A Cheapskate’s Guide To The Nashville Film Festival [Freebies] [NaFF ’11]

The Nashville Film Festival starts on Thursday, but your cash flow is well, not really flowing. What’s a broke film junkie to do? If you’re okay with flying by the seat of your pants, you may find that you can experience the Nashville Film Festival at a very low cost (like free). Sounding better? We thought so.

Step 1: Hit up the free films and panels.

Yeah yeah yeah, thank you Captain Obvious, etc. But were you really going to comb through the hundreds of film listings to find out which ones are free and open to the public? No, that’s why you’re here. And we like to think that it’s a little known fact that a handful of film screenings, events and panels throughout the fest are free. No tickets, no reservations, no money – just get your butt in the seat before someone else does. Here are some of the freebies:

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Screen Actors Guild, But Were Afraid to Ask. Thursday, April 14, 2pm.
Shorts for the Family
. Saturday, April 16, 11:30am.
A Conversation with Vince Gill. Saturday, April 16 at 1pm.
Saturday, April 16, 2pm.
Movie Trivia with Trivia Time. At Joe’s Place, Monday, April 18 at 8pm.
Whiskey Wednesday. At Billy Reid, Wednesday, April 20 at 6pm.
Hunnypot Does Nashville Film Festival. At The Rutledge, Wednesday, April 20 at 8pm.
Shorts for the Family. Thursday, April 21 at 12pm.
Shooting SEPTIEN on film – presented by Kodak. Thursday, April 21 at 3:30pm.

Step 2: Student ID?

Are you a college student at the Arts Institute, Lipscomb, Vanderbilt, Columbia State Community College, TSU, Fisk, Watkins or Belmont? Is your ID card intact? If you meet these two criteria, you’ll be able to get into any not sold out matinee film screening (weekdays before 5pm) for free. Easy. If you’ve got some extra cash and a burning desire to see a popular movie, your student ID also gets you discounted tickets ($9, regular price is $12).

Students at these schools can also “rush” panels at any time of the day, meaning you can fill in any unsold seats if you show up right before the panel begins.

Step 3: Record Store Day!

The Nashville Film Festival is taking a little field trip to Record Store Day at Grimey’s this year. The Basement will be screening three of the film fest’s music films for free on Saturday, April 16.

1:00 Broke*
2:00 Heavy Metal Picnic w/ Q&A by the director
4:30 Better Than Something: Jay Reatard

Step 4: NowPlayingNashville.

Straight up free tickets at NowPlayingNashville for those sans college enrollment. New free tickets are added each day at 5pm, so bookmark this page and keep checking back to see what fate has planned for your evening.

There! Don’t you feel better already? If this bag of tricks isn’t enough to sate your desire for free films this week, don’t forget to check out the Belcourt’s Film Forward. It’s not part of the film festival, but it is sanctioned by Sundance and features nine free films over the next few days.

Photo by burningkarma.