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ABOUT

Not ready for Cannes, Sundance or Indie Memphis? There are first times for every filmmaker. The first time picking up a camera. The first time focusing on a subject. The first time conducting that interview. And, that first film festival submission. 
And whether you’re an unknown filmmaker or arrive here with years of experience, this ‘mini’ festival is your platform to show your short nonfiction works. And in a region – Memphis, the Delta and the Mid-South – known worldwide for discovering and cultivating raw, unknown talents. 
StoryBoard Shorts Doc Fest invites filmmakers, teens to retirees, from Memphis, the Mid-South, the Delta region and around the world whose talents have yet to be discovered to submit their short-short* documentaries – polished, rough, or works-in-progress – for a festival and competition to showcase their storytelling talents for industry insiders and on the big screen for live audiences.

*10 minutes or less

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WHEN, WHERE

Submission are now open: January 5, 2023
Earlybird Deadline: February 24, 2023
Regular Deadline: March 24, 2023
Late Deadline: April 13, 2023
Extended Deadline: May 3, 2023
Finalists will be announced early May, 2023
Final selections will be screened at Playhouse on the Square in Midtown, Memphis, Tennessee during a 2-Day Festival of screenings and panel discussions, June 2-3, 2023

WHO, WHAT

Short documentary filmmakers from Memphis and beyond are invited to submit their short-short* documentaries (*10 minutes or less) that shine spotlights on local arts and culture, that support and enhance our knowledge and awareness of the Southern, regional, national and international community.

DOCUMENTING
LOCAL 
CULTURE

StoryBoard Memphis was built on the mission to support local arts and culture. This goal includes supporting local and regional arts and cultural organizations, exemplified in our work with, among others, the Metal Museum, the Overton Park Shell, Literacy Mid-South our partnership with Playhouse on the Square, and our active efforts to encourage local unknown talent to submit their stories and receive professional feedback. 

SUPPORTING  
COMMUNITY 
& LOCAL FESTIVALS

StoryBoard Short Doc Fest extends this support to local regional festivals like the Hot Springs Documentary Festival, the Oxford Film Festival, and of course our very own Indie Memphis. Our goal is to support these festivals by finding raw and unknown talent, provide budding filmmakers with an entry-level platform to submit their polished or rough works, and help them develop the confidence, practice and advice to submit their completed works to these larger festivals, as well as enroll in their supporting programs.

RAW TALENT, ROUGH CUTS

Memphis has always been known as a playground for cultivating & developing RAW, untapped and unknown TALENT, fostering the creative community, regardless of age, income or community, with platforms for ROUGH, in-progress works.  

GRASSROOTS FILMMAKING

StoryBoard Shorts Doc Fest harnesses that tradition in a GRASSROOTS festival and competition OPEN TO ALL, designed to help BUDDING FILMMAKERS prepare their work, meet important industry contacts, and gather resources and support needed to show their work, finish their short films or submit them to larger festivals.

 

FESTIVAL ‘SOFT’ LAUNCH: 

StoryBoard Shorts Doc Fest Memphis was launched at a private party November 16, 2022 in Downtown Memphis at Connects Music, a developing multimedia hub at 158 Vance Avenue.

SUPPORTING ARTS,
CULTURE, COMMUNITY

Doc Fest is a new talent development initiative that provides budding filmmakers with an open invitation to submit their short-short* nonfiction films (*10 minutes or less) to be screened and reviewed by film industry experts and entered into a cash-prize competition. Finalists’ finished and rough-cut works will be screened in person June 2-3, 2023. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit works that meet the StoryBoard mission: supporting and shining a light on local arts, history, culture, and community. 
 

CREATING
OPPORTUNITES,
PROVIDING A PLATFORM

A storyboard represents a WORK IN PROGRESS. And StoryBoard Memphis has become a local platform and curator, creating opportunities for budding storytellers across all demographics, with finished works or works-in-progress or who may not feel yet ready for larger multimedia publications, TO TAKE THOSE FIRST STEPS. Many of our new storytellers have gone on to publish books and moved on to larger publications, and…
 
StoryBoard Shorts Doc Fest applies the same methodology, providing new filmmakers with opportunities and PATHWAYS to have their SHORT WORKS and ROUGH CUTS to be seen, rated and reviewed, preparing them for entries into the larger, established festivals.

LOCAL, REGIONAL & BEYOND,
TEENS TO RETIREES

Categories include films created LOCALLY in Memphis and Shelby County; regionally outside county lines in the Mid-South (Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana); nationally and internationally outside the Mid-South. Additional categories for 901 teen filmmakers in partnership with local libraries and local college & university filmmakers within Shelby County.

PRIZES
& PATHWAYS

Finalists will be screened at the June 2-3 StoryBoard Shorts Doc Fest. Winners will receive cash prizes in various jury- and audience-selected categories during a Saturday evening awards ceremony. Filmmakers and festival goers will have the opportunity to attend filmmakers Q&As and discussions from local and national industry experts. 
 

EARLY SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS