DEFYing Convention on the Nashville Film Scene


Only in its third year, DEFY Film Festival has made a name for itself, screening films that other, more main-stream oriented festivals barely glance at. In its horror block, you’ll see the truly mad, macabre, and, well, just plain weird. In the comedy block, you’ll never see it coming. And then there’s the queer block…

According to the festival organizers, “DEFY is focused on great film work. Films made outside of the system. Films that had to defy all conventions to be made. Films that defy our expectations. We program films that break the mold, went beyond formulas and stepped outside of the frame. All great art is a disruption.”

This year, the festival has two screenings of specifically LGBT interest: The Queer Short Film Event, as well as a screening of the feature film, Daddy Issues.



Daddy Issues, by filmmaker Amara Cash, will be screened on Saturday, August 25, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. This film made a huge splash at Outfest Los Angeles, and DEFY is bringing it to Nashville.

Daddy Issues follows Maya, a talented queer artist on the verge of a first love that is more complicated than anything she could imagine. Maya spends her days escaping into her drawings and social media, where she cyberstalks the alluring Jasmine; an aspiring designer in an emotionally charged, co-dependent relationship with a neurotic sugar daddy. When Maya and Jasmine's paths finally cross, they begin a romantic relationship that provides Maya her dream of first love and Jasmine the inspiration she needs to jump start her career. It's all gumdrops and fairytales until a bizarre love triangle soon emerges, all because of "daddy issues."

At 9:00 p.m. on the same evening, the Queer Short Film Event will screen 8 short films and 3 music videos. “Our Queer Short Film Event is intended to celebrate the stories and voices of the LGBTQ community,” wrote the festival’s organizers. “Each film in this block is either by a filmmaker who identifies as queer or tells the stories of the queer community. These films aim to spotlight these marginalized artists and keep their voices heard.”



Having seen a few of these films, I can guarantee you that you’ve not seen anything like these shorts gathered together in one showing. And you’ll have filmmakers there to answer the questions that will no doubt follow!

After the Queer event, at 11:00 p.m., the festival is hosting a party including drag show. Veronika Electronika will not only be hosting the Queer Short Film Event—she’ll also be getting the afterparty started with a drag show!

DEFY Film Festival takes place on August 24th and 25th at Studio 615 in East Nashville. Tickets and schedule are now available. Click on the following for more information on Daddy Issues at DEFY and on the Queer Short Film Event.



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