Archive for the ‘Film News’ Category

Nashville Japanese Film Festival Returns to Watkins Aug. 28-30 with 8-Film Lineup

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

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 eight 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, 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 [email protected]. 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

Film School Partners with Nashville Film Festival for ‘Best Of’ Showcase April 17

Posted on: March 12th, 2015 by Caroline Davis
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In conjunction with the 46th 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 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Regal Cinemas, Green Hills Stadium 16.

“The Watkins Student Film Showcase” will offer a lineup of six short narratives (not in NaFF competition) selected by Film School faculty from all completed films in each of the four production classes from the 2014 spring and fall semesters. Additionally, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Film School, the evening will also feature work by an alumnus, writer/director Spenser Fritz (Class of 2010), who is in pre-preduction for his second feature film, Cecil (filming begins in April).

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

The seven films, with directors, are:

  • Stuck on an Island by Matison Turner
  • A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me by Jocelyn Lyon
  • The Window East by Alexander Mattingly
  • The Dahmer Deal by Stephanie Adams
  • Where Are All The Birds, Abel? by Calen Smith
  • The Burial of Achmed Pleasantbottom by Travis Slagle
  • Murderer-erer by Spenser Fritz (2009)

Now in its 46th year, the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) runs April 16–25 at the Regal Green Hills Cinema. Visit for the 200-film schedule of narrative and documentary shorts and features, world premieres and guest artists.


"The Window East"

“The Window East,” directed by Alexander Mattingly

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.

Nashville FIlm Festival logoThe Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), April 16–25, 2015, presented by Nissan, brings the world to Nashville in an extended 10-day celebration of film. NaFF’s hub is Regal Green Hills Cinemas with 200 competition films, educational presentations and parties.  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. Visit


Film School Invites Local Talent to Audition on February 7 for Spring Productions

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Spring 2015 student film projects on Saturday, February 7, at the Watkins campus in MetroCenter.

Orson Welles MacBeth 1948 Wweb

Orson Welles on the set of “MacBeth,” 1948

Directors of approximately 20 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 headshots (or a photo can be taken at the reading).

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 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. – Young men and women, age range 8-18
Amy Heckerling Clueless 1995 Wweb

Amy Heckerling filming “Clueless,” 1995

Visit this site for more information or email [email protected].

An additional opportunity for actors to work on camera will be offered at the February 7 call: Professor Richard Gershman’s Advanced Directing Class is looking for males and females, ages 20-50, for scene work. More details below.

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.

EXTRA OPPORTUNITY: Film School Actor/Director Workshop

The Film School is looking for male and female actors, 20 -50 years old, to participate in an 8-week session (Feb 12 through April 9) in conjunction with our Advanced Directing Class. The actors would work on at least two scenes, which would be rehearsed and filmed during this period. Attendance at all sessions is not required. Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.. There is no cost to the actors and each actor will have access to an electronic copy of his/her 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, working with notable actors including Adam Arkin, Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly and Mark Harmon, among many others.

Scenes from the following films will be used: Misery, Night Moves, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Silver Linings Playbook, Zodiac and others.

Sides will be available at the casting call for those who would like to audition for this workshop project.




Director: Angel Brewer = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II, With Dialogue
Project length: 10-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: March 8, 15-16
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. Non-union: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Kellen’s fathers, Abel and Chad, are already struggling to keep his viral load under control when life, culture and family complicate things. What lengths will Abel go to keep his family together?


  • ABEL (Lead, 25-35) Foreign-born gay man. He is an author and stay at home dad. His main motivation is family. He is the emotional center of the piece. He succumbs to cancer over the course of the story. Accent required and bilingual preferred. Special consideration will be given to Spanish, Asian or Eastern European performances.
  • CHAD (Lead, 25-40) American gay man who is left to pick up the pieces with a sick child and dying partner. A slap stunt will be required.
  • KELLEN (Supporting, 7-12) Adopted son of Abel and Chad. He was born HIV positive. He begins the film in decline. He is a charming, courageous and hopeful big-eyed child.
  • AUDREY (Supporting): Partly Native American post-op transsexual. She is the writing partner and best friend to Abel and Chad. She embodies the fable of the Changing Woman from Native American folklore. This can be played by a masculine female or effeminate male.
  • DR. JUNE (Supporting): She is a Pediatric AIDs specialist; well-fed, shorter woman with a huge Southern personality. She prefers the company of children and speaks directly to them rather than the parents.
  • MRS. LEON (Supporting, 50+): Mother of Abel. She is foreign woman of means and class. Accent required and bilingual preferred. Special consideration will be given to Spanish, Asian or Eastern European performances. A slap stunt will be required.
  • BOB (Supporting): Father of twin girls at a birthday party.

NOTE: Extra children and parents needed for a birthday party.



Director: Joseph Hemphill = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production III with dialogue
Project Length: Short film (15 minutes)
Shooting Location: Columbus, OH
Shoot Dates: March 13-17
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital files, meals, travel and lodging. Non-union: No pay, DVD copy, digital files, meals, travel and lodging

Synopsis: Gene Taylor, challenging for the state seat in Ohio’s infamous 19th Senatorial District, finds himself in the midst of an unhealthy partnership with wealthy land developer Jim Wilson. In exchange for political support and campaign funds, Gene’s sister Molly is forced to use her small, lakeside marina as a port for laundering Jim’s profits from the hijackings of local cigarette trucks. But as the primary nears, Gene learns his campaign is about to be audited by the state election committee, and as a result must decide whether to continue the platform…and risk losing everything he and his sister have worked for.


  • GENE TAYLOR (Late 30’s, average size, blue-collar years catching up to him): Though he’s a born politician, he prefers to spend his time outside ritzy society as much as possible. This doesn’t quell is frustrations of being powerless, and his growing realization that he’s becoming a political puppet. His mild, Midwest demeanor is put to the test when he learns of the campaign audit.
  • JIM WILSON (Late 50’s-early 60’s, clean-shaven, slow moving, suffers from a moderate case of emphysema): He’s rich, powerful and always expects to get his way. His political footprint has helped Gene remain a contender in the primary race, something he’s exploited to help with his seedy truck-jacking operation. When threatened, Jim will strike without mercy with everything he’s got.
  • MOLLY TAYLOR (Late 30’s): Gene’s older sister. She’s calm, fun, and will do anything to support her brother, even if that means allowing Jim to use her marina as a means of cleaning his money. She loves the lake, and is often the voice of reason in Gene’s life despite her growing fear of the looming campaign audit.
  • MICHAEL DiPRONIO (Early 40’s): An intuitive, vicious politician; current incumbent for the district and Gene’s opponent. He loves to win and gloat, and will use the extent of his power to keep it that way. A run at congress seems inevitable.



Director: Sergio Ramos (210-273-8291) = [email protected]
Production Type: Production 4 (written in conjunction with Hannah Strobel)
Shoot Dates: March 6-8
Compensation: Meals and gas reimbursement available for shooting days.

Synopsis: When Saul comes in for a confession, Father Josh, a young priest just out of the seminary, must use his faith and own wisdom to help prevent a tragic ending.


  • FATHER JOSH: A 32-year-old priest with a deep connection to his faith and vow to the church. New to the priesthood, he has a strong desire to help Saul overcome frustrations with the life that Saul believes has taken a turn for the worse.
  • SAUL: A man in his mid 50’s struggling to overcome several major obstacles and tests. Recently divorced and without the company of or contact with his child, he finds the loneliness is overwhelming. With the loss of his job he is pushed over the edge, leading him to contemplate suicide. He goes to the church with the hope that maybe something can restore his faith in humanity.
  • MR. WILLIAMS (Mid 40’s): Owner of a small insurance company that only wishes to increase productivity and profit. He fires Saul because of his consistent care for the customers’ budgetary needs rather than the company’s want for selling the most expensive insurance package.
  • MARK (21 years old): Saul’s son, currently in college. Coping with the divorce of his parents he has grown independent from his parents and more focused in succeeding in his studies. This has caused a rift in the communication and relationship he has with his father.



Director: Corey Miller = [email protected]
Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory Eligible
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project Length: Short Film (25 minutes)
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: March 13-15
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment (if applicable), DVD Copy, Digital File, Meals, and Gas Compensation (if applicable)

Synopsis: Andrew North, a fairly successful painter, is commissioned by Ben Alessi to make a piece of art for him. Ben offers Andrew an inordinate amount of money, which Andrew can’t turn down. The deal turns out to be too good to be true, and things become complicated when Andrew’s wife, Emory, and Ben’s assistant, Miranda, get involved.


  • BEN ALESSI (Lead): A man in his 30’s; tall, strong, somewhat intimidating but charming and handsome. On the surface Ben appears to be an accomplished and respectable man, but has an edge of untrustworthiness. Ben works at an online publication as a part-time art critic and goes to Andrew’s art gallery opening. He asks Andrew, who does not usually work for commission, to paint him a piece of art. Andrew agrees because of Ben’s promise of paying him a great amount. Ben has ulterior motives to the deal, which reveal themselves after Andrew has agreed.
  • EMORY NORTH (Lead): A woman in her late 20’s / early 30’s, married to Andrew. Emory is somewhat shy and coy, but has a forceful way about her. She is growing frustrated with her husband’s job and his lack of financial support. She works a full time job at the same publication as Ben, and gets caught up in the deal he strikes with Andrew.
  • MIRANDA LINCOLN (Supporting): A woman in her 20’s; works as Ben’s assistant in his home. Miranda plays a vital role in ensuring that Andrew gets the commissioned artwork done. While she is distant with Andrew at the beginning of the process, she becomes a great aid to him along the way.
  • CLINTON RAMSEY (Supporting): A man in his 20’s; an eager but naive recent college graduate. He works for Andrew as his assistant, and informs Andrew of Ben’s offer.
  • COLIN CAMPOS (Supporting): A man in his 40’s; curator of a large museum. He meets with Ben regarding a favor that he owes Ben, and helps him with the scheme he has with Andrew.
  • REPORTER (Supporting): Can be male or female, in his/her mid 30’s; speaks with Andrew about his experience with Ben and the commissioned artwork offer.



Director: Alison Goedde = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: Aprox. 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: March 20-22
Compensation: No pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals or SAG deferred.

Synopsis: A dramatic comedy where an over analytical woman named Pam finds that knowledge is power when her brother is going to propose to his girlfriend of four months. Pam knows some things about his soon-to-be fiancé that her brother doesn’t.


  • PAM FETTERS (Lead): A woman in her 30’s, traumatized by her own love life. Always overthinks everything and is a bit of a control freak, but does has a sense of humor.
  • JULIAN FETTERS (Lead): Pam’s successful, yet bumbling brother in his late 30’s. Grateful to have his heart chained up by his über hot girlfriend, but is clueless as to the real reason she’s dating him: money.
  • CHAD SHACKS (Supporting): Julian’s best friend, in his late 30’s. Over-confident womanizer, dresses well, is very laid back.
  • FRANCESCA VEGA (Supporting): Julian’s well-endowed fashionista girlfriend. Mid 30’s and oblivious to most everything, though very charming and well aware of her looks.
  • ANNA BLANCO (Supporting): Francesca’s tag-along and a Francesca wannabe, in her 30’s, though not as well endowed as Francesca.
  • LELAND FETTERS (Supporting): Typical adolescent boy, 14; is only really happy when gaming on his phone. Brother of Pam and Julian.
  • EDITH FETTERS (Supporting): Pam, Julian and Leland’s mother, in her 50’s. Oblivious, Chatty-Cathy mother who loves her boys and puts pressure on Pam to succeed in life and produce her some grandchildren ASAP.
  • ELMER FETTERS (Supporting): Pam, Julian and Leland’s father, in his late 50’s, loves his wife; aware of her chattiness and has a humor about it.
  • WAITER/WAITRESS (Featured): Works at the restaurant.
  • Other silent bits: OLDER LADY, CAB DRIVER



Director: Jerome Hooks = [email protected]
Production Type: Student Production III
Project Length: Short Film (10 minutes)
Shooting Location: Franklin
Shoot dates: March 15–March 22

Synopsis: A small town boy named Brian finally gets his dream jobin the Big Apple. Brian’s journey is cut short when his 1976 Coupe de Ville breaks down on the open road, and he is ambushed by a group of thieves in a painters van.


  • BRIAN JACKSON (Lead): Black male in his 20’s. Brian is ambitious with lots of fight; he is also humorous and enjoys the little things in life.
  • VAN DRIVER (Supporting): Rugged Caucasian male in his 40’s; scary but humble and can get over on just about anyone.
  • NUN (Supporting): Quiet and calm Spanish woman in her late 30’s.
  • WISE COUPLE (Supporting): Older white man and woman, filled with wisdom; both are timid and quite funny together.
  • POLICE OFFICER (Supporting): A Caucasian male in his 40s with a thick country accent, he is loud and sort of humorous.



Director: Jonathan Terry =  [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Production II with dialogue
Project length: 5-10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 27-29
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. Non-union: no pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: A college student wants to find closure with his ex-girlfriend, but the world gives him answers he doesn’t see coming.


  • DONNIE JOHNSON (Lead, 18 years old): Has had all summer to deal with his breakup, now wants to move on to college to get a change in his life. Donnie still misses Mary, his ex,  as he feels that he was given no clear explanation as to what went wrong. Donnie is intelligent, thoughtful and makes careful decisions; obsessed with burning matches.
  • MARY TURNER (Lead, 18 years old): Donnie’s ex-girlfriend. Mary is a trapped soul who does whatever is cool just to fit in. She is soft spoken and although she gives off a cold impression, is very hwarmhearted and filled with emotion. Smoker.
  • ANDREW WATSON (Supporting, 18-19): Cool,  popular teen who persuades his way into and out of every situation. His words are sharp and calculated. It is without a doubt that Andrew should be a lawyer.



Director: Robin Summer = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II with Dialogue
Project length: 10-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 20-22
Compensation: No pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals or SAG deferred.

Synopsis: Mark suddenly wakes up in a decrepit basement. He has no idea how he got there or why. The only thing he knows is that there is a mysterious man watching him through the keyhole, and a broken rotary phone rings constantly. He is actually in a coma, and now a prisoner of his own mind.


  • MARK (Lead): An everyday guy, 25-30 years old. He has a good job and a beautiful girlfriend who is expecting their first child. Even though Mark’s life doesn’t sound very exciting, that is how he likes it: stable and under control. Unfortunately, some parts of life are not in our control. When he wakes up in the basement, he thinks he is a victim of a kidnapping.
  • SARAH (Supporting): Mark’s girlfriend; the most honest and kind person you can find. She has had a rough childhood, and thought for a long time that she would never find a good life for herself. When she met Mark, she partially fell in love with his stability. She hopes to put her childhood behind her and build a new life, the one she always wanted. She couldn’t be happier about her relationship with Mark and their future child. That is, of course, before Mark fell into a coma.
  • DR. LADOUCEUR (Supporting): Can be played by male or female. A successful doctor, 50’s, originally from New Orleans.
  • NURSE #1* (Supporting): A nice 20-something nurse.
  • NURSE #2* (Supporting): A 35-year-old nurse, therefore more experienced.
    *NOTE: At least one of the nurses will be female; males can read for these roles.



Director: Travis Slagle = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project Length: Short Film (18 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville and surrounding areas
Shoot Dates: Feb 27-28, March 1
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital file and meals. Non-Union: no payment DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Chuck, a young college student on the autism spectrum, decides to sell his virginity online with the assistance of his best friend, Sarah. As his website grows in popularity, his disorder and social inability will be put to the ultimate test.


  • CHUCK (Lead): A 20-30-year-old male with Asperger’s syndrome. Chuck is a jazz guitar genius but a social disaster. Chuck’s obsession with sex and his inability to find a willing partner leads to his decision to sell his virginity. To those that don’t know him Chuck seems emotionless and cold.
  • SARAH (Lead): A 20-30-year-old female; long-time friend of Chuck. Sarah’s doesn’t have a healthy family life and has therefore become a sister-type figure to Chuck. She uses fierce toughness to hide her delicacy. She also knows how to handle Chuck at his worst.
  • ETHAN (Supporting): A 20-30-year-old male who lacks life experiences and has little guilt about being selfish. He wants his relationship with Sarah to be strictly a sexual one.
  • WAITER (Extra [4 lines in the script]): A 40-50-year-old server at a fine dining restaurant. Waiter has an air of importance about himself and the food that he serves.



Director: Rose Hook = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project length: 10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 17-19
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals or union deferred payment.

Synopsis: Ben, an alcoholic, loses his fiancée, Lila. His best friend, Jay, helps him through this troubling time.


  • BEN (Lead, late 20’s): Loves his fiancée dearly, but jeopardizes his relationship constantly due to his non-stop struggles with alcohol. No nudity, but love scene required.
  • JAY (Lead, early 20’s): Ben’s best friend and often-times partner in crime. Serves as something of a guiding force to Ben, despite his own struggles with loving women overly much. No nudity, but love scene required.
  • LILA (Lead, early 20’s): Ben’s fiancée. She’s stuck with him through years of ups and downs, but has finally had enough. No nudity, but love scene required.
  • GIRL #1 (Supporting, early 20’s): Victim of Jay’s seduction. No nudity, but love scene required.
  • BARTENDER (Supporting, early 30’s, male or female): Present for (and annoyed by) Jay’s shenanigans.
  • GIRL #2 (Featured): Girl #1’s friend, at the bar with her. Non-speaking.
  • GIRL #3 (Featured): Girl #1’s friend, at the bar with her. Non-speaking.
  • GIRL #4 (Featured): Gets checked out by Jay and Ben on the street. Non-speaking.
  • GIRL #5 (Featured): With Girl #4, gets checked out by Jay and Ben on the street. Non-speaking.



Director: Natalia Nové
 = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Film (Production II); with dialogue
Project length: 12 minutes
Shooting Location: TBA (within TN; minor travel)
Shoot Dates: March 6-8
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment or non-union DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: A coming-of-age story about a young girl named Lauryn who is stoic in nature and must deal with the realization that her mother has left her and her two younger brothers to fend for themselves. Many seemingly unmovable obstacles are placed before her, and her unconditional love for her brothers may not be enough to help them stay together. This film may contain mild profanity.


  • LAURYN (Lead, 12-14 years old): A stoic young girl; reserved and silent in nature, she writes poetry in place of her distant voice. One day her mother mysteriously disappears and Lauryn must take up the role as caretaker for herself and her two younger brothers.
  • MISS LANDLADY (Supporting, 30-40):  She owns the property where Lauryn and her family reside. She is unaware of the situation that Lauryn and the children face but the first of the month is approaching and she demands her rent.
  • OCTAVIUS (Supporting, 8-10 years old): One of Lauryn’s brothers. He deals with anger and throughout the course of the film begins to rebel against his sister, developing a destructive behavior.
  • JOAQUIN (Supporting, 6-7 years old): Youngest of the three siblings. He is good-natured and the heart of the family. He suffers with diabetes and ultimately that becomes another obstacle Lauryn must face.
  • XAVIER (Supporting, 30): Lauryn’s estranged father. He works construction and has no emotional connection to his daughter.
  • BUS STOP DAVIS (Extra, 30-50):  Homeless man who sits at the bus stop in the neighborhood.
  • SOCIAL WORKER #1/SOCIAL WORKER #2 (Extras, 20’s and up):  Male or female.



Director: Shiori Cartwright Sheldon
 = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project length: 8-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: March 13-15
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. Non-union: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Andie runs out of the house after her foster father, August, smacks her. While trying to get away, she runs into a woman named Charlie who attempts to help her, but Andie flees before she can. Lost in the woods, Andie pulls out matches to light a fire and something magical happens.


  • ANDIE (Lead, female): A 14-year-old orphaned girl who has experienced a lot of mental and physical hurt. She is very stoic, strong and wise beyond her years, but when she talks about her family she is very emotional.
  • CHARLIE  (Supporting, female, 30’s):  A career woman and mother; very caring.
  • AUGUST (Supporting, male, 40’s): Andie’s abusive and alcoholic foster father. He is a washed up police officer who likes to relive his glory days.



Director: Derek Newell Estes = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: Union or Non-Union
Production Type: Production II  with dialogue
Project length: 8-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: Feb. 27-March 1
Compensation: Food, DVD copy of final project, as well as digital copy for reels or Union deferred.

Synopsis: Tiberius Maximus (“Tim”) Wilcox is the Sheriff of Plainview, Texas, a small ranching community where nothing much happens — except when the annual county fair comes to town. Then Plainview comes to life as farmers across the county bring their prized livestock to show off. Two weeks prior to this year’s ACF, ranchers around Plainview report their livestock being stolen. The sheriff and his deputy, Jonathan Wurth, begin to investigate the thefts, and find something big happening in a tiny town.


  • TIM WILCOX (Lead, 50’s): Well respected sheriff. Retirement is around the corner, an idea he isn’t agreeable with. He is a cowboy in the 21st century, wearing a ten gallon hat, cowboy boots, gold star on his chest, and packing a Colt revolver. He was born and raised in Plainview. He trusts his deputy with his life, which eventually gets him into trouble.
  • JONATHAN WURTH (Lead, 30’s) The deputy of Plainview. Seems a bit naive,  constantly wears aviators. He has a cold stare, which keeps his underlings quiet. He runs a newly established black market of stolen cattle under the nose of the Sheriff.
  • DOTSON (Supporting, male):  Local farmer who has recently reported his prized cow missing, merely to throw the sheriff off.
  • MS. O’DONNELL (Supporting): Wealthy “Southern Belle” widow. Has a prized bull that has not been stolen, pegging her as a suspect.
  • DANIEL (Supporting): Teenager who finds himself as a witness. Unlike the adults, Daniel dresses as a punk, prefers heavy metal and doesn’t have a Southern drawl. His nerves from talking to the sheriff get to him.
  • MR. COBB (Supporting, 50’s): Lost his wife to a hit-and-run incident and the killer nearly got away, but was caught by Wilcox trying to cross into New Mexico. To thank Wilcox, he brings coffee to the office every afternoon.



Director: Krista Gail = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: 10-12 minutes
Shooting Location: TBD
Shoot Dates: March 27-29
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. Non Union: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: A young man and his father reunite after three years apart. He soon learns that the accusations against his father are true and has to make the hardest decision of his life.


  • GRAYSON (Lead, early 20’s): A modest, pleasant and ambitious, yet slightly cynical, young man. He has no family left in his life and tries to focus on everything but himself.
  • DAVID (Supporting, early 50’s): Grayson’s father. Sentimental and negligent man who was accused of credit card fraud. After being caught, he fled to protect himself and his son.
  • PETER (Supporting, early 20’s): Intelligent and genuine young man.
  • TRENT (Supporting, early 20’s): Energetic and frivolous young man.



Director: Garret Macpherson = [email protected]
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student Production III With Dialogue
Project length: 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: late March
Compensation: No info provided.

Synopsis: James meets a girl named Katie on an online dating site. After dinner and a dance in the sheets, he finds out Katie lives with her dad and she’s only 16. James needs to find a way to get out of the house without waking up her monstrous father.
  • JAMES (early 30’s): Has a dark sense of humor; hates how the world is progressing. He gives an online dating site a try to see if there is anyone out there for him.
  • KATIE: (16-years-old, but actress must be 18 or older): Despises her classmates in school, especially the boys, so she tries the online dating site to find someone more mature.
  • DAD (late 40’s): Big and bear-like; very protective of his daughter.


Director: Patrick Cowan = [email protected]


Film School Zooms In On Fall 2014 Winners

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Congratulations to the winners of the Film School’s Fall 2014 productions, which were showcased during the first week of December in open-to-the-public screenings in the Watkins Theater.

Production One:

Best Sound Design – The Owner

Best Score/Use of Music – The Missing Ingredient

Best Production Design – The Missing ingredient

Best Editing – All It Takes

Best Cinematography – The Owner

Best Actor – Eric Crawford, Choked

Best Actress – Sydney Roof, All It Takes

Best Screenplay – The Missing Ingredient

Best Director – Sean Wykoski

Best Picture – The Owner


Production Two:

Best Sound Design – T.V. Eye

Best Score/Use of Music – Human Arms Race

Best Production Design – Creep

Best Editing – Upper Level Management

Best Cinematography – Human Arms Race

Best Actor – Moayad Abualkhair, Human Arms Race

Best Actress – Christine Poythress, Intrusions

Best Screenplay – Emi & Mimi

Best Director – Carter Glascock, Upper Level Management

Best Picture – Upper Level Management


Production Three:

Best Sound Design – Summer Haze

Best Score/Use of Music – The Window East

Best Production Design – The Window East

Best Editing – Summer Haze

Best Cinematography – Austin Boylen and Emileigh Potter, The Window East

Best Actor – George Byrne, The Window East

Best Actress – Sara Antonio, The Window East

Best Screenplay – Summer Haze (Blake Holland, director) / Super Hero Support Group (Sydney Hood, director)

Best Director – Alexander Mattingly, The Window East

Best Picture – Summer Haze (Blake Holland, director)


Complete Production Three screening list:

  • Dottie and the Liver (drama, 16 min) – Directed by Hunter Billings
  • Super Hero Support Group (comedy, 13 min) – Directed by Sydney Hood
  • My Twin or me (drama, 10 min) – Directed by Matison Turner
  • The Window East (drama, 30 min) – Directed by Alexander Mattingly
  • Saving Heroes (comedy 16 min) – Directed by JR Villers
  • Summer Haze (drama, 45 min) – Directed by Blake Holland
  • Into the Hollow (drama, 8 min) – Directed by Robbie Baldassari
  • Victoria (drama, 20 min) – Directed by Corey Miller
  • Hitch Me (comedy, 15 min) – Directed by Thomas Chi


Watkins Serves Best Work at Currey Juried Show, Opening February 5

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will present the 2015 Currey Juried Student Show, featuring outstanding work in fine art, film, graphic design, interior design and photography, from February 5–March 12 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

Currey 2014 gallery viewer 0072 WwebAn opening reception and awards presentation will be held on Thursday, February 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Serving as Currey Show jurors are artist/curator Karen Seapker, who currently splits her time between Nashville and Brooklyn, and Pradip Malde, professor of art, Department of Art and Art History, University of the South, Sewanee.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

COOP Gallery cooperative member/curator since 2013, she holds an MFA in Painting from Hunter College in New York City and a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and has been in residence at Chashama North in Pine Plains, NY. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Shanghai, with two solo shows earlier this year, in London (Canal Projects) and Nashville (Zeitgeist).

Malde has lived and worked as a photographic artist and teacher in Scotland and Tennessee since graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 1980. He has exhibited in Europe and the US and has works in numerous collections including the Princeton University Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (Edinburgh). He teaches classes in photography, documentary photography and electronic media and is currently working with students and alumni on ways of using photography for community development in Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Grundy County, TN.

All Watkins students are eligible to submit projects created since Fall 2014, with eight winners­–topped by the Anny Gowa Purchase Award­–announced by President Ellen L. Meyer.

Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.


Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava to Visit Watkins Nov. 8

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

The Film School at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and OZ Arts Nashville will present a special screening and presentation by Prashant Bhargava, an award-winning filmmaker and designer known for his intricately layered and lush visuals, November 7 & 8 in the Watkins Theater.


Professor Richard Gershman, OZ Artists Director Lauren Snelling and Prashant Bhargava in the Watkins Theater

Professor Richard Gershman, OZ Artistic Director Lauren Snelling and Prashant Bhargava in the Watkins Theater

On Friday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m., Watkins will screen Bhargava’s 2012 feature debut Patang (The Kite, 95 minutes). Weaving the stories of six people during India’s largest kite festival, Patang, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, earned a four-star review from Roger Ebert and was named a New York Times Critics Pick.

On Saturday, November 8 at 11 a.m., Bhargava will speak about his career, which includes pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer as well as a filmmaker with narrative, documentary and experimental credits. Richard Gershman, chair of the Film School at Watkins, will introduce him and facilitate the Q&A session.

The screening and lecture are free, but reservations are encouraged: [email protected].

Bhargava’s visit to Watkins is in conjunction with OZ Arts Nashville’s presentation of Vijay Iyer: Music of Transformation, within which a new film by Bhargava is included. In collaboration with composer/pianist Iyer (a 2013 MacArthur Fellow), Bhargava’s film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, will be screened simultaneously to Iyer’s orchestral music, performed live by the International Contemporary Ensemble and conducted by David Fulmer. Based on Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Radhe Radhe is a journey of desire and devotion during the colorful and chaotic celebrations of Holi in Mathura, India.

Oz_LogoFinal_6.30.14Music of Transformation plays two performances at OZ: November 8 at 8 p.m. and November 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased via


Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Prashant Bhargava

Described by producer Anthony Bregman as “visionary and soulful” and “masterful” by Roger Ebert, Prashant Bhargava is a director and designer whose work is recognized worldwide for its original storytelling and honest craft. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Bhargava is one of the first South Asians to emerge from the hip-hop movement as a graffiti artist. His filmmaking (his first film, the short Sangam, debuted at Sundance) builds from his pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer.

Prashant Bhargava smWwebKnown for his intricately layered and lush visuals, Bhargava spearheaded over 100 campaigns for HBO (including The Wire, Def Poetry Jam, Rome and OZ) and films such as Born into Brothels, John Frankenhiemer’s Path to War, Mira Nair’s Hysterical Blindness, Raoul Peck’s Lumumba, and Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher. Bhargava designed effects sequences for Alex Rivera’s feature Sleep Dealer and directed music videos and promos for musical acts Cornershop, Talib Kweli and Missy Elliot. Notable clients include Accenture, NBC, Woolrich, PBS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Volvo and OMango and collaborations include design and production studios such as R/GA, Click 3x and Edgeworx.

Following Sangam – which received awards at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and Short Shorts Asia – he directed Ammaji, a documentary portrait of his grandmother, Backwaters, an experimental Super 8 short, and Kashmir, a film and live music performance with electronic band Dawn of Midi.

Bhargava’s feature length directorial debut, Patang (The Kite) received rave reviews, including four stars from Roger Ebert who named it one of 2012’s best. An anthem to the old city of Ahmedabad, it weaves the stories of six people during India’s largest kit festival. Patang, Nawazuddin-Siddiqui03 Wwebwhich premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and ran in the main competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, won Best Feature Narrative at the Hawaii Film Festival, Best World Narrative at the Indy Film Festival, a Special Jury Award at the Osians Film Festival in New Delhi, Best Feature Narrative at the DC APA Film Festival, and Best Film at the SAIFF’s Rising Star Film Awards; Bhargava was also named Best Director. Defying convention in its process and cinematic language, Patang united a community torn apart by religious conflict and natural disaster, starring two of India’s finest actors, Seema Biswas and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

His latest work, Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, is a journey of desire and devotion during the colorful and choatic celebrations of Holi in Mathura, India. Created in collaboration with celebrated composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, the performance is presented as a film projected in conjunction with a live orchestra, and was described by NPR as “one of the most brilliant and exciting commemorations of the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.”

Bhargava studied computer science at Cornell University and theatrical directing at the Barrow Group and at the Actors Studio (MFA program). He has lectured at New York University, Cornell University, Amherst College, UNC Chapel Hill, Stonybrook, Indiana University, University of Chicago and CEDIM. Bhargava was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in both 1997 and 2012. For more information, visit

‘Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1’ Celebrates Community and Connections

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1,” featuring new work by 10 alumni in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Photography and opening Thursday, November 20, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. The exhibition will run through December 12.

Participating artists in “Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1″ are Jeremy Adams (Film, 2003), Alicia W. Binkley (Graphic Design, 2008), Chris Doubler (Fine Art, 2006), Patricia Earnhardt (Fine Art, 2008),  Jennifer Georgescu (Photography, 2008), Derek Gibson (Fine Art, 2004), Pam Jolly Haile (Fine Art, 2013), Joshua Brent Montgomery (Film, 2008), Jaime Raybin (Fine Art, 2006) and Trent Thibodeaux (Graphic Design, 2006).

This inaugural show, organized by the newly formed Watkins Alumni Committee, is the first in an ongoing series that intends to demonstrate the diverse and continued explorations of art across departments among the alumni community.

The exhibition and reception are free and the public is invited. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, visit or call 615.383.4848.

Regular Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. (Watkins will be closed Nov. 27-28 for Thanksgiving.) Admission is free.

About the Artists

Director and cinematographer Jeremy Adams ( lives and works in Los Angeles. A 2003 graduate of the Film School at Watkins, he has worked in a variety of roles in film/video production, ranging from art department assistant on ABC’s “Pushing Daises” to storyboarding acclaimed music video director Joseph Kahn’s second feature film, “Detention.” Jeremy has directed and photographed documentaries, commercials, music videos, short films and a feature film. In 2012, he directed an award-winning spot for Marine Corps Special Operations Command/MARSOC and in 2013, shot and edited the webisode “You Ought To Know Nashville” for PBS Digital.

  • Grid of 9 (3 across, 3 down), archival digital prints, iPhone photography (12″x20″)

    JJeremy Adams, "Pacific Stranger"

    Jeremy Adams, “Pacific Stranger”

“I have always viewed the ordinary world in cinematic widescreen. For the longest time I tried to develop a photographic style to reflect this, without any real success, but having an iPhone in my pocket at all times and taking pictures on a phone just for the hell of it has allowed themes of simplicity and space to emerge, one photo after another. My eye is now naturally drawn to unique, natural landscapes that sometimes feature inhabitants. Most times though, the landscapes themselves are characters in their own right that tell a story without ever saying a word. It’s this aspect that attracts me the most, especially in this modern and ever-complicating world where we are constantly bombarded with information.”

Alicia Waters Binkley - him her

Alicia W. Binkley, “Him Her”

Alicia Waters Binkley ( describes herself as a “designer and doer who loves to find creative ways to help others.” Running her own business since earning her BGA in Graphic Design Watkins in 2008, she currently co-runs MID, a print and design company, with her husband, Drew. On top of illustrating she has a great passion for UX and problem solving — worked with many clients around the world on UX/UI solutions for web and mobile — and enjoys serving as the Creative Director at AlienFast, LLC. Earlier this year she became a host of the Nashville chapter of the monthly global creative networking series CreativeMornings.

  • “Him Her,” 2-color screen print with metallic gold ink printed on #110 Smart White French paper (12″ x 18″). Open editions.

“My work tugs at the heartstrings of sentiment and nostalgia. My illustrations often include pattern work with an update to traditional elements and icons.”

A Middle Tennessee native, Chris Doubler received his BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2006. Since that time he has applied his skills and education to become an exhibition designer, preparator, graphic designer and art handler at institutions including Cheekwood Museum & Botanical Gardens, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

  • Silkcreen print on paper (approx 16″x19″)
Jennifer Georgescu, "The Veil"

Jennifer Georgescu, “The Veil”

Jennifer Georgescu’s ( work describes instinctual aspects of humanity correlating to and differing from societal structuring. With a background in painting and photographic arts, she utilizes medium format film photography, installation, and digital technology. Her projects analyze dualisms in language, relationships, mythologies and control. “I often search for the balance that exists in between these dichotomies. This is how I view humanity; always teetering on the line between fiction and reality, domination and submissiveness, self and other.”

After obtaining a BFA in Photography from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 2008, Georgescu was awarded a yearlong residency at Vanderbilt University’s “Gallery F.” She has received numerous honors from Artist Portfolio Magazine, the Camera Obscura Journal of Literature and Photography, and the Julia Margaret Cameron Award.  Her works have recently been exhibited in the Masur Museum of Art, the Detroit Museum of New Art, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and PhotoCenter NW. She lives in San Francisco.

  • “Star Gazers” (the veil) (20”x20,” 2014) and “Star Gazers” (night walks) (15”x15,” 2014)

I wish I could believe that something was out there waiting for me in the cosmos. I find the thought of forever incapacitating. Then I think of the alternative; of being nothing ever again. We all have a self-proclaimed importance that renders our being obsolete, impossible. This is part of what makes us human. We hold the idea of our importance despite our insignificance and mortality.

Jennifer Georgescu, "Night Walks"

Jennifer Georgescu, “Night Walks”

I long for a time, somewhere in the past, when it was thought that all information was just out of reach and all we had to do was find it. I feel that in present time, the more information we know, the more we realize that we’ll never know it all. We now have a vastly expanding wealth of information at our fingertips, yet we are no closer to “knowing” the most important answers.

The most wonderful idea I can think of, the thing that truly comforts me, is the possibility of time being warped beyond our current perception. I find comfort in the idea of parallel universes; where little holes allow for one world to briefly experience the next. When you make a decision in one world, an alternate decision would be made in the next, and so on. This idea has always allowed me to think that when I am gone in one world, I may continue in the next.

“Star Gazers” addresses the things that are hard to think about (i.e. death, mortality, insignificance) through imagination and narrative easy to be confronted with. Fiction and awe weave together antique imagery, scientific imaging, and medium format film photography to tell a far-fetched tale that is factually possible.   This is a story where worlds can communicate, where past and present can connect, and the cosmos contain meaning.

Patricia Earnhardt, film still from "Accepted"

Patricia Earnhardt, film still from “Accepted”

Patricia Earnhardt ( is a multimedia visual artist working primarily with video and installation art. Her work, which focuses on social and political issues as well as personal internal struggles, has been exhibited in Berlin, Germany and in numerous venues in Nashville. She graduated from Watkins in 2008 with a BFA in fine Art. She is also a filmmaker and, for the past 20 years, has run Earnhardt Films, LLC with her husband, David Earnhardt.

  • Digital video, “Accepted” (2:36, looping)

“In the video, ‘Accepted,’ soft, ripe fruit falls onto the back of a woman reclining peacefully in a field. The fruit splays as it hits the quiet and unflinching body — flesh meeting flesh. The image depicts an acceptance of nature and its effects on the body over time, showing the beauty in aging — something that is often considered grotesque.”

A Murfreesboro native, Derek Gibson ( has exhibited locally, regionally and nationally in a variety of group and juried shows in Fort Collins (CO), Cincinnati, Atlanta and New York City since graduating from Watkins with a BFA in Fine Art in 2004. His work has included sculpture, photography, installation and video installation. He stays involved in the local art community, volunteering as a studio teaching assistant and exhibit preparator in two local non-profit organizations and maintaining his own artistic practice while keeping a day job.

  • Mixed media sculpture of various domestic and exotic hardwoods (approx. 6-8’ tall, 4-5’ in length and width)

“My work is informed by the idea of place. This could be a physical place where I have been or where I shared an event with a significant other. It could also be a spiritual place I have been as part of my meditation practice and continuing journey of personal development.

Pam Haile - Her Mark 1

Pam Haile, “Her Mark 1″

Pam Jolly Haile processes ideas of space and place using a variety of visual languages, including painting, sculpture, installation and photography. Her focus on nature’s benevolence and the experiences it provides is the thread she follows, weaving abstract ideas and theory into her art practice. She earned her BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2013 and currently lives and works in Nashville.

  • Archival UV direct print on dibond substrate (20″x15″)

“There is a seamless rapport between my everyday life and art making. The work I create is a recording of my ordinary experiences. I aim to engage the audience with sensory and poetic qualities in works that question what it means to consciously observe, and therefore wholly experience being human.”

Joshua Brent Montgomery, "Shine"

Joshua Brent Montgomery, “Shine”

Joshua Brent Montgomery ( is an artist from Goodlettsville, TN. A 2008 graduate of the Film School at Watkins, he works as a casting associate in the entertainment industry and spends his free time writing and drawing.

  • Three acrylic on canvas: “Boy in Snow” (24”x36”), “Scared Boy in Field” (18”x24”), “Shine” (36″x36″)

“My work is culled from a wide variety of personal interests and curiosities, none of which share a locus worth mentioning.”

Alethea Norene holds a BFA in Photography in 2008 from Watkins and MFA in 2010 from Maine College of Art in Portland. She has exhibited her work nationally in solo and group exhibitions and alternative venues such as clothing boutiques. Co-founder of SOUP, a community based micro-grant program for artists in Portland, Alethea is currently expanding her creative practice and is in school in Nashville to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, hoping to utilize her creative experiences to positively empower women.

  • Archival pigment print from digital scan of film (30×30″)

“My work celebrates friendship, co-dependence, magic, healing, faith, and mistake making. My images and drawings memorialize moments of togetherness and independent voyages.”

Jaime Raybin, "For Owen"

Jaime Raybin, “For Owen”

Jaime Raybin ( earned a BFA in Fine Art in 2006 from Watkins, where she currently works as an admissions recruiter. Her exhibition history includes Northwestern University, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville), Swanson-Reed Contemporary (Louisville, KY), the Foundry Art Centre (Saint Charles, MO), Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), the Renaissance Center (Dickson, TN) and the University of the South (Sewanee, TN).

  • Acrylic on canvas “Bathroom” (28″x37″) and “Can Phone” (17″x42″); digital micrography collage “For Owen” and “For Kalina” (each approx. 18”x24″)

“My paintings deal with themes of social isolation and escapism. They are set in the workplace and in shared living spaces. This work is figurative and personal, often featuring myself as a character in narrative metaphorical vignettes.”

Originally from Louisiana, Trent Thibodeaux ( has been a resident of Nashville for the past 14 years, since coming to Watkins to study graphic design; he earned his BFA in 2006. He has worked in many facets of the design world and currently is lead designer at Third Man Records.

  • Graphite and wall paper on paper (10×20); color photo (8×10), wall pasted illustration in corner (3’x4’)

“My work deals with the transformation from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Using drawings, textures, & found images that evoke nostalgia, i create new images that tell an unintended story. At first glance these new images look familiar and deliver a sense of comfort. Through further exploration, the comparison of unfamiliar and unexpected elements creates sense of uneasiness. The conflict created by the unexpected change in narrative, caused by the combination of disparate elements challenges the viewer to rethink the idea of normalcy and expectation.”

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

About the Watkins Alumni Committee

The Watkins Alumni Committee preserves the spirit of the Watkins community for alumni, locally and nationally, beyond graduation by cultivating opportunities for professional growth and support as well as social connectivity. As artists and makers, we promote the value of the arts beyond the walls of Watkins through collaborations with community organizations and local businesses, advocating for arts access and art education, and developing a culture of philanthropy in the arts. For more information, contact committee chair Abby Whisenant at [email protected]