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“To Be Heard,” “Being Elmo,” and “Thief” Take the Nantucket Film Festival

"To Be Heard," "Being Elmo," and "Thief" Take the Nantucket Film Festival

The 2011 Nantucket Film Festival wrapped up June 26 with a series of awards and recognitions.

The Audience Award for Best Feature went to both “To Be Heard” and “Being Elmo,” while the Audience Award for Best Short went to “Thief.” Paddy Considine received the Best Writer/Director Award for “Tyrannosaur.”

Kaitlin McLaughlin won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition for “The Murphys,” with Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting going to J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”); the same prize for best short went to Lake Bell (“Worst Enemy”).

The Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award went to Amy Wendel for “Benevides Born;” Best Storytelling in a Documentary Film went to Marc H. Simon for “Unraveled.”

Full press release:


Film buffs from all over the globe join Paul Haggis, Ben Stiller, Jerry Seinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Seth Meyers, Ben Queen, and many more to push fest to highest attendance and sales ever.

June 26, 2011 – After a five-day event presenting 55 features and shorts, including the East Coast premiere of Cars 2 (which also opened at #1 in the box office this weekend), the Nantucket Film Festival wrapped up with its 16th edition last Sunday. The fest hosted the returning All Star Comedy Roundtable presented by Ben Stiller, featuring host Seth Meyers and participants Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, and Aziz Ansari, which was filled to capacity with eager fans waiting to see some of their favorite comedians talk shop.

The expanded festival also included the Screenwriting Tribute to Academy Award winner Paul Haggis; the Compass Rose Acting Award to Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga; the New Voices In Screenwriting to Cars 2 scribe Ben Queen; Late Night Storytelling with co-hosts Mike O’Malley and Anne Meara; In Their Shoes panels with Paul Haggis, moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and Vera Farmiga, moderated by TIME Magazine Senior Writer Richard Corliss; and the return of the Teen View program as part of the Festival’s continued efforts to cultivate burgeoning filmmakers though educational initiatives.

“Our team invested a lot of hard work into packing the lineup with quality events and films,” said Executive Director Colin Stanfield. “Our efforts paid off before the festival officially kicked off, with sales breaking all existing records before our first day and numerous events selling out throughout the course of the five days.”

Special guests who attended NFF 2011 included Academy Award winner Paul Haggis; Emmy Award winners Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller; Academy Award nominees Vera Farmiga, Tom Perrotta, and Liz Garbus; Emmy Award nominees Seth Meyers and Mike O’Malley; festival co-founders Jill & Johnathan Burkhart; Aziz Ansari, Colin Quinn, Jerry Stiller, Anne
Meara, Joshua Leonard, Ben Queen, Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, Senator Chris Dodd, Andrew Bergman, J.C. Chandor, Richard Corliss, Christopher Orr, and many more.

“The timing of the festival every year coincides with a transition into a new kind of film going season,” added Artistic Director Mystelle Brabbée. “We’ve been among the first to introduce audiences to some of the most prestigious films in recent years, including The Hurt Locker, Winter’s Bone, Toy Story 3, and The Cove among many others.”

On Sunday, June 26, a ceremony was held to award the winner of Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes an emerging screenwriter. A jury comprised of Susan Wloszczyna (film reporter, USA Today), Dana Harris (editor-in-chief, indieWIRE), and Rajendra Roy (Celeste Bartos chief curator of film, Museum of Modern Art). chose Kaitlin McLaughlin for the script The Murphys from nearly 700 submissions.

The festival also awarded the fifth annual Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a cash prize awarded to a female filmmaker in honor of the late director. The award was presented to Amy Wendel, director of Benevides Born.

Among other awards, Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting was given to J.C. Chandor for Margin Call. Before Sunday’s closing night screening of Higher Ground, Mr. Stanfield and Ms. Brabbée announced the winners of this year’s awards. The Audience Award for Best Feature was a tie between documentary features To Be Heard and Being

Below is a complete list of this year’s NFF award winners:

Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition: Kaitlin McLaughlin (The Murphys)
Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting: J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)
Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting (Best Short): Lake Bell
(Worst Enemy)
Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award: Amy Wendel (Benevides Born)
Best Writer/Director: Paddy Considine (Tyrannosaur)
Best Storytelling in a Documentary Film: Marc H. Simon (Unraveled)
Audience Award for Best Feature (TIE): To Be Heard (dirs. Amy Sultan,
Deborah Shaffer, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez) & Being Elmo
(dir. Constance Marks)
Audience Award for Best Short: Thief (dir. Julian Higgins)
Teen View on NFF Award: Lest We Forget (dir. Chris Godfrey)

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