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Karl Jacobs accepts his award for COLD NOVEMBER (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Karl Jacobs accepts the Indie Memphis jury prize for Best Narrative Film for COLD NOVEMBER (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

The 2017 Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., announced their filmmaker awards during a celebratory ceremony at the Circuit Playhouse (51 Cooper Street) on Saturday night (November 4), and their Audience Awards at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum (225 S. Main Street) last night. Karl Jacob’s COLD NOVEMBER won the jury award (and a $1000 cash prize) for Best Narrative Feature, Landen Van Soest and Jeremy Levine’s FOR AHKEEM took home the jury award (and $1000 courtesy of Classic American Hardwoods) for Best Documentary Feature, and Laura Jean Hocking and Melissa Sweazy’s GOOD GRIEF received the nod (and a $1000 cash prize) as Best Hometowner Feature.

FOR AKHEEM's Jeremy Levine hoists the hardware his film won for Best Documentary (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

FOR AHKEEM’s Jeremy Levine hoists the hardware his film won for Best Documentary (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Mark Webber’s FLESH AND BLOOD, and Scott Rosenbaum’s SIDEMAN took home the Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature, and Best Documentary Feature, respectively, while Hocking and Sweazy’s GOOD GRIEF added to their haul with the Audience Award for Best Hometowner Feature.

Memphis's Laura Jean Hocking and Melissa Sweazy accepting one of their multiple awards for the locally produced, GOOD GRIEF (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Memphis’s Laura Jean Hocking and Melissa Sweazy accepting one of their multiple awards for the locally produced, GOOD GRIEF (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

The festival’s coveted $13,500 IndieGrants awards went to Aisha Raison, for her film project, DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON, and Morgan Jon Fox for his film project, THE ONE YOU MAY NEVER FORGET, with each receiving $13,500 cash-equivalent rentals from Firefly Grip & Electric, LensRentals,  Music + Arts Studio, and VIA Productions. The winners were selected from applications by 30 filmmakers living in Tennessee’s Shelby County, Mississippi’s DeSoto County, or Arkansas’s Crittenden County.

Aisha Raison, loving the Indie Grant she received for her project, DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Aisha Raison, loving the Indie Grant she received for her project, DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Indie Memphis executive director Ryan Watt, said, “Our 20th anniversary Indie Memphis Film Festival was full of great films, eclectic characters and unforgettable moments. Audiences responded to each new addition, such as taking over Cooper Street with our big Indie Memphis tent and screen, bringing filmmakers in from as far away as Saudi Arabia, and honoring one of our city’s historic milestones with our MLK50 program by turning out in record-breaking numbers. Now we ramp up our weekly film series again to bring premieres each week to Memphis, supporting filmmakers and entertaining audiences year-round.”

Indie Memphis Executive Director, Ryan Watt (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Indie Memphis Executive Director, Ryan Watt (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

The Duncan-Williams, Inc. Scriptwriting Award (and a cash prize for $1000) was given to screenwriter/director Theodore Collatos for his film, TORMENTING THE HEN. In the documentary category, Kimi Takesue’s 95 AND 6 TO GO received a Special Jury Mention. 

Additional Hometowner awards, which highlights films made by Memphis-area filmmakers, included two awards for Matteo Servente, with WE GO ON, taking the award for Best Hometowner Narrative Short Film, and AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING named as Best MLK50 Short Film. Graham Uhelski’s BLACKOUT DAY was named Best Hometowner Documentary Short Film.

Matteo Servente, a wnner for both of his films, WE GO ON, and AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING, decides not to two-fist it with his awards on the red carpet (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Matteo Servente, a wnner for both of his films, WE GO ON, and AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING, decides not to two-fist it with his awards on the red carpet (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

In the Sounds and Departures categories, Brett Whitcomb’s A LIFE IN WAVES took the award for Best Sounds Feature, and the nod for Best Hometowner Music Video went to Quintin Lamb’s “I’m A God” featuring Telisu, with a Special Jury Mention going to Lawrence E. Matthews III’s “Habor Hall” featuring Don Lifted. James M. Kienitz-Wilkins’s COMMON CARRIER won Best Departures Feature, while Josh Yates’s THIS IS YATES was named Best Departures Short.

Festival awards (chosen by the Indie Memphis programming staff) included; THE PRICE director Anthony Onah receiving the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award (given to a first-time filmmaker that exemplifies the DIY spirit), MARVIN BOOKER WAS MURDERED director Wade Gardner named as this year’s Soul of Southern Film Award recipient (which celebrates Indie Memphis’s origins as “The Soul of Southern Film”), and THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP director Erik Jeung receiving the Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award, which honors the memory of Indie Memphis’s friend and mentor, who was an award-winning filmmaker, as well as a founder/director of Indie Memphis. Robin Comisar’s GREAT CHOICE was named Best After Dark Short.

Anthony Onah (THE PRICE) receives the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

Anthony Onah (THE PRICE) receives the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

The film festival’s Indie Award, given to a crew member that has impressed the Indie Memphis staff with the breadth and scope of their work behind the camera on numerous films, was Jordan Danelz, who has served as a gaffer, grip, cinematographer, producer, and seemingly every other job on countless film sets in Memphis the last few years. The Indie Memphis Vision Award, given to someone that has made a permanent impact on the legacy of the Indie Memphis Film Festival, was fittingly presented to Les Edwards and Emily Trenholm, two of the Indie Memphis original founders and directors of the film festival. In his acceptance speech, Edwards remarked that seeing how much the film festival has grown since those early days is like “seeing your child not simply grow up, but grow up to be a rock star.”

Jury Prize winners in the Short Film category included Eimi Imanishi’s ONE UP (Best Narrative Short), Veena Rao’s REBUILDING IN MINIATURE (Best Documentary Short), and Ashely S. Brandon’s MICKEY’S PETS (Documentary Short Special Jury Prize). The Indie Memphis Jury Prize for Best Poster Design was given to FLESH AND BLOOD, with GOOD GRIEF’s poster (designed by Lauren Rae Holtermann) taking the Audience Award.

Additional Audience Awards were received by Chris Osborne’s TRUE BLUE (Narrative Short Film), Maris Curran’s MAN IS THE MUSIC (Documentary Short Film), Nathan Ross Murphy’s MUDDY WATER (Hometowner Narrative Short Film), Lauren Squires Ready’s BIKE LEE (Hometowner Documentary Short Film), and Katori Hall’s ARKABUTLA (MLK50 Homeowner Short Film).

The awards ceremony for the jury awards was produced by Savannah Bearden with a theme (highlighted by audition clips) of casting a host to embody a merging of the style of the “Beverly Hills 90210” show with the spirit of Indie Memphis. The “audition” clips included Rainn Wilson, the star of the Opening Night Gala selection THOM PAIN, Indie Memphis Executive Director Ryan Watt, outgoing Program Director Brandon Harris, Shorts Programmer Brighid Wheeler, among others. The Audience Awards were announced by Executive Director Ryan Watt during the closing night reception at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum (225 S. Main Street) on Monday, November 6.

2017 Indie Memphis award winners (Left to Right) Erik Jeung (THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP), Aisha Raison (DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON), Mateo Servente (WE GO ON, AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING), Quintin Lamb (“I’m A God”), Brandon Person (DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON), Karl Jacob (COLD NOVEMBER), Telisu (“I’m A God”), Anthony Onah (THE PRICE), Wade Gardner (MARVIN BOOKER WAS MURDERED), Kimi Takesue (95 AND 6 TO GO), Laura Jean Hocking (GOOD GRIEF), Brett Whitcomb (A LIFE IN WAVES), Melissa Sweazy (GOOD GRIEF), Lawrence E. Matthews III (“Harbor Hall”), Morgan Jon Fox (THE ONE YOU MAY NEVER FORGET) (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

2017 Indie Memphis award winners (Left to Right) Erik Jeung (THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP), Aisha Raison (DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON), Mateo Servente (WE GO ON, AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING), Quintin Lamb (“I’m A God”), Brandon Person (DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON), Karl Jacob (COLD NOVEMBER), Telisu (“I’m A God”), Anthony Onah (THE PRICE), Wade Gardner (MARVIN BOOKER WAS MURDERED), Kimi Takesue (95 AND 6 TO GO), Laura Jean Hocking (GOOD GRIEF), Brett Whitcomb (A LIFE IN WAVES), Melissa Sweazy (GOOD GRIEF), Lawrence E. Matthews III (“Harbor Hall”), Morgan Jon Fox (THE ONE YOU MAY NEVER FORGET) (Photo by Stephen Hildreth)

 

The 2017 Indie Memphis Film Festival Filmmaker Awards:

Narrative Features:

Best Narrative Feature: COLD NOVEMBER (Director: Karl Jacob) – $1,000

Duncan-Williams, Inc. Scriptwriting Award: TORMENTING THE HEN (Director and Screenwriter: Theodore Collatos) – $1,000

 

Documentary:

Best Documentary: FOR AHKEEM (Directors: Landen Van Soest, Jeremy Levine) – $1,000

Special Jury Mention: 95 AND 6 TO GO (Director: Kimi Takesue)

 

Shorts:

Best Narrative Short: ONE UP (Director: Eimi Imanishi) – $500

Best Documentary: REBUILDING IN MINIATURE (Director: Veena Rao) – $500

Documentary Shorts Special Jury Prize: MICKEY’S PETS (Director: Ashley S. Brandon)

 

Hometowner Awards:

Best Hometowner Feature: GOOD GRIEF (Directors: Laura Jean Hocking, Melissa Sweazy) – $1,000

Best Hometowner Narrative Short: WE GO ON (Director: Matteo Servente) – $500

Best Hometowner Documentary Short: BLACKOUT DAY (Director: Graham Uhelski) – $500

Best MLK50 Hometowner Award: AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING (Director: Matteo Servente)

 

IndieGrants $13,500 Package Winners:

DANCIN IN THE BLUE MOON:  Aisha Raison

THE ONE YOU MAY NEVER FORGET: Morgan Jon Fox

 

Sounds:

Best Sounds Feature: A LIFE IN WAVES (Director: Brett Whitcomb) – $500

Best Hometowner Music Video: “I’m A God” featuring Telisu (Director: Quintin Lamb)

Special Jury Mention: “Harbor Hall” featuring Don Lifted (Director: Lawrence E. Matthews III)

 

Departures:

Best Departures Feature: COMMON CARRIER (Director: James M. Kienitz-Wilkins) – $500

Best Departures Short: THIS IS YATES (Director: Josh Yates)

 

Best Poster Design:

FLESH AND BLOOD

 

FESTIVAL AWARDS:

Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award:

Anthony Onah for THE PRICE

 

Soul of Southern Film Award:

MARVIN BOOKER WAS MURDERED

Director: Wade Gardner

 

Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award:

THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP

Director: Erik Jeung

 

Best After Dark Short:

GREAT CHOICE (Director: Robin Comisar)

 

The Indie Award:

Jordan Danelz

 

Vision Award:

Les Edwards and Emily Trenholm

 

 

Audience Awards

Narrative Feature:

FLESH AND BLOOD

Director: Mark Webber

 

Documentary Feature:

SIDEMAN

Director: Scott Rosenbaum

 

Narrative Short Film:

TRUE BLUE

Director: Chris Osborne

 

Documentary Short Film:

MAN IS THE MUSIC

Director: Maris Curran

 

Hometowner Feature:

GOOD GRIEF

Directors: Laura Jean Hocking, Melissa Sweazy

 

Hometowner Narrative Short Film:

MUDDY WATER

Director: Nathan Ross Murphy

 

Hometowner Documentary Short Film:

BIKE LEE

Director: Lauren Squires Ready

 

MLK50 Hometowner Short Film:

ARKABUTLA

Director: Katori Hall

 

Best Poster:

GOOD GRIEF (designed by Lauren Rae Holtermann)

 

The 2017 Indie Memphis Jury Members:

 

Narrative Features Competition

Sean Price Williams (Cinematographer, HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT)

Charles Mudede (Filmmaker, ZOO)

Onur Tukel (Filmmaker, THE MISOGYNISTS)

 

Documentary Features Competition

Opal Hope Bennett (Programmer, DOC NYC)

Erik Jambor (Programmer, BendFilm)

Nick Pinkerton (Film Journalist and Critic, Reverse Shot)

 

Hometowner Features Competition

Matt Grady (Distributor, Factory 25)

Eliza Hajkova (Manager of Development, SAGIndie)

Skizz Cyzyk (Film Festival Careerist)

 

Sounds Competition

Zach Clark (Filmmaker, LITTLE SISTER)

Farihah Zaman (Producer, Field of Vision)

Missy Laney (Director of Creative Initiatives, BitTorrent)

 

Short Film Competition

Mike O’Shea (Filmmaker, THE TRANSFIGURATION)

Justin Doherty (Filmmaker, WILDERNESS)

Maya Anand (Publicist, Cohen Media Group)

 

Departures Competition

Miriam Bale (Film Journalist and Critic, Slant Magazine)

Nick Pinkerton (Film Journalist and Critic, Reverse Shot)

Adam Donaghey (Producer, Zero Trans Fat Prods.)

 

IndieGrants Competition

Jim Brunzell (Programmer, Austin Gay & Lesbian FF)

Miriam Bale (Film Journalist and Critic, Slant Magazine)

Ina Pira (Film Curator, Vimeo)