Indie Grits Festival


Friday, April 13 at 1:00 PM
Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 PM

Shorts Block: Southern Scenes
Gerry Melendez | Columbia, SC | 11 min
Genre: Narrative Short

Indie Grits alum Gerry Melendez returns to this year’s festival with Sunlit, a gorgeously photographed, undeniably emotional journey through the memories of three residents at a rundown housing complex: a guilt-stricken father, his steely daughter, and her somber best friend from across the way.

Buy Tickets 04/13 Buy Tickets 04/14


Meet The Filmmaker

We asked our filmmakers some questions about them and their work. For further questions, join us at the designated post-screening Q+A!

Gerry Melendez:

1. What is your connection to the South?

I live in Columbia. I’ve been here for 13 years now.

2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?

 My father passed away a few years ago and it left me thinking about mortality and how we deal with losing someone special. I was hoping to touch on some of those feeling with this short film. I’ve also wanted to shoot at The Grand Motel for a while now. It’s such an visual place.

3. How did you start making films?

I’ve always been a visual person. I’ve painted and been a professional photographer all my adult life. The transition to filmmaking was natural for me. It’s just another way to be creative and tell a story. Which is most important for me. Filmmaking brings so many challenges but it’s an amazing art form.

4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?

Well there are always unexpected challenges in filmmaking right?  For Sunlit, we had a car break down. The car we needed for a scene. We also shot at a local motel. Great location but we had to work around residents and staff who walked through scenes, had loud conversations, etc. We had last minute cast changes. Luckily it all worked out.  We had a lot of fun. Taylor Kearns, my DOP, is great at keeping things light. We worked great together and bounced a lot of ideas off of each other. The rest of the cast and crew did their part as well. I made an outtakes reel for everyone involved and it was great. 

5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?

I love checking out as many films as possible. It’s inspiring to see the work of all the talented filmmakers Indie Grits showcases.

6. Why should someone see your film?

We’ve all dealt with loss. I hope this film reminds people to cherish moments with loved ones and keep those memories close.

Film Shorts

“In Dog Beers I’ve Only Had Two”: A Lesson for Beginners
A Name That I Admire
All Fried: Carolina Fish Camps
All The Beautiful Girls
All The In-Between
Amarillo Ramp
An Accidental Drowning
Atlantic City
Baby Oil
below the neck, above the knees
Blanko – “Hallelujah”
Bless These Sounds Under the City – “THE SLEEPING 8”
The BLM Bridge Protest: One Year Later
Can’t Kids – “Coperroni”
The Checkout Line
Cowgirl Up
CPS Closings & Delays
Dishing Out Community
dragons & seraphim
Elizabeth Sees
F E B R A – “Fasterrrr”
Flagged: An American Love Story
Fluid Frontiers
Forgive Me
Fruit Don’t Fall Far
Gays for Trump?
Girls Rock Columbia
Grand Dragon
Growing Girl
Hair Wolf
Hardcore Wrestling Alliance
Kaye the Beast – “HEARD”
Kevin Devine – “Couldn’t Be Happier”
Kim Bush’s Abduction
Levitate, Levitate, Levitate
Lost Touch
me and my army
My Body Is Not My Own
My Name Is Marc, And You Can Count On It
Not For Medical Use
Nothing A Little Soap Can’t Fix
Ol Scratch
Pak Anggir
The Passages of Pride
Post Nuke
Prayer for Roy Moore
Recuerdos de Sangre / Blood Memories
Roadside Attraction
Sequoyah – “Blue Jays”
Serpents and Doves
Siler City: Bienvenido a Trabajar
Skater Boy and Friendly Cop
Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers
Station 15
Steve’s Kinkoes
Sweet Nothing
This My Favorite Mural
Three Legged Dog
Tiger Toilet
The Traveler Takamure
You Can’t Play With Us