The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) announced the film line-up for the Narrative and New Director Competitions, taking place April 17 – 26, 2014. NaFF has expanded to 10 days and two locations, with competition films, red carpet events, and opening and closing night parties at Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 and free films nightly at the Nissan Multicultural Village at Walk of Fame Park, downtown Nashville.
Films include the World Premiere of UNDISCOVERED GYRL directed by Allison Burnett, and starring Britt Robertson, Robert Patrick, Christian Slater, Justin Long, Martin Sheen, Kimberly Williams-Paisley. UNDISCOVERED GYRL follows the life of Katie Kampenfelt, a beautiful, imaginative teen who, after graduating from high school, decides to take a year off before college. Almost immediately Katie’s life begins to veer off course. Through the prism of a blog she writes, the audience is given a rare, voyeuristic glimpse into the imagination, sexual yearnings, and haunted psyche of a soul in progress.
The Animal Project | Director: Ingrid Vininger. Canada. 90 minutes.
Starring: Hannah Cheesman, Kate Corbett, Noah Davis, Aaron Poole, Jessica Greco, Joey Klein.
As a thirty something acting teacher attempts to push a group of eager young performers out of their comfort zones, he struggles with his own ability to live an authentic and fulfilling life with his teenage son. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Buzzard | Director: Joel Potrykus. USA. 97 minutes.
Starring: Joel Potrykus, Joshua Burge, Jason Roth, Lisa Mueller, Alan Longstreet, Michael Saunders.
Paranoia forces small-time scam artist Marty to flee his hometown and hide out in a dangerous Detroit. With nothing but a pocket full of bogus checks, his Power Glove, and a bad temper, the horror metal slacker lashes out. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Club Sandwich | Director: Fernando Eimbcke. Mexico. 82 minutes.
Starring: Lucio Giménez Cacho, María Renée Prudencio, Danae Reynaud.
While vacationing at a beachside resort, a single mother faces inevitable separation anxiety when her 15-year-old son — who is also her best friend — discovers magical chemistry with a girl his own age. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
The Enemy Within | Director: Yorgos Tsemberopoulos. Greece. 107 minutes.
Starring: Manolis Mavromatakis, Maria Zorba, Yiorgos Gallos, Antonis Karistinos, Thanasis Papageorgiou.
Kostas Stasinos, 48, the owner of a garden supply store, lives an ordinary life with his wife Rania, his 17-year-old son Andreas, a high school senior, and his 14-year-old daughter Luisa. When his house is ransacked by a gang of hoodlums, his family’s peace and happiness are destroyed, introducing violence into their everyday lives in the shape of an old rifle. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
The House That Jack Built | Director: Henry Barrial. USA. 90 minutes.
Starring: E.J. Bonilla, Melissa Fumero, Leo Minaya, Flor De Liz Perez, Saundra Santiago
Jack Maldonado is an ambitious young Latino man who fueled by misguided nostalgia, buys a small apartment building in the Bronx and moves his boisterous family into the apartments to live rent-free. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
The Identical | Director: Dustin Marcellino. USA. 88 minutes.
Starring: Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano
The Identical is the story of a young couple, who give birth to identical twin boys in the depths of the Great Depression. Unable to care for both, the couple gives one son to be raised and adopted by an evangelist minister and his wife. The film tells the story of the separated twins, Drexel Hemsley and Ryan Wade, and the very different lives they lead–different except for a shared passion for music. WORLD PREMIERE
Little Brother | Director: Seric Aprymov. Kazakhstan. 97 minutes.
Starring: Alisher Aprymov, Almat Galym.
A small remote village, lost in the mountains and having little but nothing of a connection with an outer civilized world. We face the monotony of life that devours the living in the souls of people. The protagonist is a nine-year-old kid Yerken who resembles an ill nestling forced to live without any support and help whatsoever. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Love Me | Directors: Maryna Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er. Turkey | Ukraine. 90 minutes.
Starring: Ushan Çakir, Viktoria Spesivtseva, Güven Kiraç, Olena Stefanska, Mehmet Bahadir Er.
Sprinkled with hilarious notes of cultural clashes and an endearing display of the kindness of strangers, this idiosyncratic “comedy drama” will warm hearts in the most unexpected way. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Maryan | Director: Ganapathy Bharat. India | Namibia. 150 minutes.
Starring: Dhanush, Parvathi Menon, Salim Kumar, Appukutty, Jagan.
Maryan is the journey of a fisherman from South of India and his fight for survival. This film is a gritty adventure drama about the undying human will to survive and the power of love. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Noble | Director: Stephen Bradley. Vietnam | United Kingdom. 101 minutes.
Starring: Brendan Coyle, Deirdre O’Kane, Liam Cunningham, Mark Huberman, Nhu Quynh Nguyen.
NOBLE is the true story of a funny, feisty and courageous woman called Christina Noble who overcomes the difficulties of her childhood in Ireland to discover her destiny on the streets of Saigon in 1989, fourteen years after the end of the war. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Peace After Marriage | Director: Ghazi Albuliwi. USA. 86 minutes.
Starring: Ghazi Albuliwi, Assaf Cohen, Einat Tubi, Hany Kamal, Hiam Abbass, Omer Barnea.
Desperate for companionship, a lonely, young Palestinian-American man agrees to marry an Israeli woman in need of a Green Card, forcing them to re-examine their respective cultural and familial traditions. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Something Necessary | Director: Judy Kibinge. Germany | Kenya. 85 minutes.
Starring: Kipng’eno Kirui Duncan, Hilda Jepkoech, Carolyne Chebiwott Kibet, Anne Kimani.
A woman struggling to rebuild her life after the civil unrest that swept Kenya after the 2007 elections claiming the life of her husband, the health of her son and leaving her home on an isolated farm in the Kenyan countryside in ruins, she now has nothing but her resolve to rebuild her life left. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Test | Director: Chris Mason Johnson. USA. 89 minutes.
Starring: Kevin Clarke, Kristoffer Cusick. Chris Mason Johnson. Scott Marlowe. Matthew Risch.
San Francisco, 1985. Two opposites attract at a modern dance company. Together, their courage and resilience are tested as they navigate a world full of risks and promise, against the backdrop of a disease no one seems to know anything about. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely | Director: Josephine Decker. USA. 94 minutes.
Starring: Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstreet, Kristin Slaysman, Matt Orme.
There are places you go, where the things you do will matter to a lot of people. Then there are places you will go, where the things you will do matter only to a very few. But to those few, they will matter – a lot. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Undiscovered Gyrl | Director: Allison Burnett. USA. 100 minutes.
Starring: Britt Robertson, Robert Patrick, Christian Slater, Justin Long, Martin Sheen, Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Undiscovered Gyrl follows the life of Katie Kampenfelt, a beautiful, imaginative teen who, after graduating from high school, decides to take a year off before college. Almost immediately Katie’s life begins to veer off course. Through the prism of a blog she writes, the audience is given a rare, voyeuristic glimpse into the imagination, sexual yearnings, and haunted psyche of a soul in progress. WORLD PREMIERE
New Directors Competition
1982| Director: Tommy Oliver. USA. 80 minutes.
Starring: Wayne Brady, Hill Harper, Sharon Leal, Ruby Dee, Bokeem Woodbine, Troi Zee, La La Anthony.
From the earliest days of the crack cocaine epidemic that plagued America comes this story of Tim, a devoted husband and proud father trying to protect his ten-year-old daughter from the ravages of his mother’s addiction. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
9 Full Moons | Director: Tomer Almagor. USA. 103 minutes.
Starring: Amy Seimetz, Bret Roberts, Donal Logue, Dale Dickey, Harry Dean Stanton, James Duval.
A wildly enigmatic, hard-partying young woman compensates for her loneliness with different men, until she falls for Lev, a solitary musician with a radically different personality. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
As It Is in Heaven | Director: Joshua Overbay. USA. 86 minutes.
Starring: Sylvia Boykin, Todd Bagley, Meredith Cave, Chris Nelson, Kassandra Botts, Abi Van Andel.
After the death of the Prophet, a young man is called upon to lead his small religious sect as they anxiously await the end of the world. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Before I Disappear | Director: Shawn Christensen. USA. 94 minutes.
Starring: Shawn Christensen, Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman, Richard Schiff, Fatima Ptacek
At the lowest point in his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to take care of his eleven-year-old neice for a few hours. Based on the Academy Award-winning short film Curfew. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Chasing Ghosts | Director: Josh Shreve. USA. 93 minutes.
Starring: Toby Nichols, Frances Conroy, Robyn Lively, W. Earl Brown, Tim Meadows.
Lucas, an eleven-year-old boy mourning his brother’s death, seeks answers by filming funerals. When his camera captures something unexpected and extraordinary, he and his family are thrust into the spotlight and he forms an unlikely friendship with an author who survived a near-death experience. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Congratulations! | Director: Mike Brune. USA. 90 minutes.
Starring: John Curran, Rhoda Griffis, Robert Longstreet, Jack McGee, Adam Fristoe.
Veteran Detective Dan Skok of the Missing Persons Bureau lands the case of his career – a six-year old boy who disappears inside his own house. What should be a traditional investigation becomes an absurd and comic exploration of a man who’s profession is a perpetual search. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Drunktown’s Finest | Director: Sydney Freeland. USA. 95 minutes.
Starring: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker.
Three young Native Americans – an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious soon-to-be father, and a transsexual model wannabe – strive to escape the hardships of the reservation and find a place for themselves in an evolving world. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Forty Years from Yesterday | Director: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck. USA. 76 minutes.
Starring: Bruce Graham, Matt Valdez, Suzette Graham, Rebekah Mott.
Bruce awakens one morning to find that his loving wife of forty years has unexpectedly passed away. What follows is an intimate portrait of the process that follows: how to deal with the body, the legalities; how to manage one’s relationship with God; how to move on. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Grace | Director: Heath Jones. USA. 95 minutes.
Starring: Annika Marks, Sharon Lawrence, Michele Feren, Erin Beute, Brian Patrick Clarke.
After a weekend of binge drinking in a small Florida town, Gracie ends up in the county jail with two options; six months in prison or ninety Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in ninety days. She chooses the meetings and embarks on a new life path and begins to put the pieces of her shattered life back together. WORLD PREMIERE
I Believe in Unicorns | Director: Leah Meyerhoff. USA. 80 minutes.
Starring: Natalia Dyer, Pater Vack, Julia Garner, Amy Seimetz, Toni Meyerhoff.
An imaginative teenage girl who is the sole caretaker of her disabled mother escapes into a fantasy world as her first relationship with an older boy begins to turn violent. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
Medeas | Director: Andrea Pallaoro. Italy, Mexico, USA. 97 minutes.
Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Brían F. O’Byrne, Mary Mouser, Ian Nelson.
Ennis, a stern and hard-working dairy farmer, struggles to maintain control of his life and his family, while his wife, Christina, retreats inward, slowly disconnecting from him and their five children in this intimate portrait of a rural family’s struggles in a harsh and shifting landscape. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
OJ: The Musical | Director: Jeff Rosenberg. USA. 90 minutes.
Starring: Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Malcolm Barret, Larisa Oleynik, Owiso Odera, Bianca DeGroat, Sarah Hagan.
Eugene Olivier is an eccentric theater artist who leaves New York to take on Los Angeles. With his two best friends from high school, he begins his quest to stage the next great American musical – a retelling of the OJ Simpson story, adapted from Shakespeare’s Othello. TENNESSEE PREMIERE
The Resurrection of a Bastard | Director: Guido van Driel. Netherlands. 89 minutes.
Starring: Yorick van Wabeningen, Goua Robert Grovogui, Juda Goslinga, Jeroen Willems.
Three men – an old Frisian farmer bent on revenge, a gangster who has just barely survived “liquidation,” and an illegal immigrant with an uncertain future – all meet under an ancient oak tree, beyond the last town. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Trap Street | Director: Vivian Qu. China. 93 minutes.
Starring: Yulai Lu, Wenchao He, Young Hou, Ziaofei Zhao.
Li Qiuming works for a digital mapping company surveying the streets of the quickly changing city. To make ends meet, he moonlights by installing surveillance cameras. One day, he has a brief encounter with a woman who disappears down an unmappable street and becomes infatuated with her. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
White Shadow | Director: Noaz Deshe. Tanzania / Germany. 117 minutes.
Starring: Hamisi Bazili, Salum Abdallah, Riziki Ally, James Gayo.
Alias is a young albino boy growing up in the Central African bush. His condition makes him the subject of taunting; but he faces an even graver danger: witch doctors and many people of the region believe the body parts of albinos have mystical powers. To save him from a ghastly fate, his mother sends him to Dar es Salaam to live with his uncle, where he faces a new sort of danger. SOUTHEAST US PREMIERE
Image: Lee Ann Womack arrives for the Southeast Premiere of Noble Things at the 2009 Nashville Film Festival. Picture, from left, are Sallie Mayne, NaFF executive director, Womack, Stacy Widelitz, Naff board president, and Brian Owens, NaFF artistic director.