Nantucket Film Festival to Open Ninth Event with “Garden State”
by Adam Burnett
Screenwriting will once again be spotlighted at the ninth annual Nantucket Film Festival where organizers expect to host the largest attendance of celebrities and industry notables in the festival’s history. The event, to be held June 16-20 in Nantucket, MA, will include 29 features and 21 short films, with Zach Braff‘s comedy “Garden State” opening the event.
Many of the films to be featured are relatively new to the festival circuit. Danny Schechter‘s “Weapons of Mass Deception,” a look at the media’s role in the war on Iraq will have its world premiere. Dogme 95 co-founder Kristian Levring‘s drama “The Intended” will be screened for the first time in the US, while Debra Granik‘s cocaine drama “Down to the Bone,” Jane Weinstock‘s romance “Easy,” Jessica Sharzer‘s “Speak,” and John Landis‘s used car salesman documentary “Slasher” will all receive their East Coast debuts.
Also slated are Patrice Leconte‘s “Intimate Stangers,” Brett C. Leonard‘s “Jailbait,” Ruth Leitman‘s “Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling,” and Shane Carruth‘s “Primer,” which will have their New England premieres. Beach screenings will be held for Spielberg‘s “Jaws,” Michel Gondry‘s “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” and Jared Hess‘s “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Other films to be shown include Mark Brian Smith‘s “Overnight,” John Curran‘s “We Don’t Live here Anymore,” Christ Eyre‘s “Edge of America,” Jean-Franois Pouliot‘s “Seducing Dr. Lewis,” Joshua Marston‘s “Maria Full of Grace,” Cedric Kahn‘s “Red Lights,” Michael Mayer‘s “At Home at the End of the World,” and Mike Hodge‘s “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” as well as two short programs.
Stacy Peralta‘s big wave surfing documentary “Riding Giants” will close the festival.
“In Nantucket, we have created an environment where screenwriting is celebrated, and as we enter our ninth year, it is gratifying to see such strong support from the film industry,” Festival Executive Director Jill Burkhart said in a prepared statement.
In other programs, Charlie Kaufman will be honored with the NBC Universal Screenwriters Tribute. In addition to screenings of “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” and “Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind,” directors Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, as well as Jim Carrey will join moderator A.O. Scott of the New York Times in a panel discussion of Michel Gondry’s work. “The Door in the Floor” will receive its East Coast premiere followed by a discussion with novelist John Irving and writer/director Tod Williams, hosted by Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.
Producer Anthony Bregman will host “Making Your Screen Debut,” a panel with some of the festival’s debut filmmakers. Also, “Film and the Art of Political Storytelling” will be hosted by John Vanco discussing the festival’s politically conscious films, including Shola Lynch‘s “Chisolm 72 Unbought and Unbossed,” Mike Bonnano and Andy Bichelbaum‘s “The Yes Men,” Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini‘s “Farmingville,” and “Weapons of Mass Deception.”
Cynthia Nixon will lead in Warren Light‘s adaptation of his Broadway hit “Sideman” as part of the festival’s annual staged reading of a “new and developing screenplay.”
A new award for ‘best storytelling’ for a documentary film will be introduced this year. Filmmakers are also eligible for audience awards, best feature and best short, the Moby Dick award for best screenwriting in a feature film, the Moby Dick award for best screenwriting in a short film.