The Films

Rising from Ashes

(a special university screening of a work in progress)

Narrated by Forest Whitaker, Rising from Ashesis the story of Rwandan’s first-ever national cycling team. The documentary moves from the realities of an unimaginable genocide to new hope, found in a group of rag tag riders that become goodwill ambassadors for their country.   Guided by their American coach, a man with his own dark past, the team strives for a place in the upcoming London Olympic games. Austin filmmaker T.C. Johnstone, who has been described by Rick Warren as “one of the finest young film producers of his generation,” took five years to capture this story of triumph over tragedy.

Nashville Rises

Narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, Nashville Rises tells the story of one of Tennessee’s worst natural disasters.  In May 2010, a crisis, known as the 1,000-year floor did more than two billion dollars in damage to Middle Tennessee.  Filmmaker Zac Adams not only tell the story of the flooding of some of Nashville’s most significant landmarks, but also documents the rising spirits and resilience of the leaders and people of the city in the fact of this disaster and its aftermath.

Director Zac Adams and Cinematographer Michael Sydenstricker will discuss the film following its screening.

Being Elmo:  A Puppeteer’s Journey

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, Being Elmo introduces audiences to the African-American creator of one of the world’s most beloved puppets.  From his poor Baltimore neighborhood, a young boy named Kevin Clash dreams of one day becoming a master puppeteer.  In this documentary winner of the Sunday Film Festival, Director Constance Marks tell how Clash comes to meet his hero, Jim Henson, to find a home on Sesame Street, and eventually to turn a discarded puppet into a world-wide phenomenon.

In addition to the award-winning film which screens from 3:30-4:45, Alpha Chi Honor Society is sponsoring a “Being Elmo” Party from 2-4:30.  This community service event includes games and story time, snacks and prizes to purchase,  and big hugs from a surprising friend.  The community is invited to this event and the entire festival.

Also as part of the Mossy Creek Documentary Arts Festival:


A student photography competition of stirring images and works meant to inspire.  Photographs will be displayed during the festival in the first floor lobby of Henderson Humanities.  Photography awards to be selected by a panel of professional photographers and awarded at 6:00 p.m. in Phoenix Theatre.

Ed’s Story:  It Ain’t Over

A documentary film about a pastor who confronts his own disabling disease, ALS, while seeking to find hope in the midst of despair.

Valley of Independence: The History of Grainger County

Keith McDaniel, award-winning documentary filmmaker and Carson-Newman graduate, weaves together the amazing stories of Grainger County from the days of the Cherokee to the battles of the Civil War to modern times.    Discover a tavern that hosted some of the countries most famous guests and mineral springs that once drew the nation’s top industrialists. McDaniel introduces the audience to the last widow of the Civil War and to a rural doctor that delivered over 3000 babies.   These and other amazing stories have shaped the vibrant and independent spirit of the people of Grainger County.

Day by Day

A documentary which reveals what happens when a group of students spend their summer doing whatever the restaurant sign at Pal’s Sudden Service, which its “thought for the day,” tells them to do.

BTS: A Documentary About Making Documentaries

Hit the ground running with the crew of  Rising from the Ashes in a film that takes viewers behind the scenes as filmmakers face the challenges of telling a cycling story in Rwanda, Africa.

And a student documentary film competition with screening and awards at 6:00 p.m. in Phoenix Theatre and a Festival Party at 9:00 p.m. at The Creek.