Indie Memphis celebrates 15 years of Morgan Jon Fox’s groundbreaking Blue Citrus Hearts by CHRIS MCCOY

Fifteen years ago, a little movie wowed audiences at Indie Memphis. Blue Citrus Hearts was Morgan Jon Fox's coming out party — both as a person and a filmmaker.

When Fox saw André Téchiné's 1994 film Wild Reeds, it struck a deep chord. "It was the first movie I had ever seen about people my age coming out on screen," he recalls. "There were no out kids at my school, that I knew of. There were no role models, like there are now, to look up to. There was no reflection of myself in TV or media. So when I finally saw Wild Reeds, it was the first time I saw somebody who reflected myself onscreen, or anywhere around me. It spoke so much truth to me in a private moment, that I felt like this was the most powerful thing, that I could sit down and watch this movie by myself and it would give me so much peace. It was like a huge sigh of relief."

He wrote Blue Citrus Hearts during his freshman year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. "Then I dropped out, because I wanted to go to film school. This film was all that mattered to me. I was 19 at the time."

Read the full story at The Memphis Flyer 

 

2003 - Photo by Elyza Touzeau

2003 - Photo by Elyza Touzeau

Memphis filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox re-opens his 'Heart'

But only in Memphis will you find a celebration marking the 15th anniversary of "Blue Citrus Hearts," a small-budget, big-emotion feature film from Morgan Jon Fox, a tireless local moviemaker who — even in 2003 — was something of a role model and mentor to his peers, thanks to his do-it-yourself determination, his singular voice, his generosity and his enthusiasm for collaboration.

As achingly sincere and painfully honest as the limitations of its unforgiving digital video photography, "Blue Citrus Hearts" screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Studio on the Square, as part of the ongoing "Indie Memphis Nights" program. Admission is $10.

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OUT.COM // New Drama 'Feral' Finds Southern Gays Falling in Love in the Bible Belt

Feral, a new web series premiering later this year, follows a group of friends that live in an artistic and queer area of Memphis, TN. They deal with love, depression, loss, and friendship. The film's director, Morgan Jon Fox, describes the show's aesthetic as similar to the Instagram dreaminess of HBO's Looking.

Fox has created impactful works in the past, such as Blue CitrusOMG/HaHaHa, and This Is What Love In Action Looks Like. His films boast strong and authentic performances. Named one of FilmmakerMagazine’s ‘25 New Faces of Independent Film,’ Fox grew up in the south and often draws inspiration from his upbringing.

“I didn’t want [the characters in Feral] to be based in cynicism. I wanted their motives and struggles to be pure and honest."

Centered mainly around two best friends, Billy and Daniel, Feral explores the struggle of coming out in the infamous Bible Belt, an area that contains nearly all of the nation’s top 10 most religious states.

The series will premiere on Dekkoo.com, a subscription-based streaming service on October 6.