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Film School’s Spring 2016 Auditions Set for February 6

Posted on: January 30th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Spring 2016 student film projects on Saturday, February 6, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Directors of approximately a dozen productions from the BFA film program at Watkins 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 résumés and head shots for each audition (or a photo can be taken at the reading).

Ava DuVernay on the set of "Selma" (2014)

Ava DuVernay on the set of “Selma” (2014)

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) for individual productions will be posted to this page 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. – Young men and women, age range 8-18

NOTE:  No overall make-up audition session will be offered. However, after production breakdowns are posted, actors who cannot attend the February 6 casting day may contact specific directors concerning particular roles. If headshots and résumés are submitted electronically, please include name in file title.

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.

For any questions not answered here, email Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center (across from the Looby). Free parking is available in the campus lot.

EXTRA OPPORTUNITY: Film School Actor/Director Workshop

The Film School is looking for actors who want to participate in our directing workshop, working with student-directors who will be filming scenes this semester [February 9 through April 28] during  3-hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6-9 p.m.) Each class session is devoted to one scene; therefore, the commitment is only for 3 hours, unless an actor is cast in multiple scenes.

Sides will be available on February 6 outside the casting room. There will be plenty of roles to consider as up to 9 student-directors will be casting 18 scenes. Please indicate to the students present if you are not available on certain days. Callbacks may be held at the discretion of the student-director. Actors will be provided with an edited, digital copy of their scene.

The instructor is Richard Gershman, Chair of the Film School who has directed nationally for theatres like the Mark Taper Forum and Seattle Repertory Theatre and for CBS dramas Chicago Hope and Judging Amy. He has worked with many notable actors including Adam Arkin, Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly and Mark Harmon.

Director: Micah Atkinson =
Production Type: Student Production III With Dialogue
Project length: 20 pages, 15-17 min
Shooting Location: Nashville/Murfreesboro
Shoot Dates: March 26-27, April 2-3
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: “Howie Grave” is an anti-suicide themed production. The story revolves around Howie, a teen who has prematurely ended his own life, and consequently has had his spirit returned to earth where he must carry out the duties of a grim reaper until his true time of departure.

• HOWIE GRAVE [Lead/18]: A melancholy, wondering young man. He carries a fairly reserved demeanor; harboring his emotions, he often behaves in a gritted-teeth, white-knuckled manner. (He and GRIMM are both spirits)

• GRIMMOTHY/GRIMM [Lead/18]: He retains the aura of a surfer boy. He is easy going and laid back, though perhaps to fault, resulting in distant, passive and sometimes narcissistic qualities. (He and HOWIE are both spirits)

• MRS. GRAVE Howie’s mother is presented in a time of grieving and is portrayed bearing similar personality traits to those of her son. She is quiet thoughtful and insightful.

• GIRL [Supporting/17-18]: A recent love interest of Howie’s. Actor must be able to give a subtle yet strong performance.

• FRIEND [Supporting]: A female friend of Mrs. Grave’s who is at her side during the scene of grieving. Though with fewer lines, she must be emotive and comforting.

• RECENTLY DECEASED MAN [Supporting]: Looking for a heavier set, slightly older man who is comfortable being presented as a slobbish, recently deceased body. While the role is non-speaking, the performer will be featured in an entire scene.

Director: Dalton Malone =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: April 3, 9-10
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: After Izaak Allein retires, he loses his wife and faces betrayal, walking a solitary road to forgiveness.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”–Matthew 6:14-15.

• IZAAK MARX ALLEIN [Lead/60s or 70s]: Of average height and build, Izaak is a war veteran. Quick-witted, he was a salesman for 40 years. Izaak is slightly hunched over from age and is in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He lives alone. Izaak is very forgiving.

• MIRIAM MAGDALA [Lead/20s]: A nurse, she is athletic and homely, and the oldest of three children. Miriam is filled with desolation, despair and love. She sometimes confuses the three, which causes bad decisions.

• MELVIN SMITH [Supporting/30s]: Pale and tall, he works as a mid-level manager for a sales firm. He loves his job and himself. Melvin is aristocratic without the money.

• DWAYNE ARSCH [Supporting/20s]: Short, portly and a bit of an adulator. Dwayne is from a poor neighborhood. He is an only child.

• ELLEN JANE [Supporting/mid to late 30s]: Happy, heavy set, easily excited woman; the secretary pool is her whole life.

• DOROTHY ALLEIN [Supporting/60s or 70s]: Dorothy suffers from late stage Alzheimer’s disease and organ failure. She married Izaak very young. Dorothy was loyal out of necessity.

• OFFICE STAFF [Supporting/Extras]: Any age and gender. Includes secretaries.

• NURSING HOME STAFF [Supporting/Extras]: Any age and gender. Includes doctors and nurses.

• MOURNERS [Supporting/Extras]: Any age, gender.

Director: Jonathan Terry =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Shoot Dates: February 26-28
Compensation: Deferred payment, no worker’s compensation, DVD copy, digital file, housing, and meals.

NOTICE: This short film will contain violence and language.

SYNOPSIS: Kate is pushed to the brink; as she investigates her new neighbors, she suppresses anger of her own.

• KATE WINTON (Lead/early 20s): A flight attendant, she has an anger problem that she’s been dealing with through yoga. She is extremely suspicious of her new neighbors and decides to enter their home to find out more about them.

• BETH JOHNSON (Supporting/early 20’s): Kate’s best friend is a thinker, not a fighter. She’s with Kate to discover the new neighbors, but, unlike Kate, gives them the benefit of doubt.

• LESTER SMITH (Lead/30’s-40’s): A controlling husband who forces his wife to lie about suffering from mutism. His true character is revealed throughout the film.

• JESS SMITH (Supporting/30’s-40’s): Lester’s manipulated wife.

• ASHLEY SMITH (Supporting/8-12 years old): The Smiths’ daughter, who shows signs of physiological abuse.

Director: Cobi Noblin
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project length: 12 minutes
Shooting Location: Watkins and Centennial Park
Shoot Dates: March 11-13
Compensation:  No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A 12-year-old-boy attempts to make the greatest film ever made. Using his father’s clout, he directs two actors and his professional crew deeper and deeper into one of the worst films ever made.

• CHRISTIAN (Lead): A 12-year-old daddy’s boy whose father paid for him to make a science fiction film. He’s impatient, angry, and determined to have his way no matter what. He’s never made a film in his life but he already knows he’s the greatest director of all time.

• JOEY (Supporting/young-20s): Camera assistant who wants to make a film of his own. He’s quiet, humble, and good-hearted.

• STACY (Supporting/mid-20s): Smart, talented, stern, and caring, she was conned into being assistant director for Christian’s film. She wants to make sure her crew is treated right and that the film gets made, even if she upsets Christian along the way.

• MARK (Supporting/mid-30s): Director of photography who works with Stacy whenever he can. They’ve built a good working relationship and he doesn’t want to abandon her on this little boy’s film. He’s reserved, focused, and knows how to hold his tongue.

• LAUREN (Supporting): A young actress trying to make it in the movies. Christian’s father promised her a role in a real film if she would do this for his son.

• TOMMY (Supporting): A young actor who was also conned into doing the film.

• KELLY (Supporting): Joey’s nice girlfriend; she’s a dental assistant.

• HOMELESS MAN (Supporting): He’s there for the free food.

• SOUND MIXER, BOOM OP and GRIPS (Supporting): Crew members on Christian’s film

• DAD (Supporting): Christian’s elderly father, a powerful film producer with some directing talent of his own.

Director: Jason Harper =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Davidson County, Wilson County
Shoot Dates: TBD
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Jacey, unable to hold down a job, is indebted to her landlord, Roy. Roy extorts sexual favors from her as she looks to God for guidance. Jacey’s son Harris discovers what is going on and decides to take matters into his own hands, for better or worse.

• JACEY MILLS (Lead/mid 30’s-40’s): A short, frail woman. She is unlucky, mousy, and meek. She is also devoutly religious, and her only concern is her children’s well being. Her religious devotion remains unwavering, even as she descends into a hellish nightmare. [CASTING NOTE: Simulated sex and partial nudity scripted. Director is willing to discuss with actress.]

• HARRIS MILLS (Lead/18-early 20’s): Jacey’s older son, and an average looking young man. As his religious beliefs crash down around him, he takes on a cynical view of the world and is unafraid to speak his mind. Seeing his mother being taken advantage of, his subservience to her shatters as he steps up to take care of the problem himself.

• ROY JOHNSON (Lead/30’s-50’s): Apart from not caring about his appearance, he is a fairly attractive and charismatic man. These characteristics mask the evil inside of him. [CASTING NOTE: Simulated sex and partial nudity scripted. Director is willing to discuss with actor.]

• JOEL MILLS (Supporting/8-11): Jacey’s younger son. A happy, innocent child untouched by his poor circumstances. [CASTING NOTE: Joel is not in any of the scenes that involve adult content.]

• BROTHER JIM (Supporting/40’s-60’s): A boisterous Southern Baptist preacher.

• WAREHOUSE MANAGER (Supporting/40’s-60’s): A regular Joe.

• JACEY’S BOSS (Supporting/30’s-60’s): A thin man. He is perhaps a little nebbish for a boss.

Director: Rose Hook =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: 7 pages
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 19-21
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. or No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A young woman finds herself on a rooftop, contemplating suicide, while a police officer tries to talk her down.

• LILY (Lead): A young woman in her late teens to early twenties who struggles with depression due to the emotional abuse suffered at the hands of her mother.

• JENSON (Lead): A mid-twenties to early thirties police officer who meets Lily on the rooftop. He is charming and seemingly lighthearted, doing his best to talk Lily down.

• MOTHER (Supporting): Lily’s mother, in her forties to fifties, who resents her daughter. Some profanity.

Director: Krista Gail =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Film (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: 25-30 Minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 4-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A troubled teenager crosses paths with a teacher who is determined to bring out her full potential.

• MARIE (Lead/16): A disgruntled teenage blogger who has difficulties adapting to a new environment until an unlikely individual makes her way into Marie’s life.

• MRS. GIBSON (Lead/late 20’s): An English Teacher who cares for her students; she struggles to get through to one in particular, eventually making that student realize her true potential.

• MARIE’S MOM (Character/late 30s): Marie’s unstable mother who is always the bearer of bad news to Marie.

• STACY (Character/16): Captain of the Writing Club. NOT AUDITIONING. E-MAIL OR SIGN-UP IF INTERESTED.


Director: Ashlee Flint =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project Length: 10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 25-27
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA differed payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals OR No Pay, DVD Copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Phillip Howell is a man in his late-twenties who has recently lost his job. Phillip has been keeping his unemployment from his best friend, Mark. Unaware that Phillip is holding back from doing things simply because he cannot afford to, Mark gets aggravated with Phillip and encourages him to get a hobby. This gives Phillip the idea to take up magic, something he loved as a child, and work to make money doing street magic to pay his rent.

• PHILLIP HOWELL (Lead): A simple man in his late twenties. He spends most of his time at home, seeing as he can’t afford to do much else. He is an organized man, used to sticking to the plan. When he loses his job he reminisces on his childhood dreams and takes a crack at street magic to pay his bills.

• MARK (Supporting): Mark, Phillip’s best friend, is in his late twenties. He is a believer in tough love, and he will do some unusual things to help his friends.

• LAINEY: An attractive girl in her twenties. She is an acquaintance of Mark.

Director: Jennifer Hartsel =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville area
Shoot Dates: March 18-20
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Inspired by The Office. This is a quirky comedy, with Marty as the general manager of an Italian restaurant. After a new CEO takes charge, Marty resists conforming to new company policies; Rebecca, the regional director, tries to get him to comply. Meanwhile, the restaurant runs as usual with zany servers and unusual happenings. This film contains some language and crude humor.

• MARTY (Leads/30s): A General Manager of an Italian restaurant chain. He’s a people pleaser and wants to be people’s friend, but he’s also stubborn.

• REBECCA (Leads/30s): The Regional Director of the area Marty is in.She feels the pressure of the new CEO as she tries to get Marty to make the necessary changes to the restaurant. She is very short with Marty, who has some odd quirks.

• TAMMY (Supporting/30s): A decent server, but not very emotionally invested in the restaurant.

• TINA (Supporting/20s): A server who’s awkward, klutzy and not very restaurant savvy.

• SHAWN (Supporting/30s): A gung-ho server who’s annoyingly enthusiastic with his job. His fellow servers don’t like him.

• RON (Supporting/20s): A server who doesn’t follow the rules or care about the restaurant’s guests.

• DAVE (Supporting/30s): A health inspector checking the restaurant.

Director: Ben Parsons =
SAG-AFTRA signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student Production II with Dialogue
Project Length: 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shooting Dates: February 26-28
Compensation: No pay/SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, digital file, DVD copy and meals.

SYNOPSIS: David Dunkle, a young Poli Sci major in Ohio, swims through murky moral waters when thrust in the middle of an important scandal while interviewing for a campaign internship.

• DAVID DUNKLE (Lead): A college student; in his early 20s. David goes for an interview on the Kendrick campaign but faces an ethical dilemma when Kendrick posts an insensitive message on his website. David must decide whether to stick by him or sabotage the already weakened campaign so David’s preferred candidate can triumph.

• QUENTIN QUALLS (Lead): An employee of the Independent Congressional Campaign Committee; in his mid-30s. Quentin has mixed feelings about his candidate but wants him to succeed in order to move up the corporate ladder.

• LARRY LYMAN (Lead): A litigator at Williams Bolling and David’s lawyer; in his mid-50s. Friends with David’s father, Larry worries that he will lose this relationship if he cannot help clear David’s name in the lawsuit.

NO RUSSIAN (Tentative)
Director: Andrew Furris =
Union / Non-Union: Either
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: 10-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 5-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: A psychiatrist’s best friend’s brother is in town. He might be crazy; he might be dangerous. The psychiatrist senses the perfect opportunity to test a theory of his and, for reasons he deems appropriate, decides to kill his friend’s brother to stop him from causing harm to anyone else. In a twist ending, it turns out that the psychiatrist is not in control, but instead his best friend is the crazy one. Some strong language.

• HECTOR LAMBE (Lead): A proud and successful independent psychiatrist in his mid-30s. He is not smug but feels that his job is more important than others and believes that he has the right to make decisions for the greater good.

• JULIUS BIGGS (Lead): A teacher in his late-20s to early-30s. He seems very polite and understanding, an ideal teacher on the outside. Deep down he is self-indulgent, obsessive, and also a curious individual. He wants to appear crass, but is actually very intelligent. Vulnerable looking on the outside, but no pushover.

• GARRY BIGGS (Supporting): Younger brother of Julius Biggs by a few years. Deemed unstable and inept at a young age. He is perfectly normal; however, his whole life he’s been framed for the things his older brother has been doing.

• PATIENT (Supporting): A confused man/woman trying to cope with his/her situation that is eerily similar to that of the main characters. He/she is mid to late 20s.

Director: Eric Dudley =
SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film, roughly 20 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: February 26-28 and/or March 4-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A young man attempts suicide and fails, killing a man in the process. With the help of a concerned defense attorney, he takes steps to find the meaning in his life before he is forced to face the consequences of his actions.

• DAVID CARTER (Lead/early 20’s): A young man facing a personal crisis. He begins the film as a kid who is lost and trying to find any way out; as the film progresses, he becomes more aware that there are people who genuinely care about him, and learns to care about himself as a result.

• BEN DAVIES (Lead/mid 20’s to mid 30’s): An up-and-coming defense attorney with a smile to share. He is very hard to put down, and will always try to find the best in a situation, no matter how dim.

• GERALD DAGMUND (Supporting/late 30’s to mid 50’s): An older gentleman who directs the conversation of the depression support group that David joins. He is a kind man who genuinely cares about every person who walks through the door.

• LUCY TURNPIKE (Supporting/20’s): A woman David meets in the support group. She has similar issues to David but has a tendency to retreat into herself when someone disagrees with her.

• SAM (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

• TYLER (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

• JAMES (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

Director: Noel Costill =
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 12-14 & 18-21
Compensation: DVD copy and meals

SYNOPSIS: Two years ago an anomaly appeared in space in our solar system. Black and planet-sized, the Void, as it has come to be known, rises and sets each day. Many people believe it is the end of the world, but Declan believes there is more to it. His recurring dreams of a strange place with stranger characters seem to have a connection to the mystery in the sky, and to Declan himself. One day, the anomaly begins to move closer to Earth and Declan begins to realize the true meaning and purpose behind the Void.

• DECLAN HALE (Lead): A homeless young man, 20s-30s, has had dreams of the Void since before it arrived. He struggles to survive after a tsunami took away everything he has, including his family. While he moves from place to place the recurring dreams of characters begin to reveal more about the anomaly. He becomes more and more obsessed with his dreams, and believes the characters within them hold the answers to what the Void is and what effect it will have on our planet.

• BEN SHEPHERD (Lead): An Astronomy professor, 40s-60s, who takes in his former student, now homeless friend Declan, and lets him stay in his observatory. Ben acts as Declan’s mentor and wants to help him get back on his feet. He has an intelligent, open mind; part of him believes Declan has a connection with the Void.

• KI VALA (Lead): A young woman, 18-30s. After her only companion, Teno, sacrifices himself for a higher purpose, Ki must survive in a harsh world. She is chased by beasts and scavenges for food. She lives in Declan’s dreams, and is a complete mystery. The only company she has is a black blade left to her by Teno.

• NEWS ANCHORS (Supporting, 20s-60): Charismatic.

Film School’s Fall 2015 Winners Announced

Posted on: December 8th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Congratulations to these winners from the Film School’s Fall 2015 screenings!


Production One

Jen Hartsel
Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture for Into the Darkness

Ashlee Flint
Best Cinematographer for Into the Darkness

Cobi Noblin
Best Sound Design and Best Use of Music and Score for his film Folly of Man

Andrew Furris
Best Editing and Best Production Design for his film Snapshot

Peyton Christian
Best Actress for Clementine and Joe (directed by Benjamin Parsons)

Sark Asadourian
Best Actor for Into the Darkness

Production Two and Production Three

Micah Atkinson
Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Production Design for Lunch Letters

Josh Kugler
Best Cinematography for Lunch Letters

Lindsey Shope
Best Actress for Emileigh Potter’s The Finer Things

Alison Goedde
Best Score/Best Use of Music for her film Fluorescent

Jason Harper
Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Sound Design for Pillow Talk

Collier Goodlett
Best Actor for Pillow Talk

Van Gogh image

Jury Award
to Emma Holyfield‘s animated film,
Van Gogh’s Left Ear

Production Four

Click to enlarge poster

Click to enlarge poster

The Gathering Place, written and directed by Emma Nitz

Best Cinematography
Best Sound Design
Best Actress to Taylor Mattingly
Best Supporting Actress to Suzanna Devereaux

Click to enlarge poster

Click to enlarge poster

Moscow Station, written and directed by Alexander Mattingly

Best Picture
Best Screenplay
Best Production Design
Best Actor to Jeremy Childs
Best Supporting Actor to Bill Feehely

Note: Results were tied between the two films for Best Score/Use of Music and Best Editing.

Film School Screens Fall 2015 Projects December 7-9

Posted on: November 24th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

The Film School presents its Fall 2015 final projects from December 7-9 in the Watkins Theater, with more than 20 narrative and experimental projects from four production classes. The screenings are free and the public is invited.  Parking is free in the campus lot.

Watkins Fall 2015 Student Screenings

Monday, December 7, starting at 7 p.m. = Production One, with 6 films (90 min.)

Tuesday, December 8, starting at 6:15 p.m. = Production Two and Three, with 10 films (3.25 hours)

Wednesday, December 9, starting at 7 p.m. = Production Four, with 2 films (90 min.)

Production One, 12/7 

HOPE(LESS) – Director: D. Erik Malone

Into the Darkness – Director: Jen Hartsel

Faceless – Director: Ashlee Flint

Folly of Man – Director: Cobi Noblin

Clementine and Joe – Director: Benjamin Parsons

Snapshot – Director: Andrew Furris

Meet the Directors follows

Production Two & Production Three, 12/8

Welcome at 6:15 p.m.

Micah Atkinson – Lunch Letters (13 min)

Alison Goedde – Fluorescent (18 min)

Hayley Montague – Anonymous (20 min)

S.T. Davis – Willfully Ignorant, Dangerously Stupid (20 min)

Roxanne Nawrot – Marked (15 min)

Emma Holyfield – Van Gogh’s Left Ear (3 min)

15-minute break at 8:05 p.m.

Emileigh Potter – The Finer Things (17 min)

Angel Brewer – Syrup and Salvation (15 min)

Carter Luckfield – Lost in the Supermarket (13 min)

Derek Estes – Script on the Brain (16 min)

Jason Harper – Pillow Talk (21 min)

Meet the Directors with Q&A at 9:45 p.m., followed by Awards Presentation at 10:15 p.m.

Production Four, 12/9 

Moscow Station – Director: Alexander Mattingly

The Gathering Place – Director: Emma Nitz

About the Program

The Film School  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 and helps them incorporate these factors 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.

Tournées Film Festival Debuts at Watkins October 15

Posted on: October 5th, 2015 by Caroline Davis
Click to enlarge poster

Click to enlarge poster

Watkins has been selected as a participant in the 20th edition of Tournées Film Festival, offering a wide variety of films, from the popular to the experimental, that represent the best of French cinema distributed in the U.S. A showcase of established and emerging talents, the Tournées Film Festival reflects the diversity and the richness of French cinema through various genres — fiction, documentary, animation and repertory films — giving participants the opportunity to expand their programming and for audiences to experience French cinema through a wider lens. Admission to the six-film series, which runs Thursday evenings, October 15—November 19, is free. Organized by Watkins’ Film School Student Council, all screenings begin at 6 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, following a brief introduction by Adjunct Faculty Amy Bertram, Ph.D., an expert in French cinema.

The Tournées Film Festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée CNC), and SACEM’s French American Cultural Fund.

Thursdays at 6 p.m.

•  October 15: Girlhood
•  October 22: Abuse of Weakness
•  October 29: Mood Indigo
•  November 5: Timbuktu
•  November 12: The King and The Mockingbird
•  November 19: Mr. X: A Vision of Leos Carax

(Warning: Some films may contain adult content; viewer discretion is advised.)
Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts


‘Beyond Classification’ Concludes September 24 with Co-curator Greg Pond

Posted on: September 24th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is pleased to bring to Nashville the group exhibition Beyond Classification, featuring contemporary photography and video by women artists from Egypt, September 3-24 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. Curated by Dr. Nagla Samir of the American University in Cairo, in collaboration with Greg Pond, professor of Art and Art History at the University of the South, the show was first presented at Sewanee’s University Art Galley earlier this year (Jan. 13-April 12).

Beyond Classification, which offers diverse strategies for communicating about current political and social conditions in Egypt, will conclude with a curator’s talk by Greg Pond, on Thursday, September 24, at 6 p.m., and a walk through the exhibition and small reception. Admission is free and open to the public.

The nine young artists represented in Beyond Classification developed their work in the past few years, as the power of electronic and social media to generate political change became apparent with the revolution that unseated President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The photographic and video work of these artists embraces that power, even as it responds to the continued social and political upheaval faced by the country. Through multiple perspectives, the exhibition deliberately aims to counter any simplistic picture, and to provide points of view often lost in representations of Egyptian experience in popular media.

Sara Bayoumi, "Identity 5" (2013)

Sara Bayoumi, “Identity” (2013Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is pleased to bring to Nashville the group exhibition Beyond Classification, featuring contemporary photography and video by women artists from Egypt, September 3-24 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. Curated by Dr. Nagla Samir of the American University in Cairo, in collaboration with Greg Pond, professor of Art and Art History at the University of the South, the show was first presented at Sewanee’s University Art Galley earlier this year (Jan. 13-April 12)..

Many of the artists included in the exhibition address questions about identity and religion. What is it to be a Muslim woman? What does it mean to be a woman artist in Egypt today? How do non-Muslims perceive Muslims? While some of the artists in the exhibition explicitly address feminist concerns in their work, others would resist the label, preferring to cast their work as addressing universal human concerns. The artists included in the exhibition use art as a tool for confronting constraints, deflating stereotypes, representing experience, and forging connections.

Marwa Adel, "The Journey" (2012)

Marwa Adel, “The Journey” (2012)

“I worked with Dr. Samir in 2008 on an exhibition in Cairo, and one of the artists in our current exhibition, Marwa Adel, was involved in a previous exhibition,” said Professor Pond. “So much has changed in Egypt since that time. These artists all developed their artistic practice through the series of political revolutions that began in 2011. I wanted to provide perspectives on the changes occurring in Egypt that were not conveyed via international news media. It was also important that this exhibition be made by women, who have little opportunity to reach audiences in Egypt or abroad. I contacted Nagla and asked her to curate this exhibition with me. These artists hold a variety of perspectives on the events that have transpired around them and changed their lives. Some promote radical and progressive social change and others represent conservative religious viewpoints. Our goal was to challenge notions of Egyptian culture and what it is to be a woman in Egypt with this compendium of voices.”

Cairo-based Nagla Samir is a contemporary Egyptian media artist and culture operator. Her artwork combines multiple media (photography, digital images, video and installation) and explores both social norms and spiritual experiences. Samir has had several solo exhibitions and has participated in national and international group exhibitions. Her curatorial projects include IMAFY (International Media Art Forum for Youth), A Survival Guide and Liberation: A Process Review. She founded and directed Passage 35 contemporary art center, and worked as Director of the Sharjah Art Gallery. Samir holds a Ph.D. in Visual Communication and M.S. in Graphic Design, and teaches in the Visual Culture Program, Department of the Arts at The American University in Cairo.

Asmaa and Hend Elkolaly are media artists based in Cairo. Identical twins, they received the same art education and work closely with one another. They have been active in the art scene for the past ten years, and their often-controversial work has been a part of several group exhibitions for young and rising artists.

Mai Al Shazly is an Egyptian photographer and artist born in Cairo. Her abstract and conceptual photography has been exhibited in the 22nd Salon at the Cairo Opera House, at the Egyptian Culture Center in Rome, and in the Emirates Photography Exhibition in Abu Dhabi. She was named an honorary member of the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique in 2011.

Marwa Adel’s photography and graphic design, and particularly her depictions of the female figure, confront controversial issues for contemporary Egyptian society related to gender and identity. Adel has exhibited in solo shows in Cairo, Alexandria and Dubai, and in group shows in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, London, Sweden, and Germany.

Marwa Benhalim, a Libyan Egyptian Art student, was graduated from the Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2009, and is pursuing her studies in Visual Arts and Film at the American University in Cairo. She has participated in group shows in the Cairo Atelier and the Cairo Opera House.

Nouran Sherif graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in 2012. Her multimedia work includes sound, video, paintings, installations, performance, and photography.

London-based photographer Sara Bayoumi holds an MA Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Bayoumi has participated in exhibitions in Cairo and London, and is represented in the online exhibition Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices, hosted by the International Museum of Women.

Filmmaker and visual artist Yousria Ghorab lives and works in Giza, Egypt. She studied at Helwan University from 2000 to 2004, and completed a diploma in multimedia from ITI, Information Technology Institute, in 2006. Her first film, Similarity (2003) received an award for independent cinema from the Goethe Institut in Cairo. She has participated in multiple group exhibitions in Cairo.

Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Lights, Camera, Auditions! Film School’s Casting Call is September 12

Posted on: August 30th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Fall 2015 student film projects on Saturday, September 12, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Casting call sign in 0010Directors of approximately 16 productions from the BFA film program at Watkins will be looking for actors of all ages; union and non-union welcome (because student films are being made under the SAG/AFTRA student film agreement, current union members are allowed to participate). All actors are asked to bring headshots and résumés; for those without a headshot, a photo may be taken at the call.

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 they become 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.). Please note: 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

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.

Production Breakdowns


colorful, quirky drama
Director: Micah Atkinson / / 615-556-6237

Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project Length: 15 pages, 10-15 minutes
Shooting Locations: Nashville and Murfreesboro
Shooting Dates: October 16-18
Compensation: DVD Copy, Digital File, Meals, no pay

Synopsis: A melancholy young man lives with his older brother and his best friend, broadcasting a culinary web-show from a converted closet space. Through his broadcast, he meets a beautiful food blogger, who much to his surprise, seems to take interest in him.

•  COLEY (Lead/Male/Early-Mid 20s): An introspective, melancholy young man, burdened by a rocky childhood. Though awkward and seemingly distant, he somehow maintains a sort of mysterious charm.

•  ELLE (Co-Lead/Female/Early-Mid 20s): Elle is a little geeky and a tad bit awkward, but irresistibly charming when she shows interest in a subject. She is bright, and always in thought.

•  MAFYA (Co-Lead/Male/Late Teen to Early-Mid 20s): Mafya is thoughtful and sensitive towards Coley, but still energetic and easily distracted. He is Coley’s confidant, and while supportive, wants Coley to branch out of his safe bubble.

•  EON (Co-Lead/Male/Late 20s to Early 30s): Coley’s older brother. In the absence of their parents, Eon has taken over the provider and protector roles of Coley, but still struggles to relate to him emotionally. Eon often ends up frustrated by his younger brother, but loves him and wants the best for him.

•  YOUNG COLEY (Supporting/No Dialogue/Age 8-11)

•  YOUNG MAFYA (Supporting/No Dialogue/Age 8-11)

Young Coley and Young Mafya make an appearance in a flashback sequence.


Director: S.T. Davis / / 901-451-0781

SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 17 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 3-4
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Twelve hours in the life of two close friends, Momo and Key, set the stage for a gritty urban drama involving the delicate and ever relevant subjects of race, sex and class in one of the most feared boroughs in the city, the Heights.

•  MOMO (Lead, Late Teens – Early 20’s, Pref. African American Male): Exposed to more than just the confines of the Heights. Eager to prove himself but uncertain of which road to take. Scrutinized for his intelligence and torn between the world he’s always known and leaving for better things. Childhood friends with Key and doubtful of the life Key is paving for himself, but understanding since they grew up in the same environment. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

• KEY (Lead, Early 20’s, Pref. African American Male): A product of his environment. Grew up in a dangerous area where guns, jewelry and money are glorified. Slightly disillusioned about the appeal of hood culture. Often manipulative. A misinformed gangster. Childhood friends and poor influence on Momo with a hint of jealousy towards Momo’s potential success. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  MIKE WILLIS (Lead, 30’s – 50+ Pref. Caucasian Male):  Closet racist and diner owner. Believes racism doesn’t exist, and remains incredibly politically incorrect. In public, is a bit more tolerant and devious, but straddles a thin line keeping his feelings in check, all for the benefit of his diner. Seems as “they” have too much power. Narrow-minded with little willingness to open up. Most actions are premeditated and carefully acted on, though outwardly seems impulsive. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  OLD ENGLISH (Supporting,  30’s – 50+, Pref. African American; role open to females and males): Master of many faces. To Mike Willis, an Uncle Tom-like character who pacifies him because of the era s/he grew up in. To Momo and Key, a scrutinizing character who’d rather see them live another day than die trying to make changes. Not formally educated, but street smart and intuitive. Means well though sometimes difficult to tell. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  RACHEL (Supporting, 20’s, Pref. Caucasian Female): Very pretty and knows it. Promiscuous and controls men through through her sexuality, using it to empower her. Has grown up similarly to Momo and Key. Depreciated due to Hip-Hop culture. Very street smart, and couples that with her sexual prowess to collect men as trophies, prizes to be won. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs and implied sexual act; can smoke is a plus)

•  KEISHA (Extra, 20’s Female): Friend of Rachel

•  PATRON (Extra, 20’s-30’s): Friend/Caretaker of Old English

•  MAN (Extra, 20’s): Local neighborhood thug


Director: Hayley Montague = = 865-679-2723

SAG-AFTRA Signatory (open for non-union)
Production type: Student Production III with dialogue
Project length: 20 minutes
Shooting locations: Nashville & Hermitage
Shoot dates: October 9-11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment, DVD copy, digital files and meals or Non-Union: DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: After being forced to attend Alcoholics Anonymous because of a DUI, Tessa finds the strength to face her real problem through another AA member, Jane. As their relationship grows, Jane is haunted by a disturbing memory. When Tessa finds out about Jane’s past, she struggles to stay sober and find forgiveness.

•  TESSA (Lead, mid 20’s): A newly recovering alcoholic. She is broken by her past, but she puts up a hard front to make up for it. She is reluctant to Jane’s help at first, but she eventually opens up to reveal her softer side.

•  JANE (Lead, late 30’s-early 40’s): A recovering alcoholic, sober for 5 years. She is good at staying strong and providing support for Tessa who still yearns to drink, but even she has weak moments at times.

•  BONNIE (Supporting, late 40’s-early 50’s): A simple and kind woman who is the chairperson of the AA meetings.


Director: Derek Newell Estes = = 270-933-7819

SAG-AFTRA Signatory project (open to non-union)
Project Type: Student Production III with dialogue
Project Length: 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shooting Dates: October 16-18
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital files and meals. Non-Union: DVD copy, digital file and meals; no pay.

Synopsis: Derek doesn’t have a script for class. It’s up to his Conscience and the rest of his personality to come up with a script, and quickly!

•  CONSCIENCE (Lead Male, 20’s/30’s): A hardworking, easily stressed employee who wants to get Derek a script. However, his motivations are a little more selfish.

•  RIGHT BRAIN (Supporting Male/Female, 20’s/30’s): In charge of Derek’s creative processes. Talented in his/her job, willing to help Conscience in any way, but doesn’t work well under pressure.

•  LEFT BRAIN (Supporting Female, 20’s/30’s): Sister to Right Brain and in charge of Derek’s logical thinking. Intelligent, fast-talking, but extremely irritable!

•  HUMOR (Supporting Male, 30’s/40’s): Childish, awkward and unoriginal. He is extremely optimistic, despite being the black sheep in the group.

•  EGO (Supporting Male, 20’s/30’s): The kilt-wearing, conceited Scot who doesn’t really do anything other than sit around the office.


Director: Emma Nitz =

Non-Union (Independent)
Production Type: Student (Production IV)
Project Length: Short Film (45 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: September 25-27, October 3-4
Compensation: DVD, Digital Copy, Free meals on set

Synopsis: When Kacey runs away from a troubled home, she finds herself on Opal’s doorstep. When Opal invites Kacey to stay with her and work at the small bakery she runs out of her home, Kacey finds herself with a real family for the first time in her life. But will her past catch up to her?

•  KACEY (LEAD, Female, Late Teens/Early 20’s): Kacey has grown tired living with her older sister and her sister’s boyfriend, and runs away after an ugly fight. She has trouble opening up to people and avoids being the center of attention as much as possible. Once she begins life anew, her greatest fear is opening up to her new family and telling them about her past life. She quickly learns that secrets aren’t easy to keep hidden forever.

•  OPAL (LEAD, Female, 60’s): Opal is a remarkably generous and free spirited woman. She owns Hope Bakery and runs it out of her home. When she meets Kacey, she cannot help but offer her a job and a place to stay. It is not in her nature to turn away the less fortunate. She also enjoys a good Cuba Libre on Saturday afternoons.

•  QUINN (LEAD, Males, 20’s): Quinn is Opal’s brooding young nephew. When he first meets Kacey, he suspects that she is a danger to his family, but warms up to her over time. One could say things get downright toasty between them.

•  DWIGHT (LEAD, Male, 30’s): Dwight is the white trash boyfriend of Kacey’s older sister, Becca. When he attempts to seduce Kacey one night, she fights him off and badly injures him. After he returns from the hospital and learns that she has run away, Dwight is hell bent on catching her and inflicting the same amount of pain on her as she caused him.

•  VICKIE (SUPPORTING, Female, Late 50’s): Vickie is a stern, no-nonsense woman working at Hope Bakery. She is suspicious that Kacey is up to no good.

•  KAT (SUPPORTING, Male or Transgender, Late 20’s/early 30’s): Kat is a vivacious transgender woman working at Hope Bakery. She is strong willed and a little stubborn, but has a heart of gold. She is quick to befriend Kacey when she first comes to town.

•  REDNECK 1 (SUPPORTING, Male Any age over 21): A drunken fiend at a local bar who harasses Kat for being transgender.

•  REDNECK 2 (SUPPORTING, Male, Any age over 21): A drunken fiend at a local bar who harasses Kat for being transgender.

Director: Roxanne Nawrot =

Union/Non-Union: Either
Production Type: Student Production II with dialogue
Project Length: Under 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: October 10- 11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file, and meals. Non-union: DVD copy, digital file and meals; no pay.

Synopsis: Based on the myth that birthmarks represent how one died in a past life, the story follows Desmond Reid, a young man who was born with a large port wine birthmark on the back of his neck. He comes into contact with important people in his past life, and every time he makes physical contact with someone from his past, he flashes and remembers parts of his old life. He gains a collection of old memories as to who he was in the past, finds out who killed him, and gets revenge for the life that was once taken from him.

•  DESMOND (Lead, Age 18-23): A young man who is intuitive and wise for his age. He was born with a large port wine birthmark on the back of his neck. He falls in love and has an affair with Nora, who is currently married to Malcolm, the same man who murdered him in his past life.

•  ADAM (Supporting, Age 18-30): Desmond’s past self. He and Nora were both in love before he mysteriously went missing.

•  MALCOLM (Supporting, Age 25-35): A manipulative and troubled man with good intentions but bad ways of executing them. He tries to appear to be someone he is not. Malcolm is the one who murdered Adam out of jealousy and spite for stealing the woman he loved, Nora.

•  NORA (Supporting, Age 25-35): A beautiful woman with a warm heart. She is married to Malcolm but was only ever in love with Adam.  When Desmond comes into her life, that changes everything.

•  YOUNG BOY (Cameo, Age 5-10): The young son of Desmond and Nora. He has a birthmark similar to his father’s. He also just so happens to be Malcolm reincarnated.


Director: Jason Harper =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production III
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 15 minutes)
Shooting Location: Hermitage, Mt. Juliet
Shoot Dates: October 17-19
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: A comedy about loneliness, loss, and human connections. Arthur is an old widower, and Marie a young college student. They live on opposite ends of the country, but form an unlikely friendship when he calls her phone sex hotline.

•  MARIE (LEAD, Early 20’s): An awkward, average-looking girl putting herself through college as a phone sex operator. She is timid in public, but over the phone she is every man’s greatest desire. Whatever that may be.

•  ARTHUR (LEAD, 60’s-70’s): An unassuming and kindly man doing whatever he can to curb the crushing loneliness that has consumed his life since the loss of his wife, three months previous.

•  JAMES (SUPPORTING, 30’s-40’s): Arthur’s son, though the two are not particularly close.  An unmarried and childless businessman, he’s dealing with the loss of his mother the best way he knows: working endlessly.

•  CRAIG (SUPPORTING, 20’s):  A meek young man stumbling his way through social interactions at his job in a café, but catching Marie’s eye while doing so.

•  CHRISTINE (SUPPORTING, Early 20’s): Marie’s more attractive friend who excels at talking about herself and making jokes at Marie’s expense.


Director: Emileigh Potter = = 210-273-2322

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory (open to non-union)
Production Type: Production III with dialogue
Project Length: Short Film (15 min.)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 2-4
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital files, meals, travel and lodging. Non-Union: No pay, DVD copy, digital files, meals and travel.

Synopsis: A woman struggling with settling down strikes up an affair with a significantly younger man belonging to a family of hotel magnates.

•  CLAIRE BARTLET (Female, Mid 30’s): Pretty but unglamorous, fleeting youth, inherently unhappy.  Her debilitating relationship with her fiancé, Alan, and affair with Collin only make her more miserable.

• COLLIN MIDDLETON (Male, 22): Fresh-faced, handsome, incredibly naïve. Though he’s about to inherit a million-dollar hotel business, he doesn’t flaunt it, except in his attempts to express his love for Claire.

•  ALAN TOWNSHEND (Male, Mid 30’s): Hard working, tolerant and caring; Claire’s fiancé. Though experienced in Claire’s joylessness, he loves her with all his heart and has done everything in his power to build a good life for the two of them.


romantic drama
Director: Alison Goedde =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Gibson County, Indiana
Shoot Dates: September 17-21
Compensation: Deferred payment, no worker’s compensation, DVD copy, digital file, housing, and meals.

NOTICE: This short film will contain violence and language.

Synopsis: Rainey has nearly lost all hopes for her future when she finds out the truth behind why her mother left.  She constantly struggles, tries to mine her own happiness, and entertains the idea of leaving Gibson, Indiana.  She meets a love interest who shares in her dreams to escape these struggles in this small-town romantic drama.

•  RAINEY (LEAD, Female): A thin, wide-eyed child, 18, who struggles with being stuck in a small town with her father and no motherly figure.

•  HOLLAND (LEAD, Male): Of average build, a plain-faced boy, the new kid in town and a love interest for Rainey.  Almost 18, he can’t wait to break out of Gibson.

•  BISHOP (SUPPORTING, Male): Rainey’s father, in his 50s, who drags himself through a life of mining coal; drug and alcohol addict.  Though he looks intimidating, he is a scrub at his finest.

•  JULILAH (SUPPORTING, Female):  Mother to Little Jeb; a haggard-looking 30, as an alcoholic and a chain smoker. Has a temper.

•  LITTLE JEB (SUPPORTING, Male):  Ten-year-old son of Julilah. A skimpy but tough boy who loves his father and deals with the pain of the bruises from his abusive mother.


THE END OF INNOCENCE [working title]
social drama, slice-of-life
Director: Natalia Nové =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (15-20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 16-18/October 23-25 (potential shooting weekend dates)
Compensation: DVD Copy, Digital File, Gas Compensation, Daily Meals, No Pay (Deferred SAG).

NOTE: Contains Profanity, Racial Slurs, Drug Content and Graphic Violence.

Synopsis: Malcolm Clemons, a black teenager who has been dealing with depression for quite some time, attempts to commit suicide on his school’s rooftop. He is interrupted by another teen named Caden St. Patrick, who rolls joints and skips classes and who is also hurting inside.

•  MALCOLM CLEMONS (Lead, Early-Late Teens, Pref. Black American Male): Reserved in nature; suppresses his thoughts and feelings. He comes from a well-off family that cannot cope with a recent tragedy. As the film progresses we see that he is angry at the world, afraid of its realities and, above all, hates himself for being who he is: black. (Must be comfortable with using profanity, racial slurs and simulating using drug-related substances.)

• CADEN ST. PATRICK (Lead, Late Teens, Pref. White American Male): Cynical and blunt, but lonely and bored at heart. He unintentionally saves Malcolm from jumping off the ledge. Through the majority of the film, he masks his pain with a nonchalant sarcasm. But when his intentions for being on the rooftop are revealed, Caden appears to be another hurting youth like Malcolm. (Must be comfortable with using profanity, racial slurs and simulating using drug-related substances.)



Director: Angel Brewer = = 615-210-0132

Production type: Production III
Project length: Under 20 minutes
Shooting location: Watkins’ sound stage and Midtown Nashville
Shoot dates: October 25-26, Pick-ups November 1
Compensation: Digital copy, professional catering, no pay

Synopsis: A very “sweet” family that belongs to a unique religious sect learns of their daughter’s decision to begin her required mission work early

•  POLLY/EUNICE/PA (Lead, played by Male, any age): Polly, 18-years-old, is full of pluck and gumption.  Eunice, in her late 30’s-mid 40’s and Polly’s mother, is physically and mentally affected from an accident. Pa, Polly’s father, 40-ish, is meek. Female impersonation experience will be given preference for this triple role.

•  GLADIOLA (Co-Lead, Female, any age): She is the 17-year-old daughter of Wanda and Pa, and she idolizes her sister Polly. African American actress preferred or matched to Wanda.

•  WANDA (Supporting, Female, 40+):  A strong woman who takes the audience to church every time she speaks. African American actress preferred or matched to Gladiola.

•  DARION (Supporting, Male, 18-30): Darion is an underwear model. Nudity/implied nudity.

•  SISTER JAMAHLIA (Non-speaking supporting, Female, 20-40): Sister Jamahlia was a star in a time that black women were not appreciated. Undergarment/nudity required for role and modeling experience given preference.

•  CHARLENE (Non-speaking supporting, Female, 20-40): She is a clumsy hairdresser. Mild stunt.

•  CUSTOMER (Non-speaking atmosphere, Female, any age): Mild stunt.

Director: Alex Mattingly =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (25 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 9-11 & November 6-8
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Based on a true story, “Moscow Station” recounts the actions of Russian engineer, Adolf Tolkachev, who worked in cooperation with the CIA, from 1977-1985, as a spy against his own country. Delivering invaluable intelligence on Soviet technology until his eventual capture by the KGB, Tolkachev became one of the most valuable agents in CIA history, saving them billions of dollars in information and gaining the US a significant advantage during the Cold War.

•  JOHN GUILSHER (LEAD, Male, Mid 50’s [May be considered for younger actor]: Tolkachev’s case agent at the CIA, and only confidante during his time of service. Through the years, Guilsher develops a strong bond with his agent, and does everything he can to see ensure he makes it out alive.

•  GUS HATHAWAY (SUPPORTING, Male, Mid 50’s): Head of the Moscow Station, and superior to Guilsher during Tolkachev’s service.

•  OLEG TOLKACHEV (SUPPORTING, Male, 10-15): Son of Adolf Tolkachev, Oleg is a bright, spirited child with a passion for art and Western music. ***MUST BE ABLE TO DO RUSSIAN ACCENT***

•  CIA BOARD MEMBERS #1, #2 and #3 (SUPPORTING, Male or Female, 30’s-50’s): Three members of CIA board who meet at Moscow Station to negotiate Tolkachev’s requests for money and suicide tablet.


Director: Carter Luckfield = = 201-953-3711

Union/Non-union: Open to both SAG-AFTRA Signatory and non-union
Production type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 10-15 min.)
Shooting location: Nashville
Shoot dates: October 9-11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital files, and meals. Non-union: DVD copy, digital files, and meals. No pay.

Synopsis: Jan Itor pays the bills as a custodian by night as he struggles to pursue his passion for painting. When a beautiful curator suggests his work lacks personality, he turns to a consumer crutch in search of redemption.

•  JAN ITOR (Lead, 20’s-30’s+, Male): A loner who goes against the grain of society. Embraces his off-the-beaten-path lifestyle, but janitorial duties pay the bills. Lives to paint.

•  CINDY (Lead, 20’s-30’s, Female): Upbeat curator at a small local gallery. Curious and on the cusp of every trend, but jaded by her immersion in the art world.

•  SUPERMARKET CLERK (Supporting, 20’s-30’s, Female): Sassy and full of attitude, this supermarket clerk couldn’t care less.

•  HARRY (Supporting, 40’s-50’s+,  Male): Macho ex-war veteran; aging tough guy type. Moustache preferred.

•  YOUNG JAN ITOR (Supporting, 15-20, Male, no dialogue): Jan’s younger self, full of youth and innocence.

•  SALLY (Supporting, 15-20, Female, no dialogue): Young Jan’s girl of interest, also youthful and innocent.


Director: Nicholas Salazar = 908-358-8782 =

Shoot Dates: October 23-25

Synopsis: Jennifer struggles with her codependent need to “save” her heroin-addicted brother Michael, who has just been arrested.

•  JENNIFER (Lead, 30ish): Wants nothing more than for Michael to get clean. Her love blinds her and no matter what he does, she can’t bring herself to stop trying to save him again and again.  Will she finally wake up to his manipulation?

•  MICHAEL (Lead, early 20’s): Halfway between clean-cut rich brat and full-blown junkie.  Haunted by the overdose death of his twin brother, he falls deeper into his addiction, knowing he will always have his sister as a safety net if he gets into trouble.

•  OFFICER HAYES (Supporting, 30’s): Cop who has a history with Michael.  Burnt out from arresting the same people over and over again — Mommy and Daddy pull strings to get them out of trouble…sooner or later they end up in jail or dead from an overdose or in a bad drug deal.

Nashville Japanese Film Festival Returns to Watkins Aug. 28-30 with 7-Film Lineup

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

From horror to anime to documentaries, Japanese film is known for its inventive storylines and beautiful cinematography, and the second annual Nashville Japanese Film Festival (NJaFF), running August 28-30 at Watkins, will indeed showcase a wide range of Japanese storytelling. The seven offerings (all with English subtitles) range from a documentary on the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki to a historical drama about a “kitchen samurai.”

Nv-Japanese-Film-Festival-logo-sq-WwebFour of the films are being shown free of charge through the support of the Japan Foundation and the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville. For the remaining, general admission is $10 per film and tickets are available online or at the door.

The mission of NJaFF is to celebrate all aspects of Japanese culture, as experienced through the medium of film and the expression of Japanese film makers. For tickets and further information, including opening night reception details and links to film trailers, visit

NJaFF 2015  Schedule:
NJaFF kingdom of dreams WwebFriday, August 28
6:00 PM — Reception (ticketed reservations required)
7:30 PM — The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness  * $10
A documentary film which follows legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki over a year as Studio Ghibli prepares two releases

Saturday, August 29
11:00 AM — Ramen Samurai * Free *
A Tokyo designer returns to his tiny hometown to take over his father’s dream of running a ramen shop amid memories of his tumultuous childhood
1:30 PM — Mourning Recipe * Free *
A unique woman leaves behind a recipe book for life to lead her husband and stepdaughter through their grief after her death, with help from a few of her unusual friends
NJaFF uzumasa Wweb4:00 PM — A Tale of Samurai Cooking * Free *
This Edo-period drama tells the true story of a ‘kitchen samurai’ who reluctantly married a legendary cook to move his career forward in the midst of revolution
6:30 PM — Uzumasa Limelight * $10
An aged actor whose specialty is dying in martial arts movies struggles to get by in a changing world before taking on a young woman as a sword-fighting apprentice.

Sunday, August 30
1:00 PM — The God of Ramen * Free
A documentary film on the so-called ‘God of Ramen,’ whose new style of ramen inspired two-hour lines at his tiny restaurant.
3:00 PM — Kasamayaki * $10
In this documentary, a woman shaken by the 2011 disaster returns to her hometown to reconnect with her family and heritage through pottery
5:00 PM — Shady  * $10
A bullied high school girl becomes friends with a popular classmate, but the situation may be too good to be true as she sees her friend’s pleasant demeanor transforming before her eyes

NJaFF kasamayaki Wweb

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Metro Center. The Watkins Theater is in the main academic building; free parking is available in the campus lot.


Watkins Visiting Artists Series Concludes May 1 with Artist/Activist Ashley Hunt

Posted on: April 22nd, 2015 by Caroline Davis

The artist, activist and filmmaker Ashley Hunt—who merges art and politics in work concerned with questions of institutional power—will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Friday, May 1, as part of the Watkins Visiting Artists Series.

The presentation, which begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, is free and the public is invited. The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

(Hunt’s visit was previously announced for 2/19, but severe winter weather forced the rescheduling.)

AshleyHunt headshot WwebOver the past 15 years, through various projects employing video, photography, mapping and writing, Hunt has focused on ways people understand, respond to and conceive of themselves within systems of power. Rather than seeing art and activism as distinct pursuits, he approaches them as complementary, drawing upon social movements and contemporary cultural theory as his work addresses important trends towards documentary and participatory practices in contemporary art.

“Ashley Hunt has addressed some of the most pressing social issues of our era, and he has done so with political savvy and artistic sophistication,” said Tom Williams, assistant professor of art history at Watkins. “His work offers a permanent rebuke to anyone who still believes that the merger of art and politics means the triumph of politics over art.”

About Ashley Hunt

Ashley Hunt has played the role of an activist-journalist in his investigations of power and politics in contemporary society, using video, photography, mapping and writing to engage contemporary social movements and public discourse. His work addresses systems that enable certain people to accumulate power and those that disempower others.

Among his most celebrated works are his ongoing video series on the prison system, entitled The Corrections Documentary Project (and which includes footage he filmed in Tennessee), and his Prison Maps.

AshleyHunt-6 scribble man Wweb

In The Corrections Documentary Project, Hunt investigates the institution of the prison and, more specifically, how incarceration helps structure and preserve racial and economic divisions within society. A 2001 film Corrections (57 minutes) looks at the privatization of the prison system, exposing the conflict between for-profit corporations focused on pleasing investors and the communities that must deal with the consequences of high incarceration rates. Probing further to explore links between political campaign strategies and the increasing penalties for nonviolent crimes, Hunt uncovers a complex system of desires and incentives that lie behind the growth of the American prison system.

Other investigations by Hunt have focused on community identity and the demise of welfare state institutions (Communograph), war and disaster capitalism (9 Scripts from a Nation at War, A World Map: in which we see…), documentary representations (As Flowers Turn Toward the Sun, Par Course A), and political activism (Undeliverable Address). His 2010 performance, Notes on the Emptying of a City, explored the first-person politics of being in New Orleans with a camera in the months following Hurricane Katrina, when he engaged with community activists to research the city’s refusal to evacuate the Orleans Parish Prison. His work has been screened and exhibited at the P.S.1/MOMA, the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta. He was also included in Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany and the 3rd Bucharest Biennial. In 2007, Hunt collaborated with Sharon Hayes and other artists on 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, a project that has been the subject of a number of exhibitions internationally.

Ashley Hunt at TEDxCalArts, March 2013

Based in Los Angeles, Hunt is Co-Director of the Program in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He is an alumnus of the University of California at Irvine (BFA) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.

Hear Ashley Hunt at TEDxCalArts: Liveness, performance, and this exact place in time

Now in its fifth year, The Watkins Visiting Artists Series (VAS), with support from the Humanities Tennessee Grant Program, welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. Watkins full house 9561 RHQuaytman lecture 1.29.14 WwebThe guest artists, whose work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, give public presentations, sharing their expertise and perspectives on their careers and providing insight into issues facing contemporary artists and designers. The VAS offers the area’s cultural community a rare opportunity to engage the work and ideas of trendsetting visual artists, designers, filmmakers and intellectuals. The critically acclaimed initiative has not only brought a number of internationally renowned artists to Nashville—like first-time visitors Harrell Fletcher, R. H. Quaytman, David Hilliard, Jonathan Katz, Alec Soth and Artemio Rodriguez—but it has also invigorated the local art scene by introducing artists working in new media and performance—artists like Nick Briz, Jon Satrom and Liz Magic Laser (2013 New York Armory Artist)—and those expanding the parameters of traditional media and art practice—such as Chris Sickels, Deborah Luster (2013 Guggenheim Fellow) and Natalia Almada (2013 MacArthur Fellow).

The 2015 Watkins VAS is a three-lecture initiative, with letterer/illustrator Jessica Hische on January 22 and multiple-media artist/writer Martha Rosler on April 16.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, including updates to programming and future series guests, visit this website or call 615-383-4848.

ht_colorFounded in 1973, Humanities Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, civil discourse, and an appreciation of history, diversity, and community among Tennesseans. Statewide programs include the annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word℠, the Appalachian and Tennessee Young Writers’ Workshops, a variety of History & Culture programs, Grants & Awards for teachers and community, among many others.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite


Mati Hays and Blake Holland Take ‘Victory Laps’ at WAG’s May 2 show

Posted on: April 13th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Victory Laps, an exhibition by Watkins students Mati Hays and Blake Holland, at its downtown gallery WAG during the May 2 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Victory Laps – integrating sculpture, photography, and video – examines anxieties about youth. While Mati (a Fine Art sophomore) seeks power in claiming the future, Blake (a senior in the Film School) finds control in grounding his past. By pulling from the past and framing the future, the work acts as a stand-in for their understanding of the present, with each artist allotting objects a great amount of responsibility.

Mati Hays, "Proud of You"

Mati Hays, “Proud of You”

While their processes are different in approach, through similar interests, perspectives and fixations, they both produce work that responds to one another on a literal and visceral level. By placing their respective works within a shared space, the crossing of past and future reflects the influence they have on each other.

As a filmmaker, Blake approaches art making in the same way he approaches story telling. Fully understanding the danger this poses, he attempts to reduce his own life into a manageable narrative by toying with ritual, contextualizing objects, and examining lineage.

Addressing the obsession she has with her future, Mati plays with the association of brands and status, using materials that inherently reflect ideals of luxury and uniformity. With her background in fashion and design, these access points allow her work to speak through the visual language of her generation.

About the artists:

A sophomore at Watkins pursuing a BFA in Fine Art, Mati works in a variety of media such as installation, sculpture, video, photography, fashion and product design. Her most recent involvements have been in the Nashville fashion community, interning for local designers, styling, and working for high-end boutiques throughout the city. Mati will continue her college career at Parsons The New School for Design in New York in the fall.

Blake Holland, "Buzz (Just For You)"

Blake Holland, “Buzz (Just For You)”

Blake is a senior in The Film School, with concentrations in directing and screenwriting. Two of his films have been accepted into the Nashville Film Festival as part of the Tennessee Shorts section: “Rust” (2014) and “Summer Haze” (2015). As a council member of the art collective Co. H, he has exhibited work at the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery at Watkins, Fort Houston, and WAG. Holland works as an editor and videographer on documentary projects with Crackerfarm, and makes music as Spring Blake.

WAG–an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery–is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.

Art Crawl logoWAG joins approximately 20 participating Art Crawl galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and upstairs in the Historic Arcade. Admission is free, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles traveling among the venues.  For more information on the First Saturday Art Crawl, visit

About WAG
The Watkins Arcade Gallery–WAG–is a public exhibition space of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film committed to serving the College community and the community at large through exhibitions and programs that enhance curriculum as well as engage a greater audience in the visual arts. WAG is dedicated to supporting the educational and cultural mission of the College by encouraging students to think independently and creatively about their art practice and role as critical thinkers within the cultural landscape. The venue will present shows year-round featuring work by Watkins students, alumni and other professional artists. For inquiries, contact WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center.

Kevin Dietz Draws Swaney Prize 2015

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Fine Art major Kevin Dietz, a sophomore from Memphis, was awarded the 2015 Robb Swaney Prize for Excellence in Visual Expression during judging held on March 12. Established in 2006 by Mary Jane Swaney in memory of her husband, noted Nashville architect Charles Robb Swaney, the $1,000 cash prize honors a student who produced “visual designs and patterns that spoke to others.”

Jurors Martin Shofner of Shofner Buck Architects/Architectsure and Walter Crouch of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, former associates of Mr. Swaney, praised Dietz’s charcoal and graphite drawings and woodcut and poly-litho prints; in particular, they cited the power of two charcoal drawings which were based on the mythological figure Silenus. Dietz explained, “[Silenus’] archetype has been transferable through out literature and in popular culture without too much representation to his deeper philosophical manifestation. I wanted to play on the classical representation of this character and experiment with eroding this drawing until he became a series of lines and distortion. I’m fascinated with imagery of history and power and all I want to do is deflate them or find those figures whose potency and story is not that of fame and glory.”

Students were selected by their department chairs to participate in the annual competition, and brought examples of their work to display and discuss.

Congratulations to all the 2015 Swaney Prize nominees!

Fine Art:
Kevin Dietz
Kay Kennedy

Alex Mattingly

Graphic Design:
Yanet Mireles
Sara Schork

Interior Design
Laurabelle Chytrowsky
Thera Barnes

Joe Nunez
Alanna Styer

Alanna  Styer

Alanna Styer

Swaney 2015 Thera Barnes edit

Thera Barnes


Laurabelle Chytrowsky

Laurabelle Chytrowsky

Kay Kennedy


Kevin Dietz

Kevin Dietz

Yanet Mireles

Yanet Mireles

Sara Schork

Sara Schork

Joe Nunez

Joe Nunez

Alex Mattingly

Alex Mattingly





Swaney judging 0042 edit Wweb