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Nashville Film Festival



Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009, NaFF is nine years older than Sundance, and is the longest-running film festival in the Southeast.

Nashville Film Festival is a cultural institution that inspires, educates and entertains through an annual celebration of the art of motion pictures, year-round events and community outreach.

Founded in 1969 as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration and one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) is hosted by the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 in Nashville, Tennessee. Since becoming the Nashville Independent Film Festival in 1998, and then the Nashville Film Festival in 2003, this annual mid-Tennessee film event attracts enthusiastic film lovers from the region and has been praised by filmgoers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city film festival atmosphere and southern hospitality. With over 215 films from 38 countries, numerous industry panels, music showcases, and great parties every night, the 2008 NaFF drew over 22,000 attendees ( a 10% increase from 2007). With films crossing all genres from drama, comedy, animation, and family to experimental, foreign, documentaries and short films, the Festival has something for every filmgoer to enjoy. Voted as one of "20 film festivals worth the entry fee" by MovieMaker Magazine and highlighted for "One of the Best Film Festival Prizes" by Film Festival Today, it is one of the most acclaimed film festivals in the South.


NaFF presents the best in World Cinema, American Indies, documentaries, and numerous short form programs by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. NaFF has hosted numerous films that have won the highest honors in the film world, from major festival prizewinners to Academy Award winners to indie box office hits. Films screened in the past years include such hits as American Teen, Encounters at the End of the World, Up the Yangtze, Young@Heart, Spellbound, Hustle and Flow, Born Into Brothels (2005 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary), Festival Express, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, Sweet Land, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, and My Secret Record. With its Academy Award qualifying status and numerous, well-attended shorts programs, NaFF has screened many prize-winning narrative and animated shorts, including West Bank Story, The Danish Poet, Ryan, For the Birds, Harvie Krumpet, and The Accountant.

NaFF has also hosted many area premieres, including At the Death House Door, Throw Down Your Heart, Hustle & Flow, Loggerheads, The Thing About My Folks, Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, Down From the Mountain, and 2003 Academy Award nominee Spellbound. NaFF has also hosted North American premieres of To Tulsa and Back: On the Road with J.J. Cale, Fallen Angel-Gram Parsons and Baghdad On/Off and the world premieres of The Wrecking Crew, Americanizing Shelley, My Secret Record, I Trust You to Kill Me and Cowboy Jack's Home Movies.

Because it takes place in "Music City," it is only natural that part of the focus be on music in films. Some of the most memorable songs in films have been written and performed by Nashville's songwriters and artists. In addition to the many films about music and the Music Films in Music City awards, NaFF presents showcases, workshops, and other events where these songwriters and artists come together with film professionals from Hollywood and around the world to promote collaboration.

With a strong commitment to independent and innovative filmmaking, NaFF offers some truly unique awards. The Festival has partnered with Al Gore to present an award to the best social issue documentary. Feature-length films compete for awards with such benefits as international distribution, broadcasting on public television, and a press and industry screening in a Los Angeles Regal Theater. Winners of the Short Narrative and Animation competitions are automatically qualified for Academy Award consideration. (Only 24 film festivals in the US are so designated). Other special awards include prizes for the best LGBT film, best film by a black filmmaker, best Hispanic film, awards for Tennessee directors and more. View complete list of awards.

Filmmakers from across the country and around the world attend the festival every year. Celebrity honorees and participants have included William H. Macy, Al Gore, Danny Glover, Vincent D'Onofrio, Joey Lauren Adams, Rob Thomas, Lawrence Bender, Ray McKinnon, Walton Goggins, Craig Brewer, Harmony Korine, Rob Hardy, Ashley Judd, Kiefer Sutherland, Joshua Jackson, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Peter Falk, Paul Reiser, John Pierson, Patrick Swayze, Rick Schroder, Christine Vachon, John Waters, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford, James Cromwell, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, and D.A. Pennebaker.

More than just a week-long festival, our organization provides service to the community throughout the year. More about our year-round programs.


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