Still from Monica Sorelle’s MOUNTAINS - winner, Best Narrative Feature
Still from Monica Sorelle’s MOUNTAINS - winner, Best Narrative Feature

26th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces 2023 Award-Winners

The 26th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces 2023 Award-Winners, Including Monica Sorelle’s MOUNTAINS as Best Narrative Feature and Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson’s GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT as Best Documentary Feature

(October 29, 2022 | Memphis, TN) Indie Memphis Film Festival, presented by SouthState|DuncanWilliams and Duncan Williams Asset Management, is thrilled to announce this year’s award winners. The awards show, sponsored by Eventive, was held in-person in Memphis, as well as online, on the evening of October 28th. The awards were presented by festival staff and programming teams, as well as members of the awards juries, sponsored by AMC. The 2023 festival screened over 175 films from filmmakers from all over the world. 

Jury Award highlights include Best Narrative Feature to MOUNTAINS (Dir. Monica Sorelle $1K cash prize), Best Documentary Feature to GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT (Dirs.  Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson, $1K cash prize), Best Hometowner Feature to THE SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS (Dir. Alicia Ester, $1K cash prize), Best Departures Feature to LA BONGA (Dirs. ​​Sebastián Pinzón Silva & Canela Reyes, $500 cash prize), and Best Sounds Feature to EVEN HELL HAS ITS HEROES (Dir. Clyde Petersen, $500 cash prize), among others. 

The festival also awarded two yet-to-be-produced short films with Indie Grant prizes: 55 SOUTH by Alicia Ester and FRIEND SHAPED by Lo Norman. These films, from Memphis-based filmmakers, were chosen by a jury and were each awarded with $39K in Short Film Production Grants. Grant support consisted of $15K cash provided by sponsor Mark Jones and the Tennessee Entertainment Commission and $24,000 of cash-equivalent rentals and donations provided by sponsors Firefly Grip & Electric, LensRentals, Archer Recording  Studio, and VIA. The winners will each receive grant packages worth $15K.

The Festival Awards, decided by Indie Memphis Festival staff, include the Ron Tibbett ‘Soul of Southern Film’ award for MISSISSIPPI RIVER STYX (Dirs. Andy McMillan, Tim Grant) and the Craig Brewer ‘Emerging Filmmaker’ award for DONNA AND ALLY (Dir. Connor Mahony), among others. Audience awards will be announced in the coming week. For more information, please visit http://indiememphis.com/.

2023 Indie Memphis Film Festival Award-Winners

Jury Awards

Narrative Features

Best Narrative Feature, MOUNTAINS (Dir. Monica Sorelle) - $1K Cash Prize

Still from Monica Sorelle’s MOUNTAINS - winner, Best Narrative Feature
Still from Monica Sorelle’s MOUNTAINS - winner, Best Narrative Feature

Duncan Williams Best Screenplay Award, THE FEELING THAT THE TIME FOR DOING SOMETHING HAS PASSED (Dir. Joanna Arnow) - $1K Cash Prize, sponsored by Duncan Williams, Inc.

The Feeling That The Time For Doing Something Has Passed

Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Feature, GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT (Dirs. Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson) - $1K Cash Prize

Special Jury Mention, MISSISSIPPI RIVER STYX (Dirs. Andy McMillan, Tim Grant)

Hometowner

  • Best Hometowner Feature, SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS (Dir. Alicia Ester) – $1K Cash Prize
  • Best Hometowner Narrative Short, ETTO (Dir. Zaire Love) – $500 Cash Prize
  • Best Hometowner Documentary Short, SLICE (Dir. Zaire Love) – $500 Cash Prize

Departures

  • Best Departures Feature, LA BONGA (Dirs. ​​Sebastián Pinzón Silva, Canela Reyes) – $500 Cash Prize
  • Best Departures Short, AMMA KI KATHA (Dir. Nehal Vyas)
  • Special Jury Mention, REJEITO (Dir. Pedro de Filippis)

Sounds

  • Best Sounds Feature, EVEN HELL HAS ITS HEROES (Dir. Clyde Petersen) – $500 Cash Prize
  • Best National Music Video, “SLUT” by POLLYANNA (Dir. Jasia Ka)
  • Best Hometowner Music Video, “IF YOU FEEL ALONE AT PARTIES” BY BLVCK HIPPIE (Dir. Lawrence Shaw)

Shorts

  • Best Narrative Short, BENEDICTION (Dir. Zandashé Brown) – $500 Cash Prize
  • Best Documentary Short, THIS IS NOT A SPORTS FILM (Dir. Lily Ahree Siegel) – $500 Cash Prize

IndieGrants

  • 55 SOUTH by Alicia Ester- $15K Grant ($7.5K cash, $7.5K in-kind filmmaking services)
  • FRIEND SHAPED by Lo Norman – $15K Grant ($7.5K cash, $7.5K in-kind filmmaking services)

Poster Design

  • AN EVENING SONG (FOR THREE VOICES)
Festival Awards

Ron Tibbett ‘Soul of Southern Film’ Award

  • MISSISSIPPI RIVER STYX (Dirs. Andy McMillan, Tim Grant)

Craig Brewer ‘Emerging Filmmaker’ Award

  • DONNA AND ALLY (Dir. Connor Mahony)

Vision Award

  • Molly Wexler

Indie Award

  • Laura Jean Hocking

Best After Dark Shortr

  • BE THYSELF (Dir. Daniel Rosendale)

WHO

About Indie Memphis
The mission of Indie Memphis, a 501(c)3 arts organization, is to create community through independent film and support the development of filmmakers. Learn more at IndieMemphis.org.

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