The 2012 Nashville Film Festival Award Winners

by Brad Horvath
April 25, 2012 9:06 AM
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"The Dynamiter"

The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) announced the award winners for this year’s festival at a luncheon in the festival’s Liberty Tent this morning. Matthew Gordon’s The Dynamiter, the story of a troubled 14-year-old boy who comes to realize what truly matters to him, won the Narrative Competition Grand Jury Prize and David Fine’s Salaam Dunk, a profile of the joys and challenges experienced by the American University of Iraq’s women’s basketball team, won the Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize.

In the short film categories, two of which are Academy Award qualifiers (specifically, the narrative and animated categories), it came as no surprise that Shawn Christensen’s extraordinary—and now multiple-award-winning—Curfew won the Best Narrative Short Award. Léo Verrier’s Dripped won the Best Animated Short Award, Matt Lenski’s Meaning of Robots won the Best Short Documentary Award, and Stewart Copeland’s Mr. Smith’s Peach Seeds won the Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Short Documentary.

Here is the complete list of competition and special awards, including honorable mentions and special jury prizes (audience award winners will be announced tomorrow at the NaFF Closing Night Party). I’ve also posted the trailers for the short films Curfew, Dripped, Meaning of Robots, and Mr. Smith's Peach Seeds, as well as the video acceptance from the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Award—Dolly Parton—since (if you read my contributions to the Indiewire blog network) it would be remiss of me to exclude it.

2012 Nashville Film Festival Award Winners

Narrative Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “The Dynamiter” (Matthew Gordon / USA)

Honorable Mention: “QWERTY” (Bill Sebastian / USA)

Best Actor: William Ruffin, “The Dynamiter”

Best Actor (Honorable Mention): Shawn Ashmore, “Mariachi Gringo”

Best Actress: Alia Shawkat,  “That’s What She Said”

Best Actress (Honorable Mention): Lizzy Caplan, “Queens of Country”

Best Film Music: “QWERTY,” composers Bruce Chianese, Ricardo Veiga

Louise LeQuire Award for Best Screenplay: “Supporting Characters,” Tarik Lowe, Daniel Schechter

Documentary Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “Salaam Dunk” (David Fine / Iraq, USA)

Honorable Mention: “La Camioneta” (Mark Kendall / USA)

Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Writing: “Mulberry Child” (Susan Morgan Cooper / USA)

Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Directing: “This Ain’t California” (Marten Persiel / Germany)

Music Films/Music City Competition

Gibson Impact of Music Award: “Under African Skies” (Joe Berlinger / USA)

Honorable Mention: “Butch Walker: Out of Focus” (Peter Harding, Shane Valdes / USA)

Special Jury Prize for A Surprising Look at the Fan Experience: “Affair of the Heart” (Sylvia Caminer / USA)

New Directors Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “A Trip (Izlet)” (Nejc Gazvoda / Slovenia)

Co-Honorable Mention: “Welcome to Pine Hill” (Keith Miller / USA) and “Foreign Letters” (Ela Thier / USA)

Best Actor: Jure Henigman, “A Trip (Izlet)”

Best Actress: Nina Rakovec “A Trip (Izlet)”

Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Cast: “A Trip (Izlet)”

Short Film Competition

Best Narrative Short (Academy Award Qualifier): “Curfew” (Shawn Christensen / USA)

Honorable Mention: “Las Palmas” (Johannes Nyholm /  Sweden)

Best Animated Short (Academy Award Qualifier): “Dripped” (Leo Verrier / France)

Honorable Mention: “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” (Don Hertzfeldt /  USA)

Best Documentary Short: “Meaning of Robots” (Matt Lenski / USA)

Honorable Mention:  “Ben Franklin Blowing Bubbles at a Sword” (Jonathan Napolitano / USA)

Best Experimental Short: “All the Lines Flow Out” (Charles Lim Yi Yong / Singapore)

Vanderbilt Golden Opportunity Award: “Bian Zi” (Chun-Yi Hsieh / Taiwan, China)

Honorable Mention: “Contra El Mar” (Richard Parkin /  USA, Mexico)

Watkins Young Filmmaker Award: “Alone Together” (Ben Kadie / USA)

Additional Awards:

NaFF Career Achievement Award: Dolly Parton

Mike Curb Career Achievement Award for Film Music: Paul Williams

Governor's Award: Wayne White

Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Feature Film:  “He Ain’t Heavy” (jeff obafemi carr /  USA)

Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Short Narrative Film:  “Talking to Arthur”(William M. Akers / USA)

Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Short Documentary: “Mr. Smith’s Peach Seed” (Stewart Copeland / USA)

Outstanding Black Filmmaker Award: Sheldon Candis, “LUV”

NAHCC Hispanic Filmmaker Award:  TBA

Best GLBT Film Award: “Leave It On the Floor” (Sheldon Larry / USA)

NPT Human Spirit Award: “Salaam Dunk” (David Fine / Iraq, USA)

Women in Film & TV Prize for Best Film by a Woman Director: “That’s What She Said” (Carrie Preston / USA)

Film Musicians Secondary Market Fund Prize for Best Director / Composer : “I Am Not a Hipster,” Destin Daniel Cretton / Joel P. West

West Collaboration: “I Am Not a Hipster” (Destin Cretton / USA)

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Curfew Trailer:

Dripped Trailer:

Meaning of Robots Trailer:

Mr. Smith's Peach Seeds Trailer:

Dolly Parton's Video Acceptance:

The 2012 Nashville Film Festival runs from April 19 to 26. My previous posts about the festival can be found here.

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