Archive for the ‘Film News’ Category

Film School’s Fall Auditions Set for Sept. 13

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Fall 2014 student film projects on Saturday, September 13, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Directors of more than 20 productions–from the film programs at Watkins and, for the first time, Belmont University–will be looking for actors of all ages. Student films are being made under the SAG/AFTRA student film agreement and therefore all current union members are allowed to participate. Actors are asked to bring headshots and résumés.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script (with on-camera readings at the discretion of each director). Casting breakdowns and proposed shoot dates (usually over a 3-day/Friday–Sunday period) will be posted to this page as available and distributed on site.

Audition slots will be divided according to gender and age throughout the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.); individual appointments are not available.

  • 10 to 11 a.m. – Leading men, age range 19-40
  • 11 a.m. to noon – Leading and character men, age range 40 and up
  • Noon to 1 p.m. – Leading women, age range 19-40
  • 1 to 2 p.m. – Leading and character women, age range 40 and up
  • 3 to 4 p.m. – Children and youth, age range 8-18

Check this auditions page for more information. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center (across from the Looby). Free parking is available in the campus lot.

All cast members will be invited to a screening of projects at the end of the semester and will have access to an online copy of the film and a quick-time file (without music) to cut into a reel.

About The Film School at Watkins

WatkinsFIlm_NickRau setOffering one of the College’s oldest degree programs, The Film School at Watkins offers a demanding and immersive curriculum that explores the artistic, technical and business aspects of filmmaking to provide a truly hands-on experience for aspiring professionals. Students may pursue the four-year BFA degree or, for those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, a Certificate in Film.

While rooted in dramatic narrative, the program encourages documentaries, commercials, music videos, experimental films, and television/web programs as students develop their technical skills and sharpen the focus on their unique artistic vision. Through deep study of the primary roles of writing, producing, directing, imaging, and editing; access to the latest—and next—technologies; a portfolio reel of increasingly complex projects, and opportunities to connect with the professional creative community, graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in film, video, news and entertainment.




Co. H Celebrates ‘Mystic Truths’ with July 12 Reception

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Mystic Truths, a multi-media exhibition from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film’s student-led collective Co. H, will celebrate its summer run with a reception on Saturday, July 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Featuring outstanding work in painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation from 15 area artists, the show remains on view through July 18 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

Participating artists are:mystic truths 6 Wweb

  • Caleb Adcock, Fine Art, senior (digital prints)
  • Mika Agari, Fine Art, senior (video)
  • David Anderson, Fine Art, junior (painting)
  • Heather Barrie, Fine Art, senior (printmaking)
  • Kevin Dietz, Fine Art, sophomore (printmaking)
  • Elisha Farahmand, Fine Art, junior (video)
  • Michael Hampton, BFA in Fine Art ‘14 (video)
  • Aaron Harper, Fine Art, senior (drawing)
  • Blake Holland, Film, senior (photography)
  • Casey Payne, Fine Art, junior (painting)
  • Zack Rafuls, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
  • Alexine Rioux, BFA in Fine Art, ’14 (printmaking)
  • Kayla Saito, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
  • Luke Weir, Fine Art, junior (conceptual/installation)
  • Weng Tze Yang, photography, senior (photographic installation)


mystic truths1 Wweb“Mystic Truths: A Group Show from Co. H and Friends” collects work from Co. H council members, collaborators and studio mates in order to present a survey of some of the best Watkins-created work. Showcasing current students and recent graduates, “Mystic Truths” includes work across many disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and printmaking. The title of the show is pulled from Bruce Nauman’s 1967 neon sign piece “The True Artist Helps The World By Revealing Mystic Truths,” referencing the function of the artist in ironic and hopeful lights simultaneously while also directly supplanting the work within a contemporary context and dialogue.

Currey Gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.  Free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Co. Hmystic truths2 Wweb
A collective of artists from various disciplines of the visual arts, Co. H provides opportunities for both students and professionals pursuing and/or working in the arts. Founded at Watkins in 2011, Co. H activity includes hosting lecture by artists and art professionals, holding studio critiques and collaborating on multi-disciplinary performances within the community. Visit

About Bruce Nauman
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. Nauman finds inspiration in the activities, speech, and materials of everyday life. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964, and with an MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. Confronted with the question “What to do?” in his studio soon after leaving school, Nauman had the simple but profound realization that “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” Working in the diverse mediums of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance, and installation, Nauman concentrates less on the development of a characteristic style and more on the way in which a process or activity can transform or become a work of art. A survey of his diverse output demonstrates the alternately political, prosaic, spiritual, and crass methods by which Nauman examines life in all its gory details, mapping the human arc between life and death. The text from an early neon work proclaims: “The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.” Whether or not we—or even Nauman—agree with this statement, the underlying subtext of the piece emphasizes the way in which the audience, artist, and culture at large are involved in the resonance a work of art will ultimately have. Nauman lives in New Mexico.

Bruce Nauman True Artist sign Bruce Nauman, “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths,” neon and clear glass tubing suspension supports; 59 x 55 x 2 inches, 1967(Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Bruce Nauman’s neon sign asks a multitude of questions with regard to the 
ways in which the 20th century conceived both avant-garde art and the role of the 
artist in society. If earlier European modernists, such as Mondrian, 
Malevich, and Kandinsky, sought to use art 
to reveal deep-seated truths about the human condition and the role of the artist 
in general, then Bruce Nauman’s “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing 
Mystic Truths” questions such transhistorical and universal 
statements. With regard to this work, Nauman said:

The most difficult thing about the whole piece for me was the statement. It 
was a kind of test—like when you say something out loud to see if you 
believe it. Once written down, I could see that the statement [...] was on 
the one hand a totally silly idea and yet, on the other hand, I believed it. 
It’s true and not true at the same time. It depends on how you interpret it 
and how seriously you take yourself. For me it’s still a very strong thought.

Steven Womack Keeps Mystery Alive with ‘Resurrection Bay’

Posted on: June 15th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Resurrection Bay  coverWatkins Professor Steven Womack, a member of the Film School faculty since 1995 and an award-winning mystery writer, will see his eleventh novel, the suspense-thriller Resurrection Bay, published June 8 by Midnight Ink Books.

Resurrection Bay is inspired by the real-life case of serial killer Robert Hansen who, in the 1970s through the early 80s, murdered as many as 21 women around Anchorage, Alaska. The novel is a collaboration between Womack and Wayne McDaniel, whose original screenplay was the basis of the project.

Per Midnight Ink Books:

From Edgar Award-winning author Steven Womack and Wayne McDaniel comes a force of evil on par with Hannibal Lecter in a heart-pounding page-turner you can’t put down.

Decatur Kaiser seems like an ordinary family man with a passion for hunting and a wall full of trophies to prove it. Every June, Decatur sends his wife and kids to visit the grandparents so he can start his summer project.

Fueled by cocaine and a complete disregard for human life, Decatur kidnaps a young woman and flies to a deserted island in the middle of Resurrection Bay. There he abuses and tortures her, then turns his victim loose and hunts her like big game through the Alaskan wilderness.

Summer after summer, Decatur collects his trophies.

Inspired by the real-life story of Alaska’s most famous serial killer, Resurrection Bay is a classic study of evil: where it comes from, how it operates, and what it takes to bring it down.

Two author signings are scheduled locally: Tuesday, June 17, 6:30 p.m at Parnassus Books and Thursday, June 26, 7 p.m., at the Barnes & Noble in Cool Springs.

More information on Resurrection Bay is available via Amazon and Facebook  and at

About the Author
A native of Nashville, Steve Womack is a graduate of Western Reserve Academy and Tulane University, where an unpublished novel of his was the first novel ever accepted as an undergraduate honors thesis. He also holds an M.F.A. from the Southampton College writing program.

Six of his 10 novels have received national recognition, including the highest award presented to writers in the field of mystery and crime fiction. Womack’s third book, Dead Folks’ Blues, was presented the 1994 Edgar Allan Poe Award as Best Original Paperback Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. The novel featured bumbling ex-newspaperman turned private detective Harry James Denton and was called by the Virginia Pilot And Ledger Star a “virtuoso performance.”

Murder Manual, the fifth installment in the series, was published by Ballantine Books in 1998 and was accorded nominations in the “Triple Crown” of mystery. The novel was nominated for the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award as Best Original Paperback Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Murder Manual was awarded the 1999 Shamus Award as Best Paperback Original by the Private Eye Writers of America. The book was also nominated for The Anthony Award, given by members of Bouchercon, The World Mystery Convention.

Steve Womack headshotDirty Money, the sixth installment in the award-winning Harry James Denton series, was published in 2000 by Fawcett Books and was called “irresistible” by the New York Times. The book was also nominated for the Shamus Award as Best Original Paperback Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America.

The second Harry James Denton mystery, Torch Town Boogie (1993), was also nominated for the Shamus Award, as was the third installment in the Denton series, Way Past Dead (1995). The New York Times called Way Past Dead “a real hoot,” and added that “Harry has something that cuts him apart from the rest of the herd.”

The fourth installment in the series, Chain Of Fools (1996), was nominated for both the Shamus and Anthony Awards. The Harry James Denton novels have been published in Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Womack is also the author of the Jack Lynch books, a trilogy featuring public relations executive/spinmeister Jack Lynch. The first in that series of novels, Murphy’s Fault was called by The New York Times “tough and articulate” in naming the book to its 1990 annual List of Notable Books as one of the top novels of the year, the only first crime novel on that year’s list.

Publishers Weekly called Murphy’s Fault, “a welcome addition to the genre.” First published in hardcover by St. Martin’s Press, the novel was also published in paperback in 1991. Completing the Jack Lynch saga were Smash Cut (1991) and The Software Bomb (1993).

In addition to writing, Womack is a professor of screenwriting at the Film School of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, where he previously served a five-year term as Chair. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association, has been a Regional Vice-President of the Mystery Writers of America and for several years led a fiction writing workshop at the Tennessee State Prison. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Mid-South regional chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Womack co-wrote the screenplay for Proudheart, an original made-for-cable movie which premiered in August 1993 on The Nashville Network and was nominated for a CableAce Award. He also co-wrote the ABC-TV film Volcano: Fire On The Mountain, which first aired in February 1997 and was one of the highest-rated TV movies of the year.

Womack is a former president of Novelists, Inc., an organization of multi-published professional novelists. He is still a member of Novelists, Inc. as well as The Writers Guild of America, East. A frequent speaker, Womack regularly appears on writers’ panels and at book fairs, including the Southern Book Festival, the North Carolina Literary Festival, the Kentucky Book Fair, the Southeast Writers Association and Bouchercon, The World Mystery Convention.

HerStory Institute Summer Cinema Series Screens at Watkins

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

In partnership with Watkins Community Education, the HerStory Institute presents a summer cinema series of films highlighting the writing, producing, directing, cinematography, production design and editing in films created by women. The series will screen a range of features, shorts and documentary films including but not limited to independent and foreign films, classics and festival favorites. In addition, the HerStory Institute will deliver monthly panels and/or workshops for film aficionados who desire a deeper understanding of the art and craft of film. HerStory Institute is supported by Her Point of View, an international arts and entertainment festival supporting the creative work of women.

“We are very excited to partner with HerStory Institute to provide summer screenings to the public that highlight the storytelling of female filmmakers from around the globe,” said Mary Beth Harding, director of Watkins’ Community Education department. “Through this partnership we hope to empower and inspire female artists in our community, and we look forward to furthering such opportunities by hosting the inaugural Her Point of View Film Festival during Labor Day weekend.”

Upcoming HerStory Screenings in the Watkins Theater:

Saturday, June 14

Shooting Women image WwebShooting Women
Alexis Krasilovsky
5:00 p.m.

Featuring more than 50 camerawomen from around the world, and shot over a period of six years, Shooting Women, by pioneering filmmaker and cinema studies professor Alexis Krasilovsky, celebrates the amazing talent and unflinching spirit of image-making women from the sets of Hollywood and Bollywood to the war zones of Afghanistan. This internationally-acclaimed DOC, based on Krasilovsky’s book “Women Behind the Camera,” broaches the persistent issues of the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, and childcare for professional camerawomen around the globe—working from environments where raising such issues is seen as “unprofessional.”

Despite the Gods image Despite the Gods
Penny Vozniak
7:00 p.m.

Welcome to India! Home of the world’s largest movie industry, where mere mortal film stars are worshiped with the same fervor as timeless Indian Gods, and the new buzzword ‘co-production’ looms on the lips of Indian financiers keen to form a Bollywood-Hollywood alliance. In 2008, Hollywood’s prodigal daughter, Jennifer Lynch, daughter of film director David Lynch, travels to India to direct “Hisss,” a creature-FEA film about the vengeful snake goddess Nagin. But things go wrong very quickly–perhaps there is a good reason why Hollywood and Bollywood have never blended like this before. With uncensored candour, Lynch can only cheerlead and watch with equal parts hope, part despair as her beloved “Hisss” strays further and further away from her original vision. Surrounded by a team of truly wonderful Indian crew, her 12-year-old daughter and a cast of Bollywood stars, she does her best to stay sane and guide the production through a minefield of disasters.

Admission to each screening is $12 (purchase tickets online).

More screenings (see event site for descriptions):

Tuesday, June 17: Finding Hope for Reactive Affective Disorder, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 24: Light Fly, Fly High, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 28: Beneath the Harvest Sky – 2 screenings: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 12: Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights – 2 screenings: 3 p.m & 7 p.m.
and Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, 5 p.m.
Saturday, July 19: Homebound  – 2 screenings: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 26: Redemption Trail – 2 screenings: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 2: The Milky Way – 2 screenings: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 9: It Felt Like Love – 2 screenings: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 16: Bringing Hemp Home, 5 p.m., and The Carbon Rush, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 23: Justice for Sale, 5 p.m., and Pushing the Elephant, 7 p.m.

For more information about the films, including trailers, visit To purchase tickets please visit For more information about Her Point of View or to submit your film project for programming consideration, please visit their website or call 615-656-3858.

Comm Ed  logo_Wweb


Co. H Screens for ‘Attention’ at Track One

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

In an effort to combat culturally induced impatience and shortened attention spans, student art collective Co. H presents ATTENTION, a juried, hour-long screening of video art, on Friday, June 20, at the Track One Building. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes a reception at 8 p.m. before the screening at 9 p.m.

Time-based art (in other words, work that is to be experienced in duration) suffers as a result of these “culture of now” factors; as such, the work here is presented in succession, as a screening, rather than installed in space to be addressed in passing. ATTENTION features 15 videos from both students and professors working in Nashville and Chattanooga, as well as from artists based in Pennsylvania and New York.

Participating artists:

  • Co H June 20 2014 AttentionBenjamin Anderson
  • Sharyn Bachleda
  • Keren Beddoe
  • Kellie Bornhoft
  • Bradley Braunschweig
  • Ann Catherine Carter & Tyler Blankenship
  • Elisha Farahmand
  • Holden Head
  • Morgan Higby-Flowers
  • Ron Lambert
  • Casey Payne
  • Angel Renta
  • William Stewart
  • Hannah Taylor
  • Chelsea Velaga

The Track One Building is located at 1211 4th Avenue South (4th and Chestnut), Nashville/37210, in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood.

Launched at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 20111, Co. H is a collective of artists from various disciplines of the visual arts providing opportunities for both students and professionals pursuing and/or working in the arts. For more information, visit

Film School Alumni Produce Star-Studded Summer Flick

Posted on: June 5th, 2014 by Jenna Maurice

Alumni Brooke Bernard and Ryan Zacarias, producers at Nomadic Independence Pictures in Nashville,  just finished producing the summer film “Ping Pong Summer” with an all-star cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Amy Sedaris and Lea Thompson. “Ping Pong Summer” was an official selection at Sundance Film Festival as well as SXSW. The film opens June 6 in theaters across the country. Connect with the film on facebook to see interviews with the cast as well as to get updates about when the film will be showing near you. Check out the trailer below:

Sam Dalton Shares Adventuring Spirit in Notable Travel Guide

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Congratulations to Film School Visiting Faculty Sam Dalton, among the writers contributing to 65 Things to Do When You Retire: Travel (Sellers Publishing), recently named a finalist for the 2013 Book of the Year Awards from ForeWord Reviews. 65 Things to Do cover

A follow‐up volume to 65 Things To Do When You Retire —which The Wall Street Journal called “one of the year’s best guides to later life”—this travel-themed edition features more than 65 writers and travel experts revealing personal adventures and offering practical advice for a fulfilling retirement, whether they are looking for physical adventure, a spiritual journey or sightseeing to far-flung places.

Sam’s essay is entitled “Enrich Your Life: Travel in Search of Adventure”:

My taste in travel rarely involves cruise ships, tour buses and luxury high-rise hotels, not that there’s any thing that’s particularly unattractive to me about patronizing any of them. For me, life is an adventure, always coursing though interesting things to do and places to see that I’m fervent about exploring. Regardless of my destination, I either find or create adventure along every life-enriching step of my way. You too can discover adventure anywhere, especially when you guide your heart in its direction. 

Thanks to the generosity of the contributing authors, all of whom provided essays on a pro bono basis, the royalties generated from the sale of this book will be donated to nonprofit organizations dedicated to preventing and curing cancer.

Foreword Reviews is the only review magazine solely dedicated to discovering new indie books, and their awards recognize the best books from independent publishers in more than 60 fiction and nonfiction categories; winners of the 16th annual competition will be announced during the American Library Association Annual Conference on June 27.

About  Sam Dalton
Sam Dalton is an accomplished Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy, a two-time national Telly, and a Parent’s Choice award-winning television and motion picture actor, writer, director, producer and television and print journalist with over 35-years of hands-on experience in all phases of the entertainment and communications media, on both sides of a camera.

He is also a distinguished educator, teaching a rotating series of required and special topics college curriculum courses at Watkins, including “The Fundamentals of Production,” “Production II & IV Film Making,” “Directing Workshop”, “The Business of the Biz,” “The World of Documentaries & Edutainment,” and “Mastering The Art of Pitching.” His summers are spent teaching  pre-college film making programs at the four-week Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, the three-week Watkins Pre-College Program—Production/Film Track, and the two-week Presser Performing Arts Center Film Camp in Mexico, Missouri. Films produced by young film makers enrolled in the Watkins Pre-College summer Film Program have been selected for their world premieres at the Nashville Film Festival for the past consecutive four years.

A long-time member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association, he has a lengthy list of performing credits, including the role of Coach Gurntz in the original 1984 Paramount motion picture Footloose and a two-year stint in a recurring role on the NBC network daytime series Santa Barbara. Other roles include co-starring parts in numerous movies-of-the-week, network prime-time dramas and situation comedies. He continues to act in stage plays, motion pictures and television programs as well as in many films written and produced by the filmmakers of Watkins Film School.

Prior to joining Watkins, he served for two years as an executive producer, writer and director for The Illusion Factory—a $2.5B Los Angeles based motion picture and television entertainment production, promotion, and public relations company—and was responsible for writing and producing Live To Tell About It and Bully 911—winner of a Parents’ Choice award and double Telly awards.

Boomer Adventure logoIn addition to a broadcast career that includes stints at several major market network television affiliates, Sam’s latest venture is serving as Creator, Co-Executive Producer and host of “Boomer Adventures,” a brand new baby boomer adventure travel television program that is a co-venture between Sam and the multiple Emmy-winning producing team of the Tennessee Renaissance Center. “Boomer Adventures” is set to premiere on WNPT (PBS Nashville) and other PBS affiliates throughout the Southeast in January of 2015.


Spring ’14 Films Screen May 5-8

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

The Film School presents its Spring 2014 productions May 5-8 in the Watkins Theater.  More than 40 narrative and experimental projects from four production classes will be shown. Admission and parking are free.

Watkins Spring 2014 Student Screenings

Monday, May 5, at 7 p.m. = Production I

Tuesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. = Production II

Wednesday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. = Production III

Thursday, May 8, at 7 p.m = Production IV and various student works


Student Film Showcase Screens April 25 at Nashville Film Festival

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by Caroline Davis

In conjunction with the 45th annual Nashville Film Festival, The Film School at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will present a free screening of the past year’s most outstanding productions on Friday, April 25, beginning at 7:15 p.m. at Regal Cinemas, Green Hills Stadium 16.

“The Watkins Student Film Showcase” will offer a lineup of nine short narratives (not in NaFF competition) selected by the Film School faculty from all completed films in each of the four production classes from the 2013 spring and fall semesters.

“Watkins is proud to showcase these films.  They demonstrate the richness of ideas and the variety of styles of our storytellers,” said Richard Gershman, associate professor and chair of the Film School.  “We appreciate the Nashville Film Festival’s commitment to the next generation of filmmakers and the opportunity to present these exciting new works to a wider audience.”

While there is no admission charge, reservations are encouraged because seating is limited: email name and contact information to [email protected] (limit 2 tickets per person).

Film Showcase 2014 evite

Click poster to enlarge

The selected films, with directors, are

  • This Barren Land – Christin Sites, director
  • Breaking Free – Michael Eggers, director
  • In Jesus’, Yahweh’s, Allah’s Name, Amen – Travis Slagle, director
  • White – Andrew Von Nieda, director
  • Butchie & Kate – David Keane, director
  • Makris, The Sock Monkey – Alison Goedde, director
  • Mostly Cloudy – Noel Costill, director
  • Springtime in the Sorrowing Hole – Joe Hemphill, director
  • I Know You – Calen Smith, director

See below for a more detailed screening list.

About the Program
The Film School at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is distinguished by a film curriculum that explores the artistic, technical and business aspects of independent filmmaking. With a focus on dramatic narrative film, the Film School helps students find their personal voice and style in order to incorporate these elements into their narrative work. All film students take film courses their first year of study and begin production within their second year, depending on their program of study. Production courses are small, allowing for faculty mentoring and advising and close collaboration with colleagues.

The Film School offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) in Film with concentration in Producing, Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography and Editing. In addition to the film curriculum, students are required to complete a Visual Arts Core of studies and a General Education Core, designed to create a program for a well-rounded filmmaker and visual artist.

About the Nashville Film Festival
Nashville FIlm Festival logo
The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), April 17–26, 2014, presented by Nissan, brings the world to Nashville in an extended 10-day celebration of film. NaFF is in two locations for the first time: Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 with 200 competition films, educational presentations and parties, and downtown at Nissan Multicultural Village, Walk of Fame Park with free outdoor films nightly and Happy Hour Shorts at Festival Pub. NaFF is a public festival attended by filmmakers and industry insiders and an Academy Award Qualifying Event for short films.  In addition to Nissan, NaFF is sponsored by Comcast/Xfinity, Cabedge Design, Regal Entertainment Group, Southwest Airlines, Tennessee Arts Commission and Metro Arts of Nashville. 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.


Watkins’ 2013 Student Film Showcase: Program Schedule


With the help of her best friend, a girl tries to overcome the complacency of being trapped in the circle of poverty that has captured a small, drug-induced town.

Christin Sites This Barren Land still

from “This Barren Land”

Director: Christin Sites
Screenwriters: Christin Sites and David Keane
Producer: Stephanie Adams
Cinematographer: Jeremy Bolden
Editor: Emma Holyfield
Sound editor: Austin Klinger


Michael Eggers Breaking Free SS1

from “Breaking Free”

In the future, America has become a dystopian society.  One man must decide whether to comply with the new rules and regulations, or defy them and suffer the consequences.

Written, produced and directed by Michael Eggers
Cinematographer:  Hunter Billings
Editor:  William Rucker
Sound editors:  William Rucker, Sydney Hood and Chris Gentle

A young boy experimenting with different religions receives counseling from the worst child psychiatrist imaginable.

Written, produced and directed by Travis Slagle
Cinematographer: Austin Boylen
Editor: Donald Bittinger
Sound editor: Nick Sokol

WHITE (4:59)
Katy finds herself in a white room with a voice that talks to her. As Katy starts to question what is happening and why she is there, things start to become clear.

Andrew Von Nieda White still

from “White”

Written and directed by Andrew Von Nieda
Producer: Robbie Baldassari
Cinematographer: Jeremy Bolden
Editor: Kari Symington
Sound editor: Jeremy Bolden

BUTCHIE & KATE (22:07)
Butchie is a lifelong street guy. He’s a bookie, a heavy, a loan shark and he wouldn’t want it any other way. When one of his superiors dies unexpectedly, Butchie is tasked with escorting his former boss’s longtime mistress, Kate, to the funeral services.

Written and directed by David Keane
Producers: Michael Rumchaks and David Keane
Cinematographer: Jeremy Bolden
Editors: Emma Holyfield and Chris Roman

Alison Goedde, Makris

from “Makris, The Sock Monkey”

Makris is a lonely sock monkey who just needs a friend.

Written, produced and directed by Alison Goedde
Cinematographer: Nick Sokol
Editor: Alison Goedde
Sound editor: Alison Goedde

Isaac has lost all hope in the human race. His loneliness, dead-end office job, and bleak outlook on civilization push him to the edge of sanity.

Produced and directed by Noel Costill
Screenwriters: Noel Costill and Rhyan Costill
Cinematographer: Christopher Hallowell
Editor: Noel Costill
Sound designer: Noel Costill

A Dutch World War II officer recalls his part in Holland’s campaign for vengeance in May 1945.

Written, produced and directed by Joe Hemphill
Cinematographer: Sergio Ramos
Editor: David Large
Sound editor: David Large

I KNOW YOU (14:18)
After his wife falls ill, Jack knows he cannot afford the hospital bills. He decides to get the money by any means necessary, even if that means taking it from somebody else.

Written and directed by Calen Smith
Producer: Michael Rumchaks
Cinematographer: Jeremy Bolden
Editor: Calen Smith


Young Filmmakers Accepted Into Nashville Film Festival

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

For the fourth consecutive year, the short film produced by Watkins’ Pre-College Program participants has been accepted into the Nashville Film Festival.  Among Flowers, written, directed and produced by high school students Micah Atkinson, Austin Ernst, Chloe Masten and LeeAnn Ruffing entirely during the three-week program, will screen during the Young Filmmaker’s Showcase on Saturday, April 19, at 10 a.m., at the Regal Cinemas, Green Hills Stadium 16.

Film School Visiting Faculty Sam Dalton leads the film track of the Pre-College Program, with assistance from adjunct John Warren.

About Among Flowers (11 min.)

A teen girl, Lily (Jayla Palmer), is resistant to therapy sessions until her persistent psychologist, Dr. Jennings (Sam Dalton), finds a way to connect to and talk about her grief. Upon discovering that Lily has suffered recent losses, Dr. Jennings uses art to help Lily express her feelings. On the verge of a breakthrough, Jennings hits a roadblock. Lily’s parents pull her from therapy and Dr. Jennings begins with a new patient. Audiences are left to wonder if Lily discovered a way to conquer her emotional fears or if she is destined to continue her internal struggle. Among Flowers was written, directed and produced by the 2013 Watkins Pre-College film students. Watkins Pre-College is an intensive three-week program for motivated high-school students hosted by Watkins Community Education and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

Among Flowers poster

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