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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

Former winner judges 2016 film festival

Jason Liggett receives his award for Best Tennessee Film from Rusty Sheridan.
Jason Liggett receives his award for Best Tennessee Film from Rusty Sheridan.

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | September 26, 2016

"Before there was ever a "place' to call the "Birthplace of Country Music,' Bristol has always been destined for great things," says Jason Liggett, PUSH! Film Festival's 2015 Best Tennessee Film winner. Liggett was one of the judges for this year's festival. The other two judges were Christopher Holmes (tied for Best Feature Film), another winner from last year and Callie Hietala from William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia.

Liggett, who grew up in Bristol and still has ties to the historic twin cities, left after college to pursue his love for filmmaking. At the time of his graduation from Tusculum College, there were no film festivals in the area, and the only encouragement of film as an art was at the local movie theaters. Liggett says, "Now with a film festival nestled into this beautiful place, it's adding a powerful boost of independent spirit to this quickly growing paradise. With all of the folk legends echoing through Appalachia, there are some unbelievably talented storytellers in this neck of the woods just waiting for that nudge of inspiration."

PUSH! Film Festival encourages pushing boundaries. It spotlights films that provoke thought and spur action, challenging audiences to push the boundaries of their own worldview. "With a film festival close to home, people have a chance to watch independent films that push the envelope, inspire their inner artist and offer them a view from outside the box," said Liggett.

PUSH! Film Festival is also a filmmakers' festival. The festival's volunteer committees believe in empowering filmmakers by giving them a platform to share thoughtful ideas through any genre. For Liggett, winning in his hometown during the inaugural year of PUSH! Film Festival is a memory that he will hold onto for years to come. Liggett is a prime example of PUSH! Film Festival's mission to empower filmmakers and the art of filmmaking.

"To stand on the stage of the historic Paramount Theater in my hometown and win an award for doing what I love is an unbelievable honor. But winning is just the icing. To feel the audience appreciate and be moved by the message of my film is what takes the cake. That's why I'm a visual storyteller," said Liggett.

Liggett is an actor, writer and director who is based in Los Angeles, California.

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Topics: Film