As previously announced, NPT president and CEO Beth Curley received The Nashy Award last week for Outstanding Contributions to the Growth of the Nashville Film and Cultural Community. The award was presented by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean at the annual Nashville Film/Television Town Meeting at the Belcourt Theatre on February 19. Prior to Dean’s comments and presentation, comments were made by Demetria Kalodimos, master of ceremonies and WSMV anchor, Richard Warren, NPT board chair, and via a video statement, Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of The Independent Television Service (ITVS).
Kalodimos was wonderful and well prepared, even throwing in the little known tidbit that one of Beth’s favorite films is Uncle Buck, while Warren honed in on Beth’s leadership skills and foresight in creating a creative campus and arts center in our building on Rains Avenue, now home to the Nashville Film Festival, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Book’em and the NATAS Midsouth Chapter. Fifer talked about Beth’s role on the ITVS board and her unflinching commitment to independent film on public television. Dean took the opportunity to talk about Nashville’s vibrant television and film community, and make a few well-intentioned jokes about the television show “Nashville,” before turning his focus on Beth.
Of all his comments about Beth and NPT’s accomplishments in the community, the one we were most proud of was his praise for our NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis series and project. Now in its fourth year, the project has been both a labor of love and imperative for us. It’s won numerous Emmys and other awards that we are honored to have received, but people talking about it and creating a dialogue around it are what excites us the most. For it’s those discussions that get the needle moving. That Dean chose to focus on it, in a packed theater of film and television professionals, was both humbling and triumphant.
We’re not done with the project. In the last three years we focused on infant mortality, obesity, mental health, sexual health, prevention and creating a culture of health. In June, we’ll look at the role of families, and particularly of fathers, in a child’s healthy development. All of the documentaries, hosted by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are available to stream for free on our website video portal.
The Nashville Film/Television Town Meeting, produced by FilmNashville and now in its 10th year, included representatives from 23 film offices, organizations and schools, all gathering to discuss the state of Nashville’s film community. We congratulate all the organizations that attended on the work they do to keep film, television and storytelling vibrant in Nashville. It was Beth that best summed up their value in her acceptance speech:
“We can’t take any of this granted. And by ‘this’ I don’t just mean public television. I mean independent filmmaking, and ultimately, every organization in this room. We all need each other, and need to work together, if independent film and storytelling is to continue to thrive in this community.”
More pictures after the jump.