the 43rd annual 8-day nashville fim festival presented by nissan kicks off at the regal green hills 16 on thursday. the festival broke attendance records in 2011 and the momentum hasn’t stopped. they received a record number of entries this year from over 101 different countries. brian owens, artistic director for NAFF sat down for a quick 5 questions this week:
rumor on the street is there were a lot of entries this year. 2,839…up from 2,408 last year.
wow, i have a hard time getting through 2 netflix movies a month. how do you screen all of them & determine what films make the cut? we have a pre-screening committee of about 50 people who help us get through all of them.
the nashville film festival seems to continue to become more popular on a local level. did you have a lot of submissions with nashville ties? it’s crazy how many locally-connected submissions we got this year. it was amazing. and a good number of them were also quite good. that was part of the inspiration for the tennessee first program.
has there been a huge success story in the past that naff was on board with early on? not everyone knows that craig brewer, who would go on to make the academy award-winning hustle & flow as well as black snake moan and (last fall’s) footloose, won his first award at our festival. he remains a friend of the festival to this day. it’s exciting that a tennessee-based filmmaker saw his first major prize here in nashville and went on to achieve mainstream success.
what are you most excited about with this year’s festival? not to be too vague (but i will be) but everything. from the amazing guests joining us from out of town and all around the world (so far, we’ve confirmed guests from the UK, austria, the netherlands, germany, singapore and non-filmmaking guests from ghana) to the great locally-connected films, this festival really proves how movies bring the world together and show that we really are one community.
the festival runs through april 26th. for a full list of happenings, download the complete schedule grid and snag the nashville film fest mixtape from noisetrade (for free) only through the duration of festival.