Indie Memphis 2018 Film Festival Announces Awards and Honors Including James Laxton


Local film festivals can take on a very different identity than major gatherings like New York Film Festival or Telluride. Rather than focus on the biggest award season players, they can focus in on individual triumphs or emerging performers. In the case of the Indie Memphis Film Festival, they were able to shine a light on both with a fun and diverse slate of features.

Among their winners, they handed a prize to James Laxton for his cinematography on “If Beale Street Could Talk” by Barry Jenkins. Laxton earned his first Oscar nomination for “Moonlight” two years ago, and looks likely to pick up another nomination this year. The rest of the winners are listed below for the local festival.

Indie Memphis 2018 Winners

Indie Memphis Cinematography Award

James Laxton – Director of Photography for “If Beale Street Could Talk

Indie Memphis Actor of the Year

Shayna McHayle – “Support the Girls

Narrative Competition

“Clara’s Ghost” Directed by Bridey Elliott

Documentary Competition Feature Winner

“Shakedown” Directed by Leilah Weinraub

Special Jury Awards

“Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes”  Directed by Graham L. Carter

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” Directed by RaMell Ross

Duncan Williams Script Writing Award

“Jinn” Directed by Nijla Mu’min

Sounds Awards

“Mr. Soul!” Directed by Melissa Haizlip and Samuel D. Pollard (Feature)

“Gomenaki” by Someone Who Isn’t Me (directed by Alkis Papastathopoulos) (Short)

Hometowner Award

“Rukus” Directed by Brett Hanover

Hometowner Music Video

“I’m Yours” by Faith Evans Ruch (directed by Melissa Anderson, Sweazy)

Best Departures Feature

“Black Mother” by Khalik Allah

Departures Hometowner Short

“Windows” Directed by Jason Allen Lee

Indie Grant for the Short Doc

“Getting By” by Jordan Danelz

Audience Awards

The Narrative Feature

“New Money” Directed by Jason Kohl

The Hometowner Feature

“Waiting: The Van Duren Story” Directed by Greg Carey and Wade Jackson

The Sounds Feature

“Mr. Soul” directed by Melissa Haizlip and Samuel D. Pollard

Doc Feature

“Wrestle” Directed by Suzannah Herber and Lauren Belfer

The Departures Feature

“The Washing Society” Directed by Lynne Sachs

The Documentary Short

“Life on the Line” Directed by Lea Suzuki

Music Video

“Faithful” by King Kwofi (directed by Benjamin Stark)

The After Dark Short

“Hair Wolf” by Marima Diallo

The Hometowner Narrative Short

“Best Wedding Gift” by Mark Jones

The Narrative Short

“Under Mom’s Skirt” by Sarah Heitz De Chabaneix

The Hometowner Doc Short

“You Must Believe” by Lauren Squires Ready

The Black Filmmakers Pitch Rally (presented with crowdfunding partner Seed&Spark) 

Dave Godbout – “Charmaine”

What do you think of the Indie Memphis 2018 Awards? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Indie Memphis 2018 took place from Nov. 1 – Nov. 5, 2018. 

Be sure to check out the Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where Laxton ranks in this year’s contenders!