Ira Mallory

Due to COVID 19, we encourage you to check the status of any Indianapolis establishment prior to visiting.

Indy Like a Local

Who is Ira? 

A filmmaker and producer of commercials and music videos.


Q: Are you an Indianapolis native? If not, how long have you lived in Indy?

I was born and raised in Indianapolis, my mother’s family migrated here from Canton, Mississippi, and my dad’s, Nashville, Tenn. I’ve lived in Indianapolis my entire life with a short stint in Argentina.

Q: When did filmmaking pique your interest? How did you get started in the industry?

My interest in film started at 15 years old when I got my first home video camera. I started in the industry after traveling to Los Angeles to be a part of a master class in directing at 21st Century Fox. Among my instructors was the late, great John Singleton.

Q: How many films have you done to date?

According to IMDB, I have directed 10 films [laughs], all of which I am very proud. In addition to those 10 flagship projects, I’ve also directed close to 50 commercials, music videos, live video productions, and more. I am currently going into production on my 11th film.

Q: What filmmakers, either locally based or known across the globe, do you admire and why?

In terms of locally, I have great respect for a very young filmmaker, Deonna Weatherly (Indiana University ‘20); she’s a powerful voice; Jonathan Ockletree (Purdue University ‘11), a multifaceted visual genius; and Nick Braden, another emerging young voice with a ton of talent. Among the global icons, my favorites include Antoine Fuqua, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, Spielberg, Ryan Coogler, and, of course, the man himself, John Singleton. All the filmmakers I mentioned have used film to say something and captured incredible elements from life and history and infused them into live-action form.

Q: One of your works, In Closing, covers the closure of Broad Ripple High School. Did you attend Broad Ripple? Why were you inspired to tell the school’s story? 

I did indeed attend Broad Ripple! When the alumni learned the school was closing, there was a lot of angst about preserving the legacy and history of the school. I began following the story in 2017 when the announcement was made of the school potentially closing. Making the movie was my contribution to documenting what may turn out to be the last story out of Broad Ripple, its closing. The style and method of the film is intended to capture how much was lost in 2018 and demonstrate what the school meant to everyone. Also, my other goal was that there be some record on film of how things went down in the end. It wasn’t so pretty.

Q: Where in Indy might you take out-of-town guests? 

The Jazz Kitchen is great for showcasing the musical talent in the city. The Eagle for dinner and drinks. You can never go wrong with a classic: Nicky Blaine’s.

Q: Your Jewish faith heavily influenced The Dreidel. How else does your faith impact or influence your work? 

That’s such a great question. Only recently did I take the approach of directly inserting my faith in my films. Or to put it another way, I have been much more open about it lately. But I really like where that’s going. My next film will also be a Jewish story. In the past, I have found subtle ways to insert certain Jewish lessons in my films, even those films that were not Jewish centric. I’ve done that for years.

Q: What topic, person, place, or event in Indianapolis, past or present, would you love to make a film about? 

Great question! I would love to make a live-action film centered in the events and lifestyles occurring on Indiana Ave in the 1940s and ‘50s. That area was the center of Black Indianapolis culturally. My parents have told me so many stories. Just to see the fusion of cultures occurring at that time would be so fascinating to see on screen. My dad’s family arrived from Nashville, Tenn., and mother’s from Canton, Mississippi, and that was happening all over Indianapolis. So to see those various cultures coming together on the Ave at that time in history would be really exciting to bring to life. I have some very interesting stories my Dad has told me about the Ave that are movies all by themselves.

Q: Where in the city do you like to enjoy a great meal or drink? 

For takeout, we enjoy R&R Extreme Wings, Greek’s Pizzeria, and BBQ & Bourbon on Main Street [in Speedway]. For a nice sit-down experience, we love The Eagle on Mass Ave.

Q: What’s your favorite movie? 

As a fan, my favorite film of all time is still Terminator 2: Judgment Day. James Cameron is another one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. T2 combines every element of great American cinema: spectacle; an unlikely, tragic hero; an iconic, relentless villain; and a satisfying, if predictable, ending. As a filmmaker, I think Saving Private Ryan is an almost unparalleled masterpiece.

Q: Can you share what you have in the works? Anything coming out later this year? 

Yes! This year I plan to release a live-action film version of the story of the Biblical character Queen Esther, titled The Hebrew Queen. Later this year, we release the sequel to The Dreidel.

Q: Where do you like to take your daughter for fun?

My daughter loves going to The Children’s Museum. We were there during the first days of the reopening last year, and she was thrilled. She also loves the Tibbs Drive-In Theater.

 

 

Get an insider view and experience Indy Like a Local

Keisha Gray

Keisha Gray

Executive Director of Indianapolis City Market

Lindsey Hein

Lindsey Hein

Podcaster

Justin Keys

Justin Keys

Illustrator & Digital Artist

Kelli Jones

Kelli Jones

Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation

Grace Seibert

Grace Seibert

Restaurant Owner and Chef

Aissatou Balde

Aissatou Balde

Blogger, Tales & Turbans

Ashley Ford

Ashley C. Ford

Writer and Journalist

Ira Mallory

Ira Mallory

Local Filmmaker

Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis

Influencer and Entrepreneur

Jerry Lee Atwood

Jerry Lee Atwood

Designer and Owner of Union Western Clothing

Judy Thomas

Judy Thomas

Deputy Mayor, City of Indianapolis

Chef Oya Woodruff

Chef Oya Woodruff

Owner of THE TRAP

Mina Hawk

Mina Starsiak Hawk

HGVT's "Good Bones" and Two Chicks District Co.

Tevin Studdard

Tevin Studdard

Recording Artist

Stephanie Big Eagle

Stephanie Big Eagle

Handpoke Tattoo Artist

Ben Diallo

Ben Diallo

J.Benzal Menswear

Maisum Ali Fari

Maisum Ali Farid

Chapati and Shani's Secret Chicken

Komal Sheth

Komal Sheth

Circle Kombucha

Beth Clary Schwier

Beth Clary Schwier

Local artist and gallery owner

Darryl Lockett

Darryl Lockett

Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

Shaunt'e Lewis

Shaunt'e Lewis

Artist and Designer

Lesley Gordon

Lesley Gordon

IndyGo

Carrie Abbott

Carrie Abbott

Newfangled Confections

Sara Hindi

Sara Hindi

Exodus Refugee

Debra Stolen Hasbrook

Debra Stolen Hasbrook

Hotel Broad Ripple

Steven Russell

Steven Russell

Lari Pati

Victoria Beaty

Victoria Beaty

Growing Places Indy

Ed and Tom Battista

Ed and Tom Battista

Kan-Kan Cinema

Kylie Conway

Kylie Conway

WISH-TV Anchor

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Pediatrician and Entrepreneur

Tommy Dant

Tommy Dant

Owner of James Dant

Fabian Rodriguez

Fabian Rodriguez

Drink Culture Podcast

Tiffany Benedict Browne

Tiffany Benedict Browne

Local Historian and Author

Justin Sears-Watson

Justin Sears-Watson

Phoenix Theatre Dance Company

Jared Thompson

Jared Thompson 

Saxophonist and Restaurant Manager

George Turkette

Salumist and Owner of Turchetti's Salumeria

Brandon Burdine

Brandon Burdine

Barber Shop Owner and Barista 

Deborah Dorman

Deborah Dorman 

Realtor and Fashion Expert

Martin Rennie

Martin Rennie

Indy Eleven Head Coach

Chris Handberg (Left)

Chris Handberg

Indy Pride Executive Director

Josh Baker

Josh Baker

Music Club Owner and Promoter

Oreo Jones

Oreo Jones

Hip-Hop Artist

staff_

Walter Lobyn Hamilton

Vinyl Record Collage Artist

staff_

Yoshiko Kamikusa

Ballet Dancer

Ed Rudisell and Carlos Sanchez

Ed Rudisell and Carlos Salazar

Food and Drink Purveyors

staff_

Meredith Kong and Kelly Ryan

Ice Cream Innovators

staff_

Jingo M. de la Rosa

Illustrator and Educator

staff_

Josh Rush

Painter and Biking Enthusiast

staff_

Consuelo Poland

Manager, RUCKUS Makerspace, and Executive Director, Latinas Welding Guild

staff_

Sonja and Alex Overhiser

Food Bloggers and Authors

staff_

Mab Graves

Artist and Illustrator

staff_

David Ranalli

Magician and Illusionist

staff_

Michael Pettry

Development Director for Center of Performing Arts

staff_

Andrea Hunley

Public School Principal

staff_

Ben "Action" Jackson

DJ and Founder, Rad Summer

staff_

Trip (Butler Blue III)

Mascot, Butler Bulldogs

staff_

Marisol Gouveia

Zoo Membership Director

staff_

Martha Hoover

Restaurateur

staff_

Pedro Fernandez

Symphony Percussionist

staff_

Brian Kelly and Alex Janeczek

T-Shirt Shop Owners

staff_

Chris Eley

Owner, The Smoking Goose and Goose the Market

staff_

Clay Robinson

Co-Founder, Sun King Brewing

staff_

Cole Farrell and Aric Furfaro

Writer and Exhibit Designer

staff_

Ed Carpenter

IndyCar Driver and Team Owner

staff_

Ersal Ozdemir

Owner, Indy Eleven soccer club

staff_

Gary Brackett

Former Colt Linebacker and Owner, Brackett Restaurant Group

staff_

Beth Chappo

Blogger, Seersucker + Saddles

staff_

Jamie and Martine Locke

Fine Artist and Musician

staff_

Julia Moffitt

News Anchor, WTHR

staff_

Julia Whitehead

Executive Director, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

staff_

Mali Jeffers

Co-Founder of GangGang Culture

staff_

Peter Dunn

Personal-Finance Guru/Comedian

staff_

Polina Osherov

Executive Director, Pattern

staff_

Sam Cronk

Hair Stylist

staff_

Tamika Catchings

Former WNBA Star, Indiana Fever

staff_

James Hinchcliffe

IndyCar Racer, Contestant on Dancing with the Stars

staff_

Januarie York

Spoken-Word Artist

staff_

Neelay Bhatt

TedX Speaker

staff_

Shane Brown

Chalk Artist and T-Shirt Shop Owner

staff_

Charlie Kimball

IndyCar Racer

staff_

Ben Hardy

Owner, The Gallery Pastry Shop

Aster Bekele

Aster Bekele

Founder of Felege Hiywot Center

staff_

Kimberly Schrack

Owner, Manayunk Calligraphy

Maria Romaine Brace

Maria Romaine Brace

Owner, Like the Lettuce: Fitness + Health Coach