Kelly Frey

Enjoy the Nashville Japanese Film Festival April 7-9, free to see!


Free to See, April 7 – 9!  Enjoy the Nashville Japanese Film Festival!

Nashville, TN – Nashville Japanese Film Festival board President Kelly Frey announced today that the fourth annual Festival – being held April 7 – 9, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film – will be ENTIRELY FREE of charge, offering a five-film slate celebrating the art of Japanese cinema.

“We were already excited about this year’s features,” Frey shared, “and I am particularly happy to announce that we are now able to offer free admission to the entire line-up, thanks to Frost Brown Todd LLC and the generous donations of other contributors.”

The schedule had already included two free showings (Friday’s Voices of a Distant Star and Sunday’s The Gift from Beate), courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

As previously announced, this year’s five films are as follows, each presented in Japanese with English subtitles, except for the Japanese-made English-language feature The Harimaya Bridge

On April 7, the 25-minute animated Voices of a Distant Star will launch this year’s screenings.  From 2002, this was the first major project by director Makoto Shinkai, whose Your Name (Kimi no na wa) recently overtook Spirited Away as the highest-grossing anime film in history.  (7:30 PM)

Saturday, April 8, will feature the animated Miss Hokusai.  From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell) comes a remarkable story of the daughter of one of history’s most famous artists, the revered painter Hokusai.  View a trailer here.  (5:30 PM) 

The Sunday, April 9 schedule begins with From Up on Poppy Hill.  Set in 1963 Yokohama, this animated drama tells the tale of high school students working to save their school clubhouse from demolition.  Produced by the renowned Studio Ghibli, directed by Gorō Miyazaki, scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, From Up on Poppy Hill is based on the 1980 serialized Japanese comic of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama.  View a trailer here.  (1 PM)

The 2004 documentary The Gift from Beate offers an inspiring look at the story of Beate Shirota Gordon, who helped draft the Japanese constitution after World War II, with special focus on the article guaranteeing equality between men and women.  The feature also spotlights several Japanese women who put that new equality to remarkable use.  (3 PM)

Closing this year’s Festival with a cast that includes a supporting role by actor Danny Glover, The Harimaya Bridge is a powerful drama that finds a man struggling to cope with a resentment toward Japan:  a nation he blames for the loss of both his father and his son.  While visiting Japan in the aftermath of his son’s death, his experiences challenge him to reassess what he knows and feels.  View a trailer here.  (5 PM) 

The Nashville Japanese Film Festival will for the first time coincide with the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, being held Saturday, April 8, at the Nashville Public Square.  The ninth annual event is a free to the public, family-friendly celebration of spring and Japanese culture.  Additional information is online at

The Nashville Japanese Film Festival is also very proud to be a part of the First Annual Nashville Japan Week, April 2 – 9, with a full schedule of events online here.

A 501(c)(3) charitable organization established for the public benefit, the Nashville Japanese Film Festival welcomes and appreciates donations to help make this annual event possible.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228, with abundant free parking in the campus lot.

For more information, contact:

We are so excited to announce that Eating You Alive is set to hit screens in October!

We are so excited to announce that Eating You Alive is set to hit screens in October! There are many pre-release events that will be happening across the country in places like Oklahoma City, Detroit, Washington D.C., NYC, Atlanta, Nashville, Huntsville, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Austin, Sacramento, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and more! These events will include a Q & A session and a chance for us to finally get to meet all of you who have been so supportive and hear your "Whole Food Plant Based" stories! So keep checking as there are more details to come about these events and the nationwide theatrical release in November!

In the meantime, we have confirmed the first 20 cities for pre-release screenings for "Eating You Alive". Tickets can be purchased at for viewings on October 17 and 19.

Summit 16 Birmingham AL
Wynnsong 14 Auburn AL
Broward 18 Pompano Beach FL
Parisian 20 W Palm Beach FL
Movies 278 Hiram GA
Southridge 12 Des Moine IA
Grand Prairie 18 Peoria IL
Carmike 20 Fort Wayne IN
Cherry Blossom 14 Traverse City MI
Shiloh 14 Billings MT
Wynnsong 15 Durham NC
Carmike 18 Greensboro NC
Carmike 16 Wilmington NC
Ritz Center 16 Voorhees NJ
Solon 16 Solon OH
Carmike 16 Allentown PA
Broadway 16 Myrtle Beach SC
Eastridge 18 Chattanooga TN
Wynnsong 16 Knoxville TN
Carmike 16 El Paso TX
Yorktown 15 Houston TX

Chinese filmmakers make a splash in U.S. Music City- American film producer Kelly Frey envisions U.S. and Chinese filmakers working together to produce internationally acclaimed films.

Chinese filmmakers make a splash in U.S. Music City

Source: Xinhua   2016-04-25 16:45:23 

NASHVILLE, the United States, April 24 (Xinhua) -- A glamorous RV painted with Gibson guitars arrived at Nashville International Airport this week, waiting to pick up not another rock 'n' roll band, but a delegation of Chinese film producers and industry bigwigs.

They came to Nashville, the famed Music City in the southern state of Tennessee, to attend the annual film festival, bringing six feature films to the "Spectrum China" section and potential opportunities for co-production and distribution deals for film markets across the Pacific.

"The organizers of the festival wanted to make us feel like being a celebrity in the country music capital of the United States," said Yang Yubing, president of Shanghai Sanyuan Movie & Television Co. Ltd.

During their three-day visit, the Chinese filmmakers were greeted with what they called "Southern hospitality," as they attended receptions hosted by local officials, visited state-of-the-art studios and held discussions with industry executives on potential cooperation projects.

At the closing ceremony of the festival on Saturday night, they walked the red carpet and posed for pictures with the festival's organizers, before bringing home the Governor's Award amid the thundering cheers of celebrities and guests in the VIP tent.

"We are so excited to have this delegation from China," Ted Crockett, executive director of Nashville Film Festival, told Xinhua. "As an international film festival, it is important for us that we have a program that reflects all of the different cultures as much as possible."

The six Chinese films shown at this year's festival are all art-house productions that feature the life of China's ethnic groups, Ming Zhenjiang, head of the delegation and executive chairman of China Film Producers' Association, told Xinhua, adding that they were selected in particular because of the festival's emphasis on independent films and cultural diversity.

"The festival is a good platform for us to promote Chinese culture and showcase the country's soft power as well as to learn from America's top-notch filmmaking techniques," Ming said.

One of the Chinese films, A Noble Spirit, which is based on an actual event, tells the story of a village chief working in harsh conditions on the Tibetan plateau.

"It told a good story," movie buff Jimmy Mitchell said after watching the film. "I like it because he had to make a tough decision between family and helping others."

In recent years, China's film market has been growing rapidly and is second only to the United States. The box office in China reached over 6 billion U.S. dollars last year, up an astonishing 48.7 percent from 2014.

Noting the fast growth in China's film market, Crockett is thrilled by the potential co-production deals the high-level delegation could help hammer out, especially those on family-friendly projects that he thinks are well-received in different cultures.

"If you come up with a story that is told well, I think everyone will relate to it and the cultural barriers will go away," he said.

The Nashville Film Festival, originally established in 1969, ran April 14-23 this year. It attracted 6,500 entries from 125 countries and showed 271 films, including 99 features.

Bob Raines, executive director of Tennessee Entertainment Commission, said both Tennessee and China have a very unique talent in storytelling, and the state government is very supportive of working with China in creative industries.

"China has a warm and compassionate culture, and so is the state of Tennessee," Raines told Xinhua. "We are very compassionate about what we do. We are all story-tellers. I think that's what binds us together."

Ming, whose association brings together nearly 200 Chinese state-run and private film companies, also had a positive outlook on the collaboration between filmmakers in China and the southern cultural hub of Nashville.

Unlike major studios in Hollywood, Nashville focuses on low or medium-budget independent films, which are also the main body of cinematic work China produces, Ming told Xinhua. "This provides a common ground where we can explore potential cooperative opportunities," he said.

But he also pointed out that as Hollywood big-budget releases have grabbed the lion's share of foreign movies screened in China every year, it remains very difficult for independent films to enter Chinese theaters.

China adopts a quota system that restricts foreign movie imports to 34 titles a year, but co-productions, which are regarded by China as domestic films, are not subject to the quota.

American film producer Kelly Frey envisions U.S. and Chinese filmmakers working together to produce internationally acclaimed films.

"The American culture is very new from a Chinese perspective. China has taken a very long-range approach in filmmaking," Frey told Xinhua. "What I would like to do is to marry the two."





Kelly Frey hosts the joint Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commission and Nashville Film Festival lunch with a distinguished group of China Filmmakers and Film Executives.


Kelly Frey (President of Movie City Films and Film Festival Consortium) was glad to host the joint Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commission and Nashville Film Festival lunch with a distinguished group of China filmmakers and film executives at the City Club in Nashville,  with Ted Crockett (Executive Director of the Nashville Film Festival), Deputy Governor Jim Henry,  Zhenjiang Ming (Executive President of China Film Producers Association), Yan Xiaoming (Secretary General of the China Film Foundation), Sha LIqiong (Producer of award winning films Flying Arrow and Camel Caravan) and China Delegates, with Bob Raines (Tennessee Film Commissioner), Elvis Wilson (Nashville Filmmaker), George Fang (BDO Los Angeles office), Holly Bell (CFO of Skyway Studio) and Elie Kurtz (BDO Los Angeles office).