Inside the Memphis Film Fest

30 Mar

Editor’s note:  Join me in welcoming Melanie Addington, a new blogger with Scene Now.

Melanie is passionate about all things film-related, so she’ll be our movie guru.

She’s been at the Memphis Film Fest all weekend, so here are her updates about the festival.

By Melanie Addington
Saturday, March 29

Day three of the Memphis International Film Festival is well underway. Rain appeared to be a bit of a deterrent for many this afternoon as several of the screenings at the Malco Studio had only a handful of people, mostly filmmakers. Although part of the distraction could have been due to the new Liberty and Justice Series at the Brooks Museum from 1:15 to 5 today as well as the three filmmaker panels at the French Quarter Suites.

One such screening that had a small audience was Adrian Belic’s Beyond the Call. I had the chance to sit down with the Oscar-nominated director and talk to him about upcoming projects as well as what is next for the documentary. He was happy to announce that Beyond the Call will have its theatrical premiere at the Laaemle Grand Theater in April. He is currently working on several projects all over the world but has begun plans for a feature documentary as he follows a family’s escape from Cuba to the United States.

The rain stopped right before the 5 p.m. screenings of Before the Music Dies, Blood on the Flat Track and Broken Fences, so the seats began to fill.

Rather than having an awards ceremony for the films tonight, there will be an after-party at Bridges to begin winding down the fest. Winners of the festival were decided early on and at each screening the award is given to the filmmaker, other than the audience choice award, which will be decided by the viewing audience and announced tomorrow evening. The winners of the 9th Memphis International Film Festival are:

In the Animation category: Raccoon and Crawfish , an 8-minute short film by the Oneida Indian Nation. A moral tale from ancient Native American lore is combined with modern technology to show the battle between a raccoon and crawfish and the fight for hunger and survival. The film played today at 3:30 p.m. in the Animation block.

In the Documentary category: Knowledge is the Beginning, about the West-Eastern Divan orchestra. This film screens tomorrow at 3 pm at the Malco Studio on the Square so there is still a chance to get out and see it!

In the Music Video category: Falling From Mars by Alyssa Campbell, which played tonight at 7:15 p.m. as part of the music video block.

In the Shorts category: Second Line by John Magary, which played in the short series part two today at 1 p.m. The story revolves around a guy living in his FEMA trailer and after his savings is stolen from it, he has to take on work gutting a house. The film also screened two weeks ago at South by Southwest and has been winning a few awards on the festival circuit.

In the Features category: Low and Behold, which plays tonight at 8 p.m. (stay tuned for my review). Runner up feature was Dot.Com.

I’m off now to see the best feature winner and then to the final after party at Bridges. Stay tuned tonight for what happened at the party as well as a review of Low and Behold.

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