Lordy, lordy, Nashville's Film Festival is 40! That is good news for Nashville as it shows the city remains serious about showcasing quality film. It also means it is the 4th longest running film festival in the U.S.
I have not been able to attend for the last five years, as the festival always hits in April when I was studying for law finals. This year I am done with that and will attend two screenings. One is Girlfriends. When I lived in Knoxville many years ago, and HBO was in its infancy, this film seemed to be about the only movie the channel offered. I must have watched the film a million times, just because nothing else was on. (Why did we pay for HBO in this case then--oh yeah--my roommate was in TV, and we had to "check it out.") I remember it being very good though and starred Melanie Mayron, who later starred in one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Thirtysomething.
(Note: I stayed for director Claudia Weills' talk after the showing last night, and she mentioned something interesting--that Melanie Mayron's character in Thirtysomething was patterned after her character Susan in Girlfriends! I love symmetry!)
The other film I'll see is Big River Man about Martin Strel, a Slovenian man in his 50s, who drinks two bottles of wine a day and has swum some of the longest rivers in the world--the Mississippi, Danube and Yangtze, and now the Amazon--as a way to bring attention to pollution. My kind of film. Watching the film reminded me how much I would love to go to the Amazon. But I would stay inside the boat rather than in the water. The difficult elements really took a toll on Strel and his crew. Boo on the talk show hosts who wouldn't have Martin on their shows.
Between you and me though, I still miss the days when the festival was called Sinking Creek Film Festival. The name was considered provincial by those in the know, but I thought it was unique and wonderful.