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Nashville Film Fest to Honor Kris Kristofferson

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Kris Kristofferson will walk the red carpet today (April 15) at the Nashville Film Festival, just prior to the premiere of his new movie, ‘Bloodworth.’ The star of the film, Kris portrays E.F. Bloodworth, a musician who decides to return to Tennessee after being gone for 40 years, only to find that most of his family is not so happy to welcome him home. The exception is his grandson, played by Reece Thompson, who befriends his long lost grandfather.

Also walking the red carpet today will be Director Shane Dax Taylor, actor and screenwriter W. Earl Brown, the Oak Ridge Boys, James Otto, Rodney Crowell and Big Kenny (Big & Rich). Emmylou Harris will also make a special appearance to present her longtime friend Kristofferson with the festival’s 2011 Career Achievement Award.

‘Bloodworth’ has been in the making for several years, with the director originally having another country legend in mind for the lead role. “I was on a plane and someone was reading a story about Johnny Cash, and in the story he was asked if there was anything else he wanted to do and he said another movie,” Taylor recalls. “So I met with his family, and they asked us to do a group reading and tape it for him. The week we did the reading, June died. We knew at that point that he would not do it.”

When asked if Kristofferson filled Cash’s shoes well, Shane was adamant. “He exceeded our expectations. It was interesting being around him, because he knows he’s Kris Kristofferson but he’s not impressed. He has the ‘it’ factor, whatever that is, and he still gets the attention of the women when he’s around them. It was an honor to get to work with him.”

Movie fans know Kristofferson as an actor, starring in the ‘Blade’ trilogy, ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,’ ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ and ‘He’s Just Not That in to You.’ Music fans know him for his numerous hits, among them Sammi Smith‘s ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night,’ Cash’s ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down,’ Janis Joplin‘s ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ and Ray Price‘s ‘For the Good Times.’

Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was awarded the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, received the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from CMT and is the recipient of the BMI Icon Award.

‘Bloodworth’ also stars Dwight Yoakam and Hank III. The movie is based on the novel ‘Provinces of Night’ by William Gay. T Bone Burnett produced the soundtrack, which includes a new Kristofferson tune, ‘You Don’t Tell Me What to Do.’

Chely Wright will also be at the festival on Friday, for a sneak preview of her documentary, ‘Wish Me Away.’ Directed by Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, the cameras follow the singer through her difficult journey of coming out publicly as a lesbian.

The spotlight screening of ‘Bloodworth’ will be at 8:00 PM CT on Friday; ‘Wish Me Away’ previews at 5:30 PM. All showings are at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 in Nashville. The festival offers several other music presentations, including a chat with Vince Gill on Saturday afternoon.

For more information on tickets to the Nashville Film Festival, go to www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.

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