June 6-8, 2019
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Message from Memphis Film Festival on December 18, 2018
Dear Friends -
This morning we share the very sad news of the passing of our own Packy Smith. Packy has been with the Memphis Film Festival organization for over 30 years. His friendship and presence will be missed immensely. Please keep Packy's family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.
Packy Smith originated what is now known as The Memphis Film Festival back in 1972 with the late Mitchell Schaperkotter and Wayne Lackey. It was a celebration of "B" Westerns which included appearances of heroes of the genre such as Russell Hayden, Lash LaRue, Don "Red" Barry, and Sunset Carson. It was called The Western Film Collectors Association in those days. The festival later moved to Nashville after The Peabody Hotel shut down and continued for another couple of years. Packy eventually moved to California and on to other things but became active in the festival again after returning to Tennessee a decade or so ago. He was an invaluable asset in many ways, recruiting many of our celebrities and overseeing the dealers' room operations. He was also one of the founders of the festival at Lone Pine, CA which focused on the history of that famous movie location. Packy was also an author and publisher of several books on Western film history and music. He was an acknowledged authority in those fields. He will be deeply missed and it's hard to imagine anyone being able to fill his boots. - Ray Nielsen
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