Mars One Leads Nashville Film Festival Winners

Gabriel Martins’ Mars One earned Best Narrative Film and Tracey Arcabasso Smith’s Relative won Best Documentary at the 53rd edition of the Nashville Film Festival, announced Monday.

And Still I Sing received Best Music Documentary honors, while Alex Heller’s The Year Between was named Best New Directors Feature. Best Tennessee Feature went to director Waheed AlQawasmi’s Jacir, which was, full disclosure, made with an assist from MovieMaker Production Services. You can watch the full film ceremony here and screenplay award here, and the full list of jury members is here.

“This year’s award winners highlight an exceptional slate of movies featured at the 53rd film festival,” said Nashville Film Festival director of programming Lauren 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, respectively. The Best Tennessee Writer award went to Nate Eppler for Floridamen.

The festival, a regular on MovieMaker’s annual list of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, continues through Wednesday with screenings at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee. It closes with Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues

Mars One, Relative, Jacir Named Nashville Film Festival Winners

Jacir, by Waheed AlQawasmi, winner of the Best Tennessee Feature at the Nashville Film Festival.

“We have been so amazed and impressed by the immense creative talent showcased in this year’s festival,” said Jason Padgitt, executive director of the 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 DREAD (d. Ida Melum)

Bet ‘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

Main image: Mars One, directed by Gabriel Martins, winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Nashville Film Festival.