2022 NashFilm Fest Winners Announced


Narrative feature MARS ONE earns Best Narrative Film honors; 

Tracey Arcabasso Smith’s RELATIVE wins Best Documentary

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) announces the 53rd edition’s award winners, including best films in each category and the winning scripts in the organization’s esteemed screenplay competition. Brazilian film MARS ONE, written and directed by Gabriel Martins, was named Best Narrative Feature, while Tracey Arcabasso Smith’s RELATIVE earned the Best Documentary Feature award; AND STILL I SING received Best Music Documentary honors, and Alex Heller’s THE YEAR BETWEEN was honored as Best New Directors Feature. Juries in each festival category named their best films for the 2022 Nashville Film Festival during a virtual awards ceremony on Monday, October 3, hosted by Nashville FIlm Festival Director of Programming Lauren Ponto. Watch the full ceremony here (Film) and here (Screenplay), and find the full list of jury members here. The complete list of film and script award winners is below.

“This year’s award winners highlight an exceptional slate of movies featured at the 53rd film festival,” said Ponto. “We’re grateful to our juries this year who selected these worthy films and thrilled to honor these movies from around the world that entertain, challenge, inspire and inform. It’s our privilege to give the award winners, and all of our selected films, a platform in Nashville and beyond.”

In the Screenplay Competition, Aaron Braxton’s THE PASSAGE OF SUN was named Best Drama Feature Script, while Roxy Mitchell’s ELEKTRA and David Daniels’ OUR LADY OF JUSTICE earned Best Comedy and Best Horror Feature Script honors, respectively. The Screenplay competition also awarded honors for scripts in categories including Best Short Film Script, Best Hour Pilot Script and Best Tennessee Writer, which was given to Nate Eppler for FLORIDAMEN.

The 53rd Nashville Film Festival continues through Wednesday, October 5 with screenings at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN. This year’s event closes with LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK & BLUES, following the life and legacy of the master and so-called founding father of jazz, America’s first pop star, and cultural ambassador. 

“We have been so amazed and impressed by the immense creative talent showcased in this year’s festival,” said Jason Padgitt, Executive Director of Nashville Film Festival. “We are truly honored to celebrate the innovative work of our filmmakers and screenwriters and provide a platform to accelerate their future success.”

The 53rd Nashville Film Festival winners are as follows:

Best Narrative Feature  MARS ONE (d. Gabriel Martins)

Best Documentary Feature  RELATIVE (d. Tracey Arcabasso Smith)

Best Music Documentary Feature AND STILL I SING (d. Fazila Amiri)

Best New Directors Feature  THE YEAR BETWEEN (d. Alex Heller)

Best Graveyard Shift Feature  ROUNDING (d. Alex Thompson) 

Best Tennessee Feature JACIR (d. Waheed AlQawasmi)

Best Narrative Short THE BLANKET (d. Teppo Airaksinen)

Best Documentary Short LOVE, DAD (d. Diana Cam Van Nguyen)

Best Animated Short NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (d. Ida Melum)

Bet ‘The Edge’ Short BEEF (d. Sean Webley & Brendon Kingsbury)

Best Graveyard Shift Short MOSHARI (d. Nuhash Humayun)

Best Tennessee Short HERMIE (d. Jonathan Becker & Anthony Pitsilos)

Best Tennessee Student Short EMBER AND THE KEEPER OF THE CAULDRON (d. Audrey 

Witherspoon & Natalie Peterson)

Best NextGen Short MOLES (d. Vanja Victor Kabir Tognola)

Best Episodic Pilot CAMP GREENWOOD (d. Kourtney Bell)

Best Episodic Series MASHED (d. Stacey Maltin)

Best Virtual Reality & 360 GLIMPSE (d. Michael O’Connor and Benjamin Cleary)

The Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition winners are as follow:

Best Drama Feature Script THE PASSAGE OF SUN, written by Aaron Braxton

Best Comedy Feature Script ELEKTRA, written by Roxy Mitchell

Best Horror Feature Script OUR LADY OF JUSTICE, written by David Daniels

Best Genre Feature Script EYELASHES, written by Kelly Palmer

Best Short Script SEPTEMBER 13, 2004, written by Derrick Benton

Best Half Hour Pilot Script BABY GAY, written by Keyanna Khatiblou

Best Hour Pilot Script MURDER SHOW, written by Rosalind Grush

Best Tennessee Writer FLORIDAMEN, written by Nate Eppler

About the Nashville Film Festival

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally recognized nonprofit organization and cultural event presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award® qualifying status, the Nashville Film Festival celebrates innovation, music and the many voices of the human spirit through the art of film. Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival is one of the first film festivals in the United States and is hosting its 53rd festival from September 29-October 5, 2022. For more information, visit www.nashfilm.org.