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Nashville Film Festival returns

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

It’s alive! The 53rd annual Nashville Film Festival was booming with life during its first fully in person lineup since the pandemic.

“The 53rd Nashville Film Festival, a weeklong celebration of film, music and culture will take Nashville’s premier arts venues with film screenings, industry panels and events,” according to the festival’s website.

The film festival began on Sept. 29 and ended this past Wednesday. There were screenings of several genres of film, live Q&As, and panels for any curious moviegoer to attend.

Belmont film professor, Amy Bertram, has been on the jury – a committee that decides the winners – for four years.

“It’s an excellent opportunity, not only for them to see current films...but it’s also a great opportunity for them to rub elbows with industry professionals,” Bertram said.

Many student attendees who are trying to enter the industry use the festival as an opportunity to network.

President of Women in Film, Erin Thompson, has gone to the festival several years in a row and attended this year’s first day of the festival.

“It feels like a small book club more than a big film festival because usually someone attached to the film will be there after the screening and you can go up and talk to them,” Thompson said. “The one I went to Thursday had a short film from Israel. The director was there after just to talk and answer questions.”

The writer and director of one of the featured documentaries, Colin Barnicle, spoke to Belmont students during Friday’s convocation.

“These film festivals are a great kind of networking event where you’ll be able to give your name to somebody. That’s extremely important,” Barnicle said.

Fear not, though the festivities end Wednesday, there are several ways for anyone interested in film or the entertainment industry to stay engaged.

“We show movies twice a month, so it's a good way to connect with MOT majors and learn a little bit about cinema as well,” president of the Belmont University Film Society, Austin Duplantis, said. “Another way is I look for other local film festivals to keep me invested.”

This article was written by Gracie Anderson.

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