This past year, we had the pleasure of working with Indie Memphis to promote the 2016 Indie Memphis Film Festival. (Selfishly, I’ve wanted to work on this project for some years now. And as life works, sometimes it waits until the most opportune time.)

When you do a search for “film festival posters” in Google you’ll find a litany of well-designed (and some not so well-designed) pieces — most of which use illustrations of film reels or celluloid as part of the concept. It was our desire from the start to go beyond a cleverly designed poster and collateral. We actually wanted to say something. We wanted Indie Memphis to stand for something.

Lucky for us, so did Indie Memphis.

But their problem was that they suffered from a lack of awareness around the city, even though they’ve been around for nearly two decades. Indie Memphis’s executive director Ryan Watt informed us that when he speaks with local groups and associations, his first question to the group is always whether they’ve ever heard of Indie Memphis. Maybe 10% of the people raise their hand. That’s a problem, especially for a film festival known to be one of the best in the country.

Early on, we knew that we had to communicate the idea that the Indie Memphis Film Festival was a uniquely Memphis institution worthy of your time, much like the other festivals in the city (BBQ, Music, etc).

So after many concepts came and went, we discovered an interesting idea with a message of inclusiveness paired with cinematic provocativeness. 

Film For All.

This positioning line was paired with imagery shot around Memphis of all different types of people — Memphians.

When we pitched the idea to Ryan, he loved it. He said that it would tie in beautifully with some of the featured films that would headline the festival — films that had a direct connection to Memphis.

We got to work on all the pieces necessary: posters, outdoor boards, digital executions, social media content, videos, in-theater video bumpers, t-shirts, festival passes, website graphics, program book cover and more. 

When the festival started, we received plenty of positive feedback from festival-goers about the work. After the festival, we got the most important piece of information — increased awareness that led to the largest attendance numbers ever in the 19 years of the festival.

Take a look at the final work. Let us know what you think.