2020 NashFilm Audience Award Winners

by NashFilm

Narrative Feature: COWBOYS

Directed by Anna Kerrigan 

In rural western Montana, a troubled but well-intentioned father tries to liberate his young transgender son by taking him to Canada.

Documentary Feature: WILDFLOWER

Directed by Matt Smukler 

A high school senior has to choose between her dream of going to college, and a life at home, caring for her parents who she has “raised” since she was a small child.

New Directors: RAF

Directed by Harry Cepka

A techno-laced exploration of a tumultuous friendship. In the twilight of her 20s, Raf works two jobs and spends her free time playing boardgames with her boyfriend’s roommates. Over the course of several encounters, she makes friends with a charismatic and wealthy woman named Tal. With Tal as her guide, Raf begins to see a new vision of herself, until a humiliating weekend at Tal’s country home reveals the true power balance between them.

Music City Music Documentary: CAN YOU HEAR MY VOICE?

Directed by Bill Brummel

“Can You Hear My Voice?” chronicles the one-of-a-kind Shout at Cancer choir, whose members have all had their voice boxes removed, as they prepare for their most ambitious concert – a sold-out performance at London’s historic Tabernacle theater. Along the way, choir members’ cancer stories unfold, revealing their struggles with self-identity, self-doubt and loss. Far from maudlin, “Can You Hear My Voice?” is a triumphant testimony illuminating a universal theme – the human capacity for resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity.

US Independent: MONUMENTS

Directed by Jack Newell

A grieving widower travels cross-country in a stolen pick-up truck, determined to scatter his wife’s ashes in Chicago.

World Cinema: VERDE

Directed by Alfonso Morgan-Terrero 

Verde tells the story of three young men who live through the consequences of robbing a gold mining camp and the struggle of their father who grapples with paying off the debt. The film explores characters who harbor deep flaws and genuine human qualities, and who, through a series of chapters, allow the viewer to come face to face with them, the locals from a town and time long forgotten: Present Day Dajabón in Dominican Republic.

Spotlight Japan: 8:15

Directed by J.R. Heffelfinger 

On August 6th,1945 at 8:15 am, the drop of an atomic bomb had hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians scrambling for their lives. Shinji and his father Fukuichi survived the initial blast, but they had no idea what the destruction had in-store for them. When their paths diverge, Shinji longs for his father’s presence. This is an inspirational true story of Shinji’s journey of survival and forgiveness after his entire world was taken from him.

Narrative Short: LODESTAR

Directed by Max Clark 

Ryan, a young man fresh off an opiate overdose, is admitted to a treatment center. He rooms with John, a middle-aged alcoholic awaiting trial for vehicular manslaughter. As their desperation mounts over the course of one night, a chance collision alters the course of their lives.

Animated Short: KAPAEMAHU

Directed by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson

Long ago, four mahu healers of dual male and female spirit imbued their powers on a giant stone monument that still stands on Waikiki Beach. Narrated in an ancient Hawaiian dialect, Kapaemahu brings this powerful legend back to life in vivid animation, seen through the eyes of a curious child.

Experimental Narrative Short: WATERS OF MARCH

Directed by Chase Johnson 

Waters of March explores of grief and how it affects an entire family seen through the eyes of March, a young man grappling with the loss of his grandmother.

Documentary Short: THE SEEKER

Directed by Lance Edmands 

Kenneth Copp is a furniture maker from rural Maine who spent decades of his life in old-order Amish communities. But when he began to question his faith, Kenneth was shunned from the church, unable to communicate with his family or do business with his neighbors. Despite the ensuing hardship, Kenneth has been able to persevere, driven by a quest for greater understanding about what it means to live in accordance with your beliefs.

Graveyard Shift Feature: DANNI AND THE VAMPIRE

Directed by Max Werkmeister 

A madcap drifter tries to reignite a special feeling from her past by helping a vampire achieve his dreams.

Graveyard Shift Short: NEXT TIME

Directed by Talia Shea Levin

When Aidan’s work forces him to cut short a getaway with Bess, their unsteady relationship seems headed for an end as abrupt as their road trip’s, but an empty gas tank and insistent billboards for Time Travel USA lead them to an experience greater than any adventure they could have planned. They are stretched to their limit on the open road as time ticks forward, promising more than it can give, taking them right where they need to go, and back.

NextGen: REFERRAL

Directed by Annabella Schnabel

Lili (16) wants birth control pills because she plans to lose her virginity with her first love. She is going to the gynecologist, but the receptionist at the hospital’s entering gate asks for a referral due to her age. Since she doesn’t have any, the film follows her journey in the healthcare bureaucracy’s maze..

Episodics: CIRCUS PERSON

Directed by Britt Lower

Inspired by the woman her fiancé fell in love with, AVA, a cautious painter (Britt Lower) joins a local circus in an act of wild abandon. As she wrestles with grief and envy, Ava finds herself writing a cinematic letter to the ‘other woman’, LUNA (Jess Marks). Fusing live-action circus arts and animated body-paint, Circus Person alchemizes heartache and brings joy to healing.

Tennessee Feature: YOU DON’T KNOW ME

Directed by Jon Kent 

You don’t know TN death row inmate Abu-Ali Abdur ‘Rahman and the cascade of injustices that keep him fighting for his life. You don’t know Lionel Barrett, a celebrated defense attorney turned rural goat farmer, who inexplicably blew Abu’s case. You don’t know the prominent businessman whose mysterious cult orchestrated the crime or the deceitful DA who misled the jury. Know them–and the truth behind one of Nashville’s most notorious crimes.

Tennessee Short: BURY ME AT TAYLOR HOLLOW

Directed by Orion Pahl

Bury Me at Taylor Hollow follows the growing pains of Larkspur as they set out to raise $210,000 to buy 112 acres for both natural burial and conservation.