2021 Memphis Indie Film Festival shines spotlight on homegrown talent

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis is known for a lot of things, but red carpets and movies may not be one of them just yet.

“It’s getting there. It’s getting to be a film city,” said Miriam Bale, artistic director for the non-profit Indie Memphis and organizer for the 2021 Indie Memphis Film Festival. “We’ve been lucky enough to be kind of selective at this point. We’ve had lots of submissions.”

Filmmakers from across the country submit to have their films screened at the festival.

“It’s one of the coolest film festivals in America. It really is,” said Robert Greene.

Greene traveled from Missouri to Memphis for the screening of his film, “Procession,” a movie about six survivors of abuse in the Catholic church.

The film has already been picked up by Netflix, but having it shown on a Friday evening at The Circuit Playhouse theater still means something in this business.

“I’m really happy that we’re at this festival because playing in a movie theater still matters a lot to me,” said Greene.

Last year’s festival was primarily virtual with a few outdoor screening events, but this year, organizers took a hybrid approach with mandatory vaccinations and mask-wearing to get people back into the theater.

Over 150 films will be shown over a five-day period.

One of those films will come from two recent University of Memphis graduates and brothers, William and Caleb Suggs.

Their movie, “Homeboys Haunted,” will be shown at the film festival.

The two just launched their own film studio called Studio Suggs in Memphis.

“Memphis has so much opportunity and so many resources that people just don’t know about that’s not necessarily connected. And when you tap into those resources, you realize you can make something very great and very powerful with the people and the things that we have here,” said Caleb Suggs.

Memphis may not be known for movie making just yet, but it’s certainly making waves in the industry.

Indie Memphis has also made it a mission to move into the forefront of supporting black creatives.

“We’ve realized we’re not Atlanta. We’re not LA, but what we can be is truly an independent film artist. Especially black independent film artists have been able to support these creatives,” said Bale.

For ticket information for the festival, click here.

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