April 2006It's springtime in Nashvilletime for the Nashville Film Festival. This year's festival, which ran from April 20-26, got things buzzing in my hometown, and I was in the middle of all of the action. With more than 200 movies and more than 14 categories, this was definitely one of the most exciting film festivals to date!
Adults are not the only people represented in the festivalkids are also a large part of this celebration. "If this is something kids are going to want to do," said Sally Mayne, General Manager for the Nashville Film Festival, "Then we think they should be able to start at a young age."
In fact, this year kids and teens direct more than half a dozen movies, and there are several categories with movies designed for the same range. During the festival, I checked out plenty of films, and even got to sit down and talk with a few of the filmmakers.
Youth or Consequences
The Nashville Film Festival promotes films of all kinds, including short films directed by teenagers. These films are organized into one category called "Youth or Consequences," and I decided to check some of them out.
Endurance is a moving documentary made by Molly Proffitt, a local 18-year-old. This film takes a look at teenagers, the problems they go through, and how they overcome them. The stories were very interesting, and the audience seemed to like it, as applause erupted throughout the theater at the end of the film.
Another well-received film was Gelatin Smile, a movie about a teenager who expressed his emotions through something he lovedgelatin. The film provided an interesting look at the way everything happens for a reason.
Do shoes rule your school? They do in the movie Shoes, a humorous look at peer pressure through the eyes of a kid struggling with it. When Frankie gets made fun of for his shoes, he learns a valuable lesson about how to deal with peer pressure.
One man's trash is another man's treasure in Boat, when a failed art piece turns into a child's play toy. A touching piece, this film had me clapping all the way until the next short started.
Films on a Barn Wall
The history of the Nashville Film Festival goes back to the year 1969, when a woman named Mary Jane Coleman, from East Tennessee, decided to show films on her barn wall. The "festival" soon became known as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, named after the creek that ran through her yard.
The festival found a new home when Vanderbilt University took over the event. Unfortunately, as the years went by, festival attendance began to drop offthat is, until 1998, when Michael Catalano took over the festival and brought it back to life. Today, the Nashville Film Festival is held at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 in the Green Hills area of Nashville, Tennessee.
During the festival, I sat down with several young directors to talk about their worksee what they had to say.