NashFilm Announces Graveyard Shift Features & Shorts Competition, Animated Features Competition, Spotlight: Japan, US Independents and World Cinema Programs; Selections Include “Holler,” “Inspector Ike,” “Sanzaru” and More

by NashFilm


The Nashville Film Festival announces its official program selections for its Graveyard Shift Features & Shorts Competition, Animated Features Competition, Spotlight: Japan, US Independents and World Cinema Programs for the 51st edition of the festival, taking place virtually from October 1-7, 2020. 

Selections for the Graveyard Shift Features competition include Danni and the Vampire, President Evil, Sanzaru, She’s The Eldest and The Arbors. Selections for the Animated Features competition include Agatha and True North. Selections for the Spotlight: Japan Program include 8:15 and Woman of the Photographs. Selections for the US Independents Program include Dramarama, Freeland, Fully Realized Humans, Holler, Inspector Ike, Lapsis and Monuments. Selections for the World Cinema Program include Arracht, Death of Nintendo, Drama Girl and Verde. The films represent worldwide perspectives and diversity across many circumstances. 

“These films are all incredibly distinct and rich in storytelling and culture,” said Lauren Ponto, programming manager of the Nashville Film Festival. “From our dynamic and chilling Graveyard Shift films and our energetic and compelling US Indies, to our World Cinema and Animated Features spanning the globe from the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, these programs are for both the cinephile and regular movie-goer. Our newest edition, Spotlight: Japan, features captivating works by new voices in Japanese cinema and pays tribute to the spirit of the Nashville Japanese Film Festival.” 



Danni and the Vampire, directed by Max Werkmeister 

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

Cast: Alexandra Landau, Henry Kiely 

Premiere Status: World Premiere 

Country: USA 


President Evil, directed by Richard Lowry 

Synopsis: Days before the U.S. elections, three young women — who are Latina, Muslim, and Haitian — are stalked by a deranged killer dressed as the POTUS. 

Cast: Jose Rosete, Sitara Attaie

Premiere Status: World Premiere

Country: USA 


Sanzaru, directed by Xia Magnus 

Synopsis: When a home health aid and her nephew move in to care for an elderly woman and her unstable son, two broken families find themselves dangerously isolated under one roof.  

Cast: Aina Dumlao, Justin Arnold, Jayne Taini, Jon Viktor Corpuz 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere 

Country: USA 


She’s The Eldest, directed by Cate Jones

Synopsis: Three eccentric siblings return to their childhood home to reconnect but end up digging up the past of their parents’ mysterious disappearances. 

Cast: Mary Buss, Cate Jones, Mickey Reece 

Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere 

Country: USA 


The Arbors, directed by Clayton Witmer 

Synopsis: In a dreary small town, a strange creature disrupts the life of reclusive locksmith, Ethan Daunes, forming a mysterious bond that spurs a string of violent killings. 

Cast: Drew Matthews, Ryan Davenport, Lexi Rose, Daryl Munroe, Sarah Cochrane 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere

Country: USA 




Backward Creep, Directed by: Christopher G. Moore

Blow Out, Directed by: Daniel David Stewart

Deep End, Directed by: Anthony Sellitti

Deerly Beloved, Directed by: Laurie Garner

Imaginary Friend, Directed by: Zach Rubin

Lonely Hearts, Directed by: Dennis Cahlo 

Look What You Have Done! (Regarde ce que tu as fait!), Directed by: Monica De Almeida

Love Begins With M, Directed by: Arthur Nienhuis

My Dinner With Werner, Directed by: Maverick Moore

Next Time, Directed by: Talia Shea Levin

OverKill, Directed by: Alex Montilla

Pieces of Me, Directed by: Julia Max 

Sins of a Werewolf,  Directed by: David Prendeville

Sleep Tight, Directed by: Lewis Taylor 

That Old Misery, Directed by: Gray Creasy

The Horror Compendium, Directed by: Adam Jordan

The Visit, Directed by: Mac Cushing

Weekend, Directed by: Ario Motevaghe




Agatha, directed by Roland Becerra, Kelly Bigelow Becerra 

Synopsis: The film follows “The Professor”, a man suffering from a terminal disease, who by a twist of fate, witnesses an incredible event outside his window, involving his mysterious neighbor Agatha. Hoping to find a cure to his sickness – he agrees to follow her on a strange and risky journey into a forgotten but not entirely deserted urban wasteland. 

Cast: Emily Joyce-Dial, Ryan Whiting, Erin McDonough, Mark DeRosa 

Premiere Status: Nashville Premiere

Country: USA 


True North, directed by Eiji Han Shimizu 

Synopsis: When an innocent family is taken to a North Korean concentration camp, a gentle young boy must find meaning to life in the world’s most hopeless corner. 

Cast: Joel Sutton, Michael Sasaki 

Premiere Status: US Premiere 

Country: Japan/Indonesia 




8:15, directed by J.R. Heffelfinger  

Synopsis: After the first ever atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, Shinji and his father must beat the odds of survival in their demolished city. This is a remarkable true story of survival and forgiveness. 

Cast: Sotaro Tanaka, Jonathan Tanigaki and Eddy Toru Ohno 

Premiere Status: World Premiere 


Woman of the Photographs, directed by Takeshi KUSHIDA 

Synopsis: A misogynic photographer discovers for the first time in his life the joys of loving a woman, this one confused about her self-identity and self-esteem, by helping her in her perceptions of herself with his photographic retouching skills. 

Cast: Hideki NAGAI, Itsuki OTAKI, Toshiaki INOMATA, Toki KOINUMA

Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere 

Country: Japan 




Beyond Noh, Directed by: Patrick Smith 

Castle, Directed by: Ryotaro Miyajima 

Extraneous Matter, Directed by: Kenichi Ugana 

Flower Punk, Directed by: Alison Klayman 

Mizuko, Directed by: Kira Dane & Katelyn Rebelo 

Son of Memory, Directed by: Hayato Ando 




Dramarama, directed by Jonathan Wysocki 

Synopsis: In 1994, a closeted teen struggles to part ways with his 4 high school drama friends at their final murder mystery party before they leave for college. 

Cast: Anna Grace Barlow, Nico Greetham, Zak Henri, Danielle Kay, Nick Pugliese, Megan Suri 

Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere 

Country: USA 


Freeland, directed by Mario Furloni, Kate McLean 

Synopsis: An aging pot farmer suddenly finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest, fighting against the threat of eviction as the impact of the legalization of the cannabis industry rapidly destroys her idyllic way of life. 

Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Frank Mosley, Lily Gladstone, John Craven 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere 

Country: USA 


Fully Realized Humans, directed by Joshua Leonard 

Synopsis: With less than a month until the birth of their first child, Jackie and Elliot embark on a madcap mission of self-discovery in an attempt to rid themselves of the inherited dysfunction of their own upbringings.  

Cast: Joshua Leonard, Jess Weixler, Tom Bower, Beth Grant, Michael Chieffo, Janicza Bravo 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere 

Country: USA 


Holler, directed by Nicole Riegel 

Synopsis: To pay for her education and the chance of a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew. 

Cast: Jessica Barden, Gus Halper, Austen Amelio, Grace Kaiser, Pamela Adlon, Becky Ann Baker 

Premiere Status: US Premiere 

Country: USA 


Inspector Ike, directed by Graham Mason 

Synopsis: Inspector Ike, New York City’s greatest police detective, finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse after the conniving understudy of an avant-garde theater group knocks off the star actor. A “lost TV movie” from the 1970’s, INSPECTOR IKE mixes visual gags, slapstick, gross food, and heartfelt emotion. Think COLUMBO meets THE NAKED GUN, featuring a rogue’s gallery of NYC’s best comedians. 

Cast: Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Matt Barats, Ana Fabrega (HBO’s Los Espooky’s), Aparna Nancherla, John Early (Search Party), Grace Rex, Dan Arnes, Anthony Oberbeck, Jessica Damouni, Dorothi Fox, Lorelei Ramirez, Alex Goldberg, Stavros Halkias, Caroline Yost, Colin Burgess, Eudora Peterson, Jen Goma, Ryan McGlade, Alex Tartarsky, Sarah Madden, Carly Lovejoy, Leah Motzkin, Tynan DeLong, Amy Zimmer and Rhys Grady 

Premiere Status: Southeast Premiere 

Country: USA 


Lapsis, directed by Noah Hutton 

Synopsis: Delivery man Ray Tincelli is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. He turns to quantum cabling, a strange new corner of the gig economy, and faces a pivotal choice to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out. 

Cast: Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Babe Howard, Ivory Aquino, Dora Madison, James McDaniel, Frank Wood, Arliss Howard 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere 

Country: USA  


Monuments, directed by Jack C. Newell 

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

Cast: Marguerite Moreau, David Sullivan, Javier Muñoz, Shunori Ramanathan, Joel Murray, David Pasquesi 

Premiere Status: World Premiere

Country: USA 




Arracht, directed by Tom Sullivan 

Synopsis: Ireland, 1845. As the famine progresses, a fisherman unable to protect his family is subsumed by darkness until a helpless little girl saves him from despair. 

Cast: Dónall Ó Héalaí, Saise Ní Chuinn, Dara Devaney, Michael McElhatton, Peter Coonan, Siobhán Kelly 

Premiere Status: US Premiere 

Country: Ireland 


Death of Nintendo, directed by Raya Martin 

Synopsis: Set in Manila in the 1990s, DEATH OF NINTENDO takes us into the colorful pop culture world of four teenage friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. During a summer, Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi and Gilligan go on a journey of self discovery together as they try to one-up each other’s high scores and face life’s obstacles, including puppy love, peer pressure and balancing family tradition with self identity. 

Cast: Kim Chloe Oquendo, Mimaw Noel Comia Jr, Paolo John Vincent Servilla, Kachi Jigger Sementilla, Gilligan 

Premiere Status: US Premiere 

Country: Philippines 


Drama Girl, directed by Vincent Boy Kars 

Synopsis: A young woman gets the chance to play the leading role as herself in the film mirroring her own life story. Where does reality end, and storytelling begin? 

Cast: Leyla de Muynck, Jonas Smulders, Pierre Bokma, Elsie de Brauw 

Premiere Status: US Premiere 

Country: Netherlands 


Verde, directed by Alfonso Morgan – Terrero 

Synopsis: 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. 

Cast: Luis Ernesto Contreras Batista, Andres Peralta Gomez & Carlos Daniel Delgado 

Premiere Status: Tennessee Premiere 

Country: Dominican Republic 


Additional programming announcements for Nashville Film Festival’s virtual event will continue through early September. Film stills and logos are available upon request. 


Passes and Tickets for the 2020 Nashville Film Festival 

Virtual VIP Festival Badges are now on sale for $125 at VIP Badges provide unlimited access to all 200+ virtual/online film screenings and exclusive film, music and cultural content. Virtual Music Passes are also available for sale and include access to NashFilm Music Program virtual events and pro mentoring sessions. 


Press Credentials

The Nashville Film Festival is currently accepting press credential requests. Please apply by clicking here


About 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 will host its 51st festival from October 1-7, 2020. For more information, visit