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What are Memphis' best indie films?

The Memphis Flyer's Film Editor, Greg Akers, is working on a story about indie filmmaking in Memphis. He’s conducting a non-scientific survey to name the best no-budget or low-budget films made in Memphis.

He’s asking: What do you think are the top 3-to-5 films that are required viewing for anyone wanting to see what local independent filmmakers have made in the past?

The results will appear in the story and give context to the reader, who may not be familiar with what Memphis' independent film scene has produced in the past.

Please e-mail your response to Greg ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) no later than Monday, February 17, at 10 a.m. if you would like to participate.

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Memorial celebration of John Still

A celebration of the life of John Still will be held this Saturday (Feb. 8) from 1-3 p.m. at Blind Bear Speakeasy, 119 S. Main. The event will be informal - friends getting together to reminisce. Anyone who wants to share a thought or story with the group is welcome to do so.

Still was featured in numerous productions by Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission clients, including “Poor and Hungry,” “Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan” and “The Romance of Loneliness.”

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Brewer gets Paramount deal

John Beifuss at The Commercial Appeal writes that Memphis filmmaker and longtime Commission client Craig Brewer has signed a deal with the new television division of Paramount to create pilots for two dramas, including one that could be shot locally.

The development deal calls for Brewer to write, direct and executive produce the two pilots, which could lead to weekly series for broadcast or cable television.

Variety reported that “Brewer has worked steadily with Paramount since the studio acquired his Sundance Film Festival heat-seeker ‘Hustle & Flow’ in 2005. More recently he helmed the 2011 remake of ‘Footloose’ for the studio and also the 2012 Katy Perry concert pic ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me.  He’s at work on another feature for the studio, ‘Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills.’ ”

Many of Brewer’s projects, including “Hustle & Flow,” have been clients of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. Other films include “Poor and Hungry” and “Black Snake Moan.”

Beifuss’ story is here.

The Variety story is here.

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Memphis connected films score at Sundance

John Beifuss, in his blog The Bloodshot Eye (thebloodshoteye.com), writes that “ ‘Love Is Strange,’ the fifth feature film from Memphis-born writer-director Ira Sachs, was acquired (Thursday, Jan. 23) for theatrical distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.” The film was acquired after it screened at the Sundance Film Festival for about $1 million.

Sachs’ films that have been clients of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission include “Forty Shades of Blue” and “The Delta.”

Beifuss also reports that “The other Memphis-connected feature film at Sundance, simply titled ‘Memphis,’ premiered Jan. 17 and had its last festival screening Jan. 23.” Variety reports that the film directed by Tim Sutton was bought by the Sundance Channel and will premiere in the spring.

Beifuss quotes associate producer Morgan Jon Fox that the Sundance screenings had sold out. Fox, a Memphis filmmaker, said: “The Sundance audiences really appreciated it and I can't wait for Memphis audiences to see it, because it's 100 percent a Memphis movie in terms of what you see on the screen."

“Memphis” is also a Commission-assisted project.

Beifuss’ blog entry is here.

The Variety story is here.

Pictured: "Memphis" director Tim Sutton.

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On Location: Memphis screening Oscar shorts

The On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest (http://onlocationmemphis.org/) will host screenings of the Oscar-nominated short films in advance of the Academy Awards for the sixth time.

Taking place on two dates at the Malco Ridgeway Cinema Grill in East Memphis, the Oscar-nominated live-action shorts will screen on Thursday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m., with the animated shorts and short documentaries taking center stage two weeks later on Thursday, February 27th. The animated films will be shown at 7 p.m., with the docs scheduled for a 9 p.m. screening.

This is a chance for movie-lovers to witness all of the wonderful, yet often obscure films nominated for the popular shorts categories in advance of the 86th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2nd.

The animated program is also supplemented by a number of “highly commended” animated films to bring it to a feature running length.

This year the event will be sponsored by The Film and Video Concentration, Department of Communication, University of Memphis.

Tickets are $10 per screening and available at the box office or on www.onlocationmemphis.org. Be sure to “like” On Location: MEMPHIS on Facebook, follow on Twitter at twitter.com/OLM_Trailer. The dates for the 2014 festival are April 24 -27.


 
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