Today I made my way over to Playhouse on the Square to help Indie Memphis with its annual Indie Memphis Film Festival. I was thrilled to check this out.
Indie Memphis brings together local independent filmmakers, film-lovers. artists, and attendees (some big names too!) to the same spot in an incredible outpouring of creativity. They have year-round programming developed to achieve this goal, but their big-ticket event is the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival. They screen a variety of films: major feature releases, old favorites, documentaries and short films. Some of these compete for festival awards. I know that I am gushing a bit about the festival, but I love films, and think Indie Memphis has such a cool thing going on.
The awesome group of volunteers, festival staff, and directors at Playhouse was overwhelming. They had so many! Thankfully, Christopher, who manages the bar area, helped sort me out and put me to work. There were a good number of volunteers working in the lounge putting up decorations. My first task was to decorate donation boxes on the bar. Christopher suggested using festival guidebooks to create a ransom note-style sign, and I was more than happy to oblige! Christopher and others worked on blowing up and assembling beautiful red and green balloons in the shapes of flowers that were then trellised through the ceiling. Even the creativity of the volunteers was incredible! When I finished my donation signs, I helped stock the bar with sodas, water and coffee.
The communal atmosphere was kind of intoxicating. Everyone was nice, worked real hard, and was there out of a love of film. I met people of all walks of life, including a German exchange student, a professional psychologist, and even a current Rhodes student. The experience proved to me how important and transcendent “the arts” can be.
I enjoyed it so much that I’m definitely volunteering again next year. Positive reinforcement was everywhere. My decorating was praised, my blogging was asked about, and I even had a few people ask for contact info so they could check the blog out when it’s published! Well here it is people!
Today reminded me of the artistic confluence Memphis has, partly due to its history and culture, and it is something that I need to support.