Nashville Film Fest features College representatives

The College of Media and Entertainment was well represented at the 2019 Nashville Film Festival, scheduled for Oct. 3 through 12.

Tom Neff (far right), MTSU assistant professor in Media Arts, moderated two panels. The first, “Making a Documentary: From Inception to Exhibition,” featured (left to right) local documentary filmmaker and Nashville Film Institute instructor Stephen Lackey, Nashville Public Television’s Program Manager Jessica Turk, renowned TV former WSMV anchor and journalist Demetria Kalidimos, and MTSU Media Arts Assistant Professor Allie Sultan.

Tom Neff, assistant professor in Media Arts, moderated two panels, the first “Making a Documentary: From Inception to Exhibition” featuring Media Arts Assistant Professor Allie Sultan; renowned TV former WSMV anchor and journalist Demetria Kalidimos; Nashville Public Television’s program manager, Jessica Turk; and local documentary filmmaker and Nashville Film Institute instructor Stephen Lackey.

MTSU Media Arts associate professor Eddie Bowen (far right) filming “In Search Of,” which was recently screened at NashFilm.

The second panel was entitled “The Film School Graduate: What’s Next?” and included Media Arts Chair Billy Pittard; founder of Film-Com Andy Van Roon; professor and founding Chair of Watkins’ film program, Valorie Stover; and screenwriter, author and Belmont University Professor Will Akers.  The panel also included three former film students: Jennifer Bonior from Watkins, an independent feature film producer; and two MTSU alumni, Rebecca Woods (’07), an associate producer with CMT, and Laura Wilbanks Cruz (’11),  a script supervisor on Nashville and other productions. 

Neff also hosted a screening of his documentary, “Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles.” The film continues its festival run with acceptance into the Pittsburgh Short Film Festival as well as Spain’s FICA Festival, the only International Film Festival in the world focused on athletics. “Mr. Temple” was honored this past August as an HBO documentary finalist at the prestigious Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. 

Also featured at the festival was Media Arts Associate Professor Eddie Bowen’s independent film “In Search Of.”  Media Arts Assistant Professor Paul Chilsen was the film’s producer and MTSU alumna Tiffany Murray (’15) was the director of photography. MTSU students helped with the production of the movie.

On Oct. 10, Media Arts alumnus Warren Smythe (’12) was awarded a Grand Jury Prize for best Tennessee First Feature for his film “Trigger.”

Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival (Nashfilm) is one of the first film festivals in the United States. 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.

To learn more about the MTSU Department of Media Arts, click here.

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Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty, News

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