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Nashville Film Festival Announces Tennessee First Films

The Nashville Film Festival Announces the 31 selected Tennessee First Films. This marks the highest number of films selected for the TN First Competition. The films were chosen from a record 142 submissions from across the Volunteer state. The 48th Nashville Film Festival will take place April 20-29.
TENNESSEE FIRST FEATURES COMPETITION
All the Way to Tacoma / USA (Director: Justin Key) — Songwriter/Performer Caitlyn Smith and four other Nashville based writers travel by train across the country on their way to Tacoma creating an album’s worth of music. Cast: Caitlyn Smith | Ruston Kelly | Bob Deipiro | Paul Moak | Rollie Gaalswyk. World Premiere
Intentional Healing / USA (Director: John Stavas) — INTENTIONAL HEALING is a restorative documentary that follows famed Nashville music producer Jesse Boyce as he contemplates his own mortality after a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer. He returns to the studio as an artist and mentor to compose one last song with Black Violin. Jesse reminds us that wisdom can be found between the hollows of grief, ritual and the arts. Cast: Jesse Boyce | Little Richard | Kevin Sylvester | Wilner Baptiste. World Premiere
Kandyland / USA (Director: Seth Graves) — One of Nashville’s most infamous rock n roll bands embarks on a 31-show, 29-day “intra-city tour” of their hometown, playing only DIY spaces, makeshift venues and guerrilla-style events. KANDYLAND follows the charismatic Thelma & the Sleaze through the entirety of February 2016’s Kandyland Tour, where the band brings their raw, sexually-charged take on rock-n-roll to the unlikeliest of places and raffle off a mini-van in the process. Cast: Lauren Gilbert | Chase Noelle | Reilly Gallagher. World Premiere
The Meanest Man in Texas / USA (Director: Justin Ward) — In 1928, Clyde Thompson finds himself in the wrong place, convicted of murder, barely avoids the electric chair, and is sent to a brutal prison farm where he is labeled “The Meanest Man in Texas.” Through his journey he finds redemption in faith, love & forgiveness. Cast: Mateus Ward | Alexandra Bard. Tennessee Premiere
Wild Man / USA (Director: Jacquie Phillips | Stefanie Black) — A former high school football star gets stuck in his hometown when a bad night leads to house arrest . He takes up residence in his sister’s backyard. Fueled by booze and boredom, he agrees to coach his awkward neighbor for the middle school football tryouts.  Cast: Ted Welch | George Dalton | Christine Woods | Mike Vogel | Kate Upton | Chris Greene. Southeast US Premiere
Your Ride is Here / USA (Director: Fraser Jones) — Over the course of one night in Nashville, a jaded rockstar-turned-Uber driver chauffeurs a newly-appointed trainee. Along their routes throughout the city, the two are introduced to a cast of peculiar passengers who break down personal barriers and become vulnerable characters, freed by the confines of a shared car, the dark of the night, and the power of laughter mixed with heartbreak. All the while, the city of Nashville colors the journey in all of its Southern glory. Cast: Michael Harris | Fraser Jones | Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord | Tristen Gaspadarek | Bekah Cope | Brontë Velez. Tennessee Premiere
TENNESSEE FIRST SHORTS COMPETITION
Animals Animals Animals / USA (Director: Dave Ogle) — A depressed house husband decides to take a journey into the unknown world of his own backyard. Three homeless men give him drugs and maybe a reason to go on. World Premiere
Be Brave, Be Strong / USA (Director: Micah Russell) — A view into the life of a young boy with pediatric cancer as he balances a normal life with chemotherapy. World Premiere
Broke Dick Dog / USA (Director: GB Shannon) — Three newly acquainted brothers track down and confront their absent and unapologetic father. Nashville Premiere
Death$ in a $mall Town / USA (Director: Mark Jones) — A mayor has a unique way to revive the fortunes of his small town that had been losing citizens, businesses and tourist prior to his taking office. Nashville Premiere
Dust to Dust / USA (Director: Joel Edwards | Jesse Edwards) — “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” In this experimental / elemental / fashion short film, we explore visual & sonic interpretations of origination; and our inherent destiny of returning to that from which we came. Nashville Premiere
A Far / USA (Director: Drew Maynard) — A young woman and her father explore the remains of a burnt building. World Premiere
A Funeral for Lightning / Canada | USA (Director: Emily Kai Bock) — A young women begins to see through the promises made by her charismatic husband. US Premiere
H.P. Lovecraft’s The Beast in the Cave / USA (Director: Cameron McCasland) — An adaptation of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s earliest stories which finds a man hopelessly lost while exploring the Mammoth Cave system. Darkness brings a unknown fear. Nashville Premiere
Knock Knock / USA (Director: David Shamban) — A paranoid shut-in hears a knock at the door, and can only come to dark and comedic conclusions about who – or what – is on the other side. Delusions and a little science ensue. World Premiere
Lessons in Accidental Magic / USA (Director: Motke Dapp) — Enamored with a girl he frequently sees at dinner parties, Liam attempts to win her heart by teaching himself to cook from a cookbook he finds at a rather unusual library. The recipes are unorthodox and the results are quite unexpected. Southeast US Premiere
Little Kurdistan / USA (Director: Ava Lowrey) — Just off Nolensville Pike on the southern outskirts of Nashville lies Little Kurdistan—a thriving community of Kurdish immigrants and new generations of Kurdish-Americans. LITTLE KURDISTAN explores this community through the stories of four residents. Tennessee Premiere
The Little Stage / USA (Director: Will Berry) — Bon Aqua, Tennessee – an abandoned building is on the verge of collapse until an old tape is found, revealing its historical significance. Nashville Premiere
Lives Restarted / USA (Director: Waheed AlQawasmi) — From the Holocaust to Memphis: Stories of courage and resilience. Nashville Premiere
Martha / USA (Director: Taylor Burgess) — A lifelong songwriter and musician, Martha Starin, a 92-year-old, has always dreamed of recording the songs she has written. So that’s exactly what we did. World Premiere
McMurphy / USA (Director: Charles Dillon Ward) — One afternoon during detention, a left-handed student stands up to a right-handed teacher. World Premiere
Millennium Girl / USA (Director: Grayson Propst) — On New Year’s Eve of 1999, Jane attends a party despite her parents’ wishes and irrational fear of the Y2K computer crisis. World Premiere
Next of Kin / USA (Director: Dakota Diel) — Bound by protocol, a young marine struggles to deliver his first military death notification. Southeast US Premiere
Prelude / USA (Director: Isaiah Stratton) — With the help of an intuitive therapist and the love of a woman that he does not remember, a damaged musician fights through the loss of his memory. World Premiere
The Rugby Boys of Memphis / USA (Director: David Darg) — At an inner city high school in south Memphis, Tennessee, an unlikely sport has arisen, and with it a team of untapped potential. Nashville Premiere
The Sacred Disease / USA (Director: Erica Scoggins) — Reeling from the death of her brother and oppressed by the medication meant to cure her, a small town epileptic ditches her pills and follows a mysterious woman into the deep woods of Tennessee. Southeast US Premiere
Still Sophie / USA (Director: Caroline Knight) — Four-and-a-half years ago, young talent Sophia Salveson’s life changed forever. Doctors said she may never walk again, may never talk again…may never perform again. They were wrong. Tennessee Premiere
Take It All the Way / USA (Director: Cody Rogers) — When two people try to interview for a job at a real estate agency, they both do what they can to get the job.
To Those Who Doubt / USA (Director: Joel Edwards | Jesse Edwards) — Using incredibly unique & rare high speed underwater photography, the film points to the fragility of humanity; the message calls to those who doubt themselves, doubt their worth, or doubt what they are capable of. Nashville Premiere
The Wilkinson Family Band / USA (Director: Manuel Lagos) — In order to pay for their stay at a motel while on tour, Bob Wilkinson and his homeschool family band must sing a few songs. But keeping the band together proves harder than usual as Bob finally learns to be a father, not a front man. Nashville Premiere
Your Baby Is Most Certainly the Size of Some Kind of Fruit / USA (Director: Hillary Good) — Your baby is the size of a blueberry. And a sweet pea. And a pumpkin. Journey into the miracle of life in this entirely handmade stop-motion short adapted from a McSweeney’s article. US Premiere