Archive for the ‘Film News’ Category

Young Filmmakers Accepted Into Nashville Film Festival

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

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

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

About Among Flowers (11 min.)

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

Among Flowers poster

Click on poster to enlarge

Nashville FIlm Festival logoCheck out the complete 2014  Nashville Film Festival schedule

Swaney Prize Shines on Film School’s Christin Sites

Posted on: April 4th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Christin Sites, a Film School senior from Hendersonville, was awarded the 2014 Robb Swaney Prize for Excellence in Visual Expression during judging held on March 27. 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.”

Swaney 2014 win group

Walter Crouch, Christin Sites, Martin Shofner, Sharon Hels

Jurors Martin Shofner of Shofner Buck Architects/Architectsure and Walter Crouch of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, former associates of Mr. Swaney, and Watkins alumna Sharon Hels praised the cinematography and editing major for the technical excellence, composition and visual impact of the three-minute showcase reel.  Christin is the first Film School student to receive the honor.

Each department chair nominated two students to participate in the annual competition, and the artists brought examples of their work to display and discuss.


Congratulations to all the 2014 Swaney Prize nominees!

Erin Lord

Erin Lord, Art


Emily Stout

Emily Stout, Art

Jeremy Bolden and Christin Sites

Jeremy Bolden and Christin Sites, The Film School


Alexine Rioux, Fine Art

Swaney 2014 judging

Martin Shofner discusses work by Fine Art’s Alexine Rioux

Kayla Saito

Kayla Saito, Fine Art


Xavier Payne

Xavier Payne, Graphic Design

Katelyn Pennington

Katelyn Pennington, Graphic Design


Amhad Freeman

Amhad Freeman, Interior Design

Whitney Garnier, Interior Design


Sharon Stewart

Sharon Stewart, Photography

Chelsea Wright

Chelsea Wright, Photography


Swaney 2014 MShofner XPayne

Martin Shofner with Graphic Design’s Xavier Payne

photos by Sam Angel

Nashville Japanese Film Festival Debuts at Watkins April 4-6

Posted on: March 28th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

The Nashville Japanese Film Festival premieres April 4–6 in the Watkins Theater, with a nine-film line-up showcasing the rich style and diversity that have made Japanese cinema popular worldwide.

From comedy to drama, anime to documentary, the inaugural festival will spotlight new and classic Japanese-made films, including legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” (4/4); the uplifting “What the Snow Brings” (4/5); and the award-winning “Noriko’s Dinner Table” (the follow-up to the cult favorite “Suicide Club”) (4/6).

The line-up will also feature three free film screenings: the anime tale “Brave Story” and the hilarious, live-action “Robot-G,” both on Saturday, followed by “Always – Sunset on Third Street – 3” on Sunday.

Special events include an exclusive, limited-ticket opening-night reception with Japan’s Consul-General Motohiko Kato (4/4), an optional dress-up day (4/5), and an afternoon seminar on Japanese cinema led by Scott Hallgren, instructor in film sound/music at Watkins (4/5).

Food trucks will be on hand during the lunch and dinner hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available at the door or at Each film (except the three free screenings) is $10 admission. Moviegoers can also opt for a 3-movie pass for $25 or an all-film pass for $50.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is located at 2298 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228 (in Metro Center across from the Looby].  Plenty of free parking is available in the campus lot.

Established in 2014, the mission of NJaFF is to celebrate all aspects of Japanese culture, as experienced through the medium of film. A non-profit Tennessee corporation set up for the benefit of the public, the Nashville Japanese Film Festival is an official event of the Nashville Cherry Blossom season recognized by the Consulate-General of Japan at Nashville. Inquiries & information:



2014 Nashville Japanese Film Festival Schedule

* Films marked with an asterisk are free,
courtesy of The Japan Foundation and the Consulate-General of Japan at Nashville

Friday, April 4

  • 6:00-7:00 pm – Opening Night Reception (ticketed reservations only) – Remarks by Consul-General Motohiko Kato
  • 7:30 pm – Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” (1 hr 59 min) PG

Saturday, April 5 – Dress Up Day (optional)Brave Story poster

  • *10:00 am – “Brave Story” – anime (1 hr 52 min) G
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Special Presentation on Japanese Cinema featuring Watkins professor, Scott Hallgren (free with movie pass, including multi-screening pass)
  • 2:00 pm – “What the Snow Brings” (1 hr 52 min) N/R
  • *5:30 pm – “Robot-G” (1 hr 51 min) N/R
  • 7:45 pm – “Legend of the Millennium Dragon” (1 hrs 40 min) PG-13

Sunday, April 613 Assassins poster

  • *10:00 am – “Always – Sunset on Third Street – 3” (2 hrs 22 min) PG
  • 1:00 pm – “Hafu” documentary (1 hour 26 min) N/R
  • 3:00 pm – “13 Assassins” (2 hrs 21 min) R
  • 6:30 pm – “Noriko’s Dinner Table” (2 hr 39 min) N/R


Co. H Goes Out to ‘Play’ at WAG’s April Show

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Seven Types of Play, an exhibition of works in various media from students in the Co. H art collective, at its downtown gallery WAG during the April 5 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

The show’s concept was guided by notion of “play,” specifically through the National Institute for Play’s delineation of seven distinct types: Attunement, Body, Object, Social, Imaginative, Narrative and Transformative. With each artist creating within one type of play, rules operated in place of theme as a structuring element and built continuity through the very act of making.

The seven participating artists, all council members of Co. H, are:Co.H logo

  • Mika Agari (Fine Art), object play
  • David Anderson (Fine Art), transformative play
  • Aaron Harper (Fine Art), imaginative play
  • Blake Holland (The Film School), narrative play
  • Zack Rafuls (Fine Art), attunement play
  • Alexine Rioux (Fine Art), body play
  • Kayla Saito (Fine Art), social play.

Work will include drawing, painting, video, digital prints, sculpture, performance and social practice.

Pictured at top: Blake Holland, “Pixel-Eyes” (digital print)

Mika Agari - 50¢

Mika Agari, “50¢” (still from performance)

“Play is an idea that comes up in conversations about making in class and studios all the time, and it seems to be important to all of our practices in some way,” said Zack Rafuls.  “So when we came across the National Institute for Play’s seven definitions – and there were seven of us – we thought it was a perfect structuring basis for the show.”

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.

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

About WAG
WAG logo orange
The Watkins Arcade Gallery  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 presents 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.

About The National Institute for Play
The National Institute for Play believes that as play is woven into the fabric of social practices, we will dramatically transform our personal health, our relationships, the education we provide our children and the capacity of our corporations to innovate. Visit

WAG April2014 CoH evite f

Click on image to enlarge evite


Film School Fall ’13 Efforts Screen December 9-12

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by Steve Wilkison

The Film School presents its fall 2013 final projects from December 9-12 in the Watkins Theater.  More than 45 narrative and experimental projects from four production classes will be shown beginning at 7 pm [schedule follows].  Food trucks will be on campus prior to the screenings.

The events are free and the public is invited.

Watkins Fall 2013 Student Screenings

(all screenings start at 7 pm)

Monday, December 9 = Production I [see list below]

Tuesday, December 10 = Production II [part 1]

Wednesday, December 11 = Production II [part 2]

Thursday, December 12 = Production III and Production IV

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center.  Parking is free in the campus lot.


Makris, The Sock Monkey (0:05:30)
Alison Goedde
Makris just needs a friend.
All Ages

The Treehouse
Haley Montague
A young girl sets out on an adventure to find a place of her own and makes a new friend along the way.
All Ages

Oh, Brother (0:05:00)
Nick Sokol
See what happens between a brother and sister who can’t quite get along.

Hayden Owens

Happy Birthday (0:05:30)
Perris Johnson
A mother must save her child on her belated birthday.

Hypolove (0:07:40)
Corey Miler
A man kidnaps a woman and hypnotizes her into loving him.
All Ages

Who are EWE (0:07:15)
Matison Turner
Jenny gets ready to attend her school reunion hoping to impress her high school crush, the former star football player, but she discovers he has changed in ways she never could have expected.
All Ages

The Ketch Up (0:02:57)
Shiori Sheldon

15-minute intermission

Ransom (0:03:30)
Robert Baldassari
Tyler finds a mysterious note.
All Ages

Fragments (0:02:15)
Stephanie Adams
A young woman struggles to cope with the accidental death of her child.

Believe (0:07:30)
Cole Case
An allegory in modern terms, depicting a young woman who is pushed to fight for her life and the life of her unborn child.
Mature Audiences

Animal Farm (0:04:00)
Carter Luckfield
Music video for Blackbear + the Surf Bums, loosely based George Orwell’s classic.
Drug Use

Ray Skin (0:06:14)
Austin Cowan
A woman is forced to prove her worthiness of a Katana sword given to her by her samurai boyfriend.
Violence, Mature Audiences

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.