The awards at this year's Indie Memphis Film Festival will be presented tonight at a party at the Hi-Tone Cafe. Shortly afterward, Indie Memphis will announce encore bookings for next week. Check back here late tonight for all that info. But before that, there's a full slate of festival activity today at both Studio on the Square and the Brooks Museum of Art. Our picks for the day's best bets. As always, all screenings at Studio unless otherwise noted:
Pick of the Day: The Hand of Fatima (5:45 p.m.)
Filmmaker Augusta Palmer investigates her late father, the renowned, Memphis-connected rock critic Robert Palmer. Chris Davis goes in-depth on The Hand of Fatima here. Palmer is scheduled to attend. Prior to the screening, at 4:50 p.m., former members of the Memphis alt-rock band the Hellcats will perform outside at the "Festival Cafe" under the name "Friends of Bob Palmer."
Feature Pick: Easier With Practice (5:15 p.m.)
Based on a true story, originally published in GQ, by Davy Rothbart, Easier With Practice is an honest look at the power of fantasy and the desperate search for intimacy. The film is poignant and at times excruciatingly awkward, with a surprising twist at the end. The soundtrack is excellent — a collection of indie favorites like Grizzly Bear, Voxtrot, and Deer Tick. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez is scheduled to attend. — Hannah Sayle
Documentary Pick: Ghost Bird (noon)
Local Pick: Li'l Film Fest 11: Musical Horror (5:30 p.m., Brooks Museum of Art)
Live From Memphis' Li'l Film Fest series is a very good thing. By giving local filmmakers a manageable task — creating a short film (roughly 5 minutes) on a set topic — the fest has helped to inspire and hone talent in the local scene, while also creating a setting to build the local filmmaking community. The latest Li'l Film Fest — with the promising theme "musical horror" — is being held alongside Indie Memphis. As always, a jury award will be matched by an audience award voted on by those in attendance. Among the notable names in local filmmaking presenting films: Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury, Jon W. Sparks, HG Ray, and Adam Remsen. — Chris Herrington
Shorts Pick: Nowhere Kids (5 p.m.)
Amateur Hour with Joe Swanberg (1 p.m., Brooks Museum of Art)
Visiting Chicago filmmaker Swanberg (Alexander the Last, Hannah Takes the Stairs) conducts a free workshop. In his own words: "The workshop is about working with non-professional actors, which I think is becoming more and more common — people making movies with their friends or other people they're casting not through traditional avenues. I just really wanted to do a workshop that would hopefully be helpful and relevant to what I'm seeing going on right now. The idea is that I'll talk a little bit about my experiences and maybe I'll show some of my work. But I also really want to demonstrate some of the techniques I've picked up and actually work with some people so that everybody can come away with a little bit of an idea of the good and bad things about working with non-professionals." — Herrington
St. Nick (2:45 p.m.)
I haven't had a chance to screen David Lowery's St. Nick, but look forward to trying to catch it at the festival today. A Dallas-based filmmaker, Lowery is no stranger to Memphis, having spent some time here earlier this year helping local filmmaker Kentucker Audley on his upcoming feature Open Five. Lowery's St. Nick is a debut feature about two pre-teen siblings who run away from home and try to live independently. It's received excellent notices in previous screenings, particularly at the South By Southwest Film Festival. Lowery is scheduled to attend the screening. — Herrington
Hair High (7:45 p.m.)
Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton's 2004 feature Hair High — a 1950s-set gothic comedy about a couple murdered at their prom — is being shown in collaboration with the Memphis College of Art. Plympton will be in town next month for a lecture and a screening of his newest film, Angels and Idiots.
The Way We Get By (8:15 p.m.)