IndieMemphis was held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 this year and I had the chance to attend the festival for the first time. Over the course of the weekend I saw some incredible films. Since that time, I have wanted to post some of my favorites and encourage you to seek out these films when you have an opportunity. That's the great thing about attending film festivals: you have the chance to see some wonderful movies that you might not ever see in your local multiplex. So, here is some of what I saw at IndieMemphis 2013:
- August: Osage County - This is a dark comedy about an incredibly dysfunctional family who must come together again during a time of crisis. Meryl Streep plays the matriarch of the family and is joined by an ensemble of "A" listers, including Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepherd, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris Cooper.
- John's Farm (short) - Directed by Memphis filmmaker Melissa Sweazy, this short depicts a father's struggle in letting his pre-teen son gain an increased measure of independence.
- Medora - This documentary centers on a small rural high school in Indiana where the boys basketball team has not won a single game in 44 tries. Although the film chronicles the 2010-2011 basketball team and its season, the story also explores life in a small town where jobs are scarce, the economic outlook dim, and hope is fleeting.
- Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride - This documentary talks about the changing landscape of Coney Island, an historic amusement area in New York City. The casualties of a war fought between the city of New York and an independent developer are the local carnival attraction owners, who are forced to watch as their rides and games are closed down, one by one.
- Sweet Crude Man Camp (short) - North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom in recent years, attracting thousands to the oil fields. This documentary looks at life in the oil fields and those that take on these hard jobs.
- Short Term 12 - Grace is a supervisor at a group home that houses at-risk teenagers. The film depicts her struggles as she works to help these kids, while at the same time dealing with her own personal struggles.