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Nashville to Offer 200+ Films at 35th Fest, from “Festival Express” to “Grand Theft Parsons”

Nashville to Offer 200+ Films at 35th Fest, from "Festival Express" to "Grand Theft Parsons"

Nashville to Offer 200+ Films at 35th Fest, from “Festival Express” to “Grand Theft Parsons”

by Wendy Mitchell

David Caffrey’s “Grand Theft Parsons” will be the closing-night film at the 2004 Nashville Film Festival. Photo courtesy of the filmmakers.

The 35th annual Nashville Film Festival, running Tuesday through Sunday, is living up to Music City’s nickname with this year’s festival, which will open with Bob Smeaton‘s “Festival Express,” about a series of rock concerts in Canada in 1970, and will close with “Grand Theft Parsons,” David Caffrey‘s tale about musician Gram Parsons’ road manager trying to bury Parsons in Joshua Tree National Park. In all, more than 200 films (features, documentaries, shorts, and animated works) will play at this year’s festival. The gala film midweek is Lawrence David Foldes“Finding Home,” about a young woman dealing with her family’s past.

Among the panels set for the event are a screenwriting panel developed through the festival’s new alliance with the Nashville Screenwriters Conference. Other panels will cover animation, lighting and film production, music videos, the state of Tennessee filmmaking, acting, scoring, screenwriting, financing, and more. Also new at the festival this year is an award for the best music video, recognizing directors affiliated with Tennessee production companies.

Other films set to unspool include the documentary “Fallen Angel — Gram Parsons,” “Imagine Imagine,” about John Lennon’s song; the Sundance hit “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” directed by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky (“Paradise Lost,” “Brother’s Keeper”), Bill Plympton‘s animated “Hair High,” a local doc about two Nashville characters, “Pre-Madonna,” Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski‘s award-winning doc “Born into Brothels,” Julie Bertucelli‘s acclaimed French feature “Since Otar Left,” Guy Maddin‘s “The Saddest Music in the World,” Lars von Trier and Jorgen Leth‘s “The Five Obstructions,” Ross McElwee‘s personal doc “Bright Leaves,” Alison Bagnall‘s coming-of-age story “Piggie,” and many more.

Guests of the festival will include Patrick Swayze, in town with his film “One Last Dance,” Killer FilmsChristine Vachon, who will receive the Nashville Film Festival/First Amendment Center Freedom in Film Award, Rick Schroder with his film “Black Cloud,” and panelists including screenwriter Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”), lighting expert Gene Simpson, film music supervisor Darren Higman (“Spiderman 2”), and producer Robert Hawk.

Social events in this lively city will include an opening-night party with music by former Burrito Brother and Eagle Bernie Leadon, a Tennessee Film Night, a BMI-sponsored gala, a gay and lesbian film reception, a William Morris-sponsored Cajun music night at BB King’s, a reception for Christine Vachon, and an awards ceremony.

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