Danni and the Vampire, directed by Max Werkmeister
Danni and the Vampire, directed by Max Werkmeister

The Nashville Film Festival announces its official program selections for its Graveyard Shift Features & Shorts Competition, Animated Features Competition, Spotlight: Japan, US Independents and World Cinema Programs for the 51st edition of the festival, taking place virtually from October 1-7, 2020.

Selections for the Graveyard Shift Features competition include Danni and the Vampire, President Evil, Sanzaru, She’s The Eldest and The Arbors. Selections for the Animated Features competition include Agatha and True North. Selections for the Spotlight: Japan Program include 8:15 and Woman of the Photographs. Selections for the US Independents Program include Dramarama, Freeland, Fully Realized Humans, Holler, Inspector Ike, Lapsis and Monuments. Selections for the World Cinema Program include Arracht, Death of Nintendo, Drama Girl and Verde. The films represent worldwide perspectives and diversity across many circumstances.

“These films are all incredibly distinct and rich in storytelling and culture,” said Lauren Ponto, programming manager of the Nashville Film Festival. “From our dynamic and chilling Graveyard Shift films and our energetic and compelling US Indies, to our World Cinema and Animated Features spanning the globe from the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, these programs are for both the cinephile and regular movie-goer. Our newest edition, Spotlight: Japan, features captivating works by new voices in Japanese cinema and pays tribute to the spirit of the Nashville Japanese Film Festival.”

GRAVEYARD SHIFT FEATURES COMPETITION

Danni and the Vampire, directed by Max Werkmeister


Synopsis: A madcap drifter tries to reignite a special feeling from her past by helping a vampire achieve his dreams.
Cast: Alexandra Landau, Henry Kiely
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Country: USA

President Evil, directed by Richard Lowry
Synopsis: Days before the U.S. elections, three young women — who are Latina, Muslim, and Haitian — are stalked by a deranged killer dressed as the POTUS.
Cast: Jose Rosete, Sitara Attaie
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Country: USA

Sanzaru, directed by Xia Magnus

Synopsis: When a home health aid and her nephew move in to care for an elderly woman and her unstable son, two broken families find themselves dangerously isolated under one roof.
Cast: Aina Dumlao, Justin Arnold, Jayne Taini, Jon Viktor Corpuz
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: USA

She’s The Eldest, directed by Cate Jones
Synopsis: Three eccentric siblings return to their childhood home to reconnect but end up digging up the past of their parents’ mysterious disappearances.
Cast: Mary Buss, Cate Jones, Mickey Reece
Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere
Country: USA

The Arbors, directed by Clayton Witmer
Synopsis: In a dreary small town, a strange creature disrupts the life of reclusive locksmith, Ethan Daunes, forming a mysterious bond that spurs a string of violent killings.
Cast: Drew Matthews, Ryan Davenport, Lexi Rose, Daryl Munroe, Sarah Cochrane
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: USA

GRAVEYARD SHIFT SHORTS COMPETITION

Backward Creep, Directed by: Christopher G. Moore

Blow Out, Directed by: Daniel David Stewart

Deep End, Directed by: Anthony Sellitti

Deerly Beloved, Directed by: Laurie Garner

Imaginary Friend, Directed by: Zach Rubin

Lonely Hearts, Directed by: Dennis Cahlo

Look What You Have Done! (Regarde ce que tu as fait!), Directed by: Monica De Almeida

Love Begins With M, Directed by: Arthur Nienhuis

My Dinner With Werner, Directed by: Maverick Moore

Next Time, Directed by: Talia Shea Levin

OverKill, Directed by: Alex Montilla

Pieces of Me, Directed by: Julia Max

Sins of a Werewolf, Directed by: David Prendeville

Sleep Tight, Directed by: Lewis Taylor

That Old Misery, Directed by: Gray Creasy

The Horror Compendium, Directed by: Adam Jordan

The Visit, Directed by: Mac Cushing

Weekend, Directed by: Ario Motevaghe

ANIMATED FEATURES COMPETITION

Agatha, directed by Roland Becerra, Kelly Bigelow Becerra
Synopsis: The film follows “The Professor”, a man suffering from a terminal disease, who by a twist of fate, witnesses an incredible event outside his window, involving his mysterious neighbor Agatha. Hoping to find a cure to his sickness – he agrees to follow her on a strange and risky journey into a forgotten but not entirely deserted urban wasteland.
Cast: Emily Joyce-Dial, Ryan Whiting, Erin McDonough, Mark DeRosa
Premiere Status: Nashville Premiere
Country: USA

True North, directed by Eiji Han Shimizu
Synopsis: When an innocent family is taken to a North Korean concentration camp, a gentle young boy must find meaning to life in the world’s most hopeless corner.
Cast: Joel Sutton, Michael Sasaki
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Country: Japan/Indonesia

SPOTLIGHT: JAPAN PROGRAM

8:15, directed by J.R. Heffelfinger

Synopsis: After the first ever atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, Shinji and his father must beat the odds of survival in their demolished city. This is a remarkable true story of survival and forgiveness.
Cast: Sotaro Tanaka, Jonathan Tanigaki and Eddy Toru Ohno
Premiere Status: World Premiere

Woman of the Photographs, directed by Takeshi KUSHIDA

Synopsis: A misogynic photographer discovers for the first time in his life the joys of loving a woman, this one confused about her self-identity and self-esteem, by helping her in her perceptions of herself with his photographic retouching skills.
Cast: Hideki NAGAI, Itsuki OTAKI, Toshiaki INOMATA, Toki KOINUMA
Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere
Country: Japan

SPOTLIGHT: JAPAN SHORTS PROGRAM

Beyond Noh, Directed by: Patrick Smith

Castle, Directed by: Ryotaro Miyajima

Extraneous Matter, Directed by: Kenichi Ugana

Flower Punk, Directed by: Alison Klayman

Mizuko, Directed by: Kira Dane & Katelyn Rebelo

Son of Memory, Directed by: Hayato Ando

US INDEPENDENTS PROGRAM

Dramarama, directed by Jonathan Wysocki
Synopsis: In 1994, a closeted teen struggles to part ways with his 4 high school drama friends at their final murder mystery party before they leave for college.
Cast: Anna Grace Barlow, Nico Greetham, Zak Henri, Danielle Kay, Nick Pugliese, Megan Suri
Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere
Country: USA

Freeland, directed by Mario Furloni, Kate McLean
Synopsis: An aging pot farmer suddenly finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest, fighting against the threat of eviction as the impact of the legalization of the cannabis industry rapidly destroys her idyllic way of life.
Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Frank Mosley, Lily Gladstone, John Craven
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: USA

Fully Realized Humans, directed by Joshua Leonard
Synopsis: With less than a month until the birth of their first child, Jackie and Elliot embark on a madcap mission of self-discovery in an attempt to rid themselves of the inherited dysfunction of their own upbringings.
Cast: Joshua Leonard, Jess Weixler, Tom Bower, Beth Grant, Michael Chieffo, Janicza Bravo
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: USA

Holler, directed by Nicole Riegel
Synopsis: To pay for her education and the chance of a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew.
Cast: Jessica Barden, Gus Halper, Austen Amelio, Grace Kaiser, Pamela Adlon, Becky Ann Baker
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Country: USA

Inspector Ike, directed by Graham Mason
Synopsis: Inspector Ike, New York City’s greatest police detective, finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse after the conniving understudy of an avant-garde theater group knocks off the star actor. A “lost TV movie” from the 1970’s, INSPECTOR IKE mixes visual gags, slapstick, gross food, and heartfelt emotion. Think COLUMBO meets THE NAKED GUN, featuring a rogue’s gallery of NYC’s best comedians.
Cast: Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Matt Barats, Ana Fabrega (HBO’s Los Espooky’s), Aparna Nancherla, John Early (Search Party), Grace Rex, Dan Arnes, Anthony Oberbeck, Jessica Damouni, Dorothi Fox, Lorelei Ramirez, Alex Goldberg, Stavros Halkias, Caroline Yost, Colin Burgess, Eudora Peterson, Jen Goma, Ryan McGlade, Alex Tartarsky, Sarah Madden, Carly Lovejoy, Leah Motzkin, Tynan DeLong, Amy Zimmer and Rhys Grady
Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere
Country: USA

Lapsis, directed by Noah Hutton
Synopsis: Delivery man Ray Tincelli is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. He turns to quantum cabling, a strange new corner of the gig economy, and faces a pivotal choice to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out.
Cast: Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Babe Howard, Ivory Aquino, Dora Madison, James McDaniel, Frank Wood, Arliss Howard
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: USA

Monuments, directed by Jack C. Newell

Synopsis: A grieving widower travels cross-country in a stolen pick-up truck, determined to scatter his wife’s ashes in Chicago.
Cast: Marguerite Moreau, David Sullivan, Javier Muñoz, Shunori Ramanathan, Joel Murray, David Pasquesi
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Country: USA

WORLD CINEMA PROGRAM

Arracht, directed by Tom Sullivan
Synopsis: Ireland, 1845. As the famine progresses, a fisherman unable to protect his family is subsumed by darkness until a helpless little girl saves him from despair.
Cast: Dónall Ó Héalaí, Saise Ní Chuinn, Dara Devaney, Michael McElhatton, Peter Coonan, Siobhán Kelly
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Country: Ireland

Death of Nintendo, directed by Raya Martin

Synopsis: Set in Manila in the 1990s, DEATH OF NINTENDO takes us into the colorful pop culture world of four teenage friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. During a summer, Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi and Gilligan go on a journey of self discovery together as they try to one-up each other’s high scores and face life’s obstacles, including puppy love, peer pressure and balancing family tradition with self identity.
Cast: Kim Chloe Oquendo, Mimaw Noel Comia Jr, Paolo John Vincent Servilla, Kachi Jigger Sementilla, Gilligan
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Country: Philippines

Drama Girl, directed by Vincent Boy Kars

Synopsis: A young woman gets the chance to play the leading role as herself in the film mirroring her own life story. Where does reality end, and storytelling begin?
Cast: Leyla de Muynck, Jonas Smulders, Pierre Bokma, Elsie de Brauw
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Country: Netherlands

Verde, directed by Alfonso Morgan – Terrero

Synopsis: Verde tells the story of three young men who live through the consequences of robbing a gold mining camp and the struggle of their father who grapples with paying off the debt. The film explores characters who harbor deep flaws and genuine human qualities, and who, through a series of chapters, allow the viewer to come face to face with them, the locals from a town and time long forgotten: Present Day Dajabón in Dominican Republic.
Cast: Luis Ernesto Contreras Batista, Andres Peralta Gomez & Carlos Daniel Delgado
Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere
Country: Dominican Republic

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