The Nashville Film Festival has announced that Courtney Solomon's "An American Haunting" will be the opening night for its 37th edition to run April 20-26. Solomon's film is adapted from the 1997 novel The Bell Witch: An American Haunting and is based on true events of a family haunting in Tennessee during the 1800s. Donald Sutherland stars as the head of the household and Sissy Spacek plays his fearful wife. This year's fest will showcase over 240 features, documentaries and shorts from 44 countries. James Burke's "Aurora Borealis," will close out the festival this year. The film also stars Donald Sutherland, this time as an ailing grandfather, while Joshua Jackson plays his grandson who learns responsibility while caring for his grandfather, and finds a potential love match in his grandfather's nurse, played by Juliette Lewis.
This year's festival will include a focus on music documentaries, screening nine films as part of its "Music Films in Music City" section. Director Manu Boyer's documentary "I Trust You To Kill Me," about Rocco DeLuca's first international rock tour with Kiefer Sutherland as his roadie, will have its world premiere at the fest. Members of Rocco's band will attend the screening along with Sutherland, boyer and producer Pliny Porter. The North American premiere of "To Tulsa And Back: On Tour With JJ Cale" by Jorg Bundschu will also run as part of the fest's music doc series. The film is the first documentary to be made about JJ Cale, the famous Tulsa musician and songwriter who is known for writing hits like "After Midnight" and "Cocaine." Bundschu will be in attendance for the screening on April 24.
Also slated for this year are a number of films that were nominated for grand jury awards at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Steve Bognar and Julia Reichart's film "A Lion In The House" chronicles the struggles of several families as their children fight cancer; Malcolm Ingram's "Small Town Gay Bar" is about two gay bars in Mississippi existing within a region of intolerance; and Patrick Creadon's "Wordplay" focuses on a crossword puzzle editor at the New York Times. Other highlights at the festival include the Reel Current Award, sponsored by former Vice President Al Gore and presented this year to director Julie Gustafson, for her "insight into a contemporary issue" in her documentary "Desire."
For more information and a complete lineup of films, please visit the festival website.