Tuscaloosa directed by Philip Harder
Tuscaloosa directed by Philip Harder, starring (L-R) Devon Bostick, Marchánt Davis and Natalia Dyer, to have festival premiere at Nashville Film Festival. (Photo: Riley Harder Pictures)

Tuscaloosa, a ‘70s coming-of-age story from a music video director Philip Harder, and starring Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things; Velvet Buzzsaw; Yes, God, Yes), Tate Donovan (Rocketman, Argo), Devon Bostick (Okja, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the CW’s 100), Marchánt Davis (The Day Shall Come), along with rap artist YG (Def Jam recording artist,White Boy Rick) will premiere at the Nashville Film Festival.

Tuscaloosa will screen on Saturday, October 5th at 7 p.m. as part of the festival’s U.S. Independents Program during its 50th Anniversary season, taking place October 3 to 12, 2019. The film is the first narrative feature by Philip Harder, a longtime creative force known for high-profile music video work for artists including Prince, Foo Fighters, and Hilary Duff, and projects for commercial clients including Apple, Disney, and Target.

Adapted from the novel Tuscaloosa by W. Glasgow Phillips, the movie tells the coming-of-age story of Billy Mitchell (Devon Bostick), a member of Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s white middle class. By the summer of 1972, young black activists in his city have found purpose and a cause worth fighting for, but Billy is still coasting—until he falls in love with fragile, determined Virginia (Natalia Dyer), a patient at the mental hospital run by his father. Shaken out of his slacker indifference, he finds his loyalties pulling him in different directions. And when Billy and his friends try to move forward on their own path, they discover just how far the network of power and oppression in their town will go to stop them.

The Nashville Film Festival is the perfect place for Tuscaloosa’s festival premiere,” said director Philip Harder. “It is fundamentally a Southern story based on a Southern novel, so it’s fitting that we’re introducing it to audiences at the South’s oldest-running film festival. We put so much work into creating the world in this film, shooting in rural towns and landscapes, and using digital effects to recreate landmarks from 1970’s Tuscaloosa. The struggles the characters endure and dreams they pursue are extremely contemporary. We think the vintage quality of the production and epic story will keep the audience fully immersed, even as they recognize striking similarities to modern society and our current political times.”

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