With the enthusiasm of revival-tent evangelists preaching the good word about the power of the movies, a Memphis millionaire and a filmfest veteran from Alabama have joined forces to try to elevate the Indie Memphis Film Festival to a "world-class level" as it enters its second decade.
Erik Jambor of Birmingham has been selected as the first-ever salaried executive director of Indie Memphis. The position is being funded by investment capitalist Bob Compton as part of a $100,000 grant that will help the festival triple its operating budget this year, as Indie Memphis becomes a fully independent entity.Compton says the Compton Family Foundation grant is an investment in Memphis and the Mid-South, not just in the Memphis film community.
"Memphis is talent- and creativity-rich and leadership- and capital-poor," said Compton, 52, who has earned national attention recently with his own film, "Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination," a documentary that advocates U.S. education reform. "I want to help develop the filmmakers and get them more exposure, which will help the city.
"I've made my fortune, and now I want to make a difference," he added. "I want to help make this a 21st century film festival."
Jambor, 37, says he wants Indie Memphis "to build connections and community, and that's both on the audience side and the filmmaker side."
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