Livin’ Reel Project

In 2004 the Nashville Film Festival began its at-risk youth program, the Livin’ Reel Project, supported by Metro Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Memorial Foundation.  Each year, the festival partners with an organization whose efforts serve at-risk youth from diverse backgrounds.  During the Livin’ Reel program, NashFilm partners with filmmakers and musicians to help the teens learn to work together as a team, while expressing their thoughts and experiences through the art of music and film.


Now 15 years old – the Livin’ Reel Program, gives at-risk teens a hands-on experience in filmmaking and songwriting. With support from Moraine Music Group, Metro Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Memorial Foundation, the program has been able to operate since 2004. During the project, a group of teens dedicate after-school hours to write a song telling the story of their strength and the struggles they have overcome. With help from professional musicians and songwriters, they compose their song which they later record in a professional studio. By the end of their production week, they have a finished song and a short film documenting their entire process. This film is then taken on the road to the Nashville Film Festival and various TV/radio interviews where their work and proven strength within adversity is celebrated. This year the Livin’ Reel Program partnered with Youth Villages and met with a group of girls from one of their Tennessee homes. The aim of the program is to provide at-risk teens in the Nashville community with a healthy outlet to express themselves and further explore their strengths. The groups are specifically matched with leaders and mentors within the community that would most benefit the current group of teens. Led by Dianna Maher of Moraine Music Group, this year the group met with producer/songwriter Kevin Dailey, audio/mixing engineer Charles Yingling, the power house sister trio, SHEL, and recorded at The Blue Room Recording Studios in Berry Hill.

2004-05 Reawakening
Martha O'Bryan Center

2005-06 Leap Year Nightmare
Martha O'Bryan Center

2006-07 Steppin' in the Hood
Preston Taylor Boys and Girls Club/YMCA

2006-07 The Letter
Alternative Learning Center in Williamson County

2007-08 Alone in the Real World
Preston Taylor Boys & Girls Club/YMCA

2008-09 Who’s Real
Charles Davis Foundation

2009-10 Journey
Charles Davis Foundation

2010-11 That’s How Strong My Love is
Martha O’Bryan Center

2011-12 Catastrophic Choices
Preston Taylor Boys & Girls Club/YMCA

2013-14 Believe
Northwest YMCA's Black Achievers Program

2014-15 Finally Here
Martha O'Bryan Center

2015-16 New Wave
Oasis Center

2016-17 Broken Chains
Youth Villages

2017-18 Unstoppable
Youth Villages