Nashville film crew shoots footage at Tusculum College for upcoming retrospective on Mary Jane Coleman
A film crew working on behalf of the Nashville Film Festival was on the Tusculum College campus this week taking footage of the people and places that relate the history of the annual event.
Mark Compton, executive director of the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival, was on the Tusculum Campus with a film crew Sunday and Monday of this week. Compton was coordinating the visit for representatives of the Nashville Film Festival in the making of a documentary to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.
According to Compton, the footage shot at the College will be used in a retrospective on Mary Jane Coleman, who founded the festival, which was once known as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration and was held on the Tusculum College campus.
Coleman managed the event with the help of several Tusculum faculty and staff for several years before the event grew in scope and was moved to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Those being interviewed for the film included former Tusculum College Professor Wess duBrisk, current Director of Arts Outreach Marilyn duBrisk, Professor Emeritus of Art Clem Allison, as well as husband of Mary Jane Coleman, Nat Coleman, and Greeneville Mayor Laraine King.
The festival remained the Sinking Creek Film Celebration until 1997, when the festival was renamed the Nashville Independent Film Festival and then later became the Nashville Film Festival.
The retrospective will focus on Mary Jane Coleman and her efforts to initiate the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, as well as the early years of the festival itself. Coleman, a long-time supporter of the arts, wanted to “create a forum for small, independent films shown in a community setting.” Even after the move to Nashville, Coleman remained the artistic director for the festival through the 1970s and 1980s.
Founded in 1969 (as Sinking Creek Film Celebration in Tusculum), the Nashville Film Festival is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, This annual film event attracts enthusiastic film lovers from the region and has been praised by filmgoers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city film festival atmosphere and southern hospitality. With more than 215 films from 38 countries, numerous industry panels and music showcases, the 2008 Nashville Film Festival drew more than 22,000 attendees.
With films crossing all genres from drama, comedy, animation, and family to experimental, foreign, documentaries and short films, the Festival has something for every filmgoer to enjoy.
Chris Massey and Kathy Conkwright, members of a film crew from the Nashville Film Festival, interview former professor Clem Allison, Tusculum College professor emeritus of art, about the history of the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, the original incarnation of the Nashville Film Festival now celebrating its 40th year. (Tusculum College photo)