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Nashville Film Festival Announces Festival and Screenplay Award Winners

Last updated: November 17, 2021

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) tonight announced the 52nd edition’s award winners, including best films in each category and the winning scripts in the organization’s esteemed screenplay competition. The debut feature film directed by Noah Dixon and Ori Segev, POSER was named Best Narrative Feature, while Bo McGuire’s cinematic memoir SOCKS ON FIRE earned the Best Documentary Feature award; opening night selection BRIAN WILSON: LONG PROMISED ROAD received Best Music Documentary honors, and Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s haunting CLARA SOLA won for Best New Directors Feature. Juries in each festival category named their best films for the 2021 Nashville Film Festival during a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 5, hosted by Nashville FIlm Festival Director of Programming Lauren Ponto. Watch the full ceremony here (Film) and here (Screenplay), and find the full list of jury members here. The complete list of film and script award winners is below.

Opening night selection BRIAN WILSON: LONG PROMISED ROAD received Best Music Documentary honors

“We’re incredibly proud of this slate of Festival winners,” said Lauren Ponto, director of programming. “These films not only represent the best in their category, but they’ve resonated with audiences this week, too. It’s been a joy to see both local Nashville audiences and those joining us virtually discover these gems and embrace them.”

In the Screenplay Competition, Jamaal Pittman’s LONG WAY HOME was named Best Drama Feature Script, while Keri Lee’s RAT BASTARDS and Martin Aguilera’s EREBUS earned Best Comedy and Best Horror Feature Script honors, respectively. The Screenplay competition also awarded honors for scripts in categories including Best Short Film Script, Best Hour Pilot Script and Best Tennessee Writer, which was given to KD Amond and Sarah Zanotti for LEG.

The 52nd Nashville Film Festival continues through Wednesday, October 6 with screenings at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre; this year’s event closes with a gala screening of THE HUMANS, based on the Tony Award-winning play by Stephen Karam and starring Beanie Feldstein, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer and Steven Yeun. Karam, who wrote and directed the film adaptation, will be in attendance for a post-film Q&A.

Here’s your first look at THE HUMANS:

With over 40 in-person screenings and events at the city’s most iconic venues, plus dozens of films, panels, conversations and more available to stream all week online, the 52nd Nashville Film Festival concludes this year’s festivities with the announcement of the film and script award winners.

“Our return to in-person events alongside a robust virtual offering has been an incredible experience,” said NashFilm Executive Director Jason Padgitt. “We’re grateful to everyone who helped make it possible, from staff, volunteers, sponsors and artists to the audiences who remind us every year that Nashville loves independent films.” 

The 52nd Nashville Film Festival winners are as follows:

Best Narrative Feature – POSER (d. Ori Segev, Noah Dixon)
Best Documentary Feature – SOCKS ON FIRE (d. Bo McGuire)
Best Music Documentary Feature – BRIAN WILSON: LONG PROMISED ROAD (d. Brent Wilson)
Best New Directors Feature – CLARA SOLA (d. Nathalie Álvarez Mesén)
Best Graveyard Shift Feature –  WOODLAND DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY 
OF FOLK HORROR (d. Kier-La Janisse) 
Best Tennessee Feature – THISTLE (d. Ryan Camp)
Best Narrative Short – LIKE THE ONES I USED TO KNOW (d. Annie St. Pierre)
Best Documentary Short – AGUILAS/EAGLES (d. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite 
Zubiaurre)
Best Animated Short – NAVOZANDE, THE MUSICIAN (d. Reza Riahi)
Bet ‘The Edge’ Short – POINT AND LINE TO PLANE (d. Sofia Bohdanowicz)
Best Graveyard Shift Short – STUFFED (d. Theo Rhys & Joss Holden-Rea)
Best Tennessee Short – CARTHAGE HOUSE OF BEAUTY (d. Allison Inman)
Best Tennessee Student Short – MUGGY (d. Phynley Joel)
Best NextGen Short – STRIKE (d. Olivier Côté)
Best Episodic Pilot – CARY IN RETROGRADE (d. Priya & Philipp Yaw Domfeh)
Best Episodic Series – IF I’M ALIVE NEXT WEEK (d. Jennifer Morris, Robbie Sublett)
Best Virtual Reality & 360 – A PROMISE KEPT (d. Ken Winikur, Ariel Efron, Chris Healer)

The Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition winners are as follows:

Best Drama Feature Script – LONG WAY HOME, written by Jamaal Pittman
Best Comedy Feature Script – RAT BASTARDS, written by Keri Lee
Best Horror Feature Script – EREBUS, written by Martin Aguilera
Best Genre Feature Script – GUACAMOLE YESTERDAYS, written by Hudson Phillips
Best Short Script – I AM A GENTLEMAN, written by Nicky Calloway
Best Hour Pilot Script – CUFFING SEASON, written by Jon Bershad
Best Hour Pilot Script – HARD RICE, written by Mary Nguyen
Best Tennessee Writer – LEG, written by Kd Amond and Sarah Zanotti

Watch the full ceremony here (Film) and here (Screenplay), and find the full list of jury members here.

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