CA: ‘The Memphis Film Prize’ boasts $10,000 purse for indie creators
“The Memphis Film Prize,” a new short film competition and festival, promises a $10,000 top prize, according to organizers.
The event is an offshoot of the Louisiana Film Prize, a Shreveport-based competition founded in 2012 that awards $50,000 each year to a film shot in the Shreveport area. With money provided by corporate sponsors (Chevrolet and Stella Artois have been involved in the past), the cash prize is one of the largest anywhere for a film competition. (In comparison, the Indie Memphis Film Festival offers $1,000 cash prizes and larger amounts in the form of “production grants” and “cash-equivalent” equipment rentals.)
The winning Memphis Film Prize short will be entered into the Louisiana contest as a sort of “guest” of that festival, competing alongside that state’s 20 finalists for the $50,000.
Film contest details will be announced by at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at a meeting for filmmakers and interested people at Local in Overton Square. The meeting will be hosted by Louisiana Film Prize founder Gregory Kallenberg and local organizer David Merrill of FuelFilm: Memphis, an organization devoted to promoting local film.
Filmmakers from anywhere in the world can compete for the Memphis Film Prize, but they must shoot their 5-to-15-minute narrative film from Feb. 18 to June 14 in Shelby County. Ten finalists will be chosen to compete for the $10,000; the competing films will be screened during the “Memphis Film Prize Festival,” which will be part of this year’s On Location: Memphis Film & Music Fest, which is moving off the Labor Day weekend to the earlier dates of Aug. 12-14.
Kallenberg said the purpose of the contest is not just to inspire filmmakers but to demonstrate the economic impact of film production. He said 127 production teams worked on short films in Shreveport last year, and 70 percent of those consisted of out-of-towners.
Kallenberg said Memphis was a logical choice for a second film prize site, as he works to expand the network of participating cities. “Memphis has an amazing vibe and a rich history in independent filmmaking,” he said.
For more information, visit MemphisFilmPrize.com.
The new short film competition and festival is an offshoot of the Louisiana Film Prize, a Shreveport-based competition founded in 2012 that awards $50,000 each year to a film shot in the Shreveport area.