Nashville Film Festival Announces Diverse Creators Conference and Music Program Lineups

Programs Bring Together Brightest Minds from Film and Music Industries to Provide Valuable Insights to Attendees.

Nashville, Tenn. -- September 10, 2020 -- The Nashville Film Festival today announced the official lineup for its NashFilm Creators Conference and NashFilm Music Program for the 51st edition of the festival. The Creators Conference, an annual event that connects attendees with their peers to discover the latest industry trends, expand skills and network, will take place exclusively online from October 2-3, 2020. The Music Program, which aims to bring more sync opportunities to the Nashville community, will also take place virtually from October 1-2, 2020.

The Creators Conference is designed to connect filmmakers, music industry trailblazers, tastemakers and thought leaders. It allows attendees to gain valuable insights from top industry executives and veterans from all over the country. The conference’s 2-day program includes panels focused on 4 tracks: filmmaking, music for film, writing for film and culture & social causes.

“The 2020 NashFilm Creators Conference includes panelists and content focused on many of the most important and timely topics across film, music, gaming and television,” said Creators Conference Producer, Kalyna Kutny. “This year’s lineup offers valuable insights for all attendees who are eager to connect and learn from the industry’s brightest minds. They can expect to leave with practical takeaways that can be immediately applied to advance their passions and careers.” 

This year’s Music Program will also provide educational music supervisor panels, one-on-one mentorships and VIP events with topics ranging from “Diversity Matters: Music Licensing and the Black Experience” to case studies in sync for video game trailers, marketing & games, film & TV and more. Each night will culminate with an artist showcase presented in partnership with Acme Radio Live. Presented annually during the Nashville Film Festival, The Music Program showcases the diverse music of Nashville to the film, TV and advertising sync communities. Each night will culminate with an artist showcase presented in partnership with Acme Radio Live. 

The NashFilm Creators Conference will take place virtually on Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3. All panels are free to VIP badge holders and $12 per session for general admission. For more information about the NashFilm Creators Conference, visit

The NashFilm Music Program will take place virtually on Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2. Virtual Music Badges can be purchased for $65 or $12 per session for individual panels. For more information about the NashFilm Music Program, visit


Film Festival: Insights for Filmmakers
Friday, October 2nd at 10:00 am
Synopsis: Film festivals act as gatekeepers and trendsetters, shifting the direction of careers and successes with their reputations, influence and laurels. This panel will discuss how festivals uphold their programming integrity, and how transparent they are regarding their selection process. Panelists will explore the relationship between these powerful institutions and the filmmakers they serve, to better answer the question: "What is the right festival for me, and how do I get into it?". From the judging process, to the advantage of smaller vs larger festivals, to how festivals are pivoting in an ever-changing landscape, this conversation will help you decide what home is best for your film. 
Moderator: Rebecca Fons, Programming Director at FilmScene & Programming Director the historic Iowa Theater 
Panelists: Beth Barrett, Artistic Director at Seattle International Film Festival; Eric Hatch, Film Programmer, Critic and Consultant, Vivian Hua, Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle

The Art of Navigating TN’s Production Landscape
Friday, October 2nd at 11:30 am
Synopsis: Hear from leading content creators as they discuss their experiences producing film, television & media-based projects in Tennessee.  They will share the good, bad & ‘not so awful’ as they offer insights on how to leverage resources, workforce & the almighty incentive to make a ‘damn good production’.
Moderator: Bob Raines, Executive Director - Tennessee Entertainment Commission (TEC)
Panelists: Michael Lohmann, Head of Production - Kapital Entertainment; Clarke Gallivan, Producer - Right Brain | Left Brain Entertainment; Ryan Westheimer, President - CS West Productions, Inc. 

The Case Study in Sync – Marketing & Games
Friday, October 2nd at 2:30 pm
Synopsis: An in-depth behind the scenes look at the decisions that are made when selecting a song for a sync placement by dissecting specific examples of work by top music supervisors and music producers.  We will break down ‘the brief’, discuss how tempo, tone/feeling, and theme play a role, examine the reason(s) a song gets selected or not selected, the importance of context in a song and what makes one song work better than another. This is an advanced look at sync placements in games.
Moderator: Heather Cook, Director of Marketing & Brands at peermusic
Panelists: Brandon Young, Director of Music Affairs at Activision; Dave Lapinsky, VP Music Producer at Grey Group/Townhouse; Anny Colvin, Head of Music at MakeMake 

The Case Study in Sync – Film & TV
Friday, October 2nd at 4:00 pm
Synopsis: An in-depth behind the scenes look at the decisions that are made when selecting a song for a sync placement by dissecting specific examples of work by top music supervisors and music producers.  We will break down ‘the brief’, discuss how tempo, tone/feeling, and theme play a role, examine the reason(s) a song gets selected or not selected, the importance of context in a song and what makes one song work better than another. This is an advanced look at sync placements in film and TV.
Moderator: Steve Nalbert, Head of Creative Licensing at Round Hill Music
Panelists: Amine Ramer, Founder at States of Sound; Jen Malone, Music Supervisor at Black & White; Brian J Miller, Music Supervisor at NFL Network; Jonathan Christiansen, Music Supervisor at Hit The Ground Running, Inc.

Filmmaking For Social Justice
Friday, October 2nd at 5:30 pm
Synopsis: Discussion with trailblazers who fight the good fight focusing on the importance of creating stories that highlight social change and advocacy. Diving into the struggles of creating these types of works and the passion and perseverance it takes to get to the finish line.
Moderator: Andy Peterson, Docs/ology Films + Senior Creative Media Executive at Aspiration Entertainment and Director of the Justice Film Festival
Panelists: Eric Payton, Chief Creative Officer of Unanimous Media; Brian Tetsuro Ivie, Filmmaker; Erin Bernhardt, Filmmaker 

Inside Screenwriting
Friday, October 2nd at 7:00 pm
Synopsis: Get an inside look at what it actually takes to make it as a writer in Hollywood. Seasoned and award winning writers from TV and Film will take us through their process from outlines to the final script.  Learn about pitching to executives, writing for showrunners, and ways to develop your ideas into great stories.
Moderator: Stephen Houser, Writer and Professor at Belmont University
Panelists: Writers - Chuck Hayward (credits: Wandavision, Mixed-ish, and Dear White People); Sean Hennen (credits: Person of Interest, Minority Report (TV Series) and The Blacklist); Aida Croal (credits: Marvel’s Luke Cage, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Turn: Washington’s Spies)

Preservation of Film: Film Archiving
Saturday, October 3rd at 10:00 am
Synopsis: This panel explores how filmmakers and artists collaborate with archives to reuse, sample, and re-contextualize archival audiovisual footage. The panel will help filmmakers navigate the sometimes tricky routes to accessing rare historic footage, talk about where your film goes after its production run (and what happens when your own film becomes historic footage), and we will chat with filmmakers and archivists about their most innovative uses of archival footage.
Moderator: Kelli Helix, Audiovisual Archivist &  Project Manager of the Audiovisual Heritage Center, a regional archive supported by Nashville Metro Archives and the Nashville Public Library
Panelists: Ina Archer, Visual Artist, Filmmaker, Programmer and Media Conservator; Rick Prelinger, Professor of Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz; Tom Neff, Filmmaker and Professor at Middle Tennessee State University; Shelley Hay, Filmmaker

Emerging Voices in Film
Saturday, October 3rd at 11:30 am
Synopsis: Feature debut filmmakers and up and coming content creators talk about the hardships on getting your film made. Hear from filmmakers from this year's NashFilm Fest talk about their journey's and what it took to get from script to screen.
Moderator: Carey Nelson Burch, Producer
Panelists: Olivia Peace, Director of Tahara; Morgan Ingari, Writer/Director of Milkwater; Jiayan "Jenny" Shi, Documentary filmmaker/Video Journalist of Finding Yingying

The Art of the Podcast: Creating Captivating Content
Saturday, October 3rd at 1:00 pm
Synopsis: Everyone has an idea for a podcast, but what does it take to really get it off the ground?  Learn from successful podcast creators who took their idea and found a loyal audience. Building your fanbase is only the beginning—you've got to keep them coming back for more. In this panel,  we will also discuss strategies for building an engaging fan community and how to maintain a following as you continue to generate new content.
Moderator: Melissa Chataigne, TV Personality & Fashion Expert
Panelists: Jasmin 'Jas Hands' Saville, Host of The Brown Liquor Report; Will Compton, NFL Player and Host of "Bussin' with the Boys"; Sarah Merrill, Host of "Big Kid Problems" 

Realities of Launching a Feature Film or Television Project
Saturday, October 3rd at 2:30 pm
Synopsis: Join us in talking with a few industry titans on how to actually get your project made.  A bottom-line look into who makes the decisions on what projects get put into development, first-hand knowledge on best practices, post-COVID realities and current and future trends within our industry.
Moderator: Andy Van Roon, Chairman/GM FILM-COM President, TN Entertainment Alliance
Panelists: Les Bohem, Writer and Producer; Gilbert Adler, writer, producer + director; James V Hart, writer + producer

Industry Insights: Casting Directors Round Table
Saturday, October 3rd at 4:00 pm
Synopsis: Ever dreamed of being on TV? Hear from expert casting gurus who have found some of the most entertaining people for reality TV. Listen as they tell you behind the scenes stories about casting shows for network hits on Bravo, MTV, Netflix, TLC, Lifetime, NBC, ABC and many more! Tips and tricks on how to get the attention of the people that really can turn your dreams into reality.
Moderator: Betsy Spina, Actor and Host
Panelists: Casting Directors - Diana Wallace (Below Deck/Below Deck Mediterranean/Below Deck Sailing Yacht (Bravo), Listed Sisters (HGTV), Making It (NBC)); Randy Bernstein (Top Chef, Project Runway, MasterChef, Encore! on Disney+x The Biggest Loser, The Glee Project); Alexis Diamond (Top Chef, MasterChef, Biggest Loser, Project Runway, The Glee Project)

Chihuly in Film: When Art and Filmmaking Collide
Saturday, October 3rd at 5:30 pm 
Synopsis: World renowned American artist Dale Chihuly understood early on the importance of documenting his work through the medium of film. We are joined by Leslie Chihuly and filmmaker Peter West as they discuss the intersection of art and film. Creating a way for your audience to virtually experience an exhibit in a time when we are all craving an escape to something more peaceful, Chihuly has found a way to do just that.  We will also explore the latest exhibit Chihuly at Cheekwood here in Nashville TN. 
Panelists: Leslie Jackson Chihuly, President & CEO, Chihuly Studio Co-founder, The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation Chair Emerita, Seattle Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and Peter West, Filmmaker

The 51st annual Nashville Film Festival is taking place virtually this year from October 1-7, 2020. This year’s lineup features more than 200 films from over 14 countries that cover a range of complex narratives. The virtual festival will also include Creators Conference panels, Q&As and other exclusive content that will bring the magic of the Nashville Film Festival to attendees from the safety and comfort of their homes. 

Passes and Tickets for the 2020 Nashville Film Festival 

Virtual VIP Festival Badges are now on sale for $125 at VIP Badges provide unlimited access to all 200+ virtual/online film screenings and exclusive film, music and cultural content. Virtual Music Passes are also available for sale and include access to NashFilm Music Program virtual events and pro mentoring sessions.

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About Nashville Film Festival 

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally recognized nonprofit 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 host its 51st festival from October 1-7, 2020. For more information, visit