Memphis enjoys an embarassment of riches when it comes to film festivals. Springtime belongs to On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest, now celebrating its 15th year. The schedule is eclectic but can be summed up by the event's name: There are a lot of offerings from around the world, several from Memphis and the region, and then a whole lot of music-related movies. Like a quality generalist physician, On Location: Memphis is good at a lot of different things. Here are a few things we're looking forward to most (all showings are at Studio on the Square, unless noted otherwise).
The festival kicks off with, appropriately enough, a red carpet event. At Malco's Paradiso, the stops will be pulled out for attractive man Armand Assante, whose heyday was in the '80s and '90s (I, the Jury, The Mambo Kings, 1492: Conquest of Paradise). Assante is here with In Between Engagements, a film about four couples negotiating their interconnected relationships. The film is directed by Croatian filmmaker Dominik Sedlar, whose credits include the documentaries Searching for Orson, about the great director Wells, and Yulia about the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (which Assante narrated). Both Assante and Sedlar will be in attendence for a Q&A following the screening, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
Adelante is a film out of Pennsylania highlighting the ethnic confluence of Mexican and Irish Catholics who are working together to revive a parish outside of Philadelphia. It screens on Friday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.
On Friday at 7:15 p.m., the narrative feature Fall To Rise follows an injured dancer who struggles to return to prominence. The film stars Katherine Crockett and Daphne Rubin-Vega.
Highly influential Memphis musician Tav Falco takes center stage on Friday at 9:30 p.m. with The Films of Tav Falco. The 96-minute program will consider the films by, of, and about Falco, known for his group Panther Burns and his collaborations with Alex Chilton.
You may not know who Drew Struzan is, but you almost certainly know his work. The documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster takes a look at the illustrator who created the artwork for films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future. The film shows at 1:30 p.m.
Princeton Holt's film Chloe, set and filmed in Nashville, is intriguing. It follows a young singer-songwriter (Naama Kates) who goes to Nashville to find fame and get her demo heard. Holt and Kates developed the story long distance and then met in Nashville, cast the film in 48 hours, and shot it in four days. The film screens at 5:15 p.m.
The last day of the festival features, among other things, two Southern/criminal justice documentaries of note.Missing Micah is about Memphian Micah Rine Pate, who was last seen alive in April 2009. Her husband, Thomas Pate, reported her missing after leaving for a jog, but before long he copped to shooting her (accidentally, he says) and lead the police to her body. The film tries to get to the bottom of things and screens at 3:30 p.m.
Gideon's Army takes a look at three idealistic public defenders in the South who try to rectify criminal system injustices against the accused indigent. The organization Gideon's Promise seeks to change the way we think about crime and punishment. The film screens at 5:30 p.m.
On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest Thursday, April 24th-Sunday, April 27th
Malco's Studio on the Square and Paradiso