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Nashville Film Festival to show Austin Peay State University professors’ documentary ‘Tennessee Triumph’

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – A documentary about the creation of “Tennessee Triumph” – a Clarksville monument that celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured women’s right to vote – will be featured at the Nashville Film Festival this week.

“Tennessee Triumph: Making a Monument” – created by Austin Peay State University professors and filmmakers Karen Bullis and Kathy Lee Heuston – will play at 3:30pm, Thursday, September 30th, 2021 during the Tennessee Documentary Shorts screenings at Rocketown, 601 Fourth Avenue South, in downtown Nashville.

See the trailer for the film below.

The documentary spans two years of planning, creating and installing the monument and features interviews with the Clarksville women who worked to make the sculpture happen.

Interviews include Ellen Kanervo, Rosalind Kurita, Khandra Smalley, Brenda Harper, Melissa Miller, Martha Pile, and 9-year-old Margaux Silvey, who raised $1,000 to help fund the monument.

The film also includes scenes of sculptor Roy W. Butler in Alpine, Utah, shaping the clay, Gary Streadbeck explaining how a bronze statue is fabricated and local architect Pam Powell discussing the design and construction of the monument base.


The monument, a 1.25 times life-sized statue of a woman casting a ballot represents all Clarksville women who worked for suffrage. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, which became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26th, 1920. Tennessee Triumph was dedicated on August 18th, 2020, at Clarksville’s Public Square.

Heuston and Bullis also made “Clarksville 1937,” which premiered during the 2018 Nashville Film Festival.

Heuston and Bullis are professors in APSU’s Department of Communication.

The Nashville Film Festival is September 30th-October 6th.

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