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2021 Nashville Film Festival: Day Two Recap

We kicked off the Nashville Film Festival on Thursday but Friday was the day we got to see a full slate of films! Here’s what I watched from my first full day at the 2021 Nashville Film Festival.

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

This film follows Casey, who has decided she wants to join in on an online horror game. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair follows her in the early stages as she tries to join in and while she realizes what’s happened to others who came before her.

One of the more unique things about the film was the approach to the filming of it. Director Jane Schoenbrun puts us in the seat with Casey, making us feel like we’re going along with her. The story also makes viewers understand how people could get sucked into these online horror games with modern-day technology. This actually brought the film’s horror level up a notch.

Anna Cobb stood out in a big way with her performance as Casey. I felt everything she was going through as it was happening. From the time she was first on the screen until she loses it all, Cobb captures every emotion. This young actress has a bright future ahead.

Due to the pandemic, we’ve seen many films based in the world of Zoom-like atmospheres. The bar was set high last year with Rob Savage’s Host and writers/directors have tried to capture that same magic, but most are failing. Unfortunately, I think this film also missed the mark. The root of the story has a solid foundation to it and we become invested with Casey but, overall, it feels very lackluster in emotion or even effort. 

See You Then

For See You Then, we begin at a restaurant where Kris and Naomi are reuniting for the first time since Kris walked out on Naomi without any notice. The tension is palpable from the moment they sit down.

This film’s setup was simple but the execution was well done and the actors were terrific. While the conversation moves elsewhere, the tone and story also progress in a way that keeps viewers fully invested in these two women. As we understand more of the journey, we realize that these old wounds have not healed.

The film highlights how our past can come back to haunt us if we don’t close those chapters and wounds. It also shows how we can get stuck, stuck in trying to figure who we are or what we are trying to become. The questions I was left with after watching it were all profound ones.

We have two powerful performances by Pooya Mohseni and Lynn Chen, that bring Kristen Uno and Mari Walker’s screenplay to life. They make you feel the pain coming from the lines they are delivering. I highly recommend checking this one out.

Heavy Petting

Short films are always intriguing because sometimes they’re just bizarre. If you’re going to get truly weird, you have to make sure that you capture the audience and their emotions within the weird.

In a unique way, Brendan Prost highlights how individuals cope with loss in ways that don’t always make the most sense. In this particular case, Prost showcases two women brought together over the loss of their cats. Then, one night together changes the course for one of them.

Prost’s short film was well shot, acted, and with a pretty fantastic score. If you like something a little odd, but with creative filmmaking, this one is for oyu.

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