As Ron Wynn noted last week in his Scene overview of the International Black Film Festival of Nashville, the IBFFN was coming off of its most successful year yet with few worries — until May's catastrophic flooding wiped out the festival's 2010 venue at Opry Mills. A mad scramble, however, and a lot of willing partners resulted in new temporary quarters for the festival at various locations on the Vanderbilt campus, Scarritt-Bennett, and the nearby Loews Vanderbilt Plaza.
Now that the auxiliary "Faith in Film" series has just concluded, the festival kicks off in high style tonight at Vanderbilt's Sarratt Cinema with its official opening-night film: the fact-based drama Blood Done Sign My Name, an account of a murder trial in 1970 North Carolina that divides a town bitterly along racial lines. From Ron's story last week:
Luminaries slated to attend include rising star Nate Parker, noted for his roles in Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters and Lucasfilm's upcoming Tuskegee Airmen epic Red Tails. Parker joins Lela Rochon and Rick Schroeder in Blood Done Sign My Name, a film that sets a murder/suspense tale against the backdrop of the dawning civil rights movement. The feature opens the festival 6:50 p.m. Sept. 29 at Sarratt, and Parker will join the film's writer-director, The Fugitive/Die Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart, in a talkback Q&A following the screening.
The red-carpet festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., and Parker and Stuart will also be present for the opening-night party starting 9:30 p.m. tonight at Cabana in Hillsboro Village. Tickets to the party are $25 general admission or $50 VIP. For a full schedule of films and events, see the festival's website.