Indie Memphis Film Festival to reflect intentional diversity

Nov. 1-5 run for 21st annual event

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The 2018 incarnation of the Indie Memphis Film Festival will feature a full slate of films, including five world premiere screenings and one U.S. premiere screening during its Nov. 1-5 run.

With many of the filmmakers in attendance, there also will be special presentations such as “Cabin Boy” with Chris Elliott on hand and Barbara Loden’s “Wanda” presented by Amy Seimetz (Showtime’s “The Girlfriend Experience.”) And, there will be a retrospective of the recent films of filmmaker Hong Sang-soo.

The Opening Night film is Melissa Haizlip and Samuel D. Pollard’s “Mr. Soul!,” a documentary chronicling the first African American-hosted talk show. Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” is the centerpiece presentation.

Andrew Bujaski’s “Support the Girls” is the closing night selection. Bujalski will present the “Indie Memphis Actor of the Year” award to one of the film’s stars, Shayna McHayle (aka Junglepussy).

“Sorry to Bother You” filmmaker Boots Riley will be the festival’s keynote speaker for the Black Creatives Forum as well as presenting “Brazil” (1985, Terry Gilliam). The festival includes 165 short films and over 50 music videos.

“The 21st edition of Indie Memphis Film Festival marks considerable growth for our organization, as we continue to build programs that support the development of filmmakers,” says Indie Memphis executive director, Ryan Watt. “Miriam Bale and Brighid Wheeler have formed arguably the richest festival slate in our history.”

Fifty percent of the films in the Narrative Competition are directed by female-identifying filmmakers and half are directed by people of color. In the Documentary Competition, 43 percent are directed by women and 71 percent by people of color. The festival boasts titles from Spain, France, South Korea, Israel, Austria, Australia, Zambia, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in addition to the U.S.

“We made an effort to avoid cliches in ‘festival films’ and to seek out films that were a little wild or challenging, or that offered something we hadn’t seen often,” said senior programmer Miriam Bale. “We also aimed to decolonize the festival film, seeking out filmmakers who were exploring their own communities whenever possible.”

The 2018 slate was unveiled publicly Tuesday evening (September 25) at the Rec Room in Memphis.

(For more information about the 2018 Indie Memphis Film Festival, including the schedule, tickets and passes, visit https://festival2018.indiememphis.com/welcome. For more information about Indie Memphis, visit http://indiememphis.com/.)