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Nashville Film Festival returns

by Cass Teague
LeVar Burton in Butterfly In The Sky screening at the 53rd Nashville Film Festival.

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) returns with a full film program, including special events, official selections, and more for the 53rd annual event, taking place September 29 – October 5, both in-person and virtually. This year’s festival features more than 150 titles, including 38 feature-length films; more than 30 selections mark their U.S., North American, and world premieres with the festival.

Embracing deep ties to music, the 53rd festival is bookended by acclaimed music documentaries chronicling legends Tanya Tucker and Louis Armstrong. The opening night presentation is The Return of Tanya Tucker at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre and the Closing Night selection is Sacha Jenkins’ Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations.

Live screenings will take place at the historic Belcourt Theater, the Andrew Johnson Theater at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville and the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN.

Butterfly In The Sky tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow,” and its iconic host LeVar Burton; it screens Fri, Sep 30th, 6:30 PM in TPAC’s Johnson Theater.

The Nashville Film Festival will also present a selection of post-film Q&As and in-depth discussions with attending filmmakers. The full festival program, including official film selections, live music performances and the line-up for the annual Creators Conference, is available online at www.nashvillefilmfestival.org, where tickets are now on sale.

NashFilm will again host events and programs that highlight the many aspects of filmmaking, including: a Screenwriting Competition (September 30-October 6); a Music Supervisors Program (virtual panels, workshops and more, September 29-October 1); the Creators Conference (film industry panels and conversations, September 30 – October -2); and live music performances and new artist showcases.

Of the more than 150 films selected for this year’s Nashville Film Festival, more than 50 will screen in-person at iconic cultural venues throughout the city over the course of the week, while many will be available online through the festival’s virtual platform. Special Presentations include Nanny (dir. Nikyatu Jusu) and Aftersun (dir. Charlotte Wells). Short Film Selections are available at NashvilleFilmFestival.org

Tennessee Feature Official Selections include Alta Valley (dir. Jesse Edwards); Big Old Goofy World: The Story of Oh Boy Records (dirs. Joshua Britt, Neilson Hubbard); The Light We Share (dirs. Mattie Waters, Jules Downum); Old Friends: A Dogumentary (dir. Gorman Bechard); Showbusiness is My Life, But I Can’t Prove It (dir. GB Shannon); I Can Feel You Walking (dir. Rachel Lambert); and Jacir (dir. Waheed AlQawasmi).

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally recognized nonprofit organization and cultural event presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award® qualifying status, the Nashville Film Festival celebrates innovation, music and the many voices of the human spirit through the art of film. Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival is one of the first film festivals in the United States. For more information, visit www.nashfilm.org.

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