The 49th Annual Nashville Film Festival Announces the 2018 Tennessee First Selections

Other Versions of You
Nashville, Tennessee ( April 2, 2018 ) -

The 49th Annual Nashville Film Festival continues its rollout of film announcements with the seven selected Tennessee First films that include the World Premiere of “Other Versions of You” and “Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon” as well as the Southeast US Premiere of “Triumph” starring and narrated by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker.

“We are continually impressed by the incredible storytelling submitted in the Tennessee First Competition and thrilled to highlight these films as part of our all-star lineup,” said Brian Owens, Nashville Film Festival’s Artistic Director.

Below are the 2018 selections in the category:

Tennessee First

“Other Versions of You” (World Premiere) – Diggsy has been in love with Suzette since he was 9 years old. After she marries someone else, he encounters a mysterious stranger who offers him a key that can open doors into parallel universes. This unexpected journey leads him on a quest filled with surprises, awkward encounters, and the possibility of finding the perfect version of a Suzette who will love him back. Cast: Kristopher Wente, Sara Antonio, CJ Perry, Brittany Belland, Miroslav Barnyashev, Eddie George. Director: Motke Dapp, Producers: David Perry, Ryan Hartsock, Motke Dapp (USA)

“Rukus” (Tennessee Premiere) – A hybrid of documentary and fiction, RUKUS is a queer coming of age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds. Cast: Brett Hanover, Alanna Stewart, Andrew Gafford, Dylan Thompson, Morgan Fox, Rukus, Director: Brett Hanover, Producer: Brett Hanover (USA)

“Stage 5” (Southeast US Premiere) – When Andrew, a down-on-his-luck alcoholic with kidney failure, wakes up in a hospital room with the up-and-coming comic Zeke by his bedside, his life is changed forever. With no money and no family, he moves into the 601 House, a halfway home for the sick who can’t afford to take care of themselves. But as Zeke and Andrew grow closer, life throws a curveball that just can’t be hit. Cast: Nate Shumate, Silas Green, Johnathan Gorman, Kayla Chase Stephen. Director: Alex Westrick, Producers: Alex Westrick, Jeffry Lawrence, Mike Wargo (USA)

“Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon” (World Premiere) – Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon explores the deep history of the Bourbon Capital of the World from its origins on the banks of the Ohio River to Bourbon St. Director: Eric Byford, Producers: Eric Byford, Cary Ann Fuller, Dustin Tittle (USA)

“Strategy and Pursuit” (Southeast US Premiere) Complicated dynamics between lovelorn friends spark a disturbing chain of events. Cast: James J. Fuertes, Tiffany Montgomery, Parker Arnold, Emily Landham, Brian McPherson, Leslie Mills, Director: Matt Riddlehoover. Producers: Lesley Powers, Joey von Haeger, Wes Powers (USA)

“Television Pioneer: The Story of Ross K. Bagwell, Sr.” – Ross K. Bagwell, Sr. pioneers part of the cable television industry in a place Hollywood would have never thought was possible: Knoxville, Tennessee. Cast: Ross K. Bagwell, Sr., Sue Bagwell, Dee Bagwell Haslam, Ken Lowe, Stephen Land, Carmita Wright, Director: Kristen Dye, Producer: Kristen Dye, Dee Bagwell Haslam, Robert B. Lundgren, Lori Golden-Stryer (USA)

“Triumph” (Southeast US Premiere) – Narrated by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, TRIUMPH is not a “sports” film as much as it is a unique window on America’s civil rights movement that chronicles Nashville native Perry Wallace’s evolution from a reluctant “pioneer” in the final throes of the “Jim Crow” era to a determined “game-changer,” whose actions altered the way of life throughout the South. Cast: Perry Wallace, Forest Whitaker, Rev. James Lawson, Andrew Young, Former US Attorney Eric Holder, Dr. Harry Edwards. Director: Richard Gentile, Producer: Richard Gentile, Nicholas Zeppos, Bruce Johnson (USA)

The Nashville Film Festival offers individual screening tickets, membership prices as low as $45 and more. To learn more, and to see the most updated agenda, visit

About Nashville Film Festival
In May 2018, the Nashville Film Festival will celebrate its 49th annual event with 10 days of can’t miss film premieres, red carpet events and informational panels featuring industry leaders. The Festival, which was voted one of “50 Film Festivals worth the entry fee” by MovieMaker Magazine, highlighted as One of the Best Film Festival Prizes by Film Festival Today and named by Brooks Institute as one of the top 5 film festivals in the U.S., presents the best in World Cinema, American indies, documentaries, and numerous short form programs by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Oscar Award qualifying status and numerous well-attended shorts programs, the Nashville Film Festival has screened many prize-winning narrative and animated shorts including “13 Assassins,” “(500) Days of Summer,” Cyrus and Academy Award nominees, “I Am Love,” “Ajami,” and “Dogtooth.” Celebrity honorees and participants have included Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, William Shatner, William H. Macy, Al Gore, Nicole Kidman, Danny Glover, Vincent D’Onofrio and many more. Additional information on the festival and its 2018 schedule can be found at