You guys! Because I know a good time when I see one, I spent the beginning of the month in Tennessee at Indie Memphis. Also because someone finally recognized my genius and put me on a jury with Adam Donaghey and Chris Parnell.
On the flight to Memphis, I sat next to another festival juror, the criminally underrated Daniel Waters (and I’m not just calling him that because I happen to know that he googles “Daniel Waters, underrated”). Let me say that again: I sat next to the man who wrote Heathers. I was close enough to touch him! (I didn’t though, cause I wasn’t reared that way. Don’t worry, you guys, I played it cool.)
Upon my arrival I realized how much Indie Memphis does for the filmmakers (they let the jury tag along). My days there were a blur of movies and receptions and tours and panels and southern food and more movies and parties. It was like summer camp! And all with a free shuttle! (You’d be surprised to know how many festivals have expected attendees to figure out how to get back and forth from screenings that are 10-20 miles from the festival host hotel without going broke.) This fest is really great to the filmmakers that attend, and that must be the word on the street, because the city was crawling with them. And because I am trying to be a person of use to society, I had a chance to do a SAGIndie workshop with quite a few of said filmmakers. It was really heartening to have the turn out I did. (Are you guys, like, “I can’t figure out which part of this story is supposed to be interesting”(?) OK! Enough sincerity!)
How about this: Indie Memphis was insane! Seriously, you have one white wine spritzer* and the next thing you know you’re wearing a horse mask sitting in a converted airstream trailer sitting in between two men you just went with to what may or may not have been a rave (?), one of whom wrote Heathers, and listen, the night is not even close to being over.**
On the final night, after our last deliberation, Adam and I walked back to the Playhouse on the Square with Chris to go watch his panel, which was super entertaining as I’m sure you can imagine. During the Q&A, I raised my hand and asked “Out of the two others serving on the Hometowner Jury with you, which one is your favorite?” That drew a gasp from the crowd and a polite politician-y answer from Chris, who claimed he liked me and Adam equally, which we all know can’t be true. I have so much going for me, like awesome hair and a million pictures of my dog dressed up like Dracula! Adam? All he has is his own movie theater and a million producing credits.
After the panel was the awards ceremony, where the Hometowner Jury was pleased to award best Hometowner Feature to Morgan Jon Fox’s documentary This is What Love In Action Looks Like and Best Hometowner Short to Ryan Parker and G.B. Shannon’s Fresh Skweezed (which also won the Hometowner Audience Award). After the awards ceremony was the after party***, and after the party was the hotel lobby. And after that? Well, I guess I had to come home some time.
*Alright, it wasn’t a spritzer I was drinking!
**Actually, this sounds a lot like my Tuesday nights.
***At Ernestine and Hazels.