Nashville Songwriting Documentary Earns Honors At Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity

It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter, a new documentary that takes an in-depth look at Nashville’s songwriting community, was awarded three Silver Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity recently.

The film was under production for two years and involved 80 interviews with songwriters and industry members and more than 100 hours of footage. Songwriters featured in the film include Jessi Alexander, Garth Brooks, Mac Davis, Bob DiPieroBill Anderson, Mikky Ekko, John Hiatt, Brett James, Claude Kelly, Shane McAnally, Keb’ Mo’, Brad Paisley and Ray Stevens.

The documentary won Silver in the Entertainment Lions category for Cinema & Theatrical: Non-fiction Film and in the Entertainment Lions for Music for both Artist as a Brand or Cause Ambassador and Brand or Product Integration into Music Content. The 82-minute film explores how Nashville became home to the world’s most vibrant and successful songwriting community — their creative process, their inspiration, their struggles and the impact their songs can have on everyday life.

“This documentary portrays the strength of Nashville’s creative community and of its music brand,” said Ronnie Smith, Head of Corporate Bank, Regions Bank, and chairman of the NCVC board of directors. “No other city could capture its brand in a documentary of this caliber. It is a unique marketing tool that will prove to be effective, cost-efficient and global in its reach. It certainly goes outside the norm to market a city with a documentary, and this recognition is validation of that effort.”

Created by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp as a marketing tool, the film was produced by the NCVC, along with John Godsey and VML, a global marketing agency. It was directed by Chusy Jardine of Plan A Films and is being shopped worldwide to major buyers.

The Cannes Lions are the most established and coveted awards for the creative and marketing communications industry, and the Festival of Creativity is held in the same southern French city that hosts the famed Cannes Film Festival.



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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and 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

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