Memphis Film Festival 2016

The Indie Memphis Film Festival 2016 was presented and given life by Duncan-Williams, Inc. This wonderful festival with the best indie movies of the country and different parts of the world had its awards announcement on November 5, In the Circuit Playhouse of Memphis. Among the best movies that were presented this day, Jackson from Maisie Crow is one of the biggest and most interesting. Also, AWOL from Deb Shoval could win some recognition as one of the best and mostly praised by critics this day.

Main Winners

Both movies won great prizes, where AWOL could achieve the Best Narrative Feature award due to the greatness that was put into its directorial and screenplay value. On the other hand, Jackson, won the Best Documentary Feature for its wonderful theme and way of telling the story. But this wasn’t everything, there was another movie that made itself be heard, Kairos Dirt & The Errant Vacuum, a movie from the hands of Madsen Minax that won the Best Hometowner Feature for being made by people of that same location.

These movies were so great, especially AWOL and Jackson, that they won the Audience Awards for their awesome performance at the Festival. Lovetrue, a film by Alma Har’el won the Jury Award and the Best Departures Feature from the Audience. There was also another movie that was presented and that could win some recognition, I Am a Caregiver from the hands of Kathy Lofton which received the Best Hometowner Feature from the Audience.

Other Winners

On the other hand, films like Dysphoria from the hands of Dan Baker and Solus made by Rachel M. Taylor each won a total of $10,000 in IndieGrants awards with the help of some rental shops and music retailers. Even so, IndieGrants also awarded other films and productions for a total of $500 to each winner. These winners were Girls Like Me from the hands of Stephanie Watkins and Sophie, a film made by Christopher Tracy. These films were selected depending on the location of their filming and location of their creators, however, among the 40 filmmakers that were contesting, only these 4 won the prize due to the greatness and complexity in their productions.

AWOL was one big movie that represented filmmaking in various ways. However, Musa Syeed won two prizes as best Narrative Feature from the festival and the Duncan-Williams, Inc. Screenwriting Award, plus a prize of $1000 for its wonderful script. This makes the movie written by Musa Syeed one of the winning features, especially because it won more than 2 prizes on the same night, making it the all-time winner of the festival.

The movie Ayla the Dog from the hands of Barkhad Abdirahman also won the Jury Prize for Best Duo thanks to the great performances portrayed in the movie. However, just as with Jackson movie from Crow’s hands, there was another Special Jury Award for Emotional Honesty, that was received by Cecilia Aldarondo thanks to her movie Memories of a Pentinent Heart that was more of a documentary than a movie.

Hometowner’s Category Awards


All films that were made by filmmakers in the area of Memphis were contesting for prizes and awards in the Hometowner category. This category was especially decided by the most innovative and different films. One of the winners was Kairos Dirt &The Errant Vacuum from Minax, a filmmaker from Memphis who won the award in this category as the Best Feature Film.

On the other hand, for best short film, we can name Graham Uhelski& Daniel Ray Hamby’s who made the movie Dopplegänger and eventually won the Best Narrative Short in the hometowner category. There was also Laura Jean Hocking alongside Melissa Anderson Sweazy with their short named A.J which won the Best Documentary Short. Both of these movies won a prize of $500 along with an award.

Also, there were some Special Jury Awards for Kevin Brooks for his short Keep Pushing, and Teeth, a short made and acted by Gabrielle Goble, where she received the award especially because the jury loved her acting performance.

Thanks to the great success the hometowner category had, due to the great complexity of the many films that were presented and the great quality of every one of their creators, the executive director Ryan Wyatt for the festival affirmed that this edition was one of the biggest and more successful. Even so, he said that many of the films that were presented received a very good feedback by all critics that were present in the festival, making it a great fountain of talent.

Different Awards

Among the other different awards that were given in the festival, we can name a few like the Sound and Departures categories where we can find GIP, from Patrick Sheehan for having the Best Sound Feature. Also, there were some music video awards, where Dance Square from the hands of PaavoHanninen won the Best Sounds Music Video.

As for the Sound category in the Hometowner one, there was a video made by Ben silver& Company named Memphis Beach which won the Best Hometowner Music Video because of its beautiful scenarios and wonderful narrative.

There were also other winners in the Different Awards category, like Har’el for her video Lovetrue as the Best Departure Feature, the movie from Brian Ratigan named A Stone’s Throw Away as the best Departure Short, Pudding from the hands of Ryan and Tyler which won a Special Jury Prize and one of the latest awards, the Best Poster Design that went to Are We Not Cats.

Now, thanks to the audience, there were also other awards that had their place on the festival, these were the Audience Awards, given to those films and productions that made an impact on the people who were able to attend to this magnificent festival in Memphis.

Among the winners in the Audience Awards category, we can name I am The Blues, a film made by Daniel Cross that won the Best Sounds Features for the wonderful sound effects and professionalism given to the movie track. Also, there was an audience award for Best Narrative Short Film given to Shy Guys, a film made by FredicLehne.

But this category was a little wider than that, with awards for Best Documentary Short Film given to Pickle, an Amy Nicholson’s production. Then there was The Wrong End of the Stick, a movie made by Sam Bank which won the Audience Award for Best Departures Short Film.

There were also some Audience Awards for Hometowners, like the Best Hometowner Narrative Short Film, given to the short made by Laura Jean Hocking alongside C. Scott McCoy named How to Skin a Cat. There was also a Best Hometowner Documentary Short Film award given to The Rugby Boys of Venice, a documentary short from the hands of Jared Biunno.

But as if this wasn’t a lot, there were other audience awards like the Best Sounds Music Video given to Megan Leonard’s Chase The Clouds, and the other music video made by Ryan Earl Parker called Don’t You Smile Say Yeah as the Best Hometowner Music Video.

A Wonderful Festival

At the end, everyone was immensely happy with the quality of every one of the performances by everyone one of the filmmakers and artist that were part of this magnificent festival. Some artists were praised and acclaimed by the critics who attended the festival, while others were not that praised but still managed to be awarded depending on their field of greatness.

This Festival is known for always making a great presentation and giving much more hopes to the artistic world of this location in Memphis. Thanks to the immensely professional and always attentive team that is in charge of this festival, there’s always a great opportunity to enjoy the best Indie films of this part of the country.

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