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I have always been interested in participating in the Indie Memphis Film Festival. So, when I was given the opportunity this year I immediately said yes. I had to work my full-time job and a bartending gig the same day as the first event, but I still showed up for the festival. This was an opportunity I could not miss!
Upon arrival, I started thinking about other big festivals like Sundance Film Festival, Cannes, and South by Southwest. I thought about how important they are to the film industry and how getting films entered into those festivals is major for filmmakers. Then I started thinking about Memphis and how we have a film festival that has been going on for 25 years. A festival that is bringing filmmakers/creators from Memphis and beyond, and cultivating local talent. It reminded me of how important Memphis is to so many different avenues! And the crazy thing is that the festival is just a piece of what Indie Memphis does.
Indie Memphis works year-round through its mentorship, providing grants, workshops, having a youth program, and so much more! With over 180 diverse independent films, the Indie Memphis Film festival gives an opportunity and a voice to all who desire to be heard and seen. Living up to the phrase I often saw throughout the festival, “Film For All”. This entire experience reminded me that Memphis is Art! There are way too many talented people and programs for us to not be associated with it! Artists are continuously being flown in and out of Memphis for their work and accepting awards for their accomplishments. Those artists and Memphis deserve acknowledgment and celebration!
Now, if you’re thinking about attending the festival my recommendation is to go VIP! Taking part in the festival VIP style will forever be how I must pull up! It spoils you, and you’ll never want to attend the same. With the VIP pass ($250 for non-members and $200 for members) you can select tickets for up to 15 in-person films, gain first access to in-person film tickets (one week before going on sale to the public), get invitations to pre-festival VIP Parties and special events, priority seating, 5 available virtual Feature Films (additional films $5/each), unlimited virtual short films, complimentary drink tickets and snacks, swag bags and more! It’s worth the price! I got to see a lot of films produced and created by locals, rate films, sit in on panels, and enjoy live music before each movie. I visited theaters I had never been to and met some incredible people. It was so amazing to be in the room with aspiring and accomplished filmmakers sharing their experiences and knowledge with one another. Even though film making is not my creative outlet I was glad to be in the room to absorb the energy.
Now I know you are thinking that $250 is a lot. I get it! However, you are paying to support the organization’s yearly efforts and for the experience. But if you don’t want to jump that deep into the festival your first time there are virtual passes and single tickets available. For those who have attended the festival before but haven’t gone VIP go ahead and prepare to do that next year! Lol
Huge thank you to the Executive Director of Indie Memphis, Kimel Fryer! I'm so happy they have you and can't wait to support even more!
Please be sure to follow @indiememphis on all social media platforms and support NEOW! Again, they have programs and grants so take advantage!
To learn more about Indie Memphis and its programs click here
Here are some of my favorite films from this year:
Homeboys Haunted 2
Faithful Witness: In The Middle
United Front- The Peoples Convention 1991 Memphis
Facing Down Storms: Memphis and the Making of Ida B. Wells
There were so many more I wanted to see. Next year I will have to free up more time to get more in!