Thursday, October 8, 2009

IM09: Opening Night

Erik Jambor and Les Edwards TCB @ IM09

Indie Memphis director Erik Jambor was prostrate on the floor in the lobby of Studio on the Square. Nothing was wrong, it was just a long haul to this moment when the opening night's screenings had finally gotten underway. In fact, he was pretty pleased with the way things were going.

"We're thrilled with the great turnout," he said. "It's a great crowd in the hospitality tent and the rain held off."

At about 8 p.m., Erik and Les Edwards, a producer and long-time fixture of Indie Memphis, were on their phones and huddled over a laptop, smoothing wrinkles and keeping things moving ahead, toward the post-screening Q&As, the after party and then six more days of glorious film.

The festival volunteers were deftly taking care of business with good humor and making sure filmmakers got wrangled, members were tended to, tickets were distributed and merch sold.

All in the name of bringing a singular cinematic experience to town.

"It's important for us to highlight Robert King and do the tie-in with the exhibition last night and the film tonight," Erik said. King is a Memphis photographer who has spent his life taking pictures in war zones such as Iraq and Bosnia. The documentary of King by British filmmakers Richard Parry and Vaughan Smith was featured Thursday night and an exhibit of King's photos opened Wednesday at Marshall Arts.

Among those there to see "Shooting Robert King" or the feature "That Evening Sun" were Jimmie and Nancy Tashie, Linn Sitler, Hunter Deusing, Haley Giles, Elvis Mitchell, Sarah Fleming, J. Lazarus Hawk, Craig Brewer, Erin Hagee, Mark Jones, Don Meyers, Matt Beickert, Tommy Kha and Robin Salant.

And so was the terrific character actor Barry Corbin who stars in "That Evening Sun." "He hasn't seen the film yet," said Erik, "so that's why he's here, as are some of Dixie Carter's friends. So it's a special evening."

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