The Films of the 2010 Nantucket Film Festival:
A Small Act – Jennifer Arnold directs the inspiring and captivating story of Chris Mburu and his “guardian angel” Hilde Back. When Hilde sponsored the education of a young, impoverished Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. Now a UN lawyer, Chris decides to replicate Hilde’s generosity by starting his own scholarship fund.
Bill Cunningham New York – The film chronicles a man who is obsessively interested in only one thing – the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. With this singular goal, he has managed to create a poignant and ongoing portrait of New York City itself.
The Birth of Big Air – Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of Matt Hoffman, the man who gave birth to “Big Air.”
Cairo Time – With a West-meets-East quality, Cairo Time describes the unexpected, unrequited love between an Arab man and a North American woman. Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) travels to Cairo to meet her husband. A UN official working in Gaza, Mark is unavoidably delayed and sends his friend Tareq to escort her throughout the beautiful and exotic city.
The Concert – A celebrated Russian conductor, whose championing of Jewish musicians cost him a demotion to janitor, plans to reunite his long gone orchestra and make a triumphant return. Along the way, he reunites with a young violin virtuoso (Mélanie Laurent), who holds the key to his past and to his future.
The Extra Man – Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini return to the Nantucket Film Festival with a sophisticated and offbeat comedy. Louis (Paul Dano) moves to New York City and finds residence sharing a tiny apartment with Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), a man with a bizarre unpredictable schedule as an “extra man” – a male escort who serves as a social companion for wealthy widows.
Freedom Riders – A masterful example of filmic journalism, Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Riders tells the powerful, harrowing, and ultimately inspirational story of more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives by simply traveling together on buses and trains through the Deep South in 1961, deliberately violating Jim Crow laws.
Get Low – With outstanding performance by Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek, Get Low is based on the true story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale, a backwoods recluse who rides to town with a shotgun and a wad of cash and announces his intention to stage a “living funeral,” where anyone who has heard a story about him is welcome to tell it.
His & Hers – A mesmerizing cinematic mosaic, His & Hers tells a 90-year-old love story through the collective voice of 70 women at different stages of their lives. The hallways, living rooms, and kitchens of the Irish Midlands become the canvas for the film’s rich tapestry of female characters.
Last Train Home – Emotionally engaging and visually beautiful, Last Train Home portrays the fractured lives of a single migrant family caught up in the desperate annual migration that takes place every Chinese New Year when millions of migrant factory workers attempt to return home by train.
Mister Rogers & Me – America’s Favorite Neighbor, PBS icon Fred Rogers, sends a MTV producer Benjamin Wagner on a quest for depth and simplicity amidst a shallow and complex media landscape. Armed with an HDDV camera, Wagner and his brother set out to find out more about the man himself.
Nowhere Boy – Liverpool 1955: in a family full of secrets, two bold women clash over John: Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), the buttoned-up Aunt who raised him, and Julia, the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock n’ roll in Sam Taylor-Wood’s extraordinary first feature about John Lennon’s early years.
The Romantics – Katie Holmes gives an impressive performance in Galt Niederhoffer’s daring directorial debut, The Romantics. The wedding of Lila Hayes (Anna Paquin) and Tom McDevon (Josh Duhamel) reunites a group of Yale friends, including Lila’s maid of honor and Tom’s ex-girlfriend Laura (Katie Holmes).
The Secret of Kells – Adventure, action, and danger await Brendan who must fight Vikings and a serpent god to find a crystal and complete the legendary Book of Kells in this gorgeous and inventive film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Smash His Camera – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, Marlon Brando broke his jaw and Steve McQueen gave him a look that would have killed, if looks could kill. To the celebrities he pursued, photographer Ron Galella was the beast who threatened beauty. Yet he found something essential in his real-life subjects, and he gave it permanence.
Summer Pasture – Locho and his wife Yama depend on their herd of yaks for survival, just as their ancestors have for generations. Summer Pasture offers unique and breathtaking access to a highly insular community and a sensitive portrait of a family at a time of great transition, posing unprecedented challenges to nomadic life in eastern Tibet.
The Tillman Story – Featuring candid and revelatory interviews with Pat’s fellow soldiers as well as his family, Amir Bar-Lev’s emotional and insightful film not only shines a light on the shady aftermath of Pat’s death and calls to task the entire chain of command, but also examines themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself.
Toy Story 3 – Directed by Lee Unkrich,produced by Darla K. Anderson and written by Academy Award-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), Toy Story 3 welcomes Woody, Buzz, and the whole gang back to the big screen as Andy prepares to depart for college and his loyal toys find themselves in…Daycare!
Waiting for “Superman” – The director of The Inconvenient Truth, Davis Guggenheim, examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories from a handful of students whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system.
15th Anniversary Sidebar:
Another Harvest Moon – With a powerful performance by Anne Meara as Ella, Another Harvest Moon is a sensitive drama about four elderly Americans coping with life in a nursing home.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – This hilarious, perceptive, and entertaining new film by talented filmmakers and Nantucket Film Festival alumni, Annie Sundberg and Ricky Stern, exposes the private dramas of irreverent comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers.
When The World Breaks – Depression-era life and art come alive with rare film clips and personal stories from survivors of the Great Depression of the 1930s like Ray Bradbury, Jerry Stiller, Buzz Aldrin, and Phyllis Diller to take us beyond the bread lines and dust bowls into a vibrant cinematic portrait of this formative decade in American history.
Winter’s Bone – 2002 Tony Cox Screenwriting Competition Award winner, Debra Granik comes back to the Nantucket Film Festival with the story of 17 year-old Ree Dolly as she sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods.