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Casting call for local short film

The creative company Cat + Fish is currently casting roles for a short film. The production, “Carbike,” is a recipient of the 2014 Indie Memphis Film Grant and will be filming over a 3-day period in April. The production is seeking actors to portray a Japanese male (age 25-40), Japanese female (age 25-35) and Caucasian male (age 30-40).

If interested, send a headshot, past experience, and availability to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Put “carbike casting” in the subject line of the email. Nonactors are welcome to submit.

The film is about an Asian couple — Hiro and Liliko — who are visiting friends in Memphis. They discover the peculiar carbike in their host’s garage and decide to take a ride, visiting some of Memphis’s landmarks, such as Joe’s Liquors, Tobey Skatepark and Jerry’s Snocones. “Carbike” will present an image of Memphis rarely seen on film.  Unique locations coupled with beautiful cinematography make this film a rare, postcard-worthy presentation of Memphis.

About the Filmmakers: Carbike is produced by Cat + Fish, a company operated by former Live From Memphis partners Christopher Reyes and Sarah Fleming.  Together they have created numerous award winning short films and music videos.  Samples of past work can be seen at vimeo.com/catandfish

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Monthlong Memphis movie history celebration starts Monday

It’s time for the 2015 installment of the History of Memphis Movie Theatres, an annual cinema-centric celebration by Memphis Heritage (memphisheritage.org).

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission is participating with an informative presentation by Linn Sitler and Sharon Fox O'Guin about making movies in Memphis. 

This year — the 100th anniversary of the venerable Malco Theatres — topics will look at the development of movie theaters in the suburbs, the buildings of Theatre Row, what happened to old movie houses now that they've grown up, how to make a movie in Memphis and why our historic properties are important to the film industry … and lots more.

The series will be held on Mondays throughout March. Here’s the lineup:

March 2: Memphis at the Movies-1930-1960, "A Theatre Near You" is a nostalgic journey to the neighborhood theatres. Presented by Vincent Astor, author of "Memphis Movie Theatres" and charter member of MH.

March 9: Film Row, what the public doesn't see. Several alumni from Film Row will discuss the history and importance of this district in the distribution, shipping and mechanics of presenting films.

March 16: From Films to Stages, Adaptive Reuse. The re-purposing and maintenance of two historic movie theatre buildings-the Circuit/Memphian building and the Evergreen/Ritz building. Playhouse on the Square Executive Producer Jackie Nichols will talk about converting these two 1920s neighborhood theatres into performing spaces.

March 23: Malco Theatres, Inc., A Century of Cinema. Malco Theatres, Inc., is one of the last family-operated theatre circuits in America. Their first theatre was opened in 1915 and Malco has been based in Memphis since 1929. Vincent Astor will present an overview of its history and influence in Memphis and the Mid-South.

March 30: Movies Made in Memphis, Now Showing (and Being Shown). Memphis & Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler and Deputy Film Commissioner Sharon Fox O'Guin will showcase Memphis' importance as a location for contemporary films. We have invited a very special surprise guest to this presentation. Watch MHI's Facebook page for updates.

The series fills up fast so be sure to register early. Tickets are $50 for MHI members, $65 for non-members. Non-MHI Members can join now and register for $85.

Registration is for the complete series; individual presentation tickets are not available. Presentation size is limited, so register now. To register, mail checks to Memphis Heritage, Inc. at 2282 Madison, Memphis, TN 38104; for credit card registration, call (901) 272-2727. To register now and pay securely on our web site, go to www.memphisheritage.org.preservation-series-2015 and follow the PayPal instructions.

If you have any questions, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Read more and follow us at: memphisheritage.org

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OL:M Oscar Watch Party Sunday (Feb. 22)

The On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Fest (OL:M) has dubbed its 16th year as the Year of Giving. The festival’s organizers will continue that commitment to the community this Sunday, Feb. 22, with an Oscar Night Watch Party benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities Memphis at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen and Bar, 948 South Cooper.

The Oscar Night Watch Party begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free to the public, however, OL:M suggests  a donation of $10 to the Ronald McDonald House. Dinner is not included.

There will also be giveaways, including the chance for those who attended the recent Short Films program to be named Oscar Night Winners if they made correct predictions in each category. Prizes are courtesy of Malco Theatres, which is celebrating 100 years of entertaining Mid-South audiences.

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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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