Indie Filmmaker Ira Sachs Announced as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Contact: Carrie Corbett VP for Communications & Marketing (901)272-5111

March 23, 2016

Ira Sachs Headshot 2016 (Photo by Jeong Park)

Indie Filmmaker Ira Sachs Announced as 2016 Commencement Speaker

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art announces indie filmmaker Ira Sachs as the 2016 Commencement Speaker. Sachs will deliver the Commencement Address during the college’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. on the south lawn of Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park.

Sachs has directed numerous films, winning awards and accolades in film festivals around the world. Two films in particular were filmed in Memphis—The Delta and Forty Shades of Blue, awarded the Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in 2005. Other notable films include Little Men, Love is Strange and Keep the Lights On. Sachs was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 and the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1999. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Sachs was born in Memphis in 1965, and graduated from Central High School in 1983. As a child, Sachs attended Saturday school classes at the Memphis Academy of Arts (now Memphis College of Art) when President Ted Rust, a close family friend, directed the college.

After graduating from Yale University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Film Theory, Sachs moved to New York City where he currently lives with his husband and painter Boris Torres and their two children, Viva and Felix. Sachs currently teaches as an instructor in the Graduate Film department at New York University, and is the founder of Queer/Art, a non-profit arts organization that provides support for LGBTQ artists across disciplines.

Photo credit: Jeong Park, courtesy of Ira Sachs

Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart.

Memphis College of Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law. Additional Information