International Black Film Festival of Nashville

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The International Black Film Festival of Nashville Announces Opening Night Film “From The Rough”

September 26, 2011ivyPress ReleasesComments Off on The International Black Film Festival of Nashville Announces Opening Night Film “From The Rough”


September 26, 2011

(Nashville, TN) —The International Black Film Festival of Nashville (IBFFN) and Gyre Entertainment will present “From the Rough” starring Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Hustle and Flow”) as the festival’s opening night film, Wednesday, October 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center Polk Theater.

Based on the true story of Dr. Catana Starks, a former swim coach and current professor at Tennessee State University who gained notoriety for becoming the first female head coach of an NCAA Division One Men’s Golf Team, Starks’ story shows her drive, passion, and guts in taking a group of unruly kids from around the world attending a historcially black college/university (HBCU) in Nashville, Tennessee and guiding them to an all-time record at the PGA National Collegiate Minority Championship.

Director/Co-writer Pierre Bagley and Co-founder/Executive Producer Michael Critelli collaborated to assemble a notable list of cast members. Actors Michael Clark Duncan(“Green Mile”) and Henry Simmons (“CSI Miami”, “NYPD Blue”), R&B singer and actressLeToya Luckett (“The Preachers Kid,” former member of R&B group Destiny’s Child), actor Justin Chon (“The Twillight Saga”) and Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”).

Hazel Joyner Smith, CEO/Founder of IBFFN believes it is an honor to have this film at this year’s festival. “From The Rough has a sentimental value for the people of Nashville and the TSU community. Dr. Catana Starks’ story is important to our history not only as African Americans but with the PGA National Collegiate history books.”

While the film is scheduled to be in theaters early 2012, the International Black Flim Festival of Nashville will give audiences a chance to see the film in advance on their opening night. “It is only fitting that our festival provide an avenue to share this wonderful piece of work with our local and national attendees. We anticipate standing room only for this screening,” she added.

Taraji TSU cap

Taraji P. Henson as Tennessee State University’s Dr. Catana Starks

Catana Starks had the task of building Tennessee State’s first golf team and finding only one available African American golfer, Craig, a former caddy with plenty of talent but no confidence. She pushed outside TSU’s historically black context, and against huge resistance, opens up the roster to underprivileged kids from around the world: Edward, a lower class British youth with a rakish charm and a contempt for authority; Bassam, a French-Algerian from Paris, angry about the discrimination of his people, soft-spoken but likely to explode; Cameron, an Australian from a single-parent household with a childhood spent working, using golf as means to escape; and Ji-Kyung, a disaffected South Korean from Orange County with a love of hip hop.

Finding each of these wildly different players in places around the world is tough. Getting them to come together as a team is tougher. But Catana Starks relishes the challenge. Against all odds, Catana Starks takes her underdogs from the rough and turns them into winners.

The red carpet begins at 6 p.m. and the film to follow at 7 p.m.

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