The On Location: Memphis film festival has announced the bulk of the lineup for its 2009 festival, which is moving from its traditional March slot to April 23 through 26 and taking over Malco's Ridgeway Four for its Friday-Sunday showings. The lineup so far is strongest on the documentary side, where the acclaimed Prom Night in Mississippi will get a local premiere. Directed by Paul Saltzman, Prom Night in Mississippi chronicles actor Morgan Freeman's decade-long attempt to finance the first racially integrated high school prom in his hometown of Charleston, Mississippi. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was an audience award winner recently at the Oxford Film Festival.
Other compelling doc titles on the slate include films about Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, and Garrison Keillor. On Location will announce its opening-night film in the coming weeks. For more information, see OnLocationMemphis.org.
One film that was originally slated to premiere at the On Location festival was John Michael McCarthy's Cigarette Girl, the Memphis exploitation-cinema auteur's first full feature since Superstarlet A.D. nearly a decade ago. McCarthy finished principal shooting last fall but decided to shoot some new footage in February, delaying production. McCarthy is now into post-production on the project.
While McCarthy is on the stretch run of Cigarette Girl, another project he worked on, Craig Brewer's $5 Cover, is getting ready for its close-up. After promotional events at the Sundance and Oxford film festivals, Brewer will join a bevy of $5 Cover artists later this month at the South By Southwest Music Festival. Segments of the web-based series will be shown in between sets at the $5 Cover/MusicMemphis showcase in Austin, while Brewer and other $5 Cover participants will be promoting the series in other ways. MTV hasn't announced an official launch date for the series, but it's looking like a late-spring/early-summer debut.
After a lengthy hiatus, Live From Memphis' popular Lil Film Fest returns this month with help from the Memphis Tourism Foundation and Indie Memphis. The ninth Lil Film Fest, which will showcase 13 short films from local filmmakers on the subject "Memphis: Fact or Fiction?," will take place Saturday, March 21st, at 2 p.m. at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Look for more on this in next week's Flyer.
Don't forget to check out the third episode of On the Edge of Happiness, local filmmaker Mark Jones' web-based, five-part murder-mystery/soap-opera series, this week at EdgeofSoapOpera.com. On last week's second episode, "The Cemetery," the bride-to-be (Corie Ventura), who was shot at the end of the first episode, was found comatose on a hospital bed with drama, intrigue, and character revelations swirling around her.