Nashville Film Festival Announces Special Presentations, Spectrum and the Inaugural Animated Feature Competition
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Media Contact: Mackenzie Robert                



Nashville, TN – Nashville Film Festival announces the 33 additional feature films accompanied by several new categories for the Special Presentations, Spectrum and the inaugural Animated Feature Competitions. Spotlight selections include MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS, MANIFESTO starring Cate Blanchett, the Sundance sensation PATTI CAKE$, and THE HERO starring Sam Elliot.

New categories include the inaugural Animated Feature Competition, with films representing four nations – USA, Turkey, South Korea and Canada. Spectrum Q highlights daring cinema surrounding the lives of the LGBTQ community.

This announcement grows the total number of features films to 96 showing over the ten days of the festival running from April 20 to 29.


Brave New Jersey / USA (Director: Jody Lambert) — A comedy about a small, New Jersey town on the night of Orson Welles’s legendary, 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast — the hoax that terrified millions into believing Martians were invading America. As the citizens of Lullaby are faced with what they think is their last night on Earth, their lives will change forever. Cast: Tony Hale | Heather Burns | Anna Camp | Dan Bakkedahl | Sam Jaeger | Raymond J. Barry.

Dog Years / USA (Director: Adam Rifkin) — An aging, former movie star is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. On its surface DOG YEARS is a tale about faded fame, but at its core, it’s a universal story about growing old.Cast: Ariel Winter| Burt Reynolds | Chevy Chase | Clark Duke | Ellar Coltrane | Juston Street. 

The Exception / United Kingdom (Director: David Leveaux) — A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.  Cast: Christopher Plummer | Jai Courtney | Lily James | Janet McTeer | Eddie Marsan | Ben Daniels.

Folk Hero & Funny Guy / USA (Director: Jeff Grace) — A successful singer-songwriter hatches a plan to help his friend’s struggling comedy career and broken love life by hiring him as his opening act on his solo tour.  Cast: Alex Karpovsky | Wyatt Russell | Meredith Hagner | Melanie Lynskey | Hannah Simone | Michael Ian Black.

The Hero / USA (Director: Brett Haley) — Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, an aging actor tries to reconcile with his estranged daughter while striking up a new relationship with a wild woman. Cast: Laura Prepon | Krysten Ritter | Nick Offerman | Sam Elliot | Katharine Ross. OPENING NIGHT SPOTLIGHT.

Patti Cake$ / USA (Director: Geremy Jasper) — Aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$ fights an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden hometown in New Jersey.  Cast: Danielle MacDonald | Bridget Everett | Siddharth Dhananjay | Mamoudou Athie | Cathy Moriarty. CLOSING NIGHT SPOTLIGHT.

The Wedding Plan / Israel (Director: Rama Burshtein) — When her fiancé bows out on the eve of her wedding, Michal refuses to cancel the wedding arrangements. An Orthodox Jew, she insists that God will supply her a husband. Cast: Dafi Alferon | Noa Kooler.


Abacus: Small Enough to Jail / USA (Director: Steve James) — Abacus Federal Savings in New York’s Chinatown was the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the immigrant Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.  Cast: Cyrus Vance Jr. | Thomas Sung | Jill Sung.

Dolores / USA (Director: Peter Bratt) — Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by starting the country’s first farm worker’s union with fellow organizer Cesar Chavez. What starts out as a struggle for racial and labor justice, soon becomes a fight for gender equality within the same union she is eventually forced to leave.  Cast: Dolores Huerta | Cesar Chavez.

May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers / USA (Director: Judd Apatow | Michael Bonfiglio) — A portrait of the acclaimed band, the Avett Brothers, as they create their hit album ‘True Sadness.’  Cast: Scott Avett | Seth Avett | Bob Crawford | Joe Kwon | Paul DeFiglia | Mike Marsh. CENTERPIECE SPOTLIGHT.

Step / USA (Director: Amanda Lipitz) — STEP documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.

Where Have You Gone, Lou Dimaggio? / USA (Director: Brad Kuhlman) — From 1985 tob1989 Lou DiMaggio, no relation to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, was a regular at the iconic “Catch a Rising Star” comedy club in New York City. For four years Lou worked along side of and made lasting friendships with a small group of comedians who are today some of the very best in the business.  Cast: Larry David | Lou DiMaggio | Jeff Garlin.


The Commune / Denmark | Sweden | Netherlands (Director: Thomas Vinterberg) — A story about the clash between personal desires, solidarity and tolerance in a Danish commune in the 70’s.  Cast: Ulrich Thomsen | Fares Fares | Trine Dyrholm | Lars Ranthe.

Do Donkeys Act? / USA (Director: David Redmon | Ashley Sabin) — Filmed over 5 years – DO DONKEYS ACT? subtly subverts the notion of the “dumb beast” as it captures donkeys in the midst of healing from human cruelty and neglect. Narrated by Willem Dafoe.  Cast: Willem Dafoe (Narrator).

Last Men in Aleppo / Syria |Denmark (Director: Feras Fayyad) — After five years of war in Syria, Aleppo’s remaining residents prepare themselves for a siege. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud, founding members of The White Helmets, have remained in a city under fire to help their fellow citizens and witness life, death, struggle and triumph.  

Manifesto / Austrailia | Germany (Director: Julian Rosefeldt) – Cate Blanchett portrays 13 different characters, each of which are a physical representation of a single 20th-century art or political movement. Cast: Cate Blanchett. SPECTRUM SPOTLIGHT.

The Memory of Fish / USA (Director: Jennifer Galvin | Sachi Cunningham) – THE MEMORY OF FISH is a documentary portrait of one man, the wild salmon he loves, and his fight to free a river.  Cast: Lili Taylor (Narrator). EARTH DAY SPOTLIGHT.

Menashe / USA (Director: Joshua Weinstein) — Within Brooklyn’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.  Cast: Menashe Lustig.

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves / Canada (Director: Mathieu Denis | Simon Lavoie) — A group of young people in Québec resolve to form a revolutionary cell together in the aftermath of the collapse of student protests for independence.  Cast: Charlotte Aubin | Laurent Bélanger | Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez | Gabrielle Tremblay | Léa Aubin.

Vamizi – Cradle of Coral / Mozambique | Sweden (Director: Mattias Klum) — Vamizi is the largest island in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Its relative isolation from mainland Mozambique has preserved its natural beauty and wildlife. This fragile realm is however under threat. Accompanied by renowned National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum, we follow a team of scientists who fight to stop the damage before it starts, Cast: William Winram. EARTH DAY SPOTLIGHT.


The Ornithologist / Portugal | France | Brazil (Director: João Pedro Rodrigues) — Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for black storks when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrims, he plunges into an eerie and dark forest, trying to get back on his track.  Cast: Paul Hamy | Xelo Cagiao | João Pedro Rodrigues | Han Wen | Chan Suan.

Staying Vertical / France (Director: Alain Guiraudie) — A filmmaker has to raise a child by himself while looking for inspiration for his new film.  Cast: India Hair | Damien Bonnard | Raphael Thiery | Laure Calamy.

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin / USA (Director: Jennifer M. Kroot) — THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN celebrates one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to re-claim their lives.  Cast: Armistead Maupin | Laura Linney | Olympia Dukakis | Ian McKellen | Amy Tan.

Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? / Israel (Director: Barak Heymann | Tomer Heymann) — Saar, a 39-year-old ex-Israeli army paratrooper, living in London, finds out that he is HIV positive, and embarks on a journey of reconciliation with his religious family in Israel.  Cast: Saar Maoz.


Good Samaritan / China (Director: Fang Gangliang) — In Tang Dynasty China, a princess must sacrifice her personal desire in order to bring peace to her kingdom.  Cast: Xu Qinglei | Zhao Jianbao.

The Love of Drum / China (Director: Ning Jingwu) — Thousands of years of Yao tradition and culture are challenged by a brash young man who returns from the US with modern ideas of dance.  Cast: Gu Cheng | Huang Meimei | Guo Yunqi | Tang Ping.

Silk Road Hero: Khan’s Arrow / China (Director: Yang Xiaopu | Fang Jun | Liu Quanwei | Zheng Xiaojia) — A high-maintenance young woman in the early stages of pregnancy has her life turned upside down by a traffic accident.  Cast: Lenox | Sookie | Zhao Yuying | Feng Bing | Zhang Hong | Zhang Lifu.


Bad Cat / Turkey (Director: Mehmet Kurtulus | Ayse Unal) — Take the outrageousness of Fritz The Cat, the cuteness of Garfield, add the whip-smart action of Tarantino, put it in a blender and voila! What you get is BAD CAT: a crudely funny, action-packed animated motion picture for adults, which is destined to become a cult classic.  Cast: Uğur Yücel | Demet Evgar | Okan Yalabık | Güven Kıraç | Gökçe Özyol | Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan. US Premiere

Revengeance / USA (Director: Bill Plympton | Jim Lujan) — A low rent bounty hunter is thrust into a world of danger when he is hired to find the girl who stole something from an ex-biker/wrestler-turned-senator.  Cast: Jim Lujan. Tennessee Premiere

Window Horses / Canada (Director: Ann Marie Fleming) — A young Canadian poet with Chinese and Persian parents travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival.  Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo | Ellen Page | Sandra Oh | Peyman Moaadi | Kristen Thomson | Nancy Kwan. Southeast US Premiere

Seoul Station / South Korea (Director: Sang-ho Yeon) — Several groups of people try to survive a zombie pandemic that is unleashed Seoul.  Cast: Seung-ryong Ryu | Joon Lee | Sang-hee Lee | Eun-kyung Shim. Tennessee Premiere


Meth Storm: Arkansas USA / USA (Craig Renaud | Brent Renaud) — With unparalleled access on both sides of the law, METH STORM: Arkansas USA is a thrilling non-fiction cops and robbers drama told from inside the American drug war. Southeast US Premiere. 


Press Release Center resources for download



May It Last


Brave New Jersey






Folk Hero And Funny Guy




Tell Them We Are Rising


Wedding Plan


Where Have You Gone Lou Dimaggio




Staying Vertical


Do Donkeys Act


Last Men In Aleppo




Memory Of Fish






Those Who Make Revolution


Untold Tales Of Armistead Maupin


Who’s Gonna Love Me Now