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Mattteo Servente, director of WE GO ON, Winner 2017 Memphis Film Prize
Mattteo Servente, director of WE GO ON, Winner 2017 Memphis Film Prize

The 10 film finalists for the 3rd annual Memphis Film Prize (August 3-5) with the top award of $10,000 cash were announced today.  The ten finalists will play at the Memphis Film Prize Fest, August 3-4 at the Malco Theater in Overton Square. The ten shorts will play throughout the two days of the festival, and a combination of judges and the audience help determine the Grand Prize winner.

The 10 films (and filmmakers) that will compete for the $10,000 Grand Prize include; Daniel R. Ferrell’s DEAN’S LIST; Donald R. Meyers’s HYPNOTIC INDUCTION; Kevin Brooks’s LAST NIGHT; Will Robbins’s MINORITY; Robb Rokk’s OUTSIDE ARCADIA; Kyle Taubken’s PATRICK; Jason S. Lockridge’s THE STIX; Drew Fleming’s TRAVELING SOLDIER; Arnold G. Edwards II’s WAYWARD SON; and Marcus Santi’s YOU DON’T KNOW JACK SQUAT: THE TRIAL.

“Across the board, these filmmakers poured their hearts and souls into their projects and put the indie film spotlight on Memphis and Shelby County,” said David Merrill, the Memphis filmmaker liaison. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work that was done and of our ten Memphis Film Prize finalists.”

Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Film Prize Foundation, said, “This was our largest group of participating filmmakers and, by far, our best crop of rough cuts to choose from. While I don’t envy their task, I can’t wait for our Memphis Film Prize fans to help choose our $10,000 winner in August!”

2018 Memphis Film Prize Jury

Thelma Adams (Journalist and Film Critic – Real Clear/Life, contributing writer for Variety)
Nelson Kim (Journalist and Film Critic – Hammer to Nail)
Victoria Negri ((Writer, Director, Producer, and Actor – GOLD STAR; Director of 2 WEEKS, Producer of THE FEVER AND THE FRET)
Brandon Oldenberg (Academy Award-winning filmmaker – THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE)
Farah White (Producer and Actor – DAYLIGHT’S END, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE)

The Memphis Film Prize combines elements of a film competition and festival, inviting filmmakers from all over the world to create and present a 5-15 minute short film with just one rule – it must be shot in Shelby County, TN. Filmmakers shot their films beginning in February and submitted them in June, when a rough cut of the films were due to contest organizers.


Director: Daniel R. Ferrell
Running Time: 7:02 min
A young college student who is coming off his best semester has to deliver a backpack to his eccentric associate so he can attend college for the next year.

Director: Donald R. Meyers
Running Time: 15:00 min
A hypnotherapist helps a man quit smoking, but there appears to be something else he needs to quit.

Director: Kevin Brooks
Running Time: 9:47 min
A man spends his last day of freedom with his wife and daughter.

Director: Will Robbins
Running Time: 6:07 min
A convenience store clerk is frightened by a man minding his own business.

Director: Robb Rokk
Running Time: 15:00 min
Decades after tragic events, a brother and sister use a peculiar machine to break free.

Director: Kyle Taubken
Running Time: 14:58 min
Two strangers with different backgrounds get to know one another over crummy coffee and shared struggles in an old church basement.

Director: Jaron S. Lockridge
Running Time: 9:48 min
Two rural county sheriff detectives work a day on patrol due to a manpower shortage. With only 30 minutes before end of shift, they get a call that will forever change their lives.

Director: Drew Fleming
Running Time: 7:28 min
After a shy, lonesome soldier strikes up a conversation with a young waitress, they find themselves wrapped up in an unexpected romance while he’s at war.

Director: Arnold G. Edwards II
Running Time: 14:46 min
A PTSD-stricken vet must choose between peacefully waiting out the final days of his house arrest and breaking parole to save a befriended teen from an abusive stepfather.

Director: Marcus Santi
Running Time: 14:51 min
Jack Squat reluctantly takes on the worst team at his University (women’s soccer). He may or may not have crossed lines.

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