‘If You Die, I Will Kill You,’ ‘This is Martin Bonner,’ ‘Nairobi Half Life’ Among NaFF 2013 Winners

If You Die I Will Kill YouThe Nashville Film Festival today announced winners of NaFF 2013. at the Awards Ceremony at the Green House Bar in Green Hills.  Artistic Director Brian Owens presented the awards.

Three films won two awards each: Breakfast with Curtis, directed by Laura Colella, This is Martin Bonner, directed by Chad Hardigan, and Nairobi Half Life, directed by David “Tosh” Gitonga. The winner of the Bridgestone Narrative Competition taking the Grand Jury Prize was If You Die, I Will Kill You from Kurdish director Hiner Saleem.

awardsSpeaking for the Bridgestone Narrative Jury,  Juror Darren Dean said, “As much about self-discovery as it is about freedom from culture and loneliness and even love, this film lets us in on a little secret: It’s o.k. to be alone. Portraying lives absent of love and friendship as easily becoming prisons, this stunningly shot, compellingly acted film is a testament to the lengths we will go to to set ourselves free. At times this film is both heartbreaking and heartwarming and is always tinged with a bit of dark humor. Going a long way to showing us there is much more to look forward to, it is an honor and a very happy coincidence to present this year’s Best Feature Narrative during The Nashville Film Festival’s Celebration of Kurdish Film making.”

The Bridgestone Narrative Jury went on to name Paul Eenhorn Best Actor  for his portrayel of the title character in This is Martin Bonner. Of his performance, the jury noted: This actor’s understated performance is pitch-perfect. Fraught with subtlety and a hand-wringing undertow, this is an internalized gem. In a film that allows its audience to explore its empty spaces, it is a pleasure to fill those spaces with Eerhoorn’s honest portrayal of Martin Bonner.”

The 2013 Nashville Film Festival hosted 263 films from 49 countries, in categories ranging from  Narrative Feature, Documentary, Short Films, Music City, New Director, Special Presentations, Graveyard Shift, Tennessee First, and World Cinema. All of the films were selected from over 3,004 submissions, a record number for NaFF.

The Nashville Film Festival Award winners:


Winner:  If You Die, I Will Kill You, directed by Hiner Saleem
Honorable Mention: Breakfast With Curtis, directed by Laura Colella
Best Actor: Paul Eenhoorn in This is Martin Bonner
Best Actress: Jane Adams in All the Light in the Sky

Louis LeQuire Award for Best Screenplay: Pit Stop, written by Yen Tan, David Lowery
Best Use of Music: 3 – Sebastián Del Muro Eiras
Original Song:  “The One That Got Away” by Neil Oldham, from I Used to be Darker
Special Jury Prize for Promising Actor: Silas Yelich in The Cold Lands
Special Prize Best Ensemble: Cast of Breakfast with Curtis


Winner: Far Out Isn’t Far Enough – The Tomi Ungerer Story directed by Brad Bernstein
Honorable Mentions (tie):
Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself directed by Tom Bean and Luke Poling
After Tiller directed by Martha Stone and Lana Wilson
Special Jury Prize for Vigilance in Filmmaking: These Birds Walk, directed by Omar Mullick


Winner: Nairobi Half Life, directed by David “Tosh” Gitonga
Honorable Mention: Out in the Dark, directed by Michael Mayer
Best Actor: Joseph Wairimu in Nairobi Half Life
Best Actress: Gina Piersanti in It Felt Like Love
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble: Cast of This is Where We Live


Winner: Die Thomaner: A Year in the Life of the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig, directed by Günter Atteln
Honorable Mention: Muscle Shoals, directed by Greg “Freddy” Camalier
Special Jury Prize for Cultural Significance: This Ain’t No Mouse Music, directed by Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling


Feature: Nashville 2012, directed by Jace Freeman & Sean Clark
Short Narrative: Wild Sands, directed by Warren Lewis Allen and William Scott Stewart
Documentary: Another Corner, directed by Josh Harrell


Best Live Action Short: Hatch, directed by Christoph Kuschnig
Live Action Short – Honorable Mention: Peter at the End, directed by Russ Lamoureux

Best Animated Short: Oh, Willy, directed by Sunil Narkar
Animated Short – Honorable Mention: Noodle Fish, directed by Jin Man Kim

Best Documentary Short: A Story for the Modlins, directed by Sergio Oksman
Documentary Short – Honorable Mention: I Think this is the Closest to How the Footage Looked, directed by Yuval Hameiri and Michal Vaknin

Best Experimental Short: Workers Leaving the Factory (Again), directed by Katharina Gruzei
Experimental Short – Honorable Mention: Salmon, directed by Alfredo Covelli

Best Student Short: I Think this is the Closest to How the Footage Looked, directed by Yuval Hameiri and Michal Vaknin
Student Short – Honorable Mention: Behind the Mirrors, directed by Julio O. Ramos

Watkins Young Filmmaker Shorts: The Purple Story, directed by Mateusz Madry


Film Musician Secondary Market Fund (FMSM) Award
This is Martin Bonner, directed by Chad Hardigan and composed by Keegan DeWitt

NPT Human Spirit Award
Remote Area Medical, directed by Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman

Women in Film & Television Award
Words of Witness, directed by Mai Iskander

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Award (NAHCC)
A Lovely Day, directed by Kerri Gawryn

2013 Nashville Film Festival Beacon Award
Butch Spyridon, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

*Photo from If You Die, I Will Kill You and awards ceremony photo by Shelley Justiss courtesy Nashville Film Festival.

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