Cinephiles, it is once again your time to shine! Sundance Film Festival has selected our very own Indie Memphis as an official satellite screen, bringing featured films and customized programming to the Malco Summer Drive-In.
We’ve already seen Indie Memphis master their way through the pandemic rendition of their annual film fest, and they’re back for round two starting January 28th through February 3rd. With screenings, talks, virtual meet-ups, and more, there’ll be plenty movie magic for you to take in!
Check out the line-up below:
Thursday, January 28th
- Strawberry Mansion directed by Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley (Showing Time: 8:30PM)
- “In the not-too-distant future, an all-seeing surveillance state conducts “dream audits” to collect taxes on the unconscious lives of the populace. Mild-mannered government agent James Preble (Kentucker Audley) travels to a remote farmhouse to audit the dreams of Arabella “Bella” Isadora (Penny Fuller), an eccentric, aging artist. Entering Bella’s vast VHS archive, which contains a lifetime of dreams, Preble stumbles upon a secret that offers him a chance at love—and hope for escape.”
- Censor directed by Prano Bailey-Bond (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.”
Friday, January 29th
- I Was a Simple Man directed by Christopher Makoto Yogi (Showing Time: 6PM)
- “When Masao is healthy, his plants thrive; when a terminal sickness encroaches, the plants wither and die. The island’s ambient noises—the waves, the wind, the birds—thread through the film’s time-shifting chapters, from the pre-World War II sugar plantations of Oahu to Hawai’i statehood to the present gentrification of Honolulu.”
- Cryptozoo directed by Dash Shaw (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “Cryptids are creatures whose existence is disputed or unsubstantiated. When Amber and Matt get lost in the woods during a sex date, they stumble upon a high-security fence. On the other side, they find a cryptid—a unicorn—that would change their lives.Military brat Lauren spent her childhood nights in a nightmarish state, until a mythical baku came to eat her dreams, releasing her from nocturnal torment. Lauren decides to dedicate her life to rescuing and sheltering cryptids from those who seek to exploit them, so she becomes a cryptozookeeper.”
Saturday, January 30th
- Passing directed by Rebecca Hall (Showing Time: 6PM)
- “Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson), a refined, upper-class 1920s woman, finds breezy refuge from a hot summer day in the grand tearoom of New York City’s Drayton Hotel. Across the room, she spots a blond woman staring her down. Irene wants to steal away, but before she can, Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga) rushes over to stop her. It turns out the two were in high school together, and while both are African American women who can “pass” as white, they have chosen to live on opposite sides of the color line. Now, their renewed acquaintance threatens them both.”
- Superior directed by Erin Vassilopoulos (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “When Marian is on the run, she goes to the only place she knows is safe: her childhood home. She is greeted by her estranged sister, Vivian, a stay-at-home housewife struggling to conceive and on the verge of a failing marriage. Though the two are identical twins, they live opposite lives. Marian’s mysterious return disrupts Vivian’s small-town routine, and the sisters must learn to reconnect and reconcile. When Marian’s haunting past finally catches up to her, their separate worlds collide, catapulting both sisters into grave danger.”
Sunday, January 31st
- All Light, Everywhere directed by Theo Anthony (Showing Time: 6PM)
- “The “observer effect” is a term used in physics to describe the process in which the act of observation disturbs the system that’s being observed. Humans are such observers—and we have our inherent limitations, biases, and blind spots that skew how we perceive and interpret. In his remarkable, kaleidoscopic essay film, Theo Anthony investigates the correlation between how we see things and the tools and practices involved in the act of seeing.”
- Mayday directed by Karen Cinorre (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “An unusual storm is approaching, and it’s about to change everything for Ana (Grace Van Patten). After a short circuit at her workplace mysteriously transports her to an alternate world, she meets a crew of female soldiers caught in an endless war. Along a strange and rugged coastline, men face the stark truth lurking behind damsels who appear to be in distress. Under the leadership of Marsha (Mia Goth), Ana trains as a sharpshooter and discovers a newfound freedom in this uninhibited sisterhood. She soon senses she may not be the ruthless killer they expect, though, and time is running out for her to find a path home.”
Monday, February 1st
- Ailey directed by Jamila Wignot (Showing Time: 6PM)
- “Many know the name Alvin Ailey, but how many know the man? Ailey’s commitment to searching for truth in movement resulted in pioneering and enduring choreography that centers on African American experiences. Director Jamila Wignot’s resonant biography grants artful access to the elusive visionary who founded one of the world’s most renowned dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”
- Judas and the Black Messiah directed by Shaka King (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “Fred Hampton’s cathartic words “I am a revolutionary” became a rallying call in 1969. As chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, Hampton demanded all power to the people and inspired a growing movement of solidarity, prompting the FBI to consider him a threat and to plant informant William O’Neal to infiltrate the party. Judas and the Black Messiah not only recounts Hampton’s legacy and the FBI’s conspiring but also gives equal footing to the man who became infamous for his betrayal—highlighting the systems of inequality and oppression that fed both of their roles.”
Tuesday, February 2nd
- Marvelous & the Black Hole by Kate Tsang (Showing Time: 6PM)
- “Thirteen-year-old Sammy is struggling to cope with the death of her mother. After she is caught vandalizing one of her school’s restrooms, her father, fed up with her wild behavior, enrolls her in a summer course—if she fails, she’ll be sent to a boot camp for delinquent youth. After storming out of her first class, Sammy meets Margot, a surly magician. Margot forces Sammy to be her assistant for a performance, and although Sammy seems uninterested, she seeks Margot out after the show and asks to become Margot’s pupil. Margot agrees, and as their unlikely friendship grows, we learn that she and Sammy understand each other more than they expected.”
- Philly D.A. directed by Ted Passon & Yoni Brook (Showing Time: 9PM)
- “For 30 years, civil rights attorney Larry Krasner called out policies that caused Philadelphia to become the major city in America with the most incarcerations. More than 75 times, he sued police officers who perpetuated corruption and brutality. This made him an unlikely candidate for district attorney, but in 2017 he launched an election campaign that promised to reform the system. Passionate in his beliefs, and buoyed by activists committed to ending mass incarceration, Krasner set out to revolutionize his city’s criminal justice system from the inside.”
Tickets are now on sale, and the cost is $25 per vehicle ($20 if you’re an Indie Memphis Member).
Purchase yours here.
And just so you’re not waiting around for the festivities to begin, here’s how you can enjoy some movie mania in the meantime:
- Explore the Indie Memphis Virtual Cinema that has a few featured films you can unlock for just $12
- Join the Indie Memphis Movie Club which presents virtual screening opportunities (for brand new films and classics), combined with online Q&As + community discussions hosted by programmers and special guests.
- If you’re a movie- maker, get to movie-making and submit you film for the 2021 Indie Memphis Film Festival. The Early Bird submission deadline is February 8th.