Nashville Film Festival Announces U.S. Independent Films

Nashville Film Festival 50th Anniversary celebrates the best film, music, and culture, October 3-12, 2019.2019

NASHVILLE, TN (AUGUST 15, 2019) - For its 50th Anniversary taking place October 3-12, 2019, the Nashville Film Festival is thrilled to announce the titles for its U.S. Independents Program. The films include the darkly humorous International Falls, the world premiere of the civil rights era coming-of-age story Tuscaloosa, and Speed of Life, a leap 20 years into the future through a wormhole created by David Bowie’s death. The U.S. Independents category will also feature Babysplitters, Barbie’s Kenny, Working Man, Inside The Rain, and Hudson.  

“As the Nashville Film Festival celebrates our 50th anniversary, this program of U.S. independent gems holds a special place in our lineup,” said Lauren Ponto, Programming Manager of Nashville Film Festival. Reflecting Nashville’s unique and creative spirit, we are excited to showcase this terrific collection of U.S. Indies that embody the same diversity and aesthetic,” said Lauren Ponto, Programming Manager for Nashville Film Festival. 



INTERNATIONAL FALLS, written, directed, and produced by Amber McGinnis. Dee (Rachael Harris) is stuck in a boring job and a broken marriage in International Falls, a snowbound border town at the end of the road. Harboring a secret dream of a stand-up career, Dee encounters Tim (Rob Huebel): a burned-out touring comedian who feels trapped by the very life Dee desires. 

TUSCALOOSA, directed by Philip Harder. World Premiere. Set in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the summer of 1972, among Vietnam war protests and racial tension, recent college graduate Billy (Devon Bostick) works the lush grounds of an old-world mental institution run by his psychiatrist father (Tate Donovan). Billy is torn between Nigel (Marchánt Davis), his father and his cronies, and his lover, Virginia (Natalia Dyer), who is planning her escape with or without Billy.

SPEED OF LIFE, directed by Liz Manashil. In 2016, June (Allison Tolman) and Edward (Ray Santiago) are in the midst of an argument when Edward suddenly falls into a wormhole created by David Bowie's death. In 2040, June (Ann Dowd) continues to mourn the loss of Edward while facing the dark reality of being locked away along with the rest of society's senior citizens. Unwilling to disappear, June begins to plan her escape when Edward suddenly reappears in her life.

BABYSPLITTERS, directed by Sam Friedlander. Jeff (Danny Pudi) and Sarah (Emily Chang) are struggling to come to an agreement about having a baby. Sarah is ready, Jeff is not. Their mutual friends Don (Edie Alfano) and Taylor (Maria Walsh) have the opposite problem — Don wants kids and Taylor doesn’t. When the two couples hatch a plan to share one baby between them, it seems like they may have found the perfect compromise — until things spiral out of control.

WORKING MAN, directed by Robert Jury. When the last factory in a small Rust Belt town closes its doors, an unlikely hero emerges, Allery Parkes (Peter Gerety). A career employee of the factory, the aging Allery can’t reconcile how to live a life simply sitting at home doing nothing, and against the advice of his loving wife, Iola (Oscar nominee, Talia Shire), he forms an unlikely friendship with his charismatic neighbor, Walter Brewer (Billy Brown), in order to revive the defunct factory. As their community rallies around them – and as their former corporate bosses strategize how to implode this unexpected movement – Allery learns that he might be something he never thought possible: a leader.

BARBIE’S KENNY, directed by Zachary Ray Sherman. Kenny (Shawn Hawkins) is a struggling actor in Los Angeles whose life takes a hard left when his birth mother (Tara Best) reaches out after having not been in touch for over a decade. She needs his help. He thought this chapter was behind him. “Barbie’s Kenny” is a character study exploring the mother-son bond, the past’s power over the present and everything in between in this familial drama inspired by the works of Steve Buscemi and John Cassavetes.

INSIDE THE RAIN, directed by Aaron Fisher. Facing expulsion from college over alleged conduct violations, a bipolar student (Aaron Fisher), frequents a therapist (Rosie Perez) who discourages him from drowning his sorrows at a strip club. After refusing to take her advice he has a night out and befriends a woman he meets there (Ellen Toland) and they hatch a madcap scheme to prove his innocence.

HUDSON, directed by Sean Cunningham. Hudson (David Neal Levin) is a man who is somewhat of a recluse and after his mother's passing, he feels even more disconnected and lost. His distant cousin, Ryan (Gregory Lay), comes to visit him and the two embark on a road trip to scatter the mother's ashes in the Hudson Valley. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker (Mary Catherine Greenawalt) and visit Hudson's dad who has moved on with life. The cousins visit nostalgic places from their past and dig up old stories from when they were kids. One story, in particular, causes them to confront the truth and it may be why the family is so distant today.


The Nashville Film Festival previously announced some music documentary features for 2019, including the world premiere of Chuck Berry by filmmaker Jon Brewer; Born Into the Gig by filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner; Cool Daddio: The Second Youth of R. Stevie Moore from filmmakers Imogen Putler and Monika Baran; and The Sheriff of Mars from filmmakers Jason Ressler and Matthew Woolf.  Additional programming announcements will continue to be made throughout the year.


Passes and Tickets for the 2019 Nashville Film Festival:

Advance VIP Festival badges are now on sale beginning at $295 at  VIP Badges provide priority access to films, panels and exclusive parties. Single ticket sales for most films and panels will begin in early September and will also be available at

ABOUT NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL: The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally-recognized non-profit organization and cultural event presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award® qualifying status, the Nashville Film Festival celebrates innovation, music and the many voices of the human spirit through the art of film. Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival is one of the first film festivals in the United States and will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in October, 2019.  For more information, visit

Hashtag:  #NashFilm50
Twitter: @nashfilmfest
Instagram: @nashfilmfest

April Dickey – PR Director Nashville
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