Ted Crockett is directing his fifth festival as Executive Director, a role he assumed in early 2012. He brings deep experience in all aspects of film festival management, as he has worked with NaFF since 2004. Under his leadership, the festival won the coveted Frist Foundation Revenue Generation Award, presented at the Search for Excellence Gala by the Center for Non Profit Management. Crockett has been named one of Nashville’s top “Movers and Shakers” by Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and Variety Magazine named him to its Top 30 Music City Impact Report. The festival has consistently been named one of the top film festivals in the world by MovieBytes Magazine.
Under his leadership the Festival has forged important relationships with the the Film Producer’s Association in China and the Kurdish Regional Government in Northern Iraq. He has strengthened ties with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and many leading entertainment individuals and firms. He launched the Nashville Screenwriting and Web Series Competitions.
Ted is an engaging and frequent speaker at festival conferences. He works with the Art and Business Council to help Tennessee non-profits navigate the business side of working in the arts. He is a member of Tennesseans for the Arts, the Nashville Arts Coalition, and serves on the Film Television Transmedia Council, as well as the National Museum of African American Museum Community Council.
Previously, Crockett was an account executive at Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, one of the world’s leading music business management firms, where he managed the finances of entertainers including Wynonna, Naomi Judd, Gary Allan, Shawn Colvin, Garbage and others. He earned a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University and moved to Nashville in 1998.
A passionate art collector, he is known for his unique collection of 21st Century oil paintings.
Brian Owens has programmed NaFF since 2008. He came to Nashville after founding and managing the Indianapolis International Film Festival. In 2010 he was named one of Nashville’s People in Charge by the Nashville Post and one of the 50 Most Influential People of the 2000’s by the Indianapolis Star.
Owens developed his knowledge of film early in life and honed his skills at Indiana University, where he studied Film. He is an annual guest of the Toronto Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival where he selects films and filmmakers for the April Festival.
Brian has served on multiple film festival juries and has been published in several online and print publications.
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Mackenzie Robert joined the Nashville Film Festival in 2016. She directs media, communications, donor and community outreach efforts for the festival. She also directs the festival’s Livin’ Reel music outreach program at the Oasis Center of Stonewall.
Previously, Mackenzie has worked as Director of Communications for Joyride, Associate Publicist for the Annie Moses Band and as Associate Stylist and Media Coach for PaNASH.
In 2014 Mackenzie graduated from Belmont University where she studied Entertainment Industry Studies and Entertainment Journalism/Public Relations. While there, she worked as the Nashville Correspondent for BroadwayWorld.com and interned at Sony RED Distribution, Universal Music, Big Yellow Dog Music and 12 South Entertainment.
Mackenzie has also founded HERBooks in partnership with Book’em and Girls Inc., where a community of encouragement and support among young girls is instilled and provided.
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Josh Escue manages the screenwriting and film competitions, communicating with filmmakers and screenwriters, daily. This is his fourth year with NaFF, starting as a seasonal employee and now year-round. Josh is a Nashville native and is excited to see that the film community is constantly growing. He is passionate about helping to bring that growth to his home town.
Josh graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Media Production and Film Studies. He has been involved in multiple production projects as well as film reviewing. As an avid film-goer and lover of the medium since a young age, Josh brings his communication skills and knowledge of film to the NaFF team.
Screenwriting Competition Manager
Melissa joined the Nashville Film Festival staff in 2012. She currently serves as the Film Competitions Manager, in addition to organizing panels and workshops during the festival.
Melissa studied Film & Digital Media at Baylor University before transferring to Belmont University and receiving a B.S. in Video Production and a Minor in Theater. She is also an alumni of the Second City Training Center and iO Theater, both located in Chicago, where she wrote and performed sketch comedy and improvisation.
She previously worked at Third Man Records and on numerous production jobs, including the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food Nation”. She has served on the Awards Jury for several other film competitions and festivals, including SoHo International Film Festival.
When she’s not watching her never-ending wishlist of movies and eating queso, Melissa is usually found playing pool, looking up pictures of snails, or planning her next trip. She will also challenge anyone to a game of MarioKart.
Film Competitions Manager
Caleb was first involved with the Nashville Film Festival in 2010, and two years later, in 2012, he came on staff. He is a Trevecca Nazarene University graduate, with a BBA, concentrated in marketing, and a minor in IT. He is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course, and, in 2016 completed his Nashville Ambassador certification.
For many years, he has had a passion for the arts and loves providing the organizational background for visual artists. He is currently involved with an art collective, The Regenerates, working to produce their annual show which blends written and visual art forms. In 2014, he began hosting trivia, and continues to host it in Nashville and Franklin with Nerdy Talk Trivia. Every month, he is downtown helping with the 1st Saturday Art Crawl.
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