Our Mission

Defy Film Festival is dedicated to bringing bold and
extraordinary cinematic work from around the world to East Nashville.

Our Story


Defy Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2016 with the goal of bringing bold and extraordinary cinematic work from around the world to East Nashville. The festival celebrates unconventional films made by filmmakers who want to defy traditions and expectations. The festival is driven by the desire to bring unknown talent from around the world to Nashville audiences that are looking for a unique cinematic experience. Defy puts the work and the artist above all else. All great art is a disruption.

You can support Defy with a one-time or recurring donation through PayPal, and help us continue bringing defiant films from all over the world to Nashville:


Our Community

Founded by filmmakers with filmmakers in mind, Defy Film Festival was named “Best Indie Film Festival” by the Nashville Scene and has made a reputation for itself as a champion of rule-breaking, art-focused films.

Through an annual event, Defy Film Festival aims to connect the Nashville community to the international world of cinema to celebrate film and video art. Our community goal is to create a space where audiences can experience unique narratives and viewing experiences; experiences they cannot have elsewhere. We bring filmmakers with exciting new voices from around the world to Nashville to discuss their work and have meaningful conversations with local artists and film lovers.

“Billy and I have traveled around the world visiting other film festivals,” says Dycee Wildman, Artistic Director. “What we realized is that we have a distinct perspective as a result of being filmmakers. So when we started Defy, our desire was to bring our unique voice to the table, as well as capture all the wonderful aspects from different festivals that we liked best. And then give this perspective and new discoveries back to our home town.”

Our Team


Billy Senese

President, Senior Programmer

Dycee Wildman

Artistic Director

Sarah Saturday

Webmaster, Operations & Event Coordinator


Meredith Krygowski

Operations & Event Coordinator