Monday, September 22, 2008

Indie Memphis -- get ready

Excerpts from John Beifuss' story in the CA:

The Indie Memphis Film Festival has unveiled its beautifully redesigned Web site (complete with mockingbird mascot) — and revealed most of its lineup of more than 40 narrative and documentary features and a score or more shorts.

New Indie Memphis director Erik Jambor, a veteran festival organizer, has assembled an impressive roster of film professionals to serve as jurors in the Features, Documentaries, Shorts and Hometowner categories. (“Hometowner” awards are given to movies with a definitive Shelby County connection.) Judges include Elvis Mitchell, the former New York Times film critic who has become a celebrity in his own right, thanks to his regular reviews on NPR and his hosting duties on “Independent Focus” on the Independent Film Channel and “Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence” on Turner Classic Movies; Peter Gilbert, a producer on the acclaimed documentary “Hoop Dreams”; and Alison Bagnall Standefer, co-writer of Vincent Gallo’s “Buffalo ’66.”

Native Memphians Morgan Jon Fox (“omg/HAHAHA”), Brett Hanover (“Bunnyland”) and Brittany Blockman (“Bi the Way”) will be among the filmmakers represented. Films that sound promising include “Chasing the White Dragon,” a violent drama about small town crystal meth addicts; Alex Karpovsky’s “Woodpecker,” a faux documentary about the obsessive search for the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas; the actual documentary, “Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie”; and the documentary ” ’Bama Girl,” about a black woman’s quest to become homecoming queen at the University of Alabama. “Midnight movies” will include “Interplanetary,” about ancient monsters on Mars, and “Dance of the Dead,” in which zombies (what else?) battle dateless nerds at a high-school senior prom.

Returning from last year’s festival will be the Global Lens series, a collection of 10 international films.

The festival takes place Oct. 10-16 at Malco’s Studio on the Square, which will dedicate all five screens to Indie Memphis for the event’s opening weekend.

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