Documentary Film Lineup
Monday, March 17, 2014 - Nashville, TN

World Premiere

Blackout: On Swan Pond

The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) today announced the Documentary Film line-up for the 45th annual Festival, April 17 – 26 at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 and downtown Nashville. The 18 documentaries cover a wide range of compelling topics.

“Every year we get enough documentaries to program an entire doc festival,” said Brian Owens, Artistic Director.  “What I look for are films of outstanding quality that present a wide and bracing view of our world.”

NaFF has become one of the premier showcases for the best new work of American and international filmmakers.  The festival screens films that represent the creative risk filmmakers take to tell powerful and important stories in innovative ways.

The Nashville Film Festival, like other major film festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca, is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased for any of 200 events, including films, panel discussions and parties. NaFF brings in filmmakers, celebrities and industry insiders to mingle with people who enjoy film on the big screen.

Documentary Competition

Art War | Director: Marco Wilms. Egypt, Germany. 84 minutes.
Young, creative Egyptians use graffiti, music, and art to enlighten their fellow citizens and keep the revolutions of the Arab Spring alive against the odds.

Besa: The Promise | Director: Rachel Goslins. Albania / USA. 90 minutes.
When the German occupation of Albania began in September, 1943, its predominantly Muslim citizens risked life and limb to protect the nearly 2,000 Jews who had fled there during the earlier stages of World War II. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

Blackout: On Swan Pond | Director: Scott Colthorp. USA. 95 minutes.
Just days before Christmas, 2008, a retention wall at a coal-fired power plant collapsed, spilling 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash into the small farming community of Swan Pond, Tennessee – and exposing America to the dangers of this once-ignored toxic waste. TENNESSEE STORY. WORLD PREMIERE.

Butterfly Girl | Director: Cary Bell. USA. 76 minutes.
The daughter of a musician, Abigail Evans came of age in honky tonks, defying her life threatening disease, but all the while longing for an identity of her own. Now that she is 18, how much is she willing to sacrifice for her independence? TENNESSEE PREMIERE

The Case Against 8 | Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White. USA. 112 minutes.
Shot over five years, this behind-the-scenes look at the case against California’s Proposition 8, follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

Farmland | Director: James Moll. USA. 70 minutes.
Most Americans have no idea who grows their food. Farmland follows six young farmers from across the nation, all in their 20s, and uncovers the joys and challenges of one of America’s oldest industries. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

Fight Church | Director: Daniel Junge, Bryan Storkel.  USA. 84 minutes.
Faith and fist meet as pastor and popular mixed martial artists reconcile their religion with a sport that many consider violent and barbaric. Can you really love your neighbor as yourself and then punch him in the face? SOUTHEAST PREMIERE

Freedom Summer | Director: Stanley Nelson. USA. 113 minutes.
In the summer of 1964, more than 700 students descended on a violent, segregated Mississippi to register voters, create freedom schools, and establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Not all of them would make it through.

The Human Experiment | Director: Dana Nachman, Don Hardy Jr. USA. 80 minutes.
What if the greatest chemical disaster of our time did not involve a spill or a meltdown, but instead resulted from lower levels of exposure over several generations? From a conservative businessman, to a teenage radical, meet people staking career and reputation in a battle to protect our health. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

Kidnapped for Christ | Director: Kate S. Logan. USA / Dominican Republic. 85 minutes.
Film student Kate Logan heard about Escuela Caribe and thought she would make a documentary about its inspiring work. Instead, she discovered good kids being subjected to questionable therapies, hard labor and degrading humiliations.

The Overnighters | Director: Jesse Moss. USA. 100 minutes.
Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor’s decision to help them has extraordinary and unexpected consequences.

Point and Shoot | Director: Marshall Curry. USA / Libya. 83 minutes.
In 2011, Matthew VanDyke left Baltimore to see the world on his motorcycle, only to end up joining the Libyan rebel army in their efforts to overthrow Gaddafi. Gun in one hand, camera in the other, Matthew finally finds purpose and meaning in his wanderlust – until he is captured and held in solitary confinement for six months.

SlingShot | Director: Paul Lazarus. USA. 97 minutes.
Fifty percent of all human illness is the result of water borne pathogens. Dean Kamen (the man who invented the Segway) has been on a 15-year quest to create an energy-efficient distiller that can turn any unfit water into safe, potable water. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness | Director: Ben Rivers, Ben Russell.  France / Germany / Estonia / USA. 98 minutes.
Termed a participatory ethnographic study, A Spell follows an unnamed individual through three very different moments in his life. We join him as a member of 15-person Estonian commune, as a hermit in the wilderness of northern Finland, and as the singer and lead guitarist of a Norwegian black metal band – all attempts to seek transcendence in a materialistic world. [Also a World Cinema / Vanguard Selection.]

The Starfish Throwers | Director: Jesse Roesler. USA. 83 minutes.
A starfish thrower is someone who helps the stranded creatures by tossing them back into the sea. Meet Katie, Narayanan, and Mr. Law – three individuals, continents apart, who work tirelessly to help the hungry and who inspire others through their efforts. SOUTHEAST PREMIERE

Stream of Love | Director: Agnes Sós. Hungary / Romania. 70 minutes.
Love and desire is on the minds of these Transylvanian villagers. Incurably romantic widowers make their moves on the 25 widows of the village – women who are frank in their desires and fond in their memories of lost lovers, proving you’re never too old for love if you’re young at heart.

This Time Next Year | Director: Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman. USA. 83 minutes.
The makers of Remote Area Medical take their cameras to the Eastern seaboard, specifically Long Beach Island, New Jersey, to track the resilience of residents in the midst of the rebuilding process following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

WHITEY: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger | Director: Joe Berlinger. USA. 130 minutes.
Using this past summer’s sensational trial as a springboard, Academy Award™-nominee Joe Berlinger, explores corruption at the highest levels of law enforcement as demonstrated by James “Whitey” Bulger’s relationships with the FBI and the Justice Department – relationships that allowed him to build a criminal empire. TENNESSEE PREMIERE

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About the Nashville Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), April 17 – 26, presented by Nissan, brings the world to Nashville in an extended 10-day celebration of film. NaFF is in two locations for the first time: Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 with 200 competition films, educational presentations and parties, and downtown at Nissan Multicultural Village, Walk of Fame Park with free outdoor films nightly and Happy Hour Shorts at Festival Pub. NaFF is a public festival attended by filmmakers and industry insiders and an Academy Award Qualifying Event for short films.  In addition to Nissan, NaFF is sponsored by Comcast/Xfinity, Cabedge Design, Regal Entertainment Group, Southwest Airlines, Tennessee Arts Commission and Metro Arts of Nashville. The Festival annually garners notice from the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal online, MovieMaker Magazine, Film Festival Today, IndieWire, Variety, Billboard, New York and Script Magazine.

Film info and photos:

Blackout on Swan Pond

Press Release Center resources for download

Documentary Film Lineup


Blackout on Swan Pond

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