William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk in Star Trek and winner of multiple Emmy awards as the star of Boston Legal, will join composer Ben Folds at the world premiere of William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet at this year’s 40th Nashville Film Festival.
Bobby Ciraldo, Andrew Swant and Kevin Layne are the co-directors of William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet, which follows the efforts of famed choreographer Margo Sappington’s quest to create a new ballet based on Shatner’s release Has Been.
The disc was recorded in Nashville, and featured songs that Shanter co-wrote, with contributions from Henry Rollins, Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann, Brad Paisley and Folds. The finished ballet, Common People, is set to six songs from Has Been and was captured on film when it debuted along with the Milwaukee Ballet in 2007.
William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet is just one of several world premiere productions that will be presented during the Festival’s run from April 16-23 at Regal Green Hills Cinema 16. Others slated to appear include Jim Amatulli’s Flying By with Billy Ray Cyrus, Heather Locklear, Olesay Rulin and Patricia Neal, who received the Nashville Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year.
There’s also Reed Cowan’s documentary The Other Side of the Lens. Another treat will be a special screening of a restored print of Easy Rider starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, which marks its 40th anniversary.
The American premiere of Empress Hotel, and Thailand production Citizen Juling and the Tennessee premiere of Kimberly Reed’s Prodigal Son are also set for the festival, plus Antonio Campos’ After School, which co-stars Paul Sparks, Rosemarie Dewitt, Emory Cohen and Ezra Miller.
A special feature to mark the 40th anniversary celebration includes a retrospective programmed by new artistic director Brian Owens. This program honors notable films that were presented during the Festival’s early days when it was called the Sinking Creek Film Celebration. They include Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth (1991), Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994), Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams (1982) and Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb (1994).
The Nashville Film Festival is the longest-running one of its kind in the South. More than 22,00 film fans, industry types and professionals attended last year’s event, with some 44 countries represented among the 240 films. Patron Memberships that include a Festival Pass are now available at nashvillefilmfestival.org. Individual tickets for the 2009 Nashville Film Festival go on sale online in early April.