The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) today announced the Special Presentations line-up for its 44th annual festival April 18-25. The eight special presentation films were selected from 3,004 films submitted to the Nashville Film Festival or curated by Artistic Director Brian Owens. These movies present filmgoers with the first chance to catch major features before their national release and cover the full range of artistic expression, from Western and romantic comedy to British horror and documentary, according to NaFF.
“From top to bottom, this is the best year since I’ve been here,” Owens, who joined NaFF in 2008, says. “These are the films that have caught the attention of the industry at Sundance, and the Academy. I’m so pleased to be able to bring them to Nashville for our Festival.”
The Nashville Film Festival 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 Special Presentations roster includes:
Opening Night Selection (April 18): Mud (Director: Jeff Nichols) – Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Sparks, Tye Sheridan, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shephard, Michael Shannon, and Joe Don Baker. An outlaw on the run searches for his true love and a clean getaway.
Closing Night Selection (April 25): Unfinished Song (Director: Paul Andrew Williams) – Starring Terrence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton and Christopher Eccleston, this film is sure to make you laugh and cry as seniors join a local singing group led by a charming and youthful director who reignites his passion for adventure.
Starring Clare Bowen from “Nashville”: Dead Man’s Burden (Director: Jared Moshe) – Starring Clare Bowen (Scarlett, Nashville TV show) Barlow Jacobs and David Call. Set in New Mexico during the Civil War, this violent Western depicts a family in the lethal grip of its own civil war.
Rave Reviews at Sundance: The Kings of Summer (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts) – This a coming-of-age comedy about three friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) – who decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.
Huge Hit at Sundance: The Spectacular Now (Director: James Ponsoldt) – Starring Miles Tellar (Rabbit Hole) and Shailene Woodley. This coming of age romantic tale based on the novel by Tim Tharp is about two young people caught between future plans and the spectacular now.
Fan Favorite at Sundance: Stories We Tell (Director: Sarah Polley) – By Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley, this inspired, genre-twisting film explores how our personal narratives shape and define us as individuals and families in funny, profound and poignant ways.
Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Film: Kon-Tiki (Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg) – Starring Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Gustaf Skarsgård. The story of Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947.
A Favorite from Sundance: Sightseers (Director: Ben Wheatley) – Starring Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, this British black comedy thriller follows Chris, who takes sheltered Tina on a journey to see the world in his Abbey Oxford Caravan, but everything begins to conspire against him as his perfect adventure faces endless setbacks.
Nissan North America – NaFF Presenting Sponsor
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found at NissanUSA.com and InfinitiUSA.com.
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) presented by Nissan brings the world to Nashville in an eight-day celebration of film. Attended by filmmakers and industry insiders, and open to the public, NaFF screens more than 200 films from nearly 50 countries. NaFF celebrates the diversity of the human voice and vision by curating program segments to include Latino, Black, GLBT, Jewish and Kurdish films. Founded in 1969 by Mary Jane Coleman, it is one of the oldest film festivals in the U.S. As an Academy Award Qualifying Event, NaFF draws filmmakers and celebrity guests to its red carpet at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16. 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. For more information visit NashvilleFilmFestival.org.
*Photos courtesy Nashville Film Festival.