Dean Richard R. Ranta and the University of Memphis College of Communication and Fine Arts Advisory Board cordially invite you to join in celebrating acclaimed Memphis author and filmmaker William "Willy" Bearden for the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts.
The Distinguished Achievement Award, established in 1979 in memory of Elvis Presley, recognizes outstanding career achievement and contributions by artists associated with Memphis and the Mid-South.
The award luncheon will be held Friday, Nov. 4, at 11:30 a.m. at the Rendezvous restaurant. Reservations are required. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table of 8. For ticket information, call 678-5086 or 678-4372. Tickets are available online here. Please RSVP by Friday, October 28.
As a filmmaker, Bearden may be best known for his popular Memphis Memoirs series about local history. His films "Overton Park: A Century of Change," "Elmwood: Reflections of Memphis," and "Playing for a Piece of the Door: A History of Garage Bands in Memphis" continue to draw viewers when they air on public television.
His first feature film was "One Came Home," set in Mississippi just after World War II. The critically acclaimed film tells the story of a con artist who preys on a Mississippi family by posing as a wartime friend of the family’s son, who was killed in action in Europe.
Bearden produces commercials, educational and corporate films for such clients as the Blues Foundation, the Cotton Museum, the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, FedEx, the West Clinic, and the Memphis Wonders Series. He also is an event producer, staging productions like the annual W.C. Handy Blues Music Awards.
Bearden has also served as chairperson and presenter for the U of M’s popular annual “The Delta – Everything Southern!” conference.
This celebration is made possible by the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, the Memphis Music Foundation, Carol and Mike Palazola, Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, FedEx Corporation and Sam Phillips Recording/Knox Music Inc.