Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces Miriam Bale to join the Film Festival as its Senior Programmer


The Indie Memphis Film Festival today announced that journalist and film programmer Miriam Bale has been hired to be the film festival’s Senior Programmer. Indie Memphis also seized the occasion to announce the festival will start accepting submissions on Monday, January 15, for its 21st edition, which will take place November 1-5, 2018.

Indie Memphis Executive Director, Ryan Watt, said, "We are ecstatic to have Miriam Bale join our Indie Memphis team and lead the programming for the 21st edition of our festival. When she attended on our jury last year, it was clear that her eye for talent and enthusiasm for our film community was a perfect fit to curate our program. She has long established herself as a film journalist with a shrewd eye for the art of film and she championed independent filmmakers by founding the La Di Da Film Festival. Miriam will join our wonderful shorts programmer Brighid Wheeler to form a women-led programming team focused on finding the most daring new personal filmmaking."

Bale added, "I am thrilled and honored to join a festival I'd heard described by filmmakers as one of the best American film festivals. After attending last year, I could see they were right. This is thanks to the great organization led by Ryan Watt and the fantastic, sometimes even subversive, programming by Brighid Wheeler and Brandon Harris. I feel lucky to be able to begin with this strong foundation and have a chance to add to it by, for instance, expanding to a more international scope. It's also a joy to be working with the residents and legacy of Memphis, a majority black city that was and is home to some of the greatest American artists."

Bale will fill the slot vacated at the end of last year’s record breaking 20th Anniversary film festival by Brandon Harris, who left to join Amazon Studios as a development executive, while taking a spot on Indie Memphis’s Advisory Board.

Bale has written on film for New York magazine, the New York Times, The New Republic, Indiewire, Sight and Sound, W Magazine, Film Comment, Filmmaker and many other publications. She was the first black woman to review films regularly for the New York Times. She has organized film programs at Anthology Film Archives, BAMCinématek, Film Society of Lincoln Center, the 92Y, Yerba Buena Arts Center, and Flaherty NYC. Bale was the founding director of the La Di Da Film Festival in New York. Before working in film, she organized education programs at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and was a music industry talent scout in London.

Indie Memphis brings a range of independent features, documentaries and short films to Memphis from all corners of the world. In recent years, the festival has expanded to include gala screenings in seven venues across Memphis. The weekend portion of the festival continues with a block party in Midtown, the city's cultural and creative center, with all venues a few steps away, creating an accessible community-friendly atmosphere unique on the festival circuit.

The 2017 festival attracted a record-setting attendance for over 200 films including features, shorts and music videos. Highlights included the World Premiere of THOM PAIN presented with Rainn Wilson, the MLK50 series commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Abel Ferrara presenting a mini-retrospective of his work including the 25th anniversary of BAD LIEUTENANT, a double feature presented with Mark Webber of FLESH & BLOOD and WEAPONS, an eclectic program of hybrid and experimental films in our Departures category, and a plethora of music films, video and live music in our Sounds category including the new tribute concert film THANK YOU FRIENDS: BIG STAR'S THIRD LIVE… AND MORE presented with Big Star’s Jody Stephens.



Indie Memphis is seeking filmmakers around the world to submit their feature and short film projects through Film Freeway at

Deadlines for submissions are as follows:

  • January 15, 2018: Submissions open
  • March 19, 2018: Early-bird Deadline
  • May 19, 2018: Regular Deadline
  • July 9, 2018: Late Deadline
  • August 13, 2018: Extended Deadline
  • November 1-5, 2018: Festival dates


Audience and jury awards are presented across ALL categories. All official jury and audience winners receive custom award sculptures designed and produced by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo.


Cash Awards include:

  • $1,000 – Best Narrative Feature
  • $1,000 – Duncan, Williams, Inc Scriptwriting Awards
  • $1,000 – Best Documentary Feature
  • $500 – Best Sounds Feature
  • $500 – Best Departures Feature
  • $500 – Best Narrative Short
  • $500 – Best Documentary Short
  • $1,000 – Best Hometowner Feature
  • $500 – Best Hometowner Narrative Short
  • $500 – Best Hometowner Documentary Short


Special Festival Awards:

  • Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award Soul of Southern Film Award
  • Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award The Indie Award

For additional information regarding Indie Memphis, please visit



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