As Indie Memphis continues to prioritize and create long-term sustainability for both our organization and the community we serve, the 27th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival will continue to be a hub for international and national cinema while temporarily pausing certain aspects of the festival. These transitory changes include temporarily narrowing submissions to Memphis-made films and focusing on Audience Awards in lieu of Jury Awards.

We look forward to bringing back Jury Awards and submissions from all in 2025!

Indie Memphis Film Festival returns November 14-19, 2024 in Memphis, TN. The festival is a showcase for the best of contemporary independent features, documentaries, short films, international art house films, experimental films, music-themed films, and recent restorations of older cinematic gems. 2023’s festival unfolded across several venues, including Crosstown Theater, Circuit Playhouse, Hattiloo Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Malco Studio on the Square, and online during a span of six days, creating a community-friendly atmosphere unique on the festival circuit.

Returning for the seventh year is the annual Black Creators Forum Symposium, comprised of workshops and invited speakers led by notable Black filmmakers and critics. Previous speakers have included Barry Jenkins, Shaka King, Maya Cade, Ashley Clark, Numa Perrier, and Gina Duncan. The aim is to ease the barrier of entry for black artists to work in film, and to foster a strong network of collaborators.

The festival celebrates new independent films as well as important independent film history. Indie Memphis has screened mini-retrospectives of the work of Abel Ferrara, Hong Sang-soo, Sara Driver, and Sean Price Williams. Other recent highlights included Jim Jarmusch in person for a 30th Anniversary screening of the Memphis-shot MYSTERY TRAIN.

The festival has a special interest in music documentaries, comedies, and “in-between films” (films that mix experimental with narrative or documentary and/or are medium length).

Festival attendees have included Jim Jarmusch (Mystery Train, The Dead Don’t Die), Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You), Chris Elliot, Ira Sachs, Lakeith Stanfield, Raven Jackson (All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt), Amy Seimetz (Sun Don’t Shine, The Girlfriend Experience series), Rainn Wilson, Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Footloose), Whit Stillman (Love & Friendship), Abel Ferarra (Ms. 45), Richard Brody (The New Yorker), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell (KCRW's The Treatment), Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams), Scott Mosier (Clerks, Chasing Amy), Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs Larry Flynt), Matt Lopez (Race to Witch Mountain, The Sorcerer's Apprentice), John Sayles (Matewan), Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), and many others.

Thrice named "one of the coolest film festivals around" by MovieMaker magazine, the Indie Memphis Film Festival has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cinereach, and other prestigious funding bodies.


Indie Memphis is committed to creating a safe environment for all. Thus, we’re mindful of the health of audiences and filmmakers and pay careful attention to health advisories.

***Official Satellite Screen Partner for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival***

***FilmCraft recipient from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences for the Black Creators Forum***

***MovieMaker Magazine’s 2020 Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee***

***MovieMaker Magazine's 2019 25 Coolest Film Festivals***


Word on the street:

“An embarrassment of riches… warm and friendly, yet also exciting and intense. Kind of like Memphis itself.”
- ROGEREBERT.COM by Sheila O'Malley

“One of the most well-curated [festivals] each year”
- THE FILM STAGE by Jordan Raup

"Infused with the city’s warmth and buoyed by the local music acts (they play before each screening), ranks as one of the more satisfying regional film festivals around. Where else do you overhear folks debating BBQ and fried chicken houses while in line for the latest films by Kelly Reichardt and Raoul Peck?"

“Indie Memphis has grown into one of the best and most inclusive festivals in the southern United States with great programing for narrative, documentary, and outside the box films they classify as ‘departures.’ (I appreciate they did not use the word experimental.)”
~ JOHN RASH (filmmaker)

“Beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the most vital regional film festivals in the country, setting the bar for all others from programming to community engagement. So honored to be in the mix with these programmers and filmmakers.”
~ PISIE HOCHHEIM (filmmaker)

“Indie Memphis did not feel like an inclusion rider festival, but rather a well-curated collection from a trusted tastemaker, and yet the pickings were as diverse as they come.”
~ FILMMAKER MAGAZINE by Kristen Yoonsoo Kim

"Indie Memphis is a fantastic, well-curated festival blessed with hometown strengths -- the city's special cultural and political history as well as its great food -- that other fests can only dream about."
~ SCOTT MACAULAY (editor-in-chief Filmmaker Magazine)

"A truly great stop for any filmmaker on their festival tour, with great audiences both local and global, who really invest in the ethos of the entire weekend. Indie Memphis is a festival with an eclectic program that challenges, inspires and always leaves you wanting more. Long may it continue. Films, music, food and craft beer. Is this heaven? No, it's Indie Memphis."
~ JUSTIN DOHERTY (co-founder Filmstock International Film Festival)

“As film festivals and arthouse exhibitors have historically alienated people of color, working class people, and people outside of the film industry, Indie Memphis continues to evolve both internally and externally to welcome more of the Memphis community.”
~ AARON E. HUNT (MUBI Notebook)

"Indie Memphis has so much that I look for in a film festival: programming with a thoughtful and idiosyncratic point of view that reflects its leadership, and reaches out to promising new filmmakers whose work has an unmistakable sense of place; an excited and eager community that attends the films in force looking to be surprised by the fare, rather than congratulated for coming out; and, oh yeah, barbecue."
~ ELVIS MITCHELL (host of KCRW's 'The Treatment')

"I've had screenings of my films all around the world. I've watched my films premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, as well as the Prince's Palace in Marrakech. But there has never been an experience to equal my premiere at Indie Memphis."
~ CRAIG BREWER ('Hustle & Flow') on premiering his debut feature, 'The Poor & Hungry,' at Indie Memphis in 2000

All new films showcased in the festival will be eligible for Audience Awards. Recipients will receive custom award sculptures designed and produced by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo.

Final exhibition formats will vary per venue. However, a DCP will be required so make sure that you have one ready to deliver at least 3 weeks before the screening date. Flat, 24fps specs are preferred.

The entrant guarantees they have legal right to submit their film to the 2024 Indie Memphis Festival and have obtained all necessary rights and clearances to have it publicly screened during the festival dates. Submission of the film confirms that the Indie Memphis Film Festival has permission to exhibit the work at the 2024 festival, should it be accepted.

Submission of the film also confirms that Indie Memphis has permission to exhibit the work for an additional year for encore screenings, if desired, in our year-round programming events. Every precaution will be exercised in handling preview and exhibition materials for submitted films, but the entrant agrees to hold the festival, its organizers, employees, volunteers, sponsors, and partnering organizations harmless for damage to or loss of materials submitted.

Overall Rating
  • I really loved premiering my film at Indie Memphis. Their programming is great and the vibe is welcoming. I'm deeply grateful to the entire fest staff for making me feel both at home and honored to participate. The fest was a great partner and sent out clear prompt communications. They answered questions promptly and are incredibly organized!

    February 2024
  • I've rarely been compelled to leave a festival review, but Indie Memphis is a cut above the rest. Stellar communication every step of the way. The festival itself was also incredibly well organized and featured amazing venues. Such a joy to attend as a filmmaker. I can't recommend enough!

    December 2023
  • Felicia Manning

    This festival is top notch! I felt so incredibly welcomed and the festival is amazingly curated. Thanks for screening our short and I hope to be back again.

    December 2023
  • Cristin Stephens

    One of my favorite festival experiences of all time!! Grateful to the festival team for the screening and the overall experience.

    November 2023

    November 2023