Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting

Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting

The Indie Memphis Film Festival today announced the creation of The Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting. Supported by the Remembering George Riley at MLK50 campaign, the program is a two-month residency in Memphis, Tennessee, for an emerging or established black filmmaker to work on a feature film screenplay to be produced locally in Memphis. The program will provide one screenwriter with $7,500 of unrestricted cash, plus housing and round-trip travel accommodations and, most importantly, uninterrupted time – to assist them in writing a feature film screenplay.

Indie Memphis Executive Director, Ryan Watt, said “Indie Memphis would like to encourage black authorship in filmmaking, particularly in screenwriting. Creating this new program is an opportunity to support a dynamic filmmaker while encouraging productions to take advantage of our outstanding actors, crew, and locations in Memphis.”

The Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency will provide opportunity for under-represented artists in filmmaking to develop bold storytelling to ultimately be filmed in the Memphis-area. The residency will look to support one narrative feature film project each year, with priority given to the story deemed most original, daring, intelligent, emotionally resonant, and realistic to produce.

Applicants must describe why they believe their film should be produced in Memphis. While the setting of the story may or may not be centered in Memphis, the residency will also offer an opportunity for initial location scouting and inspiration from the geography and environment. The residency will include meetings with advisors and filmmakers experienced with shooting in Memphis, as well as visits to cultural institutions such as Stax Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum. Location and production advice from the Memphis & Shelby County Film/TV Commission will also be provided.

The timespan for the 2018 residency will be September 17-November 16, and will include artist participation in events during the Indie Memphis Film Festival (November 1-5).

Rules & Eligibility:

– Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

– Applications are open to any filmmaker screenwriter that is a United States citizen of African descent.

– Applicant may be either an emerging or established screenwriter. The applicant must show how this residency will be unique and beneficial to the development of their project and career.

– Must be a resident from outside the Greater Memphis Metro area; an objective of this program is to bring new film productions to Memphis.

– Resident is expected to focus on writing their feature film screenplay and developing their project during the two-month period.

– Must submit a treatment of the story in development (20 pages maximum).

– If selected, screenwriter must provide their own computer and script writing software.

– Filmmaker must agree to stipulation that the majority of the script will be filmed in the Greater Memphis area, if produced.

– Only one submission per applicant will be accepted.

– Only one filmmaker will be accepted into the residency, but projects with multiple writers are eligible.

– Adaptations are eligible, but the applicant must show legal permission of the right to adapt.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm CST on April 4th, 2018. For information on how to apply, please go to: residency.

The mission of Indie Memphis, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is to create community for independent film and support the development of filmmakers. For additional information about membership, the annual film festival, weekly film series, artist development, and our youth program visit

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