‘Country: Portraits of an American Sound’ Makes World Premiere at NaFF

Pictured (L-R): Terri Clark, Holly Williams, director/producer Steven Kochones, and producer Joe Russo. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R): Terri Clark, Holly Williams, director/producer Steven Kochones, and producer Joe Russo. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Country music stars and Music Row notables joined an elite group of photographers last night (April 22) at the 2015 Nashville Film Festival for the world premiere of Country: Portraits of an American Sound at Nashville’s Regal Green Hills Theater.

Produced and directed by Steven Kochones for the Annenberg Space for Photography, the full-length documentary is an exploration of Country music through the lens of the photographers who have documented its rise to a national identity.

In attendance were country artists Terri Clark, Holly Williams, Dean Alexander and Danielle Peck, Manuel, Joe Russo (producer), Les Leverett (Grand Ole Opry’s official photographer for 30 years), David McClister (photographer and music video director), Raeanne Rubenstein (celebrity photographer), Bobby Braddock, Troy TomlinsonDon Cusic (music historian and author), Bob Mitchell (Bakersfield music executive and historian), Shannon Perich (Curator in the Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History), Peter Cooper (The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum), among others.

The pre-premiere reception attendees walked Nashville Film Festival’s red carpet before joining a packed theater for the 90-minute feature of never-before-seen photographs, footage and new interviews from artists including Clark, Williams, The Band Perry, Ronnie Milsap, and Charley Pride. Additional in-depth interviews include: Larry Gatlin, Marty Stuart, Brenda Lee, Lorrie Morgan, Connie Smith and Bill Anderson.

A post-Q&A was moderated by Cooper with panelists Kochones and photographers Henry Horenstein, McClister, Rubenstein, Michael Wilson, and Leverett.

A second screening will take place tonight (Thursday, April 23 at 5:00 p.m.).

Pictured (L-R): David Ross, Dale Dodson, Lauren Braddock, Bobby Braddock, and Troy Tomlinson. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R): David Ross, Dale Dodson, Lauren Braddock, Bobby Braddock, and Troy Tomlinson. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R): Photographers Henry Horenstein, David McClister, Raeanne Rubenstein, Michael Wilson, and Les Leverett. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R): Photographers Henry Horenstein, David McClister, Raeanne Rubenstein, Michael Wilson, and Les Leverett. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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