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Welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission

Greetings and welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission’s new web site!  Brimming with new features and up-to-date information, we invite you to come in and look around to get a peek at what Memphis & Shelby County have to offer film productions of all sizes.  Take a minute to browse our location library in Reel-Scout, check out our diverse production guide, or get a taste of productions that have shot here and utilized our crew base over at Film Memphis TV!  

Special thanks to Christopher Reyes, Sarah Fleming, and the crew over at SE2M for their outstanding hard work in making this web site possible. Thanks also to content editor Jon W. Sparks.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, like other publicly-funded film commissions in the U.S.A., works only with funded productions and does not assist producers in securing funding for projects.

The Film Commission's Website makes available hiring/casting information from third parties. This information is to be used as general information only. Although such information is believed to be generally reliable, the posting of the information on the commission website does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation from the Commission. Nor does the Posting imply any assurance regarding the accuracy of the information, the funding of the project, the completion of the project, or the payment to crew/vendors/cast.


On Location: Memphis Shorts Festival taking submissions

Submissions are being accepted for the On Location: MEMPHIS Shorts Festival. The new event will be at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street each Tuesday night in July 2015. Three categories – Live Action Shorts, Animated Shorts and Documentary Shorts – will be spotlighted throughout the month, with one genre being screened each week.

The audience will complete review forms to select a favorite. Awards night will be the last Tuesday in July. The winner of each genre gets a spot in the 16th Annual On Location: MEMPHIS International Film & Music Fest in September.

Films can now be submitted through FilmFreeway here.  A submissions link can also be found on the On Location website under the “OL:M Shorts Festival” heading.

Early Bird Deadline is Jan. 31, 2015, regular deadline Mar. 31, late deadline Apr. 1.

Filmmakers will be notified by April 30, 2015. Films do not have to be a world premiere, but should not have a distribution deal in place. On Location: Memphis has added a distribution division and will be reviewing submitted projects for various distribution opportunities. All submitted projects must be 30 minutes or less.



A look at “Free in Deed” with producer Mike Ryan

Producer Mike S. Ryan will shows scenes from the Memphis-made film “Free in Deed” and outline the path ahead at a presentation Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Circuit Playhouse as part of the Indie Memphis Film Festival.

The independent film, now in post-production, stars British actor David Harewood (“Homeland”) and Los Angeles-based Edwina Findley (“The Wire,” “Treme”), with the rest of the cast and much of the crew from Memphis. The film is a client project of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

Director/writer Jake Mahaffy has been working for years to bring the project to life. It was originally going to be shot in Detroit, but Ryan convinced Mahaffy to shoot in Memphis. Other producers are Michael Bowes and Brent Stiefel. Memphian Ryan Watt is associate producer.

Most of the jobs in the film’s production went to local people. There were about 20 in the crew, including Morgan Jon Fox, Gloria Belz, Nicki Newburger and Sarah Fleming. Among the 51 locals with speaking roles are RaJay Chandler, Preston Shannon, Libra Mitchell, Helen Bowman, Candace Clough McGowen, Jan Falk, Alex Coker, Geoff Falk, Porsha Ferguson and Jon W. Sparks.

Ryan’s presentation is part of the festival’s INDIETALKS, sponsored by the Hohenberg Foundation. Free admission after Priority Pass, Festival Pass and Standby Card holders have been seated.

For more information:


Indie Memphis Film Fest Oct. 30-Nov. 2 - A Halloween Weekend Treat

Beginning tonight, Thursday, Oct. 30, Indie Memphis Film Festival kicks off a weekend of  films, panels, workshops — plus parties — all in the heart of Memphis in the newly revamped Overton Square.

Celebrating its 17th year, the festival appropriately tricks up the Halloween night schedule with a midnight showing of the 1978 horror hit, "Halloween." And -- for pass holders only -- a "Halloween Ball." Go to now to buy your pass and enjoy ALL the fun.

Saturday highlights include workshops by independent film greats (and former Film/TV Commission clients) Ted Hope and Mike Ryan.

And don't miss Saturday night's Hometowner Awards — presented by The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. This year's popular awards — given only to Memphis area filmmakers — are sponsored by state Sen. Mark Norris and Commission Board members Dr. O'Farrell Shoemaker and Dr. Richard Ranta.

For filmmakers with a script but no money, Sunday's events include a noon workshop on raising money for your film budget through crowd funding. Don't miss a Festival minute — go to and click on Festival Schedule and start planning now.


Update: Sutton's 'Memphis' premieres Sept. 19

Independent filmmaker Tim Sutton returns to Memphis on Friday, September 19th, for the opening weekend of the Memphis run of his feature film, "Memphis." As a special guest of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission and Malco Theatres, Inc., Sutton becomes part of a decades-old Film Commission/Malco Theatres, Inc. tradition of bringing filmmakers back to the Mid-South community where they made their films. Previous filmmakers include Michael Hausman, Robert Altman, and Mike Ryan.

Sutton will be available after the 7:35 pm September 19th screening for a question and answer session with the audience. Additionally, the next day, Saturday, September 20th, at 11 am, Sutton and The Commercial Appeal's popular film writer, John Beifuss, will hold an hour-long discussion on the making of "Memphis" in Memphis. Admission to the discussion is free-of-charge. It will be held at Malco's Studio on the Square in midtown Memphis.

"Memphis" was one of the first films to win a grant from The Venice Biennale's international competition for emerging filmmakers in Venice, Italy. A client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, "Memphis" shot in the city for 21 filming days in spring, 2013.  That summer, the film premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. In January 2014,  "Memphis" screened at The Sundance Film Festival. Finally, September 19th at Memphis' Malco's Ridgeway Theatre, "Memphis" comes home! Tickets are regularly priced at $10 for the opening night 7:35 pm screening with Sutton present. Tickets will become available on Wednesday, September 17th, either online at or at the Ridgeway box office.

The story of an initially successful blues musician searching for meaning in his life, "Memphis" stars real-life recording artist Willis Earl Beal. Memphis music legends Larry Dodson and Teenie Hodges make cameo appearances as themselves at Memphis' Royal Studios for Beal's recording sessions. Memphis music celebrity George Klein also makes an appearance as Beal's interviewer at the film's beginning. However, as his quest for significance begins a downward spiral, Beal leaves behind the show biz life of Memphis - finding himself more at home amongst the dilapidated shotguns and poverty of South Memphis. The film's cinematography, showing both the high and low parts of the cityscape, reflects Beal's shifting psyche and internal struggle. Scenes from Memphis' real-life Peace Baptist Church offer contrasting views of hope and salvation. It comes as no surprise that Richard Brody of The New Yorker has called "Memphis" a "...pictorial translation of the blues...." For the film's trailer, go to:

Local crew include associate producer Morgan Jon Fox, casting associate TC Sharpe and locations coordinator Christian Walker. Except for Beal, the cast is entirely local and non-professional, adding to the film's feeling of authenticity.

According to Jimmy Tashie, Senior Vice-President of Malco Theatres, Inc., and Chairman of the Film and Television Board, "Malco and The Commission have been partnering since the 1980s to give locally made films at least a screening. The lucky ones get a long run. We are happy to continue this tradition with Tim Sutton and "Memphis."

Sutton's Memphis visit in coordination with his film's opening is made possible by a grant from "Friends of the Film Commission," who have contributed to the Film Commission's 501(c) 3 arm. For more information on how to support The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission or for media inquiries about Mr. Sutton's appearances, call 901-527-8300, extension 3 for Linn Sitler, Film Commissioner.

Pictured: Willis Earl Beal in "Memphis."


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