Feature Competitions

What Qualifies as a Feature Length Film?

Feature films are films that last longer than 40 minutes. We have a variety of competitions for feature length films, ranging from Narratives to Documentaries – even films about music.

Narrative Competition

The Narrative Competition is for Tennessee premiers of narrative feature films that are innovative, original, and show unique perspectives from all parts of the globe. The winning film receives a cash prize of $3,000 USD. $1,000 is added if the filmmaker is in attendance at the Awards Ceremony. Another $1,000 is added for World or North American Premieres.

 

Films in this category are also eligible for non-cash music prizes, including Best Music (original or adapted) and Best Original Song. Also, non-cash prizes are awarded for Best Actor and Best Actress. Special Jury Prizes may be awarded.

 

Past winners include Hiner Saleem’s If You Die, I Will Kill You, Craig Brewer’s Hustle and Flow,  Valery Todorovsky’s Hipsters, Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, and Matthew Gordon’s The Dynamiter.

 

Jurors in the past several years have included David Glasser from The Weinstein Company, Arianne Rocchi from Magnolia Pictures, actor and director Chris Eigeman (Metropolitan), actor and director Dan Butler, Frasier,  Variety critic Joe Leydon, actor Anthony Zerbe, TIFF Audience Award Winning Director Claudia Weill, and Elvis Mitchell.

 

Films in this competition must be Tennessee Premieres and will not receive screening fees if accepted into competition.

New Directors Competitions

This competition is for narrative feature films by first-time narrative feature filmmakers. NaFF seeks innovative, original films with unique perspectives from all parts of the globe. The winning film receives a cash prize of $1,500 U.S.D. An additional $500 will be awarded if the filmmaker is in attendance. Another $500 will be added if the film is a World or North American Premiere – for a total cash prize of $2,500.

 

Previous winners in this category are David Tosh Gitonga’s Nairobi Half LIfe, Nejc Gazvoda’s A Trip (Izlet), Michael Mohan for One Too Many Mornings and Mike Magidson for Inuk.

 

Additionally, films compete for Best Actor and Best Actress prizes and are eligible for additional prizes.

 

Films in this competition must be Tennessee Premieres and will not receive screening fees if accepted into competition.

Documentary Competition

This is an international competition for documentaries features.  The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize. Additional $1,000 for filmmakers in attendance.  $1,000 for World or North American Premiere ( total up to $5,000).

 

Since its inception, NaFF has always offered well-attended screenings of doc features and shorts. Many have gone on to Oscar nominations and wins, including 5 Broken Cameras, If a Tree Falls, Born Into Brothels, Daughter from Danang, Encounters at the End Of the World, Murderball, and Story of a Weeping Camel.

 

Recent documentary hits at NaFF include Stories We Tell, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, Beauty is Embarrassing, Buck, Most Valuable Players, Prodigal Sons, Garbage Dreams, and Pressure Cooker.

 

NaFF offers the Southwest Airlines Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Recent winners include TWO:The Story of Roman & Nyro, McCullin, Beauty is Embarrassing, The Topp Twins, For Once In My Life, and Born Into Brothels.

 

Please note that Documentaries and Music Films / Music City documentaries compete for the same Audience Award.

 

Films in this competition must be Tennessee Premieres and will not receive screening fees if accepted into competition.

Gibson Music Films Competition

This is an international competition for documentaries about music and musicians.  The winner gets a Gibson guitar valued at around $3,000.

 

Nashville is America’s “Music City” so, this competition is the hottest and offers the most sought-after prizes on the festival circuit. It features world premiere films by and about Rob Thomas, Kiefer Sutherland, William Shatner, Ben Folds, Chris Thile, John Mellencamp, and Henry Rollins.

 

Recent Music Films – Music City hits at NaFF include, Good Ol’ Freda, Under African Skies, Butch Walker: Out of Focus, Wish Me Away, It’s About You, Ain’t In It For My Health, For Once in My Life, The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, Rock Prophecies, I Trust You to Kill Me, and My Secret Record.

 

Music Films – Music City Entries will compete for The Freedom to Choose Southwest Airlines Audience Award for Best Documentary and the NPT Human Spirit Award.

 

Films in this competition must be Tennessee Premieres and will not receive screening fees if accepted into competition.

Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Competition

Sponsored by Ground Zero, the Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Feature is presented to the best feature film (all genre and styles welcome) that meets two of the three criteria (proof is required to win the award):

 

- The Director is a current Tennessee Resident or Tennessee Native

- The Executive Producer or Screenwriter is a current Tennessee Resident

- At least 65% of the film was shot in Tennessee

 

Selected by a Jury of Industry Professionals, the winner will receive $10,000 in post-production services by Ground Zero.

Previous winners of this prize include Jeff Obafemi Carr’s He Ain’t Heavy, Clay Jeter’s Jess + Moss,  Brent Stewart’s The Colonel’s Bride, and The Deagol Brothers’ Make-out With Violence.