The On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Festival returns in 2015 with a new date and renewed focus on music, while also providing the same world-class filmmaking and a variety of networking opportunities festivalgoers have come to expect. Films from more than 15 countries and the accompanying On Location: MEMPHIS Music Festival featuring a brand new blues concert highlight this year’s event.
Slated for Labor Day Weekend, September 3-6, the 16th edition of OL:M will kick off with a Mix & Mingle Preview Party at the Hard Rock Cafe Memphis on historic Beale Street on Thursday, September 3. The festival and the Hard Rock have partnered up throughout 2015, and this preview party comes on the heels of the wildly successful first edition of the On Location: MEMPHIS Shorts Festival in July. The party is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will feature film trailers, performances by Marco A and Crockett Hall, filmmakers, festival organizers, sponsors, musicians and others.
This year the Friday portion of the festival is devoted to music, and will be held entirely at Cooper Walker Place in the Cooper Young area of Midtown Memphis. Films entitled The Amateur, providing dramatic look at trying to make it in L.A, When the Blues Come to Town, spotlighting a Canadian blues festival, and Mabon Teenie Hodges: A Portrait of a Memphis Soul Original will be screened at the venue during the day on Friday, September 4. The night will then conclude with OL:M’s much-anticipated inaugural blues concert. The program kicks off at 8 p.m. and is hosted by blues and soul singer Redd Velvet with a variety of local blues acts taking the stage throughout the evening, highlighted by the Garry Burnside Band. A business expo will be held during the day as well.
On Saturday the festival moves into Overton Square while maintaining a presence in Cooper Young. A variety of documentary, feature, live action short and short animation films will be screened throughout the day on September 5 at Malco Studio on the Square, a longtime partner of OL:M. Highlights include the features The King of New Orleans, Primrose Lane and Writer’s Cramp, documentaries Imminent Threat, Stink! And We Won’t Bow Down, and three sets of shorts. The Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club will also present its Memphis Rocks! programming, highlighting films from students, businesses and civic leaders from around the Bluff City. Saturday’s Studio on the Square lineup also includes two free screenings. At 2 p.m. director Tommy Ford of TV show Martin fame will be in attendance to present his feature Switching Lanes. Meanwhile at 6:30 p.m. The Man in 3B featuring Billy Dee Williams will be screened.
A full day is also scheduled for Cooper Walker Place. At noon Johnny Cash’s sister Joanne’s faith-based documentary I Do Believe will take center stage with Ms. Cash herself in attendance. More music-related films are slated throughout the day, kicking off with Music in Mali: Life is Hard, Times are Good, and including The Record Man featuring Memphian Anita Ward (who will also be on-site), a set of music videos, and concluding with the documentary My Voice, My Life all the way from Hong Kong.
In the evening, the music festival continues at Cooper Walker Place with a variety of genres taking the stage, including rock band The Everdeens and R& B artist Al Chauncey. Country, hip hop, pop and soul acts are also scheduled throughout the weekend.
The 16th OL:M winds down on Sunday, September 6, with a full slate of films at Studio on the Square. Imba Means Sing, PAN! Our Music Odyssey, Gangsta Walking The Movie and three more sets of short films are on tap, as well as the feature Waffle Street from local Memphis filmmaker Autumn McAlpin. The film stars Danny Glover and features the music of the local Ghost Town Blues Band.
The festival features a number of industry discussions as well, with one of the most notable on the topic of distribution for short films. It is scheduled for Ardent Studios at noon on Friday, September 4, and features Christie Taylor, acquisitions coordinator for Black Lava Films, and Linda O. Olszewski, acquisitions consultant for Shorts HD. Business services providers such as stylists, physical trainers, attorneys, recording studios, entertainment business consultants and others will be on hand during the ongoing business expo, as scheduled throughout the festival.
Film and Music festival passes are $65, with a pass to the On Location: MEMPHIS Music Festival (granting access to all music-related films, performances and the business expo) available for $45. Friday and Saturday Film and Music single-day passes are $40 apiece, Friday and Saturday Music single day passes are $25 each, and VIP access to Thursday’s Mix & Mingle Preview Party at the Hard Rock Cafe is priced at $30. General admission to that event is free. Individual screening tickets for every film are just $8. Tickets are available via TicketLeap by visiting www.onlocationmemphis.org; promo code: SWEET16 can be used for a 25% discount.
A wide variety of filmmakers and musicians will also be on hand throughout the weekend.
Read the program here