Nashville Film Festival Announces Music Films/Music City Festival Titles

The Nashville Film Festival has revealed the first nine titles selected for this year’s 48th annual festival on April 20-29. Films featuring a wide variety of artists from Snoop Dogg and John Williams to Garth Brooks and Trent Reznor are included. The slate includes two world premieres and five Southeastern U.S. premieres. The nine films are all part of the Music Films/Music City Competition celebrating films about musicians, music, and the impact it has on our lives.

Nashville Film Festival Artistic Director Brian Owens said of the selection, “I really love the variety of voices present in this selection – from a rapper working in a nearly extinct language to composers creating some of the most familiar tunes known to us all – there is a little bit of everything in these nine exciting films.”

This year’s festival will take place at its new home at Regal Hollywood Stadium 27 & RPX, located at 719 Thompson Lane. The new location will nearly double the amount of theaters, from six to 10 screens.

Arctic Superstar / Norway (Director: Simen Braathen)—A Sami rapper dreams of becoming world famous.  The only problem is that less than 20,000 people speak his endangered language. Cast: Nils Rune Utsi. Southeast US PremiereBill Frisell: A Portrait / Australia (Director: Emma Franz)—A character portrait of anti-archetype guitar hero, Bill Frisell, and the ideas and processes that shaped his music. Featuring Bonnie Raitt, Hal Willner, Paul Simon, Joey Baron, Jim Hall and Jason Moran. Cast: Bill Frisell | Paul Motian | Jim Hall | Mike Gibbs | Jason Moran | Jim Woodring. Southeast US Premiere

Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape / USA (Director: Zack Taylor)—Cassette tape inventor Lou Ottens digs through his past to figure out why his invention won’t die. Rock veterans like Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, and Ian MacKaye join a new generation of bands releasing music on tape to push Lou along on his journey to remember. Cast: Lou Ottens | Henry Rollins | Thurston Moore | Rob Sheffield | Lily Rothman | Damien Jurado. Tennessee Premiere

Davi’s Way / USA (Director: Tom Donahue)—DAVI’S WAY is a character portrait of Robert Davi as he makes a shift from acting to singing professionally and his quest to put on a concert celebrating Sinatra’s 100th Birthday. Cast: Robert Davi. Southeast US Premiere

G Funk / USA (Director: Karam Gill) — G FUNK is the untold story of three childhood friends from East Long Beach who helped commercialize hip hop by developing a sophisticated and melodic new approach – merging Gangsta Rap with elements of Motown, Funk, and R&B. Cast: Warren G | Snoop Dogg | Ice Cube | Russell Simmons | Wiz Khalifa | Ice T. Southeast US Premiere

The Last Songwriter / USA (Director: Mark Barger Elliott)—Featuring Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, and Jason Isbell, The Last Songwriter spotlights a young writer struggling to make a living in the age of streaming as well as those who have crafted the most influential songs of the past 25 years. Cast: Garth Brooks | Emmylou Harris | Jason Isbell. World Premiere

Score: A Film Music Documentary / USA (Director: Matt Schrader)—Score: A Film Music Documentary follows the creative struggles of designing a modern soundtrack from scratch, featuring some of cinema’s most recognized names in film music. Cast: Hans Zimmer | Danny Elfman | John Williams | Trent Reznor | Randy Newman | Quincy Jones. Tennessee Premiere

Straight Into a Storm / USA (Director: William Miller)—Centered around Deer Tick’s 10th anniversary, Straight Into A Storm is a portrait of a hard-rocking band known for their substance-fueled live performances on their evolutionary journey to become one of the greatest cult rock bands of our time. Cast: John McCauley | Dennis Ryan | Chris Ryan | Ian O’Neill | Robbie Crowell. World Premiere

Tokyo Idols / United Kingdom | Canada (Director: Kyoko Miyake)—This exploration of Japan’s fascination with girl bands and their music follows an aspiring pop singer and her fans, delving into the cultural obsession with young female sexuality and the growing disconnect between men and women in hypermodern societies. Southeast US Premiere


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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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