Women`s Empowerment Film Fest Comes to Nashville August 21

Free daylong series Aug. 21 features four documentaries with strong female characters – A Girl’s Life, Off and Running, Troop 1500, and Lakshmi and Me – followed by discussions.

As NPT gets ready to partner with ITVS and the Nashville Public Library this October to launch our third season of ITVS Community Cinema in Nashville, the groundbreaking free community film series and engagement program is hosting a Women’s Empowerment Film Festival at Nashville Public Library’s main branch (615 Church St.) on Saturday, August 21, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Nashville festival is one of a dozen national ITVS events that highlight stories of women and girls in the U.S. and globally who are making real change on critical social issues in their communities.

Presented additionally by Hands On Nashville and Nashville Film Festival, the free daylong event will feature four documentary films, refreshments and an information fair for organizations that serve girls and women in Nashville, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee.

“While we want to celebrate and encourage girls and women, we also want to bring the local perspective to the stories we see on screen,” said Allison Inman, ITVS National Community Cinema Coordinator. “For example, when we show ‘Troop 1500,’ which tells the story of young girls in Texas whose mothers are incarcerated, we’ll hear from Nashville organizations that help girls coping with a parent in prison.”

Read an interview with Inman about last year’s Community Cinema Series.

The Women’s Empowerment Film Festival lineup includes:

A Girl’s Life (Trailer)
Rachel Simmons introduces four typical teenage American girls who tell deeply personal tales of dealing with issues like cyber-bullying, body image and violence. Simmons also interviews parents, psychologists, teachers, and social workers. As viewers trace the thorny new challenges girls face, the girls themselves reveal an inspiring supply of strength, energy, smarts and support for each other.
9:30-10:30 a.m., discussion immediately following


Off and Running (Trailer)
Avery is an African American teenager and the adopted daughter of two Jewish lesbian moms in Brooklyn. Off and Running follows Avery’s journey to uncover her roots and explore the bonds of family.
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., discussion immediately following


Troop 1500 (Trailer)
At the Gatesville Prison in Texas, a unique Girl Scout troop unites daughters with mothers who have been convicted of serious crimes. Facing steep sentences from the courts and tough questions from their children, the mothers struggle to rebuild relationships with the daughters who endure a childhood without them.
1-2 p.m., discussion immediately following

Lakshmi and Me (Trailer)
Have you ever dreamed of being waited on hand and foot? For the past six years, Lakshmi has been doing just that for her employers–virtually unnoticed. That is, until one of Lakshmi’s employers begins to film her daily life on the job in Mumbai, India. In a deeply personal portrait, the film takes a hard look at the Indian caste system, gender and class relations.
3-4 p.m., discussion immediately following

The screening series is one of several taking place in a dozen cities across the country during the month of August, featuring more than 15 documentary films from ITVS’s award-winning catalogue. More information can be found at ITVS’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative site. Other cities participating in the series include Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Lexington, Rochester, New York, St. Louis, and Colorado Springs.

Building on the success of ITVS’ Community Cinema screening series – a groundbreaking free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens – Women’s Empowerment screening events will feature innovative activities to engage audience members in thoughtful discussion after the film has screened, in addition to the opportunity to meet representatives from leading organizations and identify ways to take action locally.

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