Some might call it “the calm before the storm,” but there’s nothing calm about the final days leading up to the opening day of the Nashville Film Festival. That’s not to say that the final steps to launching one of Nashville’s largest events are in total chaos either. If anything, the preparations are more akin to organized chaos. The last all-staff meeting for the festival happened April 16th at the Green Hills Regal Cinema, the theater multiplex where all of the magic happens for the eight days of the festival.
Ted Crockett, the festival’s Executive Director, is just thrilled to not be stressed out this year. “It’s the first time in ten years! I’m on autopilot now which is something that’s never happened for me this close to opening day. We have 50 returning staff and volunteers and these people know how to get this festival going”.
This year promises to be the biggest festival to date with a stellar lineup of films and a new partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which will bring some Academy members to NaFF. This sort of growth causes a trickledown effect that applies to every facet of the festival, from a bigger than ever VIP tent that will feature a public bar to new marquees above the ticket booths. The festival’s overall atmosphere already feels grander than in previous years. Everything is bigger, better, and more exciting.
When asked what he believes the filmmakers and guests may not notice when they visit the festival, Ted replies that he thinks they probably don’t realize the extreme level of detail that has to come together to make each panel, film screening, or red carpet appearance happen - from projecting the film all the way down to microphones for a post-film Q&A.
After the meeting is complete the staff breaks up to return to planning, building, hanging banners, stuffing gift bags and doing everything else that must be done prior to Opening Night. They work late into the nights before the festival is complete. With everything running so absolutely smoothly this year, the one final hump that Ted feels he must get over before opening day is finding time to get some sleep!