NASHVILLE, Tennessee – April 7, 2011 – Legendary actor and songwriter Kris Kristofferson will receive the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) 2011 Career Achievement Award when the Festival presented by Nissan takes place April 14-21 at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16. Kris Kristofferson will be presented with the award before the Friday, April 15, 8:00 p.m. spotlight screening of “Bloodworth,” in which the actor portrays a disgruntled and estranged father and musician returning to his family after 40 years of absence. He is expected to arrive on the Red Carpet by 7:00 p.m. and be joined by “Bloodworth” director Shane Dax Taylor, actor and screenwriter W. Earl Brown and actor Reece Thompson, among others.
Also expected to attend the Nashville Film Festival near Cool Springs is country music star Chely Wright, who will be in attendance for the Friday, April 15, 5:30 p.m. sneak preview screening of the documentary “Wish Me Away.” The documentary, by directors Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, follows Wright leading up to and after her coming out as openly gay. She is expected to arrive on the Red Carpet about 4:30 p.m. prior to the screening.
Also announced: Monte Hellman (“Two Lane Blacktop”), actress Shannyn Sossamon (“A Knight’s Tale”) and screenwriter Steven Gaydos will join their film “Road to Nowhere,” on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m., during which Hellman will receive the 2011 Coleman Sinking Creek Award. The award is named in honor of Nashville Film Festival founder Mary Jane Coleman and given to a filmmaker to honor significant contributions to independent film. On closing night, April 21, director Azazel Jacobs (“Momma’s Man”) and actor Jacob Wysocki will attend the screening of their film “Terri.”
Director Mike Cahill will escort his film “Another Earth,” Ahmed Ahmed will be at the Festival for a screening of his documentary “Just Like Us,” and Will Gray will usher in the World Premiere of his music documentary “Broke*. Ahmed will also do a stand-up performance at The Basement during Festival week, and Gray will join the Iranian band The Casualty Process for a closing night concert at Mercy Lounge.” A complete list of filmmakers and guests connected to films at NaFF 2011, and expected to attend, will be posted soon to http://www.nashvillefilmfestival.org. Tickets for all films and events are available now at http://www.nashvillefilmfestival.org. iPhone users are also encouraged to download the new NaFF 2011 App for iPhone at the Apple App Store.
Born in Texas and raised in a military family, Kris Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer who studied creative writing at Pomona College in California. The Phi Beta Kappa graduate earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at Oxford, where he boxed, played rugby and continued to write songs. After graduating from Oxford, Kristofferson served in the army as an Airborne Ranger helicopter pilot and achieved the rank of Captain. In 1965, he turned down an assignment to teach at West Point and, inspired by songwriters like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, moved to Nashville to pursue his music.
After struggling in Music City for several years, Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “For the Good Times,” all chart-topping hits, helped redefine country songwriting. By 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions.
His renown as a songwriter, and then performer, soon brought him to the attention of Hollywood, where he flourished as a screen actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 50 films. In 1977, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in “A Star Is Born.” He’s appeared in cult favorites including the “Blade” trilogy, “Lone Star,” “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries,” “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Blume In Love,” “Cisco Pike,” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Recent films include “Fast Food Nation,” “The Wendell Baker Story,” “Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story,” “The Jacket,” “Silver City,” “Disappearances,” “He’s Just Not That In To You” and “The Greening of Whitney Brown.”
He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran’s Association’s “Veteran of the Year Award” in 2002. In 2007, Kristofferson was honored with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from Country Music Television; in 2009, he received the BMI Icon Award.