Chattanooga Film Festival Announces Opening Night Film and First Wave of Programming

The Chattanooga Film Festival is proud to announce it will open its third year with the Hank Williams biopic, I Saw the Light.

I Saw the Light chronicles renowned country-western singer Hank Williams’ rise to fame, it’s tragic effect on his health and personal life.  Directed by Marc Abraham, who has produced such films as Children of Men and Dawn of the Dead, the film stars Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak, The Avengers) as ‘Hank Williams’ and Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron).

“Over the last two years at CFF, we’ve come to realize just how much folks love killer programming about music and musicians.  In that spirit we are proud to kick off year three with a film we think folks are going to love,” says Chris Dortch, executive director and lead programmer of the festival. 

Cinephiles can also look forward to the below films that are the first wave of official titles to be announced as part of the festival this year.  “Every year we challenge ourselves to raise the bar at CFF and create a bigger and better festival by bringing quality films to the Chattanooga area,” Dortch says.

  • The Adderall Diaries
    Director: Pamela Romanowsky
    Writer and Adderall enthusiast Stephen Elliott reaches a low point when his estranged father resurfaces, claiming that Stephen has fabricated much of the dark childhood that fuels his writing.  Adrift in the precarious gray area of memory, Stephen is led by three sources of inspiration: a new romance, the best friend who shares his history, and a murder trial that reminds him more than a little of his own story.
  • Bad Blood *World Premiere*
    Director: Tim Reis
    After a horrific amphibian attack leaves Victoria Miller infected with a mutagenic disease, she returns home, where the antidote to her affliction is mistaken for party drugs.  Locked in her room without her medicine, she transforms into a hideous monster to give everyone a taste of their own.  An amphibious spin on classic werewolf mythology. 
  • Boy & the World *Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Film*
    Director: Ale Abreu
    A little boy named Cuca goes on an adventurous quest in search for his father. 
  • Embrace of the Serpent *Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film*
    Director: Ciro Guerra
    The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant. 
  • The Fits
    Director: Anna Rose Holmer
    A psychological portrait of 11-year-old Toni, a tomboy assimilating from boxing training to a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End. When a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance is twisted. 
  • The Forbidden Room
    Director: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
    A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that’s been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo.  As the terrified crewmembers make their way through the corridors of the doomed vessel, they find themselves on a voyage into the origins of their darkest fears. 
  • The Invitation
    Director: Karyn Kusama
    While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests. 
  • Only Yesterday
    Director: Isao Takahata
    A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.  Featuring the voices of Daisy Ridley (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire).  A masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by one of the world’s most revered animation studios, Only Yesterday has never been released in North America. 
  • Presenting Princess Shaw
    Director: Ido Haar
    A rousing documentary crowd pleaser about a star-crossed singer-songwriter and her crafty secret admirer, Presenting Princess Shaw examines loneliness, anonymity and connectivity in the Internet age, where showbiz dreams remain but a mouse-click away for even the most hardscrabble striver. 
  • Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
    Directors: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen
    After Steven Spielberg’s classic film Raiders of the Lost Arc was released almost 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a seven-year labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film.  They finished every scene except one - the film’s explosive airplane set piece.  More than two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete the masterpiece.  Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders! is the story of the project’s culmination, chronicling the friends’ dedication to their artistic vision-mixed in with some movie magic - to create the greatest fan film ever made. 
  • Remember
    Director: Atom Egoyan
    With the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a hand-written letter, an elderly man with dementia goes in search of the person responsible for the death of his family.  
  • The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse *US Premiere*
    Directors: Alex Crowton, Bobby Dass
    Profiles Mark Linkous, singer-songwriter and founder of the alternative rock band Sparklehorse.  A cult and hugely influential figure in the alternative music scene, Linkous led a dramatic life. 
  • Sly Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows
    Director: Rob Hatch-Miller
    A portrait of an overlooked, yet hugely influential African-American musician whose 60-year career spanned several genres, from the blues, to soul, to funk and hip hop.  In spite of enjoying success in Chicago in the 1960s with songs such as “Come On Sock It To Me” and “Is It Because I’m Black,” and recording with the same band and producers as Al Green at Hi Records in Memphis in the ‘70s, Syl’s music remained largely unknown until hip hop artists discovered it. 
  • Southbound
    Director: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence
    Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travelers who confront their worst nightmares - and darkest secrets - over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.  

In continuing with tradition, the Opening Night Party will be held at the Hunter Museum of American Art, Thursday March 31st from 5-7pm.