Nashville Film Festival Announces Festival and Screenplay Competition Winners

Mars One

Brazilian feature "Mars One" earns Best Narrative Film honors; Tracey Arcabasso Smith’s "Relative" wins Best Documentary

Nashville, Tennessee ( October 3, 2022 ) -

The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) today announces the 53rd edition’s award winners, including best films in each category and the winning scripts in the organization’s esteemed screenplay competition. Brazilian film “Mars One,” written and directed by Gabriel Martins, was named Best Narrative Feature, while Tracey Arcabasso Smith’s “Relative” earned the Best Documentary Feature award; “And Still I Sing” received Best Music Documentary honors, and Alex Heller’s “The Year Between” was honored as Best New Directors Feature. Juries in each festival category named their best films for the 2022 Nashville Film Festival during a virtual awards ceremony on Monday, October 3, hosted by Nashville oIlm Festival Director of Programming Lauren Ponto. Watch the full ceremony here (Film) and here (Screenplay), and find the full list of jury members here. The complete list of film and script award winners is below.

“This year’s award winners highlight an exceptional slate of movies featured at the 53rd film festival,” said Ponto. “We’re grateful to our juries this year who selected these worthy films and thrilled to honor these movies from around the world that entertain, challenge, inspire and inform. It’s our privilege to give the award winners, and all of our selected films, a platform in Nashville and beyond.”

In the Screenplay Competition, Aaron Braxton’s “The Passage of the Sun” was named Best Drama Feature Script, while Roxy Mitchell’s “Elektra” and David Daniels’ “Our Lady of Justice” earned Best Comedy and Best Horror Feature Script honors, respectively. The Screenplay competition also awarded honors for scripts in categories including Best Short Film Script, Best Hour Pilot Script and Best Tennessee Writer, which was given to Nate Eppler for “Floridamen.”

The 53rd Nashville Film Festival continues through Wednesday, October 5 with screenings at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN. This year’s event closes with “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” following the life and legacy of the master and so-called founding father of jazz, America’s first pop star, and cultural ambassador.

“We have been so amazed and impressed by the immense creative talent showcased in this year’s festival,” said Jason Padgitt, Executive Director of Nashville Film Festival. “We are truly honored to celebrate the innovative work of our filmmakers and screenwriters and provide a platform to accelerate their future success.”

The 53rd Nashville Film Festival winners are as follows:

  • Best Narrative Feature – MARS ONE (d. Gabriel Martins)
  • Best Documentary Feature – RELATIVE (d. Tracey Arcabasso Smith)
  • Best Music Documentary Feature – AND STILL I SING (d. Fazila Amiri)
  • Best New Directors Feature – THE YEAR BETWEEN (d. Alex Heller)
  • Best Graveyard Shift Feature – ROUNDING (d. Alex Thompson)
  • Best Tennessee Feature – JACIR (d. Waheed AlQawasmi)
  • Best Narrative Short – THE BLANKET (d. Teppo Airaksinen)
  • Best Documentary Short – LOVE, DAD (d. Diana Cam Van Nguyen)
  • Best Animated Short – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (d. Ida Melum)
  • Best ‘The Edge’ Short – BEEF (d. Sean Webley & Brendon Kingsbury)
  • Best Graveyard Shift Short – MOSHARI (d. Nuhash Humayun)
  • Best Tennessee Short – HERMIE (d. Jonathan Becker & Anthony Pitsilos)
  • Best Tennessee Student Short – EMBER AND THE KEEPER OF THE CAULDRON (d. Audrey
    Witherspoon & Natalie Peterson)
  • Best NextGen Short – MOLES (d. Vanja Victor Kabir Tognola)
  • Best Episodic Pilot – CAMP GREENWOOD (d. Kourtney Bell)
  • Best Episodic Series – MASHED (d. Stacey Maltin)
  • Best Virtual Reality & 360 – GLIMPSE (d. Michael O’Connor and Benjamin Cleary)

The Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition winners are as follow:

  • Best Drama Feature Script – THE PASSAGE OF THE SUN, written by Aaron Braxton
  • Best Comedy Feature Script – ELEKTRA, written by Roxy Mitchell
  • Best Horror Feature Script – OUR LADY OF JUSTICE, written by David Daniels
  • Best Genre Feature Script – EYELASHES, written by Kelly Palmer
  • Best Short Script – SEPTEMBER 13, 2004, written by Derrick Benton
  • Best Half Hour Pilot Script – BABY GAY, written by Keyanna Khatiblou
  • Best Hour Pilot Script – MURDER SHOW, written by Rosiland Grush
  • Best Tennessee Writer – FLORIDAMEN, written by Nate Eppler

About the Nashville Film Festival
The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally recognized nonprofit organization and cultural event presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award qualifying status, the Nashville Film Festival celebrates innovation, music and the many voices of the human spirit through the art of film. Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival is one of the first film festivals in the United States and is hosting its 53rd festival from September 29-October 5, 2022. For more information, visit