Mountain Top Media

Memphis’ first film studio, MountainTop Media will be the only for-profit entity on the One Family Campus The studio will serve as an incubator for both experienced filmmakers and those honing their passion.

The studio’s first project, Brian Banks, is based off the true story of young athlete wrongly accused of sexual assault and sent to prison. With the help of the California Innocence Project, Banks was freed. The movie is the first to be filmed entirely in Tennessee. This project interned 30 college students from Memphis colleges.

The movie premiered at the LA Film Festival September 22, 2018, and won the Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film.

From left to right: One Family Memphis Founder and Director of Brian Banks Tom Shadyac, Director of Outreach for Memphis Rox Chris Dean, Aldis Hodge who play Brian Banks, Memphis Rox’s head route setter Josh Himeniz, Director of Communications for MountainTop Media Josh Cannon, Visual Arts Coordinator for One Family Memphis Julyanna Carvalho-Rogers, and Director of Administration for Memphis Rox Zack Rogers.

The only thing wrong with Brian Banks, a powerful film that had its world premiere at the LA Film Festival, is the moment at which it appears. For this movie about a young woman who makes a false charge of sexual assault against a teenage classmate is not exactly primed to win an appreciative audience at a time when men (including a Supreme Court nominee) are vehemently denying charges of sexual misconduct. The opposite of a #MeToo movie, Brian Banks is definitely swimming against the current. Once some time elapses, the film (which is seeking distribution) may well be more fully appreciated.

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The timing could hardly be worse for “Brian Banks,” a well-meaning and emotionally engaging movie about the California Innocence Project’s incredible battle to exonerate a Long Beach football player who lost 11 years of his life to prison and parole after a high school classmate falsely accused him of rape. Independently made and still seeking distribution, the compelling biopic — a stark departure from lowbrow studio comedies for “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” director Tom Shadyac — faces an uphill path not unlike the one CIP lawyer Justin Brooks (played here by Greg Kinnear) accepted when he took Banks’ case (a chance-of-a-lifetime role for Aldis Hodge).

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Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, announced the winners of the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival where Brian Banks won the Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film. This award is given to the fiction feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select fiction feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature: U.S. Fiction, World Fiction, LA Muse, Nightfall and Premieres.

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