A documentary about a controversial chapter of Memphis history, a coming-of-age drama by one of Memphis' favorite sons and a look back at a seminal Bluff City work by Hollywood's hottest writer will be the centerpieces of the 2016 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Indie Memphis released this video today to reveal the first crop of the160 films that will screen at the weeklong festival in November.
The opening night film will be The Invaders, a documentary by director Prichard Smith, writer J. B. Horrell (who is better known as the Memphis musician behind Ex-Cult and Aquarian Blood), and executive producer Craig Brewer. The film traces the history of Memphis' indigenous black power group of the 1960s, The Invaders. Contemporaries of the Black Panthers, The Invaders became infamous during the aftermath of the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike. The film tells the story from their perspective, shedding new light on the events leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Full disclosure: This columnist consulted on the film)
Director Ira Sachs, a Memphis native who lives in New York City, has been garnering acclaim for his new film Little Men, which will premiere at Indie Memphis before beginning its run at the Malco Ridgeway. Sachs, who recently had a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions from the audience.
Free In Deed
Director Jake Mahaffy's Free In Deed, shot in Memphis in 2014, is based on a true life story of faith healing gone wrong. It premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival and has garnered international acclaim from Europe to Australia.
The People vs. Larry Flynt
20 years ago this summer, The People vs. Larry Flynt shot here in Memphis. Directed by Milos Foreman, the film was the brainchild of screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who scored this year's biggest television hit with The People vs. OJ Simpson. Karaszewski will return to Memphis for the twentieth anniversary screening of his epic tale of the Hustler publisher's visit to the Supreme Court.
Kallen Esperian: Vissi d'arté
The closing night of the festival will be director Steve Ross' locally produced documentary profile of the Memphis opera singer Kallen Esperian: Vissi d'arte'. The film premiered with a pair of sold-out shows earlier this year, and the closing night gala will give more Memphians an opportunity to see this remarkable work.
This year's festival, sponsored by Duncan Williams runs from November 1-7. Tickets are now on sale at the Indie Memphis web site.