Memphis, TN – Once again in 2013, a diverse group of films from around the world will be featured at the On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Fest, taking place from April 25th to April 28th. Drawing on dozens of entries, the field has been whittled down to include some of the globe’s most creative and thought- provoking filmmaking. As always, the festival will showcase features, documentaries, live action shorts, animation, and music videos.
This year’s opening night program is a double dose of Memphis music history as a sneak peek of The Memphians, coupled with Ole Beale Street Revue, gets the festivities underway at the Malco Paradiso in East Memphis on Thursday, April 25th.
The Memphians is a documentary dedicated to bringing the national spotlight back to the Mississippi-Delta region’s musical community. This project highlights not only the struggles of legendary artists and how their experiences translated to music, but the decline of the city of Memphis as well. Starting off over five decades ago and ending up in the present day, this documentary showcases Memphis’ past while detailing how it struggles to maintain relevant in the future. Filmmaker Martin Shore will be in attendance, along with a variety of notable Memphis musicians. Meanwhile, Ole Beale Street Revue is a documentary film recently submitted to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival celebrating the historic street’s rich history.
On Friday, April 26th the venue shifts to the Malco Studio on the Square in midtown Memphis, where wall-to-wall films are scheduled through Sunday, April 28th.
The poignant Girl Rising, executive produced by Memphis native Tom Yellin, features a variety of A-list actresses contributing their voices to nine separate stories of girls from different parts of the world who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and other injustices. Nevertheless each girl offers a story of hope and inspiration. The Lithuanian film Narcissus, featuring former Memphis Symphony Orchestra concert mistress Susanna Perry Gilmore; the Bollywood movie Chittagong, recent winner of a prize at Cinequest; the shorts Unburden and Sunburn, each entered by award-winning filmmakers; and The Story of Luke, starring Seth Green and Cary Elwes and screening for the first and only time in Memphis, provide a diverse variety of films for every taste.
Two films will end the festival on Sunday evening. The Last White Knight, Canadian Paul Salzman’s riveting documentary about re- meeting the former Klansman who assaulted him in Mississippi during the Civil Rights struggle will appear on one screen, while Midnight’s Children, Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s adaption of Salman Rushdie’s book that tells the story of two children growing up in India post-British rule, will be screened on another.
Other special events throughout the weekend include a Cinema for Seniors program on Friday afternoon featuring David Lynch’s The Straight Story; a Kids First children’s film event – also on Friday, panels featuring actors and filmmakers; Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club’s “Memphis Rocks” program representing the best of the Bluff City; and a University of Memphis film student screening culminating with Black Diamonds, Blues City- a documentary on the Negro Leagues’ Memphis Red Sox.
Of course, a film and music festival in Memphis wouldn’t be complete without several music-related films, and this year’s festival is sure to impress every music lover. The documentary We Juke Up in Here, in which the filmmakers explore the remains of Mississippi’s juke joint culture; SKUM Rocks, narrated by Alice Cooper; and My Father and the Man in Black – a behind-the-scenes look at one man’s relationship with Johnny Cash with drummer “Fluke” Holland in attendance – are just a few of the musical highlights.
Meanwhile, this year’s Music Showcases, featuring bands and artists across all genres, will take place on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th at Purple Haze – just off of Beale Street. As a special treat this year, entrants in the Music Video category will be screened as part of the Music Showcase event.
Musicians will also be performing throughout the festival weekend in the theater lobby and at the Bayou Bar and Grill Restaurant next door to Studio on the Square.
Tickets for individual films are $10, while festival passes are $55 and include a commemorative festival t-shirt. Many filmmakers will be in attendance at the screenings of their films and are eager to participate in question and answer sessions with attendees.
For more information on the festival and to see a full schedule, visit www.onlocationmemphis.org. Also like On Location: MEMPHIS on Facebook, follow on Twitter @OLM_Trailer, and check out youtube.com/onlocationmemphis.