Sunday, March 5, 2006

Memphis International Film Festival info


MEMPHIS (March 6, 2006) -- The 7th annual Memphis International Film Festival will open with acclaimed music and documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge’s ("Last of the Mississippi Jukes," "Blues Divas"), newest film NEW ORLEANS MUSIC IN EXILE at 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 23 at Malco’s Paradiso Theatre. The film is a story of struggle, inspiration and the power of the Crescent City's music history. Musicians featured in the documentary include Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas, the Iguanas, the ReBirth Brass Band and others. In addition to performing they share their personal stories of how Katrina affected their lives, scattering them to other cities, and how they're getting back on their feet. Mugge and producer Diana Zelman will be in attendance for a Q and A session after the screening with possible attendance by musicians and performers featured in the film. Tickets to opening night are $10 and will be available at Malco’s Paradiso and

Saturday evening of the MIFF 7 has been deemed REEL SOUL MEMPHIS NIGHT to celebrate a partnership with REEL SOUL MEMPHIS, a exclusive screening series and social experience that uses film as the cornerstone for expressions of African-American and Latino culture. The innovation of partners Jeffrey Hines, Cardell Orrin, Christopher Owens, Shumba Shaver and Van Turner, Reel Soul Memphis will offer outlets for professionals in Memphis by focusing on high culture and promoting minority patronage and community uplift. Saturday evening will include films celebrating this culture with an after party that is sure to be an un-reel neo-soul experience!

The festival will have a definitive musical influence in addition to the opening night film with screenings of AMAZING GRACE: JEFF BUCKLEY and ALTERED BY ELVIS. Both documentary films that examine the lives of two legendary musical influences who made a great impact in Memphis and the world. Films of regional interest include the locally produced feature DAMMI IL LA, an Italian film with screenplay by Memphis Sarah Ledbetter, CHALK by former Memphian Mike Akel, and RICHARD JOHNSTON: HILL COUNTRY TROUBADOUR.

This year’s International Masters Screenings include:
LA PROMESSE - an extremely powerful film by the Dardenne brothers, a tersely lyrical piece about the abuses of illegal immigrant workers in Belgium.
MOOLAADE - Ousamane Sembene's film deals with women's rights issues, specifically the phenomenon of female circumcision in some African cultures.
BEAU TRVAIL – Claire Denis' masterwork re-working of Melville's "Billy Budd".
CLAIRE DOLAN - Lodge Kerrigan's film about a woman whose knowledge of men encompasses everything except how to trust them and find happiness with them.
WEEKEND - Jean-Luc Goddard’s impressive plateau of film originality, incorporating inter-titles, extended tracking shots, and music to add an entirely new grammar to film language.
QUITTING(Zuotian) - Zhang Yang's gutsy film that tackles a real-life tale of drug addiction, mental illness, family conflict and the downside of fame, using a cast of characters who are pretty much recreating their own experiences.

Individual screenings are $7 per person based on first come, first served seating with Festival Passholders receiving priority seating at all festival events – Opening Night tickets are $10 per person. Festival passes which allow priority seating to all film screenings and seminars are $35 in advance and can be purchased by calling 901-626-9685. The festival is presented by the Memphis Film Forum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to
the promotion of education, economic development, and cultural diversity through the cinema arts. MIFF 7 sponsors include Malco Theatres; FedEx; the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission; The Tennessee Arts Commission; and the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. More information can be found on the Memphis Film Forum website at

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