Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Indie Memphis Announces Partial Festival Program

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Today, Indie Memphis released a portion of the lineup for its 13th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, which will screen films over four days at three Midtown locations starting Thursday, October 21st.

In addition to announcing the full competition slate for non-local docs and features, Indie Memphis announced what are essentially the tentpole screenings for the festival's first three nights.

Louis Gossett Jr. (right) stars in  The Grace Card, the made-in-Memphis feature that will open this years Indie Memphis Film Festival.
  • Louis Gossett Jr. (right) stars in The Grace Card, the made-in-Memphis feature that will open this year's Indie Memphis Film Festival.
The opening night film at this year's festival will the premiere of The Grace Card, a religious-themed feature that was made locally and is set for a national release early next year. The Grace Card will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21st at Playhouse on the Square, and will be followed by the local premiere of Open Five, a collaboration between local filmmaker Kentucker Audley and musician Jake Rabinbach (of Jump Back Jake), with help behind the camera from Chicago indie stalwart Joe Swanberg.

The Grace Card was directed by Memphis optometrist David Evans and co-stars Louis Gossett Jr. The film was recently acquired by Sony Pictures, which has scheduled a February 25th theatrical release for next year.

Open Five, which screens at 9 p.m., also at Playhouse, follows Audley and Rabinbach (playing fictional variations on themselves) as they accompany two out-of-town visitors — both NYC girls and potential love interests — across the city for a weekend. I wrote about the film's production here.

Mystery Train returns to Memphis for an outdoor screening at the Levitt Shell.
  • Mystery Train returns to Memphis for an outdoor screening at the Levitt Shell.
On Friday, Indie Memphis will thankfully give outdoor screenings at the Levitt Shell another go. Last year, unexpectedly terrible weather severely hampered attendance when Indie Memphis screened a double feature of Elvis Presley's 1968 "comeback" special for NBC and the Coen Brothers' something-more-than-cult classic The Big Lebowski as part of the festival. Recognizing that movies in the park is still a terrific idea (I'm editorializing here) and hoping for better fortune from the weather gods, Indie Memphis returns to the Shell with a Memphis-music themed double-feature.

Jim Jarmusch's classic made-in-Memphis film Mystery Train (which I wrote about earlier this year) will screen at 7 p.m., sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises (and co-presented by the Levitt Shell and The Memphis Flyer). The second half of the double feature will be John Landis' widely loved comedy The Blues Brothers, with Stax stalwarts Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper in the band. The Blues Brothers will screen at 9 p.m., sponsored by the Memphis Music Foundation and presented by visiting critic and radio/television host Elvis Mitchell.

And on Saturday night, Indie Memphis builds its program around what might be the hottest ticket at the festival, a 10th anniversary screening of a refurbished cut of Craig Brewer's career-launching Memphis feature The Poor & Hungry, which shows 7 p.m. at Playhouse on the Square. Brewer, currently in Georgia shooting Footloose, is scheduled to return to town for the screening.

Craig Brewer and star Lindsay Roberts, captured by the Flyer 10 years ago, on the eve of The Poor & Hungrys debut.
  • Craig Brewer and star Lindsay Roberts, captured by the Flyer 10 years ago, on the eve of The Poor & Hungry's debut.
Competition films also announced today:

Feature Films

Audrey the Trainwreck, directed by Frank V. Ross

Bicycle Lane, directed by Jeffery Ruggles

Blackmail Boys, directed by Bernard Shumanski & Richard Shumanski

The Colonel's Bride, directed by Brent Stewart

Drones, directed by Amber Benson & Adam Busch

Earthwork, directed by Chris Ordal

Exit 117, directed by Kevin James McMullin

Gabi on the Roof in July, directed by Lawrence Levine

Mars, directed by Geoff Marslett

The New Year, directed by Brett Haley

Passenger Pigeons, directed by Martha Stephens

Documentary Films:

American Jihadist, directed by Mark Claywell

Being the Diablo, directed by Rod Murphy

Beijing Punk, directed by Shaun Jefford

General Orders No. 9, directed by Bob Persons

Gerrymandering, directed by Jeff Reichert

The Last Survivor, directed by Michael Kleiman & Michael Pertnoy

Queen of the Sun, directed by Taggart Siegel

Roll Out, Cowboy, directed by Elizabeth Lawrence

Thunder Soul, directed by Mark Landsman

Other showcase screenings — which will likely include several films that have screened to good notices at high-profile festivals such as Sundance, Slamdance, and SXSW — will be announced at a later date.

Tickets go on sale to the general public at noon on Wednesday, October 13th at www.indiememphis.com. Tickets to the screenings of The Grace Card and The Poor & Hungry are $15 each. Open Five and all other regular festival screenings are $10 each. The Levitt Shell screenings are free. Indie Memphis members may purchase their tickets at a $2 discount beginning at noon on Friday, October 8.

For more information see indiememphis.com.

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