At a gala party last night at the High Cotton Brewing Company, Indie Memphis announced the lineup for their 17th annual film festival, which will be held October 30 to November 2. More than 40 feature length narrative and documentary films, as well as dozens of short subjects, will screen over the course of the four-day festival.
John Carpenter's They Live
Four classic films will receive gala anniversary screenings. Director Michael Lehman and writer Daniel Waters will be on hand when Heathers, the 1989 black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater
, will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the festival.
Friday night of the festival is Halloween, so it is appropriate that the work of one of America’s greatest horror directors, John Carpenter, will be honored with two gala screenings, beginning with his 1988 science fiction classic They Live
, starring Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David.
At midnight, Carpenter’s Halloween
will screen. A direct descendant of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
, Jamie Lee Curtis’ film debut defined the 80’s slasher genre and holds up better than ever today.
The festival will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the best documentaries ever made, director Steve James' Hoop Dreams
Hometown filmmakers are well represented at the festival with three narrative features: Chad Barton’s comedy of filmmaking errors Lights, Camera Bullshit
; Anwar Jamison’s workplace comedy 5 Steps To A Conversation
; Marlon Wilson and Mechelle Wilson’s Christian drama Just A Measure Of Faith
. The sole local documentary is Pharaohs Of Memphis
, director Phoebe Driscoll’s history of jookin’.
Twelve films will compete for Best Narrative Feature, including the Brooklyn heist comedy Wild Canaries
, Onur Tukel’s vampire comedy Summer Of Blood
, the time travel drama Movement & Location
, and the Texas-based crime drama Two Step
The thirteen films up for Best Documentary Feature include the kenetic sport doc American Cheerleader
; The Hip Hop Fellow
, tracing producer 9th Wonder’s experience as a teacher at Harvard; Man Shot Dead
, an intimate history of a family torn apart by an unsolved murder; and Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back
, about Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali’s fight to keep the heavy metal dream alive.
Other notable films include Sundance winner Whiplash
, a music drama starring Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer and J.K Simmons as his demanding teacher, and The Imitation Game
, an early Oscar contender starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the eccentric British codebreaker whose work in World War II led directly to the invention of the modern digital computer.
The festival, which will also include numerous panels, special events, and parties, will take place in venues around Overton Square, including Playhouse On The Square, Circuit Playhouse, the Hattiloo Theater, and Malco’s Studio On The Square. The Memphis Flyer will have an in-depth examination of the festival as the cover story for our October 30th issue. Go to indiememphis.com
for details on how to buy passes for Memphis’ greatest film weekend.