Adventures in Public School Public Schooled
Adventures in Public School

The Nashville Film Festival continues its lineup for the ten-day festival, running May 10 to 19, 2018, with the announcement of 48 additional feature films in Narrative, Documentary, New Directors and Graveyard Shift competitions.

Capturing the essence of today’s most relevant social issues, historical stories and more, these 48 films hail from China, South Africa, Netherlands, Denmark, India, France and more, as well as 31 from the U.S. A jury of industry professionals will select the winning films that will take home up to $20,000 in cash and prizes.

“We received over 6,100 film submissions and the process of determining the 48 participants was incredibly challenging as the caliber of submissions continues to astonish us each year,” said Artistic Director, Brian Owens. “We strive to always include a diverse roster of feature films that inspire, move and create meaningful conversations.”

Below are the 2018 selections in the categories:

Narrative Competition

1985 (Southeast US Premiere) – A closeted young man goes home for the holidays and struggles to reveal his dire circumstances to his conservative family. Cast: Jamie Chung, Virginia Masden, Michael Chiklis, Director: Yen Tan, Producers: Hutch, Ash Christian (USA)

Across the Waters (Southeast US Premiere) – ACROSS THE WATERS is the gripping tale of the Danish Jews’ escape to Sweden in October 1943. Cast: David Dencik, Danica Curcic, Director: Nicolo Donato, Producer: Peter Bech (Denmark)

An Act of Defiance (Tennessee Premiere) – A South African lawyer risks his life and career to defend Nelson Mandela and his inner circle. Cast: Peter Paul Muller, Antoinette Louw, Sello Motloung, Sean Venter, Director: Jean van de Velde, Producers: Michael Auret, Richard Claus, Hugh Rogers (South Africa, Netherlands)

Adventures In Public School (Southeast US Premiere) – A socially awkward home-schooled kid forces his way into public-school against his suffocating but loving mother’s wishes. Cast: Judy Greer, Daniel Doheny, Russell Peters, Grace Park, Siobhan Williams, Director: Kyle Rideout, Producer: Josh Epstein (Canada)

Angels Wear White (Tennessee Premiere) – ANGELS WEAR WHITE is a powerful film noir that exposes the social injustices and difficult issues women face in contemporary China. Cast: Wen Qi, Zhou Meijun, Shi Ke, Geng Le, Liu Weiwei, Peng Jing, Director: Vivian Qu, Producer: Sean Chen (China)

Bikini Moon (Tennessee Premiere) – A charismatic homeless woman captures the attention of a documentary film crew who are ready to exploit her story for their own shot at independent movie fame in this very modern, urban fairy tale set amidst a fractured ideal of family. Cast: Condola Rashad, Sarah Goldberg, Will Janowitz, Sathya Sridharan, Director: Milcho Manchevski, Producers: Anja Wedell, Munire Armstrong (USA)

Craving (US Premiere) – Coco has no idea what to do with her life until she discovers her mother is terminally ill. Cast: Simone Kleinsma, Elise van ‘t Laar, Director: Saskia Diesing. Producers: Hans de Wolf, Hanneke Niens (Netherlands)

Dating My Mother (Southeast US Premiere) – A single mother and her gay son navigate the world of online dating in search of their versions of Mr. Right. Cast: Kathryn Erbe, Patrick Reily, Kathy Najimy, James Le Gros, Paul Iacono, Director: Mike Roma, Producer: Ashley Hills (USA)

DriverX (Tennessee Premiere) – Skidding into middle age, a “50-something” stay-at-home dad who recently lost his record store must start driving for a rideshare company to help support his working wife and two young daughters. Cast: Patrick Fabian, Tanya Clarke, Desmin Borges, Travis Schuldt, Melissa Fumero, Oscar Nunez, Director: Henry Barrial, Producers: Mark Stolaroff, Alex Cutler (USA)

Fifty Springtimes (Southeast US Premiere) – A woman in her 50s loses her job, finds out she is about to become a grandmother and is given an opportunity to start life over again. Cast: Agnès Jaoui, Director: Blandine Lenoir, Producers: Fabrice Goldstein, Antoine Rein (France)

Goliath (Southeast US Premiere) – When a young soon-to-be father is unable to defend in his girldfriend in an attack, he takes steps that may threaten everything he loves. Cast: Sven Schelker, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Director: Dominik Locher. Producers: Rajko Jazbec, Dario Schoch (Switzerland)

Prison Logic (Tennessee Premiere) – PRISON LOGIC is an original comedy that tracks the life of Tijuana Jackson, an ex-convict fresh out of prison, set on becoming a world renowned motivational speaker. Cast: Romany Malco Jr., Regina Hall, Tami Roman, Alkoya Brunson, Director: Romany Malco Jr., Producers: Romany Malco Jr., Josh Etting, Brian Etting (USA)

Salvation (Southeast US Premiere) – Cris, a thirteen year old girl, is admitted to a hospital to undergo open heart surgery. There she meets Víctor, a boy her same age who says he’s a vampire and who proposes a different kind of salvation for her heart: immortality. Cast: Marina Botí, Laura Yuste, Alzira Gómez, Carmen Flores, Director: Denise Castro, Producer: Denise Castro (Spain)

Shelter (Tennessee Premiere) – A subtle thriller set in Germany involving Mona, a Lebanese woman, and Naomi, an Israeli Mossad agent, sent to protect their informant who is recovering from plastic surgery to conceal her identity. Together for two weeks in a quiet apartment in Hamburg, the two women take us into a complex, multi-dimensional labyrinth of trust and mistrust, of honesty and deception, of loyalty and betrayal. Cast: Neta Riskin, Golshifteh Farahani, Haluk Bilginer, Director: Eran Riklis, Producers: Bettina Brokemper, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Michael Eckelt, Eran Riklis (USA)

When She Runs (Tennessee Premiere) – A young mother of limited means puts everything on the line to pursue her dream of becoming a competitive runner. Cast: Kirstin Anderson, Ivan Gehring, Jonah Graham. Directors: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, Producer: Laura Heberton (USA)

Documentary Competition

Chef Flynn (Tennessee Premiere) – With access to a trove of personal archival footage and including new, intimate vérité footage, director Cameron Yates creates a collage of Flynn’s singular focus and distinctive path through childhood. CHEF FLYNN shares a rare view of a young man’s successful rise from the inside. Director: Cameron Yates, Producers: Laura Coxson, Cameron Yates, Philipp Engelhorn (USA)

Circles (US Premiere) – A Hurricane Katrina survivor who works to keep Black teenagers in school in Oakland, California finds his personal and professional lives colliding when his 15-year-old-son goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Cast: Eric Butler, Tre Thomas, Betsye Steele, Mercedes Morgan, Ted Quant, Director: Cassidy Friedman, Producer: Cassidy Friedman (USA)

Crime + Punishment (Tennessee Premiere) – Meet the NYPD12: a group of minority whistleblower officers who risk everything to expose racially discriminatory policing practices and smash the blue wall of silence. Director: Stephen Maing. Producer: Stephen Maing, Ross Tuttle, Eric Daniel Metzgar (USA)

Crossroads (Tennesee Premiere) – This documentary follows a team of at-risk African-American teenagers and their lacrosse coach on a most improbable and inspiring journey. Director: Ron Yassen, Producers: Lauren Griswold, John Hirsch (USA)

Dark Money (Tennessee Premiere) – Kimberly Reed returns to her native state of Montana to expose the insidious reach of corporate interests into politics and to chronicle its grassroots opposition. Director: Kimberly Reed, Producers: Kimberly Reed, Katy Chevigny (USA)

Every Act of Life (Southeast Premiere) – The life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally: 60 years of groundbreaking plays and musicals, the struggle for LGBT rights, addiction and recovery, finding true love, and the relentless pursuit of inspiration. Cast: Rita Moreno, Meryl Streep, Bryan Cranston, Christine Baranski, Director: Jeff Kaufman, Producers: Jeff Kaufman, Marcia Ross (USA)

hillbilly (World Premiere) hillbilly is a documentary film that examines the iconic hillbilly stereotype in film and television. The film explores more than a hundred years of media representation of mountain and rural people, reveals how the hillbilly icon reflects America’s aspirational self-image over the decades, and offers an urgent exploration of how we see and think about poor, white, rural America. Cast: Billy Redden, Ronny Cox, bell hooks, Michael Apted, Silas House, Crystal Good, Frank X Walker. Directors: Sally Rubin, Ashley York. Producers: Sally Rubin, Ashley York. (USA).

Minding the Gap (Tennessee Premiere) – Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust-Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. Cast: Zack Mulligan, Keire Johnson, Bing Liu, Nina Bowgren, Director: Bing Liu, Producers: Bing Liu, Diane Quon (USA)

A Murder in Mansfield (Tennessee Premiere) – In 1990, the testimony of a 12-year-old boy sealed his father’s fate. A jury convicted prominent Ohio doctor John Boyle of murdering Collier’s mother. 26 years later, the son returns determined to get an admission of guilt from his imprisoned father. Cast: Collier Landry, Director: Barbara Kopple, Producers: Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, Ray Nowosielski (USA)

On Her Shoulders (Tennessee Premiere) – Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi, survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS. Repeating her story to the world, this ordinary girl finds herself thrust onto the international stage as the voice of her people. Away from the podium, she must navigate bureaucracy, fame and people’s good intentions. Cast: Nadia Murad, Directors: Alexandria Bombach, Producers: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams (USA)

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (Southeast US Premiere) – In 2015, Sandra Bland, a young black woman, was found hanging in a small-town Texas jail cell days after a traffic violation. Ruled a suicide, her death fueled worldwide allegations of a racially motivated police murder. The filmmakers embedded with Sandra’s family during their two-year battle to uncover the truth. Cast: Sandra Bland, Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner, Producers: Nancy Knox Talcott, David Heilbroner (USA)

The World Before Your Feet (Tennessee Premiere) – For over six years, and for reasons he can’t explain, Matt Green has been walking every block of every street in New York City – a journey of more than 8,000 miles. Cast: Matt Green, Director: Jeremy Workman, Producers: Jeremy Workman, Jesse Eisenberg (USA)

Zero Weeks (Southeast US Premiere) – Weaving powerful stories together with insightful interviews from leading policy makers, economists, researchers and activists, ZERO WEEKS lays out a compelling argument for guaranteed paid leave for every American worker. Director: Ky Dickens, Producers: Ky Dickens, Alexis Jaworski (USA)

Weed the People (Southeast US Premiere) – Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. Director: Abby Epstein, Producers: Giancarlo Canavesio, Sol Tryon (USA)

New Directors Competition

3/4 (Southeast US Premiere) – Mila is a gifted pianist with a bright future, yet her father pays more attention to the rings of Saturn than to her goals, and her brother tries to distract her with his unwanted talent for the absurd. A portrait of a family, struggling to find meaning during their last summer together. Cast: Mila Mihova, Nikolay Mashalo. Director: Ilian Metev, Producers: Ilian Metev, Ingmar Trost (Bulgaria)

After Louie (Tennessee Premiere) – AFTER LOUIE explores the contradictions of modern gay life and history through Sam, a man desperate to understand how he and his community got to where they are today. Cast: Alan Cumming, Zachary Booth, Sarita Choudhury. Director: Vincent Gagliostro. Producers: Lauren Belfer, Alan Cumming, Bryce Renninger (USA)

Best of All Worlds (Tennessee Premiere) – The true story of a child and his life in the unusual world of his heroin addict mother and their love for one another. Cast: Verena Altenberger, Jeremy Miliker, Lukas Miko, Michael Pink, Reinhold G. Moritz, Philipp Stix. Director: Adrian Goiginger, Producers: Wolfgang Ritzberger, Nils Dünker (Austria)

The Marriage (Southeast US Premiere) – Bekim and Anita are getting married, but she is unaware that he is still in love with his best friend Nol. Cast: Alban Ukah, Adriana Matoshi, Genc Salihu. Director: Blerta Zeqiri, Producer: Kreshnik Keka Berisha (Kosovo)

Mountain Rest (World Premiere) – After sequestering herself to a small mountain town, an aging actress calls her estranged daughter and granddaughter home for reconciliation and one final celebration. Cast: Natalia Dyer, Frances Conroy, Kate Lynn Sheil, Shawn Hatosy, Joshua Brady, Karson Kern, Director: Alex O Eaton, Producers: Fernando Loureiro, Roberto Vasconcellos, Renata Nascimento (USA)

Never Steady, Never Still (Tennessee Premiere) – A mother struggles to take control of her life in the face of advanced Parkinson’s disease, while her son battles his sexual and emotional identity amongst the violence of Alberta’s oil field work camps. Cast: Shirley Henderson, Théodore Pellerin, Mary Galloway, Nicholas Campbell, Jared Abrahamson, Hugo Ateo, Lorne Cardinal, Director: Kathleen Hepburn. Producers: James Brown, Tyler Hagan (Canada)

Noblemen (Tennessee Premiere) – A 15-year-old boy, struggling with his adolescent years, is terrorized by a gang of bullies in a posh boarding school. This sets forth a chain of events that leads to a loss of life and innocence. Cast: Kunal Kapoor, Ali Haji, Director: Vandana Kataria, Producers: Siddharth Anand Kumar, Vikram Mehra (India)

Still (Tennessee Premiere) – When Lily loses her way on a hike through the Appalachian wilderness, she finds rescue in the form of a peculiar married couple who have completely isolated themselves from the outside world. Cast: Lydia Wilson, Madeline Brewer, Nick Blood, Mark Ashworth, Kevin Wayne, Diesel Madkins, Director: Takashi Doscher, Producers: Alex P. Creasia, Takashi Doscher, Craig Miller, Gabrielle Pickle (USA)

The Swan (Southeast US Premiere) – A wayward nine-year-old girl is sent to the countryside to work and mature, but finds herself instead deeply entangled in a drama she can hardly grasp. Cast: Thor Kristjansson, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Þuríður Blær Jóhannsdóttir, Gríma Valsdóttir, Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir, Director: Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótirr, Producers: Birgitta Bjornsdottir, Hlín Jóhannesdóttir (Iceland)

Graveyard Shift Competition

Door In the Woods (Tennessee Premiere) – A struggling family installs a vintage door only to find it’s a portal to supernatural danger, leading to a heart wrenching choice. Cast: Jennifer Pierce Mathus, David Snell, C.J. Jones, John-Michael Fisher, Director: Billy Chase Gofort, Producers: Kerri Elder, Blake Elder, Billy Chace Goforth (USA)

Found Footage 3D (Tennessee Premiere) – A group of filmmakers set out to make the first 3D found footage horror movie, but find themselves in a found footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage. Cast: Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien, Director: Steven DeGennaro, Producers: Steven DeGennaro, Kim Henkel, Charles Mulford (USA)

Get My Gun (Tennessee Premiere) – After an innocent prank leaves Amanda pregnant and out of a job, she finds herself on the verge of motherhood and the target of a psychotic stalker who will stop at nothing to get her hands on her unborn child. Cast: Kate Hoffman, Christy Casey, Rosanne Rubino, William Jousset, Director: Brian Darwas, Producer: Jennifer Carchietta (USA)

Katrina’s Dream (US Premiere) – Katrina wishes to have children but her boyfriend Louis doesn’t. She falls in love with his best friend Ron, who becomes the man of her life. When the two men are involved in a car accident in which Ron loses his head and Louis his body, a drastic surgery helps them survive, but merged into one person. Cast: Dagna Vinet Litzenberger, Manfred Liechti, Adrian Furrer, Simon Esteban, Directors: Mirko Bischofberger, Dario Bischofberger. Producers: Mirko Bischofberger, Dario Bischofberger (Switzerland)

The Laplace’s Demon (Nashville Premiere) – Eight people are imprisoned in a secluded mansion on an uninhabited island. After waiting in vain for the host, they find a model with eight self-propelled pawns that reproduces the movements of each group member in real time. Cast: Alessandro Zonfrilli, Carlotta Mazzoncini, Silvano Bertolin, Duccio Giulivi, Walter Smorti, Director: Giordano Giulivi, Producers: Silvano Bertolin, Ferdinando D’Urbano, Duccio Giulivi, Giordano Giulivi (Italy)

Mickey Reece’s Alien (Southeast US Premiere) – Elvis Presley struggles with an existential meltdown before his TV comeback special. Spirituality, space, and divine art clash in his marriage to Priscilla and his obligations to those surrounding The King. Cast: Jacob Snovel, Cate Jones, Director: Mickey Reece, Producers: Jacob Snovel, Cate Jones, Mickey Reece. (USA)

The Odds (Southeast US Premiere) – A young woman enlists in an underground game of pain endurance in the hope of winning the million dollar prize. She soon learns the real opponent is the man who’s running the game, as he employs horrific methods to manipulate and defeat her. Cast: Abbi Butler, James Fuertes, Sean Ramey, Les Parker, Katie Gunn, Director: Bob Giordano, Producers: Tom Steinmann, Kelly Frey, Alan McKenna (USA)

PROTOTYPE (Southeast US Premiere) – As the deadliest natural disaster in US history strikes Galveston, Texas, taking an estimated 6,000 to 12,000 lives, a mysterious televisual device projects images of unknown origin. Director: Blake Williams, Producer: Marco Gualtieri (Canada)

Zerzura (Southeast US Premiere) – ZERZURA is a feature-length ethnofiction shot in the Sahara desert. Mixing folktales and documentary, the film follows a young man from Niger who leaves home in search of an enchanted oasis. Cast: Ibrahim Affi, Zara Alhassane, Ahmoudou Madassane, Director: Christopher Kirkley, Producer: Christopher Kirkley, Rhissa Koutata, Ahmoudou Madassane, Guichene Mohamed (Niger|USA)

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