What: Gig City Film Festival.
When: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.
Where: Heritage House Arts & Civic Center, 1428 Jenkins Road, East Brainerd.
Admission: $15 for all-day passes; $5 for individual films.
Five award-winning films addressing issues of tolerance and nonviolence will be the focus of Chattanooga's inaugural Gig City Film Festival. Expert panelists will be on hand to speak about the topics in the daylong event, to be held Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Heritage House Arts & Civic Center in East Brainerd.
According to festival co-chairman Kris Jones, representatives of the Nashville Film Festival selected the films and were "kind enough to do the heavy lifting" by paying rental fees on the movies.
The themes of the five films, all released in 2012, conform to the three-month Season for Nonviolence initiative co-sponsored by the Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts & Culture and the Gandhi World Education Institute.
Collectively, the movies, which include a drama, comedy and documentary, have garnered more than 50 awards from the Sundance Film Festival and American Film Institute Fest, among others, as well as nominations for a Best Foreign Film Oscar and Golden Globe.
According to Jones, the Nashville group is also helping with similar festivals in other Tennessee cities "with the idea being to have a film presence throughout Tennessee."
Jones said he and co-chair Chris Holley hope the timely topics will strike a chord with filmgoers.
"You have to reach out to the general public by hooking them in with something they're concerned about, such as violence," he said. "Right now, we're having violence/gang issues in Chattanooga."
The featured movies are "The Interrupters," "Kinyarwanda," "Bully," "Erasing Hate," and "The Intouchables."
The event will help kick off Backlot, a monthly coffeehouse meeting for local filmmakers. The first is set for 6-9 p.m. Feb. 18 at Heritage House. The series will continue the third Monday of each month.
"We have a ton of independent filmmakers in our area," Jones said. "Our plan is to get them under the same roof to co-mingle and network about their projects."
Note: See film trailers at the Gig City Film Festival Facebook page.
• 9-11:05 a.m. "The Interrupters" -- Tells the story of a group of citizen activists who serve as urban diplomats in Chicago's low-income neighborhoods to put an end to the deadliest year in the city's history. Conversation follows screening.
• 11:05-11:30 a.m. Break
• 11:30 a.m.-1:10 p.m. "Kinyarwanda" -- Weaves together the stories of a young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man who fall in love amid the chaos of intercountry genocide; of a soldier who struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and of a priest who grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror.
• 1:10-2:30 p.m. Lunch on your own.
• 2:30-4:18 p.m. "Bully" -- Documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.
• 4:18-4:30 p.m. Break
• 4:30-5:30 p.m. Panel on school bullying with David and Tina Long, parents of student Tyler Long, featured in "Bully."
• 5:30-7 p.m. Dinner on your own.
• 7-7:45 p.m. "Erasing Hate" -- Documentary goes inside the world of Bryon Widner, a former skinhead, as he undergoes treatments to remove the physical representations of the hate he exhibited to the world for more than half his life.
• 7:45-8 p.m. Break
• 8-9:52 p.m. "The Intouchables" -- Based on a true story, the film follows an aristocrat paralyzed in a paragliding accident who hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.
Contact staff writer Karen Nazor Hill at email@example.com or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karennazorhill. Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karennazorhill.