Individuals from Rhodes to Have Works Shown at Indie Memphis Film Festival

collage of three head and shoulder images of individuals from Rhodes College and a camera lens
Janay Kelley ’24, Yifei “Yash” Zhang ’21, and Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield (clockwise from top left)

Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield, assistant professor of media studies, Yifei Zhang ’21 (known as Yash), and Janay Kelley ’24 will have their works featured at the 54th Indie Memphis Film Festival to be held Oct. 19-24.

Fairfield did production design for Ash, which is about a young nonbinary artist grieving the loss of their mother as they clean out their childhood home. The film will be shown Wed, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. at the  Halloran Centre as part of the Hometowner Narrative Shorts Competition. 

Trained as a director, Fairfield contributes to the development of new work focused on the lives of marginalized people, intimacy, and performer/audience interaction.

Fairfield served as one of Yash’s faculty advisors at Rhodes, where he designed an interdisciplinary major in theatre/film/media studies. He also was a Mike Curb Institute for Music Fellow. Yash currently is pursuing a creative documentary MFA at University College London in the United Kingdom.

His short Thus They Spoke will be shown Wed, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. at the Halloran Centre as part of the Hometowner Narrative Shorts Competition. “The idea of this film originated when I was studying abroad in Nepal in 2020 facing challenges and COVID lockdowns,” says Yash. “This 14-minute documentary-fictional film narrates the complexity of traumas and deaths with a focus on human reconnections.”

On Sunday, Oct. 23, Yash’s film Trees Stay with Andrea will be showcased among the Hometowner Narrative Shorts at 4:30 p.m. at Crosstown Theater. In the film, college student Andrea escapes from reality into the forest after her mother’s death. 

Trees Stay with Andrea was Yash’s senior project at Rhodes with funding from the Turley Memphis Center Fellowship in the Arts. Prof. David Mason and Rhodes students Sawyer Bay ’22 and Julia Vasedkova ’25 were involved in the production of the project.

A short film titled The River by Rhodes English major Janay Kelley ’24 made its premiere at the seventh annual Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest held in August. It also will be shown at the Indie Memphis Film Festival on Wed, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. at the Halloran Centre as part of the Hometowner Narrative Shorts Competition. The experimental short follows a small community as they grieve the drowning of a young girl.

For Indie Memphis ticket information, visit here

Related Story: Film by Rhodes Junior And Day Scholar Janay Kelley Featured at Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest