As Day 8 of the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) nominees for this year’s Tennessee Horizon Audience Award will screen. In addition to films nominated in this category, the continuing schedule of more than 25 films for Thursday, April 23 also includes music-centric feature films. Topping off the night will be the highly anticipated awards presentation for Feature Films, as well as the naming of the winner of theTennessee Horizon Audience Award for Best Short.
Tennessee Horizon Audience Award Nominated Shorts
While such films as “Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey”, “Sam” and “Yosimite” fill Thursday’s schedule, the 6:30 p.m. screenings in Theatre 15 may be of interest to local attendees and fans of short films as it features the six short films selected by the NaFF jury for consideration in the prestigious Tennessee Horizon Audience Award category screen.
Among the nominated shorts:
“Contrary to Likeness”, an 8-minute short about how an unexpected gift interrupts an otherwise mundane life. Directed by Motke Dapp, the short stars Kristopher Wente, Liz Boliver, Keri Pisapia Pagetta and Tara Ptacek.
“Daddy’s Little Girl”, directed by Chad McClarnon, a 5-minute tale of how a science-loving little girl counters her father’s abuse.
“Futureman”, in which director Patrick Sheehan explores the mind and creativity of one of Music City’s favorite virtuosos, 5-time Grammy winner, Roy ‘Futureman’ Wooten. Known for being part of the group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the 16-minute short offers and inside look at Wooten, whose musical inventions include a piano based on the periodic table.
“How I Got Made”, directed by Tracy S. Facelli is a brilliant 10-minute short sure to delight the retro cinephile in everyone as Gaby (Grayson Russell) plays a nine year old girl in the early 80s who, after watching “The Godfather” devises a heavy-handed way of dealing with her school bullies.
“Nashville In Harmony: Ten Years of Using Music to Build Community”, directed by Steven C. Knapp, at 35-minutes, is the lengthiest of the entries up for Tennessee Horizon Audience Award. It reveals the ten-year history of Nashville in Harmony, Music City’s LGBT chorus. With humble beginnings a decade ago and only 18 members, in its ten year existence, Nashville in Harmony has grown to not only include 130 vocalist, but recently headlined Music City’s Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music. Along the way, they’ve spread their music message of love, acceptance and inclusion as only music can.
“UseToCould”, directer/writer/producer/editor and music supervisor’s Drew Maynard realization that a man isn’t as young as he once was, rounds out the short films block.
Elsewhere at the festival at 12 noon “The Record Man”, directed by Mark Moormann and screening in Theatre 16, makes its Tennessee Premiere as it explores the career of Henry Stone. A native New Yorker, Stone began his career as a music executive after moving to Los Angeles, then Miami during the late 1940s. As the fifties rock and rolled, Stone’s career flourished, most notably when he signed James Brown to King Records, resulting in Brown’s first hit, “Please, Please, Please”.
The 1960s saw lucrative deals for Stone’s Tru-Tone Distribution, during which time he worked with such major players as Atlantic, Motown and Stax, but it’s the 1970s and Stone’s independent record label, TK Records that are the focus of “The Record Man”.
Among the artists signed to TK Records was the company’s warehouse worker Harry Wayne ‘KC’ Casey, who also filled in on occasion as the label’s receptionist. As frontman for KC and the Sunshine Band, Harry Wayne Casey. Thanks to such mega hits as “That’s the Way I Like It”, “Get Down Tonight” and “Shake Your Booty”, KC and the Sunshine Band helped put Stone’s indie label on the map, while simultaneously solidifying the validity of a new new music genre, disco.
In addition to KC’s hits, Stone, and his association with other labels, also scored big with Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell”, Latimore’s “Let’s Straighten It Out”, Beginning of the End’s “Funky Nassau” and Peter Brown’s “Do You Wanna Get Funky with Me”, among others. Click Here to purchase tickets.
Theatre 16 continues as the place to be at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, with the screening of a very different kind of musical documentary, director Jeanie Finlay’s “Orion: The Man Who Would Be King”. Definitely fitting in the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ adage, “Orion” reveals the inside story of unknown singer Jimmy Ellis, who, in the late seventies was at the epicenter of a bizarre Sun Records stunt. Playing not only on the rumors that Elvis hadn’t died, but also the built-in audience Elvis’ demise left, Sun Records perpetuated the ‘he is alive’ rumors and attempted to cash in by presenting a black mask-wearing Ellis as an incarnation of The King. Having already been performing, thanks to an eerily Elvis-like voice, when recreated as the risen king, Ellis’ did indeed achieve a modicum of success, even performing alongside longtime Elvis collaborators, The Jordanaires. Ultimate, Ellis’ life also ended tragically when he was murdered at the pawn shop he ran years after the mystique of Orion had long-since faded. Click Here to purchase tickets.
At 5:00 p.m., and also in Theatre 16 is yet another music-related documentary, “Country: Portraits of an American Sound”. Directed by Steven Kochones, and featuring interviews with such Music City notables as The Band Perry, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes and legends Lyle Lovett, Roy Clark, Lorrie Morgan, Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker and Kenny Rogers, “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” profiles the images and photographers who’ve created a legacy of images that reflect the history of country music from the early days of pioneers The Carter Family to its storied Grand Ole Opry days right on to today’s hit makers like the The Band Perry and everybody’s darling, Taylor Swift. Just last night the film enjoyed its World Premiere and flipped the script on the red carpet as noted photographers like Raeanne Rubenstein and David McLister were among the celebrities making an appearance prior to the film’s screening. Other notable photographers featured in the doc include: Henry Diltz, Leigh Wiener, Henry Horenstein and Michael Wilson, with commentary by legendary Grand Ole Opry photographer Les Leverett. Click Here to purchase tickets.
The night’s festivities culminate in Theatre 5 with the awarding of the above-mentioned Tennessee Horizon Audience Award for Best Short Film, as well as the winners of NaFF’s Feature Film Competitions. Check back tomorrow for a full list of honored films.
With two more days left of the 2015 Nashville Film Festival, select tickets are still available for individual purchase. Click Here to purchase tickets.
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