A Community in Film: Supporting Indie Memphis

The Indie Memphis Film Festival is more than just films, just like Indie Memphis is more than just a Festival. Their mission is to create community through independent film and support the development of filmmakers.

“The Indie Memphis Film Festival brings a range of independent features, documentaries, and short films to Memphis from all corners of the world. We are inspired by the social and artistic history of Memphis, as a majority Black city in the South. While seeking to redefine prestige, we celebrate new, original films and value rediscovery within film history.

The goal of the festival is to embody a truly inclusive space — where conversations about new art and film naturally dominate and conversations about how to achieve diversity are unnecessary because it is already a truly diverse space. We screen and discuss films that are artistically and intellectually challenging, as well as eccentric, humorous, and fun. No matter your preference, we guarantee we have something for everyone to enjoy!”

-Indie Memphis Website

The Indie Memphis Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this October 19th through 24th. This year’s showings take place at the Halloran Centre, Crosstown Theater, Circuit Playhouse, Playhouse on the Square, Malco Studio on the Square and online!

The theme for many nonprofits in Memphis is community. What they are doing for their community, how they are addressing community needs, how they are creating community where one lacks. This is exactly what Indie Memphis has been working towards for the past 25 years.

Indie Memphis fulfills that mission through the following four programs: year-round film screenings, their annual film festival, artist development, and their youth film program. With the film festival approaching, you may have seen flyers and advertisements or heard about it from a friend. What you might not know is how expansive their artist development is during the festival and far beyond.

Indie Memphis works to close gaps in resources for artists through their Shoot & Splice, a free filmmaking forum; their IndieGrants, which have provided support to Memphis-based filmmakers for 9 years; and their Black Creators Forum, a 3-day symposium including speakers and workshops for black artists led by notable Black filmmakers, scholars, industry professionals, and critics; and through their annual Film Festival.

As with any event or festival, there is a lot of careful and collaborative planning going on behind the scenes for months prior. Organizations must coordinate a lot of various efforts to pull off such an amazing celebration as the Indie Memphis Film Festival. In order to make sure community events like this reach their full potential in action, Indie Memphis is relying on volunteer efforts for the six-day event. With multiple locations and a variety of service opportunities, there is truly a way for everyone to get involved.

Indie Memphis was awarded the 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2022, for the second year in a row. Considering what they do for the city of Memphis, how they spotlight and support Memphis artists, and why they continue to meet local needs by creating community, we certainly agree the festival is more than worth the price of entry. Find your way to get involved with Indie Memphis below.

Here is how you can support Indie Memphis this season:

Attend the Indie Memphis Film Festival

Volunteer for the Indie Memphis Film Festival

Subscribe to their newsletter

Follow them on social media

Donate to their work


Dannon Thornton is the Director of Community Engagement at Volunteer Odyssey. She graduated from the University of Memphis where she spent lots of time falling in love with the city through volunteering. You can contact her at dannon@volunteerodyssey.com.

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