“Maybe we’re plain Southern people, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have taste and aren’t willing to expand our horizons,” says the Nashville Film Festival’s energetic artistic director, Brian Owens. In his second year with the event, Owens presides over a full-spectrum program of 110 features and 12 world premieres that comprise the festival’s 41st edition. The longest running film festival in the South is located in Tennessee’s capital, nicknamed “music city,” and is appropriately peppered with music-oriented and country-flavored selections.
All screenings take place in a single Regal multiplex in the tony Green Hills neighborhood, home to such luminaries as Al Gore, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. “There are fewer blistered feet at this festival,” says Owens, “and a single site festival builds community. When a movie is over you can talk about it right here and then go back in for your next one.”
“Our audience members here are good talkers. If they like a film, word-of-mouth is going to spread like wildfire,” he adds.