The Nashville Film Festival will host the film festival premiere screening of Tuscaloosa, a ‘70s coming-of-age story from director Philip Harder. The feature film stars Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things; Velvet Buzzsaw; Yes, God, Yes), Tate Donovan (Rocketman, Argo), Devon Bostick (Okja, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the CW’s 100), Marchánt Davis (The Day Shall Come), and rap artist YG (Def Jam recording artist, White Boy Rick).
Tuscaloosa will screen on Saturday, October 5th at 7 p.m. as part of the festival’s U.S. Independents Program during its 50th Anniversary season, taking place October 3-12, 2019. The film is the first narrative feature by Philip Harder, a longtime creative force known for high-profile music video work for artists including Prince, Foo Fighters, and Hilary Duff, and projects for commercial clients including Apple, Disney, and Target.
Adapted from the novel Tuscaloosa by W. Glasgow Phillips, the movie tells the coming-of-age story of Billy Mitchell (Devon Bostick), a member of Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s white middle class. By the summer of 1972, young black activists in his city have found purpose and a cause worth fighting for, but Billy is still coasting—until he falls in love with fragile, determined Virginia (Natalia Dyer), a patient at the mental hospital run by his father. Shaken out of his slacker indifference, he finds his loyalties pulling him in different directions. And when Billy and his friends try to move forward on their own path, they discover just how far the network of power and oppression in their town will go to stop them.
The Nashville Film Festival is the perfect place for Tuscaloosa’s festival premiere,” said director Philip Harder. “It is fundamentally a Southern story based on a Southern novel, so it’s fitting that we’re introducing it to audiences at the South’s oldest-running film festival. We put so much work into creating the world in this film, shooting in rural towns and landscapes, and using digital effects to recreate landmarks from 1970’s Tuscaloosa. The struggles the characters endure and dreams they pursue are extremely contemporary. We think the vintage quality of the production and epic story will keep the audience fully immersed, even as they recognize striking similarities to modern society and our current political times.”
The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is a globally recognized non-profit organization and cultural event presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award® qualifying status, the Nashville Film Festival celebrates innovation, music and the many voices of the human spirit through the art of film. Originally founded in 1969, the Nashville Film Festival is one of the first film festivals in the United States and will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in October 2019. For more information, visit nashfilm.org.
Tuscaloosa was directed by Philip Harder and produced by Patrick Riley. Executive Producers include Scott Franklin (Mother, Black Swan, The Wrestler); Brian & Josh Etting (Angel of Mine); Jenny Daly; actor Tate Donovan; Erik Helgeson, and Dan Riley. L.A.-based composers Joshua R. Mosley & Matt Hutchinson scored the picture, with additional music from Minnesota slowcore trio Low. Post-production for Tuscaloosa was completed at Harbor Picture Company in New York, N.Y., a leading post-production facility, whose recent credits include Solo: A Star Wars Story, Mother and the television series Billions. Editing and special effects were completed at Splice in Minneapolis. The film was edited by Clayton Condit, with Theo Stanley as director of photography and production design by Mark Wojahn.
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