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Welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission

Greetings and welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission’s new web site!  Brimming with new features and up-to-date information, we invite you to come in and look around to get a peek at what Memphis & Shelby County have to offer film productions of all sizes.  Take a minute to browse our location library in Reel-Scout, check out our diverse production guide, or get a taste of productions that have shot here and utilized our crew base over at Film Memphis TV!  

Special thanks to Christopher Reyes, Sarah Fleming, and the crew over at SE2M for their outstanding hard work in making this web site possible. Thanks also to content editor Jon W. Sparks.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, like other publicly-funded film commissions in the U.S.A., works only with funded productions and does not assist producers in securing funding for projects.

The Film Commission's Website makes available hiring/casting information from third parties. This information is to be used as general information only. Although such information is believed to be generally reliable, the posting of the information on the commission website does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation from the Commission. Nor does the Posting imply any assurance regarding the accuracy of the information, the funding of the project, the completion of the project, or the payment to crew/vendors/cast.

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International Jewish Film Festival opens Feb. 18

The Morris and Mollye Fogelman International Jewish Film Festival — sponsored by Wendy and Avron Fogelman and presented by the Memphis Jewish Community Center — opens Wednesday, Feb. 18 and runs through Sunday, March 1.

Opening reception and film (“The Green Prince”) are at the Malco Ridgeway Four at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18. “The Green Prince” received the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The documentary by Nadav Schirman is about Mosab Hassan Yousef’s extraordinary double-life as the son of a Hamas radical who turned informer for Israel’s Shin Bet agency.

“Run Boy Run” will be shown at the MJCC Belz Theater at 7:30 p.m. Thursday Feb. 19 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. The film, a saga of courage and compassion, tells the true story of a Polish boy who was smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto at age eight and ran for three years to escape the Holocaust. The film has won several audience awards, including from the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival and The Boston Jewish Film Festival.

“Hunting Elephants” will screen at the MJCC Belz Theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21.” Hunting Elephants” has been nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards including Best Film. Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) and a cast of top Israeli talent star in this bank heist caper and coming-of-age tale from writer-director Reshef Levi (“Lost Islands”). The Israeli Post says “‘Hunting Elephants’ is a delightful concoction of jocular hijinks and tender moments sure to leave audiences smiling.”

“Above and Beyond” plays at the MJCC Belz Theater at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25. The film is the true story of a group of Jewish American pilots who smuggled planes out of the United States, trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia, and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. Produced by Nancy Spielberg, “Above and Beyond” won the Best Documentary Award at the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival and audience awards from the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema and the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival.

The short films competition takes place Thursday, Feb. 26th at the MJCC Belz Theater at 7:30 p.m. There are six short films: three documentaries and three dramas that the audience will vote on.  There will be a cash prize for the winners of best documentary and best drama. The winners will be announced on the last day of the festival - March 1st.  The films are: “Moses on the Mesa,” “German Shepherd,” “Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion,” “GreenHorn,” “People of the Graphic Novel” and “What’s in a Name.”

“For A Woman” will be shown in the MJCC Belz Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28. The film received multiple official selection awards from the New York Jewish Film Festival, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, San Diego and Washington Jewish Film Festivals.

A documentary double feature will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1. “Havana Curveball” and “I Shall Not Be Silent”:  “Havana Curveball” is about Mica, a classic young teen who launches a grand plan to send baseball equipment to less fortunate kids in Cuba. It won Best Documentary at the Boston International Kids Film Festival and was awarded official selection at the Havana International Film Festival among others. “I Shall Not Be Silent” is about Joachim Prinz, who was an outspoken rabbi in Berlin in the 1930s and later became a civil rights leader in America and colleague of Dr. Dr. Martin Luther King. “I Shall Not Be Silent” is an official selection at The Jewish Film Festival in Berlin, New Jersey, Toronto and the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

All films are $7 for the public and $5 for MJCC members.  Tickets are available at www.jccmemphis.org/film, or by calling the MJCC Member Services desk at 901-761-0810 or at the MJCC. For more information contact Amy Israel, Director of Cultural Arts and Judaic Enrichment at 901-761-0810 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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MovieMaker: Memphis one of top 10 ‘movie cities’ for sixth time

Applause once more for Memphis, as the city joins other hot movie cities such as Albuquerque, Austin, Los Angeles and New York City on MovieMaker Magazine’s annual list of  “Top 10 Big Cities for Filmmakers to Live and Work.”

In an interview with John Beifuss in today’s The Commercial Appeal, MovieMaker Magazine deputy editor Kelly Leow said Memphis won the No. 7 spot, citing “Memphis’ tight-knit film community” and “… a Film Commission that supports every project that comes through, no matter how small.”

Linn Sitler, the world's longest-serving film commissioner and Memphis & Shelby County's own film commissioner says: “How great to have this recognition as the No. 7 Movie City in the U.S., as our commission celebrates our 30th anniversary this year! Memphis is definitely film friendly and always has been, starting in the late 1980s when we hosted our first feature client, Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Mystery Train.’ Greatly adding to Memphis’ reputation as a ‘Top Movie City’ is Malco Theatres’ historic generosity in offering screenings of local films, local film premieres and even local and regional ‘runs’ of films by Memphis and Mid-South filmmakers! Our independent film community has grown into such a talented, supportive, and positive force. Each of our film festivals is unique — MovieMaker has even recognized Indie Memphis as one of the world’s coolest film festivals. Deputy Film Commissioner Sharon Fox O'Guin is definitely ‘hands-on’ with every project large or small. Our government leaders continue to support us through good times and bad. Our film commission and our filmmaking community definitely deserve the applause."

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission reported to MovieMaker Magazine as part of the magazine’s qualifying process a total of 299 filming days in Commission-assisted projects for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. Clients ranged from larger projects such as the HBO/Cinemax production “Quarry” and the independent feature “Free in Deed” to the short film by Memphis filmmaker Melissa Anderson Sweazy: “The Department of Signs and Magical Intervention.” Also shooting were multiple locally produced music videos featuring Memphis musician Amy LaVere. International episodic television segments, reality TV shows, commercials and corporate videos also counted toward the 299 shooting days.

For the full story on why MovieMaker Magazine loves Memphis, go to moviemaker.com at noon CST today.

Memphis was first selected as a “Top Ten Movie City” in 2006. The city made the list again in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and returned again in 2014 in the No. 9 position.

For more information, contact Memphis & Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler at 901.527.8300 extension 3.

Find MovieMaker Magazine here.

John Beifuss' article is here

 
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OL:M Presents: The 2015 Oscar Shorts

On Location: Memphis again presents this year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts in the categories of Animation and Live Action. All the nominees for both catergories will be screened at Studio on the Square. Each year the Academy Awards honor a short film in the categories of Animation, Live Action and Documentary. Prior to the Oscar's Telecast, the Academy allows moviegoers from across the country the special opportunity to see their Oscar Nominated Shorts. As a part of OL:M’s Sweet 15 Year of Giving it is encouraging Oscar shorts viewers to also support the Ronald McDonald House Charities Memphis.  There is a donation button on the purchase page.

Screenings are at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 and Feb. 4. Get tickets here.

On Feb. 22, OL:M has an Oscar Night Watch Party at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar at 948 South Cooper. The party is to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Memphis. Come see if you chose the Oscar Winner which will qualify you for a chance to be an Oscar Night winner.  This event is free to the public, just bring a donation. 

   
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Local indie hit 'Fresh Skweezed' now online

“Fresh Skweezed,” an independent short film by Memphians G.B. Shannon and Ryan Parker, is now available online.

The 22-minute project, which was assisted by the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, was praised by film critics and audiences at festivals across the country when it premiered in 2011.

The script for “Fresh Skweezed” — a story about a young girl and her neighborhood lemonade stand — was written specifically for its young star, Haley Parker (no relation to Ryan Parker), after Shannon saw her in Clay Jeter's 2010 short film, “Five Dollars.” He was taken with her talent, and the narrative is matched at every step by Haley’s beyond-her-years acting chops.

Memphis-based Music+Arts Studio has released “Fresh Skweezed” through major digital retailers. It’s available at Vimeo on Demand here: vimeo.com/ondemand/freshskweezed.

Last May, Music+Arts Studio remastered and released “Cigarette Girl,” a feature-length film by Memphis director Mike McCarthy that was also assisted by the Film Commission. Go here to see availability on DVD and online.

   

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