Sunday, November 4, 2012

Indie Memphis Awards: Antenna, As I Am, Open Five 2 are among the winners.

Posted By on Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Co-creators and leads Caroline White and Kentucker Audley in Hometowner Feature winner Open Five 2.
  • Co-creators and leads Caroline White and Kentucker Audley in Hometowner Feature winner Open Five 2.

C. Scott McCoy and Laura Jean Hocking's full-length music documentary Antenna and Alan Spearman's South Memphis-set short doc As I Am were double-winners at the 15th Indie Memphis Film Festival, which presented its awards at a closing ceremony Sunday night.

Antenna won Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature and a Special Jury Award for Local Significance from the Hometowner jury. As I Am took in two Hometowner awards, Best Documentary Short and the Audience Award.

The ceremony was hosted by producer Savannah Bearden and featured video clips from the local Corduroy Wednesday filmmaking group, which spoofed the upcoming presidential election with a fictional election for Indie Memphis executive director. Filmmakers G.B. Shannon, Edward Valibus Phillips, and Ben Siler portrayed challengers to "incumbent" Erik Jambor, who went above and beyond this year by overseeing the biggest and best Indie Memphis yet despite having his first child — a daughter, Simone — just two days before the festival began. (Simone made a cameo at the ceremony, in the arms of mother happy mother Robin Salant.) Helping in the expansion is primary sponsor Duncan-Williams, Inc..

"I've told Erik, we're going to continue to make this bigger and better every year," Williams himself announced at the ceremony's outset.

Ryan Parker and G.B. Shannon picked up the first award of the night for Best Hometowner Short Film for their work Pretty Monsters, making it the consecutive wins in this category for the duo following their 2011 prize winner Fresh Skweezed.

The most memorable acceptance speech came from Kentucker Audley and Caroline White, the "stars" and co-producers of Audley's intensely personal Open Five 2, which won the award for Best Hometowner Feature.

"I think I'm the only person on the stage that likes the movie," Audley cracked after White was struggling for words to explain the film.

The festival introduced a new award this year, the Indie Memphis Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to late Memphis filmmaker Rod Pitts, who passed away this spring and whose lone feature as a director, What Goes Around ..., received an encore screening at the festival.

The award was introduced by filmmakers Craig Brewer and Chris McCoy, who remembered Pitts as a promising filmmaker on his own as well as a tireless advocate and contributor to the work of other aspiring local artists. The award was accepted by actor Marcus Seaberry, who gave a brief, emotional speech on Pitts behalf.

"Yesterday was the first time I'd seen What Goes Around ... since he passed and I didn't know how I'd handle it, but it was joyous."

Writer-director Alex Karpovsky, from Red Flag, winner of Best Narrative Feature at this years Indie Memphis Film Festival.
  • Writer-director Alex Karpovsky, from Red Flag, winner of Best Narrative Feature at this year's Indie Memphis Film Festival.

Outside of local work, the top awards went to actor/director Alex Karpovsky's Red Flag for Best Narrative Feature and Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me for Best Documentary Feature.

Martha Stephens, writer and director of Pilgrim Song, winning of the Soul of Southern Film Award.
  • Martha Stephens, writer and director of Pilgrim Song, winning of the Soul of Southern Film Award.

The festival's longstanding Soul of Southern Film Award went to Pilgrim Song, a Kentucky-set film from West Virginia-based filmmaker Martha Stephens that was also produced by the local Paper Moon Films. (And, on a personal note, Pilgrim Song was probably my favorite in-competition film I was able to see at this year's festival.)


Narrative Feature Awards:

Best Narrative FeatureRed Flag
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Quartet
Nice Shoes AwardSun Don't Shine
Duncan-Williams Screenwriting AwardRed Legs
Special Jury Award for CinematographyPavilion

Documentary Awards:

Best Documentary FeatureBig Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Special Jury Prize for Documentary Feature Very Extremely Dangerous
Best Documentary ShortMr. Smith's Peach Seeds
Special Jury Prize for Documentary ShortAbuelas
Audience Award for Documentary FeatureAntenna
Audience Award for Documentary ShortCardboard Titanics

Short Films Awards:

Best Short FilmThroat Song
Best Animated/Experimental FilmThe Hunter
Special Jury Prize for CinematographySuspended
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance — Robert Longstreet (for Cork's Cattlebaron and What Happens When Robert Leaves the Room)
Audience Award for Narrative ShortMorning Stroll

Hometowner Awards:

Best Hometowner FeatureOpen Five 2
Best Hometowner Narrative ShortPretty Monsters
Honorable Mention for Best Hometowner Narrative ShortTwine Sleep
Best Hometowner Documentary ShortAs I Am
Audience Award for Hometowner FilmAs I Am
Special Jury Prize for Local SignificanceAntenna

Festival Committee Awards:

First Annual Indie Memphis Lifetime Achievement Award — Rod Pitts
Soul of Southern Film AwardPilgrim Song
Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking AwardReconvergence

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