My friend, Benjy Gaither, has just learned that the movie he directed, The Last Ride, was accepted into the Nashville Film Festival! His story is reminding me today that forging fearlessly into our biggest, wildest dreams really can work out!
Benjy grew up in a brilliant family of artists, and he is one of the most creative, gifted individuals I’ve ever known. His voice brought to life that hilarious goat, Japeth, in the movie Hoodwinked. He can play almost any song he has ever heard on the guitar and, quite possibly, on piano, too. He can practically write a good song in his sleep. He has created animated kids videos for more than a decade now. (And he is still young!) But all that was just a warm-up for one giant dream he has held onto for years… he wanted to make movies. It feels like forever since he first started talking about this dream, but he persisted through the challenges and roadblocks along the way and, at last, has a movie on the way to the Nashville Film Festival.
The story is inspired by the mysterious final days of Hank Williams’ life and his relationship with a young man who was hired to drive the troubled star in his Cadillac from Alabama to Ohio in the dead of winter in 1952. The journey of these two unlikely friends promises to leave us with an ending of hope, optimism, and ultimately, redemption.
I haven’t seen it yet, so I have a feeling I’m about to embark on my first film festival a few hours south. I hope you’ll join me in supporting not only this movie and this long-time friend, but also to reinforce in your own heart that your biggest, wildest dreams are possible, too. I think celebrating the unfolding of others’ hopes is the best way to nurture our own!
I’ll keep you posted about the release of The Last Ride in theaters (later this year), but those who are interested in attending the world premiere in Nashville and/or the entire Nashville Film Festival on April 14-21, can visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org for details. Tickets will go on-sale to the public in early April.