The 47th Nashville Film Festival begins April 14th–this year is going to be the best one yet, with 6,500 submissions, tying the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival, and effectively turning the Music City into the Movie City! The festivities last until April 23rd, and several Nashville-centric films are featured, including the world premiere of Josephine, which was directed by Rory Feek. Yours truly will be in the midst of the action, screening the Americana-focused shows and reporting back to you! Here are the films you’ll be hearing about from the Pew:
Honky Tonk Heaven/USA (Directors: Brenda Greene Mitchell, Sam Wainwright Douglas)
The Broken Spoke has hosted country greats like George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, George Jones and Roy Acuff. A profile of “the last of the true Texas dance halls” and the tenacious family keeping it alive amid rapid urban growth. Cast: James White, Annetta White, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dale Watson, Alvin Crow. Southeast US Premiere
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory/USA (Director: Scott Rosenbaum)
Sidemen: Long Road To Glory is an intimate look at the lives and legacies of three legendary bluesmen; piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, all Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen. The film captures some of the last interviews and final live performances, before their deaths in 2011. The historic live shows are accompanied by performances and personal insights from many of the blues and rock stars these legendary musicians inspired including; Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Robby Krieger, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Winter.Cast: Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman. Southeast US Premiere
From Willie Nelson to Wilco, Ray Charles to Radiohead, A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story offers the ultimate backstage pass to 40 years of incredible music from the longest-running music show in television history.Cast: Willie Nelson, Beck, Alabama Shakes, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, The Avett Brothers, Radiohead, Sturgill Simpson. Southeast US Premiere
Jack White and T Bone Burnett invite today’s greatest artists to test their skills against the long-lost machine that recorded their musical idols and forebears. The producers rebuilt a 1920s recording system, timed by a weight-driven system of clockwork gears. Stripped of the comforts and security of modern technology, Nas, Elton John, Alabama Shakes, Steve Martin, Taj Mahal, Ana Gabriel, Ashley Monroe, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard are among the artists who have three minutes and one chance to get their music etched into the surface of a revolving wax disc before the weight hits the floor. Conceived as a sonic experiment, an attempt to recreate the conditions of the early record company field teams, the result is a series of career-topping performances by familiar artists pushed to meet the standards of their heroes. Going back to basics and capturing the energy of a unique live performance in the grooves of a rotating wax disc, these recordings are heard exactly as they were made—“lightning in a bottle”.
Stay tuned, y’all! For more information on the festival and this year’s amazing lineup, check out nashvillefilmfestival.org.