Celebrating Innovation and Diversity: The 54th Nashville Film Festival Showcases the Power of Cinema

Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm)

The 54th Nashville Film Festival, September 28 – October 4, 2023, features film screenings, industry panels and social events. It also includes a new Creators Conference that focuses on screenwriting for episodic television.

Among the films slated for this year’s festival are a doc about Minnie Pearl and another about the family of musicians who founded the nonprofit Thistle Farms.

Festival Schedule

The festival takes place at several arts venues with film screenings, industry panels and social events. This year’s festival runs September 28 – October 4 and will feature over 140 titles with many making their World, US or North American premieres.

A number of these films will be featured in the Spotlight sections, out of competition and curated around a common theme. This includes a series of films focusing on strength in the face of adversity, such as THIS WORLD IS NOT MY OWN; THE HERRICANES, about a women’s full-tackle football team; and WORM, about a family’s quest to cure their son’s rare illness.

Nashville Film Festival is a great place to discover new movies and see what the indie scene has to offer. It’s also a fantastic resource for learning about the filmmaking process.

Spotlight Sections

Filmmakers from all over the world are tackling issues of social concern in their works. The Documentary Spotlight section will showcase a number of high-profile premieres, including “ACORN and the Firestorm,” which charts the organization’s social zenith before a hidden-camera scandal brought it all crashing down.

Other notable documentary films include “This Is Not America” (World Premiere), which explores the effects of the Trump presidency, and “Say Her Name,” an investigation into the murder of transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson.

The Nashville-made feature film selections this year are diverse and heart-stopping. The Narrative Short Competition boasts a curated selection of distinctive, genuine storytelling, while the Animated and Midnight Short Competitions offer bite-sized slices of life from across the spectrum. These out-of-competition films are not eligible for the Academy Award Competition, but they will be considered for a number of other awards.

Feature Films

Founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) celebrates innovation and the many voices of the human spirit through storytelling. Taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, the festival features over seven days of in-person screenings, panels and music showcases, parties and other events at various venues throughout the city.

Some of the featured films include Called To The Mountains – In this film, Japanese teenagers discover American folk music. Other features at the festival include Country Brawlers – A raw and intimate look into the lives of professional boxers in Appalachia.

The Nashville Film Festival is proud to present more than 125 in-person screenings, the Creators Conference and live music showcases. The festival also includes the Screenwriting Competition, which welcomes submissions from around the world.

Short Films

NashFilm supports emerging filmmakers from the state of Tennessee and beyond. Using its unique resources and global reach, the non-profit organization engages with local communities through a robust screening program.

Nashville Film Festival features a wide range of short films with a variety of themes. Some are based on true stories and others take viewers into strange worlds. All of the shorts show great creativity and innovation. The film festival also showcases a number of short competition entries.

The short films show the power of the human spirit to defy odds and overcome obstacles. The short films include GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE, a look at the career of a band that transcends musical genres; and BLACK BARBIE, a tale about an African-American woman who is forced to choose between her family and her art.

Creators Conference

Defying conventions and expectations, the festival seeks bold and extraordinary cinematic work from around the world. Unlike larger film festivals, the event celebrates filmmakers above all else, and is committed to diversity and inclusivity. This year, the festival will host a series of talks and workshops that showcase some of the most innovative films.

Taking the cue from Nashville, the festival will intertwine the magic of cinema with captivating musical performances. This will strengthen the bond between music and film, while showcasing the vibrant connection between local and international communities.

The 2023 Creators Conference will include sessions on topics ranging from a dive into the art of independent filmmaking to an exploration of artificial intelligence. Various panels will address critical industry issues and provide valuable insights to emerging filmmakers.

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