Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive
Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive

With disco legend Gloria Gaynor in attendance, Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm), will open the 54th annual event with the documentary film Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive.

Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive is the story of a disco legend who, for five decades, has inspired millions with her words “I will survive,” but only truly understood the lyrics when she hit rock bottom at age 65. The film centers around ageism, reinvention, the power of faith and a woman who empowers herself to create a magnificent second act.

The film also follows Gaynor as she embarks on her long and unexpectedly difficult journey to write and record her gospel album, “TESTIMONY,” in Nashville with her producer and engineer team of Chris Stevens and F. Reid Shippen with guest collaborators Yolanda Adams, Bart Millard, Jason Crabb and Mike Farris. The album won Gaynor a second Grammy exactly 40 years after her first. Audiences will watch as Gaynor wields her inner drive and undeniable musical talent to change the course of her life. Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive blends Gloria’s present-day, 8-year journey with the artist’s unimaginable ups and downs from the past.

The inspiring documentary recounts the compelling life story of Gaynor, a woman who after battling poverty at a young age endured a 25-year traumatic marriage (and divorce) from her husband and manager. The two-time Grammy winner shares how a freak accident early in her musical journey turned what could have been a career-ending disaster into a defining moment for one of disco’s most legendary stars.

“We are honored to be opening the 54th annual festival with the empowering and moving story of one of the world’s most iconic and inspiring artists,” said Nashville Film Festival Programming Director Lauren Thelen. “This film stands for so much more than just surviving an unfortunate experience; it’s about moving through struggles and coming out the other side a stronger and more impactful performer and person, something that resonates with many people here in Music City and across the country.”

The screening will take place on Thursday, September 28th at 6:30 pm at the historic Belcourt Theatre. A red carpet event will be held prior along with a special Q&A with Gloria Gaynor and director and Emmy-nominated producer Betsy Schechter, moderated by celebrated singer, songwriter and leader of the band MercyMe Bart Millard, directly following the film.

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