Indie Memphis
1910 Madison Avenue
PMB 632
Memphis TN 38104
Contact Information
Address 1910 Madison Avenue
PMB 632
Memphis, TN 38104
Telephone 901 2409660
Mission Statement
The mission of Indie Memphis is to create community through independent film and support the development of filmmakers. 
Web and Social Media
Other ways to Donate, Support, or Volunteer Consider a tax-deductible Indie Memphis annual membership to support our year-round programming or contact us for volunteer opportunities at our festival.
CEO/Executive Director Ryan Watt
Board Chair Ms. Molly Wexler
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2008
Former Names
Indie Memphis, A Project of Delta Axis2007
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $644,843.00
Projected Expenses $642,568.00
CEO/Executive Director Comments We welcome you to experience Indie Memphis through our annual film festival, weekly film series, youth program, and the numerous events we present with community partners. Our films provide entertainment while also strengthening our community, creating meaningful discussions, exploration and excitement. 

Independent films provide artists an opportunity to tell stories that would otherwise go untold. Your support directly impacts our Memphis film community as we provide production grants, ongoing education, industry networking and youth development. 

Ryan Watt
Executive Director 
The mission of Indie Memphis is to create community through independent film and support the development of filmmakers. 
Background Founded in 1998, the Indie Memphis Film Festival has grown from a room of dedicated film enthusiasts to a full festival hosting over 12,000 attendees for 200+ films, panel workshops, live music and parties. Indie Memphis has expanded to a year-round organization hosting screenings every week as part of the "Indie Memphis Nights" film series and educational opportunities for filmmakers and artists.
Impact One of Memphis' core arts institutions, Indie Memphis is a two-time Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences grant recipient and the only film organization to receive annual funding from ArtsMemphis. The year-round non-profit organization is best known for its annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, which takes place in and around Overton Square in midtown Memphis and South Main downtown. The festival has been ranked by MovieMaker Magazine as one of 25 Coolest Film Festivals and one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee. Additional programs include the Youth Film Fest, Indie Wednesday weekly film series, the free Shoot & Splice filmmaker forum and MicroCinema short film series at Crosstown Arts, and international film programs as part of Memphis in May.
Needs Indie Memphis seeks support from Memphians to engage in our programs, grow our audience and increase the community impact. Opportunities include: sponsor our festival, volunteer with our staff, purchasing festival passes ($100 or $250), become a member of our organization ($50/year), and most importantly attending events that interest you.
CEO/Executive DirectorComments
Indie Memphis fills a need in Memphis for both artists and audiences. Artists rely on us to showcase their work, provide education and networking, grant financial support, and show an appreciation for their work. Audiences enjoy screenings of independent films that show a variety of perspectives and opportunities for exploration that would not otherwise show in Memphis. We partner with many other organizations in Memphis to collaborate and strengthen the arts community.
- Ryan Watt 
Board Chair Statement

As a long-time Indie Memphis Film Festival attendee, I was thrilled when an opportunity presented itself to join in the leadership of the organization. After a few years in the trenches, I was able to become Board President. The cultural richness of Memphis is abundant and I am honored to be able to help contribute to an organization that helps our local artists and patrons thrive.

By embarking on a multi-year strategic plan, we are able to asses the successes and challenges we face. After our most successful Festival ever in 2016, we are eagerly looking forward to presenting our 20th anniversary Festival in November 2017. That being said, we must ensure our growth is carefully planned and executed and that we stay true to our values of artistic integrity, inclusiveness and creating a sense of community through independent film.

An exciting new development for us is the launch of our Indie Wednesday program, which will provide year-round independent film opportunities. As with all new programs, we will be evaluating all aspects of the program and making necessary adjustments.

On the macro level, we will be delving into our marketing, governance and development opportunities. More specifically, we have been looking into enhancing our youth program, creating an endowment and increasing the amount of grants we have for local filmmakers.

- Molly J. Wexler
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Shelby County
TN - Fayette County
TN - Tipton County
AR - Crittenden County
AR - Mississippi County
MS - DeSoto County
MS - Marshall County
Indie Memphis is located in Memphis, TN, and we generally serve Shelby County. However, we receive and exhibit films from all over the world. We define our "hometowner" local films and filmmaker grant opportunities as Shelby County and neighboring counties of DeSoto, Crittenden, Tipton, Fayette, Marshall and Mississippi.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Molly Wexler
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Aug 2016 to Mar 2019
Board of Directors
Board Members
Ward Archer Archer Records
Melody Bailey International Paper
Patrick Burnett
Cory Christmas Baker Donelson
James Farmer J. A. Farmer Consulting
Mark Furr Technology Consultant
Kenn Gibbs
Shamichael Hallman
Mark Jones Filmmaker
Kevin Mireles FedEx
Bruce Newman Newman and Decoster
Betsy Olim Olim International
Pamela Pitts Waddell & Reed
Brett Robbs Community Volunteer
Chad Schaffler
Molly Wexler Community Volunteer
Juliet Wischmeyer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Standing Committees
We are currently in a strategic planning process led by Barbara Prescott and look forward to implementing updates to our governance policies and growing our board at the conclusion.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ryan Watt
Experience Worked in the film industry as a producer for 8 years prior to taking the Executive Director position. Served on the Indie Memphis board of directors for two years prior to taking the Executive Director position. 
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 175
Contractors 23
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Under Development
Document Destruction Policy Under Development
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Description The annual Indie Memphis Film Festival transforms the city into a connecting point for filmmakers, musicians, artists, and audiences. Ranked recently by MovieMaker Magazine as one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, the festival brings a broad range of independent features, documentaries and short films to Memphis from all corners of the country.
Population Served Adults
Budget $250,000.00
Short Term Success Success in the next few years is continued growth in overall attendance, bringing more top filmmakers and actors to Memphis, expanding the networking engagement with the local and traveling filmmakers and increasing the festival stature as a travel destination for our region.
Long Term Success Long term success is defined by the festival being a "can't miss" event for Memphis residents with a level of awareness amongst the top events in the city. For artists, success is local filmmakers who have been supported in our system gain national audiences and acclaim for their work, further strengthening the level of our filmmaking community.
Examples of Program Success
The 2016 festival hit record attendance of 11,389 and received praise in top media publications from traveling journalists. An anonymous survey of 346 festival attendees showed that 95.4% "strongly agreed" they would recommend the festival to their friends.
Press from the 2016 Indie Memphis Film Festival: 

"this was the most diverse make-up of audiences I’ve seen at a festival for a long time... heavy topics were also delivered in an environment of huge fun, with music being played before every screening, and excellent, diverse social gatherings, with dousing of high and low culture"
- The Independent (UK) 
"Wow, this festival is on the up... The festival used its community to create an engaging atmosphere and vibe that many much bigger festivals — I’m thinking of you Venice, Toronto and London — would benefit from having. This was a festival with a lot of soul."
 - Filmmaker Magazine 
“A Visit to Indie Memphis 2016 is a Beautiful Dream. Intimate and accessible, Indie Memphis is the kind of festival where local musicians set the mood for screenings, Q&As evolve into long conversations, and panelists drop the seminar format in favor of deep, candid reflection.”
 - MovieMaker Magazine
"Infused with the city’s warmth and buoyed by the local music acts (they play before each screening), ranks as one of the more satisfying regional film festivals around. Where else do you overhear folks debating BBQ and fried chicken houses while in line for the latest films by Kelly Reichardt and Raoul Peck?" 
- Brooklyn Magazine
Description The Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest provides an exhibition platform for students ages 7 - 12 to present their films to the public in addition meeting other young filmmakers and receiving education at workshops.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Budget $35,000.00
Short Term Success Each year short-term success is shown with more students submitting films and the increasing quality of the work.
Long Term Success In the year 2020, after five years of the program, we will see the work that our young filmmakers have accomplished in college and beyond. We also strive to help students with their personal storytelling skills as the apply for college and show their talents beyond their schoolwork.
Examples of Program Success In the first year, over 200 students applied to attend the festival, 41 films were submitted, 27 accepted and 12 awards provided. The grand prize winner received a $4,000 in-kind production package and $500 cash to make their next film, which we look forward to seeing next year. The film screening of local youth short films had a large attendance of 250 people.
IndieGrants is our filmmaker development program providing both cash and in-kind services to artists. The grants support Memphis filmmakers to make short films in Memphis. In 2017, we will be granting filmmakers a minimum of $42,500 of cash and services supported by sponsors Mark Jones, Firefly Grip & Electric, Music + Arts Studio, LensRentals, VIA Productions, The Magnifying Glass and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Population Served Adults
Budget $48,000.00
Short Term Success
The short-term success of IndieGrants is building our film community so that there are always active productions. Filmmakers, crew and actors often will collaborate to assist each other and this cross-pollination strengthens the whole community and pushes everyone to step up their game. 
We are fortunate that top directors from Memphis such as Craig Brewer and Ira Sachs stay active in our organization and want to see Memphis succeed. Helping the next great director from Memphis break-out to have a national-level career is what motivates all of us to build support for our talented film community.  
The grants are an important distinction from prizes, because they are awarded by a review jury BEFORE production based on competitive filmmaker submissions. IndieGrants help filmmakers make films with more resources and help artists that may otherwise not be able to make their films. This has an economic impact for more hires in our local film community and provides filmmakers more opportunities to show their talents and improve their craft.
Long Term Success The long-term success of IndieGrants is surpassing $100,000 of annual filmmaker grants and assisting Memphis filmmakers in their films being selected for high profile film festivals and other opportunities for wider audiences. The career success of our IndieGrants alumni is the ultimate definition of success, as these short films are often "calling cards" for filmmakers to make larger films or get hired for higher profile projects.
Examples of Program Success
"Hometowner IndieGrants Shorts: as good a shorts program as I've seen in any context. Career-best work by multiple Memphis filmmakers."
- John Beifuss 
Acclaimed Memphis filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox received a grant for his short "Silver Elves" which is the first installment in an episodic series. This short has provided Morgan the tangible product to pitch producers and distributors for the full production.
Other filmmakers showing their chops from IndieGrant films include GB Shannon, Laura Jean Hocking & Chris McCoy, Sarah Fleming, Jonas Schubach, Edward Valibus and Ben Siler, and Joseph Carr. A number of these filmmakers have had their films selected to additional festivals and received positive feedback from audiences. 
Indie Wednesday is our weekly film series, bringing top independent films to Memphis throughout the year, every Wednesday at rotating venues.
Population Served Adults
Budget $46,000.00
Short Term Success We have just begun this new film series and ticket sales are strong. Our short term success is finishing 2017 with a total attendance of 4,000+ engaged filmgoers who have a thirst for more independent cinema. This series is our opportunity to keep the film festival experience going throughout the year and build a support base to grow our programs for audiences. 
Long Term Success Memphis lacks an "art house" theater. The majority of independent films that get released do not have a theatrical screening here, while they do at many other cities our size. Indie Wednesday is an opportunity to fill this gap and build a long term audience that wants to see the best independent cinema, foreign films, and restorations of classics. Long-term success is defined by large audiences and additional days of the week showing these unique films throughout the year.
Examples of Program Success As we approach the launch, we have pre-sold 900+ tickets.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $644,843.00
Projected Expenses $642,568.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$174,666$276,021$223,074
Administration Expense$22,168$55,702$55,478
Fundraising Expense$1,890$1,410$4,006
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.490.840.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%83%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%1%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$184,643$115,644$106,529
Current Assets$170,428$93,306$76,965
Long-Term Liabilities--$0$0
Current Liabilities$37,818$66,224$3,659
Total Net Assets$146,825$49,420$102,870
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.511.4121.03
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit
TN State Solicitations PermitView
Organization Comments The organization has accumulated a surplus through sound fiscal management. As we grow the organization, the board is careful in not trying to grow to fast. Financial performance against budget is reviewed at each board meeting, and the treasurer of the board works closely with the Executive Director to monitor revenue and spending. We are an organization with year round programs, but a significant portion of the revenue and expenses are related to the annual film festival in November. The challenge is to always have visibility of the financial metrics of the festival, so that we remain within budget.
Address 1910 Madison Avenue
PMB 632
Memphis, TN 38104
Primary Phone 901 2409660
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ryan Watt
Board Chair Ms. Molly Wexler
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer


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