Friday, April 17, 2009
– The Book Lady, a half-hour Canadian documentary film about Dolly Parton's campaign for children's literacy, will screen at the 40th Nashville Film Festival now underway.
Parton, Miley Cyrus (Dolly's goddaughter), Keith Urban, Canadian singer/songwriters Sarah Harmer and Justin Rutledge and American-born Canadian children's author Robert Munsch are featured in the documentary, which chronicles Parton's "Imagination Library".
"We are excited to show 'The Book Lady' to a Nashville audience," said producer Brad Horvath. "More than half of all the preschool children in Tennessee participate in the program. Plus, there isn't a more appropriate city to show a documentary about country music's biggest star."
Parton's "Imagination Library" mails free, age-appropriate books each month to preschool children in communities in the US, Canada and the England. In Tennessee, it works with the Governor's Books From Birth Foundation and local sponsors to provide every child under five the opportunity to participate in the program.
"Some children even believe Dolly delivers the books herself while they are sleeping," said the film's director Natasha Ryan, who was attracted to the project for it's blend of politics and popular culture. "Dolly is a woman who frequently in the same day graces both the pages of gossip blog perezhilton.com and positive parenting websites. She is whatever you want her to be and yet is utterly uncompromising about her image."
Parton said the documentary reminded her that she was on the right track: "The Book Lady captures the heart and soul of the Imagination Library and taught me once again that what we do for children will, in the end, be our legacy."
"The Book Lady," which had its US Premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival last month, is part of Nashville Film Festival's Tennessee Treasures program on Tuesday, April 21 at 6:15 p.m. and Thursday, April 23 at 8:45 p.m.