Indie Memphis Film Festival is pleased to announce its continued commitment to supporting black filmmakers, present and future, with the new Black Creators Forum, running November 1st and 2nd at the Hattiloo Theatre. The Black Creators Forum will run before and parallel with the opening of the Indie Memphis Film Festival (November 1st – 5th, 2018), and is a two-day symposium of workshops and invited speakers led by notable black filmmakers and critics with a wide interdisciplinary range, including fine art, music, and online content. The goal is to explore ways black filmmaking can find creativity and sustainability from other mediums, and to ease the barrier of entry for black artists who would like to work in film.
The event will be programmed by Indie Memphis Senior Programmer Miriam Bale and produced by Jason Farmer, Indie Memphis board member and owner of Black Lens Productions. “With the rich cultural, arts and musical legacy of Memphis as the backdrop, creating vibrant stories in our own tenor and tone on film is a natural, organic progression,” said Farmer, ”The Black Creators Forum in conjunction with the Indie Memphis Film Festival was created to give voice and vision to empower artists who can meet a growing demand for new media.”
The two-day event of closed door discussions will conclude with a public pitch event on November 2nd, 2018. A dozen filmmakers will pitch projects, including finalists of the inaugural Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency in Screenwriting program, as well as the winner of the Residency, Alex Huggins. Huggins will receive a $7500 unrestricted cash grant and a two month residency in Memphis to work on his feature film screenplay, Mason Dixon.
“There was an incredible range of subjects and tones among the finalists’ projects—from a coming-of-age period piece about pop culture just before Beyoncé to a perverse comedy adventure, best described as if John Waters were a queer woman. Ultimately the selection committee went with Alex Huggins and his strong vision as a writer-director,” said Bale. “But we want to see all these projects made. Our intention is that the Forum and its pitch event will bring these new talents to the attention of producers, funders, and future collaborators.”
The Residency finalists were decided by Indie Memphis staff and a board member from 106 applications, and the winner was decided by an independent selection committee of black film professionals.