Nashville Film Festival Announces Opening and Closing Films

The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) presented by Nissan is set for April 19-26 at the Regal Green Hills Cinemas, and will continue its tradition of screening two films at the festival’s opening and closing. Opening selections will include Beauty Is Embarrassing and the world premiere of After, while the closing selections will include Big Easy Express presented by the Americana Music Association, and Paul Williams Still Alive.

“What started the last two years, almost by accident, with Bloodworth and Submarine opening and Another Earth and Terri closing has turned out to be a successful strategy for us,” says Brian Owens, NaFF artistic director. “It gives people a couple of options and wildly different ones at that, on each of the nights. Whether it’s an oft-hilarious art documentary or a borderline dystopian fantasy, or music films about then or now, we’ve got you covered.”

Written and directed by Ryan Smith, After tells the story of two bus crash survivors who awake to find they are the only people left in their town and they must work together to find the truth. Nashville ties include Magnetic Dreams Animation for visual effects, and producers Seabourne Pictures and Sabyn Mayfield.

Neil Berkeley’s Beauty Is Embarrassing is about artist Wayne White, a Chattanooga native whose career has taken him from puppeteer to Pee-Wee’s Playhouse to music videos to the world of fine art.

Big Easy Express, directed by Emmett Malloy and presented by the Americana Music Association, tracks Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford & Sons on a musical journey from California to Louisiana via train.

Paul Williams Still Alive started as an investigation by director Steven Kessler to find out what happened to his childhood idol, songwriting great Paul Williams.

Also included as an official selection in the lineup is Brick and Mortar and Love, a documentary about independent record stores by director Scott Shuffit that features My Morning Jacket, Nappy Roots, The Watson Twins and Grimey’s co-owner Doyle Davis. Check out a trailer here.

New to NaFF this year is the first annual Rotary Red Carpet Run 5k, a road race through Green Hills on Saturday, April 21. Presented by the Rotary Club of Green Hills, the event benefits the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Backpacks program. Info and registration here.

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