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'African Americans' series on WKNO

"The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross," hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has premiered on PBS. The six-hour series chronicles the sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission assisted on the project. Two episodes were filmed here.

The first episode premiered Tuesday night on WKNO-TV Channel 10, and there is a repeat tonight (Wednesday, October 23) at 7 p.m. on WKNO2.

The remaining episodes run on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on WKNO through Nov. 26.

For more information, go here.

Image Courtesy of Kunhardt McGee Productions, WNET and Inkwell Films in association with Ark Media.



'Grace Card' airing Thursday, Oct. 24

The filmed-in-Memphis faith film "The Grace Card" will be shown on cable's Up channel at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24.

The film, released in 2010, features Louis Gossett, Jr. and stars Michael Joiner and Michael Higgenbottom as two Memphis police officers who learn the power of God's love. "The Grace Card" is a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

Up was formerly known as GMC TV and originally the Gospel Music Channel. It's on Comcast Channel 189 and HD Channel 1435; DIRECTV Channel 338; and DISH Network Channel 188.


Info on Incentives: Meeting Monday, Sept. 23

Many of you have expressed the desire to discuss Tennessee's state film incentives and how Memphis/Shelby County can receive a larger share of film and television projects incentivized by Tennessee state government.

There will be a special meeting next week in MEMPHIS of the Association for the Future of Film and Television (AFFT).  AFFT is Tennessee's only state-wide trade organization promoting the film/TV industry. AFFT will host a program beginning at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, September 23rd,  entitled, ''AN EVENING OF FILM INCENTIVES."

Note this is an informational meeting, not a social event. The meeting will be held at AFFT Board Member/Film and Television Commission Board Member Andy Dean's place of business: DEAN FILM AND VIDEO: 6695 Fletcher Creek Cove, Memphis, Tenn.

Click here for directions. 



Venice premieres 'Memphis' this week

The feature film "Memphis" by Brooklyn writer-director Tim Sutton premieres this week at the prestigious international arts festival Venice Biennale.

Sutton won a $200,000 grant through the Biennale to make the film that was shot this spring in Memphis with assistance from the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. It hired 7 local crew and 26 local cast for the production.

The trailer to the film is here.

The "Memphis" page on the Venice Biennale site is here.

The 84-minute film screened Saturday, Aug. 31 and has additional screenings Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Saturday, Sept. 7, the final day of the festival.

Here is information from the Biennale's website: 


A rising star descends into madness trying to save his troubled soul. A strange singer with “god given talent” drifts through his adopted city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows, and burning spirituality. Surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolfpack of kids, the sweet yet unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. His journey quickly drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension.

Featuring an explosive performance and score from the singular recording artist-come-wizard, Willis Earl Beal, Memphis is a film steeped in folklore, music, authenticity, surrealism, and the search for glory within the abstract harmonies of life in a mythic city.


Director’s Statement

It is legend in Memphis that a blessed and cursed singer by the name of O.V. Wright fell from grace and was buried in an unmarked grave. I learned of his myth around the same time I was brought to Peace Baptist Church, and witnessed a deep spirituality as ancient as the oak trees that dress every street in the city. A true believer in ghost stories and a scholar of African American studies, I was drawn to tell my own folk tale, and there was only one place on my mind. Our film captures the descent of a troubled singer as he drifts through an urban landscape looking to save his very soul. We surrounded ourselves with real Memphians and made a film that hopes to project a cool, beautiful world—as old as dirt and yet entirely new, and deserved of the title Memphis.



On Location: MEMPHIS call for entries

The On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Fest is seeking entries for the 15th edition of the event that runs April 24-27, 2014.

Categories are Feature, Documentary, Live Action Short, Animation and Music Video.

There are four deadlines and entry fees with the first deadline in mid-September. Entries are being accepted through Dec. 31. All films should be submitted via Withoutabox, which will have the information on specific deadlines and fees. Discounted fees are available for projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs.

Films do not have to be a premiere but should not have screened in Memphis at other festivals or public screenings.

Go here for the On Location: MEMPHIS web site.


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