Baobab Filmhouse, Memphis’ newest indie movie hotspot, is named after the baobab tree found in the African savanna, which represents a gathering place and symbolizes life and positivity amongst hardship.
- When: Open Friday – Sunday with screenings at 1, 4 & 7 p.m.
- Where: 652 Marshall Ave., 38103
- Cost: $10 in advance/$12.50 at the door
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Located in the old Hattiloo Theatre space, the Baobab Filmhouse aims to foster awareness of social injustice and create a conversation about social issues by predominantly screening films by black filmmakers or films that feature black casts and themes showing the reality of living in the black community across the world. The theatre will focus on showing all types of films from local to international, and they welcome film submissions.
“I’m hoping this encourages blacks in the community who are interested in film and that they see there is a market for it.” – Ekundayo Bandele, Baobab Filmhouse owner
The 42-seat cinema offers an intimate environment for indie movie lovers to gather, socialize, and learn. Classic concessions like popcorn and nachos will be sold, along with affordable tasty treats like milk chocolate covered English toffee, gummy bears, giant peanut butter cups, and dark chocolate caramel pecan turtles. Baobab doesn’t serve alcohol, but they do offer Coca-Cola products.
Owner Ekundayo Bandele is also the founder and chief executive officer of Hattiloo Theatre, located in Overton Square. Both of Bandele’s endeavors aim to celebrate diversity and use their platforms to educate and inform their audiences through film and theater. He hopes to bring exposure to the high art of black filmmaking through featuring films from across the world.
“The whole thing is really about encouraging more black filmmakers to make local films, and everyone here in Memphis can come see films, like Better Mus’ Come out of Jamaica and Mother of George out of Zimbabwe, and raise the cultural IQ of Memphians.” – Ekundayo Bandele, Baobab Filmhouse owner