• Lillie Burke

Belmont senior launches Good Grain Film Festival

UPDATE: The first 50 tickets purchased with the code “BelmontVision” will be 50 percent off.

Combining his passions for film and entrepreneurship, a Belmont senior launched his third film festival before he’s even graduated.

Asher Segelken, founder of Good Grain Creative, will be hosting the Good Grain Film Festival this Saturday at the Mockingbird Theater in Franklin, Tenn.

This year’s festival is the culmination of Segelken’s experience in both art and business and will feature five original films from creators around the world. Segelken will award one feature film, one short film and one original screenplay with $500 as well as one year of creative services from Segelken’s marketing and communications business at Good Grain Creative.

Segelken hopes to unify people over art through his festival and to “cultivate creators through competition,” he said in a press release.

“When people walk out I hope that they are changed and nourished. My biggest hope is that these five films that we’ve curated change people. Good art is transformative,” Segelken said.

While Segelken wanted to be involved in filmmaking when he was young, he had a spiritual epiphany that he was best suited towards helping others tell their stories, he said. Segelken first organized an annual film festival at his high school and then another at his hometown church in California.

These festivals prepared Segelken for his third and most successful event yet, the Good Grain Film Festival.

The festival, which officially launched on Jan. 12, accumulated 435 film submissions by August and consisted of films from six different continents.

“We had about 150 submissions in the first 14 days. It was overwhelming,” said Segelken.

Segelken, alongside a panel of accredited judges, has filtered through the submissions to premiere five different films. These five selected films include “A Thousand Miles Behind,” directed by Nathan Wetherington, “Roger,directed by Reuben Hamlyn, “Knee High,” directed by Marissa Von, “Life after Death,” directed by Noah Glenn and “That Smell,” directed by Kyle Lavore.

Almost all directors will be in attendance for the festival and will offer a Q&A session after each showing, something Segelken tirelessly worked for to provide a direct line of thought-provoking communication between artists and festival attendees, he said.

“Film has started more conversation and provoked more thought than any preceding art form,” said Segelken.

At the heart of the festival is a goal to cultivate great art, because “art is good grain,” Segelken said.

“The whole goal of Good Grain is to cultivate good people telling good stories.”

Good Grain Film Festival will showcase and celebrate its finalists Saturday at the Mockingbird Theater in Franklin, Tennessee, at 6:30 p.m., and tickets can be bought here.

This article written by Henry Gregson. Photo by Mackenzie Baker

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