Enrique Begne’s Two Embraces, Peter Entell’s Shake the Devil Off , David Pomes’ Cook County and Barry Simmons Sons of Lwala were among the big winners at the 39th Nashville Film Festival, which ended last night.
Two Embraces won the Nashville Film Festival/Regal Cinemas Dreammaker Award for Best Narrative Feature, while Entell’s Shake The Devil Off won the Best Documentary Feature award. Pomes’ Cook Country took the Best Narrative Feature while Barry Simmons’ Sons of Lwala received the audience award for Best Documentary Feature.
Stephen Walker’s Young@Heart took the Impact of Music Award, while The Black List, a varied and often stirring look at life from the perspective of several notable African-Americans, won the Rosetta Miller Perry Award for the Best Film By A Black Filmmaker (Sponsored by The Tennessee Tribune).
There were more than 31 sold-out houses at this year’s festival, with estimated attendance surpassing the 22,000 mark, a 10-percent increase over last year’s then record-breaking total. Ticket sales surpassed the previous year’s festival mark by the fourth day, and more than 200 films were shown, as well as numerous panels, special events and parties. The long list of famous names and top celebrities in attendance ranged from noted character actor William H. Macy and Vincent D’ Onofrio from Law & Order: Criminal Intent to such musical stars as Josh Turner, Anthony Hamilton, Trace Adkins, Big Kenny Alphin and his wife Christiev.
Legendary actress Patricia Neal received the 2008 Nashville Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, while Kimberly Williams-Paisley won the President’s Award and Macy was awarded the Governor’s Award. Former Vice-President Al Gore presented the Reel Current Award to Michael O’Connell for Mountain Top Removal.
Sons of Lwala also received the Nashville Public Television’s Human Spirit Award and the Tennessee Independent Spirit Award for the Best Feature-Length Film Directed By A Tennessee Resident (Sponsored by the Tennessee Film, Music and Entertainment Commission), while Tom Gustafson’s Were The World Mine and Sophie Gregg’s The Manual tied for the honor of Best LBGT Film Award. Lisa Merton’s Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai won the Women in Film & Television Award for Best Film Directed By A Woman.
David Morrison earned Best Cinematography in A Feature Film honors for his work in Tracing Cowboys, while the duo of Jessica Fogle and Tim Sandusky shared the Best Music in Narrative Feature Film Award for Were The World Mine.
Other inners included:
• Paul Leur’s Eden Court, Lonely Seal Releasing Feature Film Award
• Daniel Robin’s My Olympic summer, Best Documentary Short
• Spencer Susser’s I Love Sarah Jane, Best Narrative Short
• Wyatt Garfield and Ed Yonaitis’s The Execution of Solomon Harris, Golden Opportunity Award For Best College Student Short
• Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski’s Madame Tutli-Putli, Best Animated Short
• Olivo Barbieri's Sevilla, Best Experimental Short
• Joseph Procopio’s Western Spaghetti, Young Filmmaker Scholarship Award