The Nashville Film Festival hosts workshops that bring inspiring filmmakers, screenwriters, VR & 360 film creators and more to Nashville to show you ways to better your craft.

Unless otherwise stated, workshops are 4 hours long and include a boxed lunch.  Also included in the price of admission is an entry fee waiver to the relevant NashFilm competition (as stated in the workshop description), which will be emailed after the conclusion of the session.

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Past Workshops:


“Screamwriting” Horror Workshop with Alvaro Rodriguez”
March 2019 Workshop

Horror is one genre that still produces original material and presents a great opportunity for new writers to get produced. The film Get Out garnered writer/director Jordon Peele an Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” and brought in more than $250 million at the box office. Films like Hereditary and A Quiet Place captured the imagination of a growing audience looking for chills and thrills.

The Nashville Film Festival presented “Writing the Break-In Horror Script,” an interactive screenwriting workshop with Alvaro Rodriguez where attendees learned the basics of writing in the horror genre and how to take your script to the next level.

This workshop explored:

  • Importance of structure
  • Genre elements that are expected in horror films
  • How to craft scenes that create rising tension
  • How to refine your concept to create a marketable story
  • Develop characters that the audience will root for

Alvaro Rodriguez is the co-creator and executive producer of the upcoming Netfilx adult-animated series Seis Manos (2019).  He is also the co-screenwriter of Robert Rodriquez’s Machete (2010) and Last Rampage (2017).  He was a writer on the TV series From Dusk Till Dawn and his short fiction has appeared in the Bram Stoker Award-winning anthology After Death, among others.

A frequent panalist at the Austin Film Festival, Rodriguez has been a guest speaker for writing courses across the country from Nashville to Scottsdale to Seattle to New York. He has led several Save the Cat beat sheet workshops and is a featured judge in the 2019 Save the Cat Screenplay Competition.


Ali Gusberg | “How To Sell In Hollywood”
September 2018 Workshop

Ali Gusberg is a screenwriter in Los Angeles who most recently wrote on the upcoming Amazon Prime series Forever starring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph, created by Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock writer Matt Hubbard and Master of None creator Alan Yang. She also sold a TV movie pitch to Hallmark and wrote the script for the upcoming movie and was subsequently hired to write a second movie for the network.

She has broad production experience having written, directed, and starred in her short film Couple Friends. Additionally, she has worked on a number of pilots for NBCUniversal that were bought by Fox, NBC, and ABC.


Paul Harrill | “Microbudget Filmmaking”
August 2017 Workshop

Paul Harrill’s films have screened around the world at festivals, museums, and on television. SOMETHING, ANYTHING, Harrill’s microbudget debut feature, was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick and listed as one of the Top 25 Best First Features in IndieWire’s 2015 Year-End Critics’ Poll. Harrill’s other films include the shorts Gina, An Actress, & Age 29, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and Quick Feet, Soft Hands.

In 2005, Paul founded to champion personal, regional, and do-it-yourself cinema. His work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, IFP, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Aperture Film Grant, among others.


Workshop MIchael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy | “Extreme TV Pilot Workshop”
August 2016 Workshop

Writing credits include SNL, Sesame Street, The Drew Carey Show, Mike & Molly, numerous projects for Comedy Central, and more than two dozen pilots. He currently teaches at iO Chicago and DePaul University, and his former students include Jon Favreau, Tina Fey, Brian Stack, Peter Murietta, Vanessa Bayer and Kay Cannon to name a few.