthy.

You can check out more about the movie on the official website. See you at the premiere!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Guerilla Filmmaking Course

As part of the University of Memphis' Continuing Education program, Memphis Film Society's Rich Newman will be instructing a course this summer on Guerilla Filmmaking. The class is open to the general public--including high school students--and will be taught over two consecutive weekends in June.

Students of the Guerilla Filmmaking class will spend the first weekend going over every aspect of movie making, including screenwriting, pre-production, and production (all from the point of view of a low-budget project). Students will then be responsible for developing and shooting a short film over the next week--all with the guidance of the instructor.

The second weekend will focus on marketing, finance, and distribution of independent movies--and give students a chance to discuss what went right and wrong during the production of the short films over the last week. The weekend will end by screening the completed shorts.

In addition to the knowledge and experience gained over the course of the two weekends, participants will also walk away with a mini-guide for a complete guerilla production manual and hopefully a completed short film that's ready for the festival circuit. The class costs $249.00 and includes all the materials and tools needed for completion of the course. You can download the Summer Catalog for the University of Memphis and sign up for the class when registration opens on May 15th. Class registration is limited to a small amount of students due to the shooting/screening of films so don't wait too long to register!

See you there!

Posted by: Rich Newman
Contact Rich at

Friday, April 17, 2009

Memphis Film News

Indie Memphis is sponsoring the premiere of Craig Brewer's $5 Cover at the Malco Paradiso on Thursday, April 30 (check out the video below of Craig promoting the musicians of $5 Cover at the 2009 SXSW Music Festival--you can see more videos at Brewer's YouTube channel: MyBrewTube).

The screening will feature the entire 15-episode series that will hit MTV sometime this year. There will be four screenings of the series and tickets can be purchased in advance at the Indie Memphis website. Though tickets will be also offered at the door at the event, this is a set of screenings that will most likely sell out in advance, so you will probably want to get your tix in advance. The price is $10 and proceeds will benefit Indie Memphis. The screening is being sponsored by Malco Theatres and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

In other news, the Memphis Film Society and Rich Newman will be hosting a Guerilla Filmmaking class at the University of Memphis early this summer. The course will be presented as part of U of M's Professional and Continuing Education program. The course is taught over two consecutive weekends and will allow students to write, direct and edit a short film. Once the course has ended, a screening of the completed shorts will be hosted for the participants and presented to the public (location to be determined). Visit the U of M's website for more info on the course and for enrollment.

Posted by: Rich Newman
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Oxford Film Festival

Well, it's official: The Oxford Film Festival has made their festival selections and the countdown begins. Scheduled this year from Feb 5-8, the festival is in its sixth year of operation and promises to be the best yet. In years past, Memphis filmmakers have done well in Oxford and the contributions of this festival to the area are significant.

Also, there's plenty to do in Oxford at this festival; never mind the screenings, panels, and events--you have to visit some of the area's best restaurants/bars to fully appreciate the nightlife in this town. I recommend City Grocery and the Library for tons of fun. Stay tuned to the Memphis Film Society website for complete coverage of the festival, as well as tips regarding networking at this year's event.

The Memphis Film Society will also be visiting Austin, Texas this year for the SXSW Film Festival and meeting with the Austin Film Society about a possible partnership for future screenings and events in Memphis. Stay tuned as these are announced in the near future. Right now, MFS is simply a loose collection of local talent, crew, and production companies, but in the near future we will become more formal and you will see more programs coming out of this organization.

See y'all in Oxford!

Posted by: Rich Newman
Contact Rich at