Category Archives: Film

2012 Nantucket Film Festival Program


Highlights:

“Brave” is the Opening Day Film; this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is the Opening Night Film, “Sleepwalk with Me” is the Centerpiece film, and “Your Sister’s Sister” is the Closing Night Film.

Rory Kennedy will receive the award for Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling for “Ethel”.

Lucy Alibar and Behn Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) will receive the New Voices in Screenwriting Award.

Nancy Meyers will receive the 2012 Screenwriters Tribute Award, and longtime friend and collaborator Diane Keaton will present.

Festival passes are currently on sale on the Festival website, with individual tickets on sale on May 24.


2012 Screenwriters Tribute Award

Nancy Meyers’ first screenplay was “Private Benjamin”, starring Goldie Hawn, which earned Meyers a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy and an Academy Award; nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Meyers made her debut as a director in 1998 with the Disney classic “The Parent Trap”.

Meyers filmography includes:
~ “Irreconcilable Differences” (writer)
~ “Baby Boom” (writer)
~ “Father of the Bride” and “Father of the Bride II” (writer)
~ “Something’s Gotta Give” (writer, director, and producer)
~ “The Holiday” (writer, director, and producer)
~ “It’s Complicated” (writer, director, and producer)

Diane Keaton won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for “Something’s Gotta Give”, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Erica Barry in the film.

“It’s Complicated” starred Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, earning Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Past Nantucket Film Festival Screenwriters Tribute honorees include Paul Haggis, Barry Levinson, Harold Ramis, Judd Apatow, Robert Benton, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Steve Martin, Charlie Kauffman, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, James Schamus, Walter Bernstein, Paul Schrader, Jay Presson Allen, and Ring Lardner, Jr.

Other Awards

Rory Kennedy will receive the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling for her “Ethel”. The film is a personal portrait of her mother Ethel Kennedy’s political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Ethel Kennedy will be will joining her daughter Rory at the Festival.

“Beasts of a Southern Wild” writer Lucy Alibar and writer/director Behn Zeitlin will receive the New Voices in Screenwriting Award. As Zeitlin’s directorial debut, their film took audiences by surprise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and was sought after by many distributors before landing at Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film is set for a June 27th release.


2012 NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY

Director/Producer: Alison Klayman; Producer: Adam Schlesinger

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media, blurring the boundaries of art and politics. With unprecedented access to the artist, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

ARCADIA

Writer/Director: Olivia Silver; Producers: Julien Favre, Thomas Silenn, Jai Stefan, Jeremy Bailer; Cast: John Hawkes, Ryan Simpkins, Kendall Toole, Ty Simpkins

Winner of the Crystal Bear for best feature film in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation competition, Arcadia is a coming-of-age story set in a cross-country landscape. Twelve-year-old Greta embarks on a 3,000-mile journey in a dented station wagon. Greta’s father insists that her mother will soon join them, but between stops at fast food joints, shoddy motels, and a poor substitute for the Grand Canyon, Greta realizes that not everything is as it seems.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Director Benh Zeitlin Produced by Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn. Executive Produced by Philipp Engelhorn, Paul Mezey, Michael Raisler. Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

BRAVE
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman; Co-Director: Steve Purcell; Producer: Katherine Sarafian; Story by: Brenda Chapman; Screenplay by: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi; Story Supervisor: Brian Larsen; Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson

Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of royalty. Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land, unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When an eccentric Witch grants Merida an ill-fated wish, the ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

BROOKLYN CASTLE

Director/Producer: Katie Dellamaggiore; Producers: Brian Schulz, Nelson Dellamaggiore
A squat concrete building on an inner-city block, Brooklyn’s I.S. 318 doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside something special is happening: Hundreds of students learn to play the complex game of chess. Despite student poverty and budget cuts, the school boasts the best junior high chess program in the nation. Brooklyn Castle follows five teens over one school year as they face challenges both on and off the chessboard.

$ELLEBRITY

Director: Kevin Mazur; Producers: Tricia Nolan, Kevin Mazur, Jeff Vespa

Renowned celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur provides an all-access pass to life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera. Candid interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, and many other stars reveal the blurred lines of privacy, pliable journalism, celebrity, and fame. At once sobering and entertaining, $ellebrity examines an obsession run rampant and conveys what it feels like to be consumed.

CERTAINTY

Writer: Mike O’Malley; Director: Peter Askin; Producer: Will Battersby; Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Tom Lipinksi, Valerie Harper, Tammy Blanchard

“Welcome to your engagement encounter,” booms Father Henry at the start of a Pre-Cana retreat-the mandatory course for couples looking to be married by the Catholic church. Among the participants are skeptical Dom and eager bride-to-be Deb. If it means not paying for another venue for the wedding Dom can bear a weekend of icebreakers, workbooks, and sleeping bags. Certainty proves that love, faith, and being 27 are not always compatible.

CHASING ICE

Writer: Mark Monroe; Director/Producer: Jeff Orlowski; Producers: Paula DuPre Pesmen, Jerry Aronson

With a team of young adventurers in tow, photographer James Balog travels across the brutal Arctic, risking his career and well-being in pursuit of the biggest story facing humanity. Deploying time-lapse cameras, Balog records the world’s changing glaciers. It takes him years to see the fruits of his labor-a set of hauntingly beautiful videos that capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS

Writer/Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi; Producer: Hengameh Panahi; Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria De Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, Chiara Mastroianni, Jamel Debbouze, Isabella Rossellini

Teheran, 1958. Finding no instrument worthy to replace his broken violin, a renowned musician looses himself into melancholic yet joyous dreams that take him back to his youth. As the pieces of the puzzle gradually fit together, the poignant secret of his life comes to light, and the wonderful love story that inspired his genius and his music is revealed. Based on the poignant story of the Marjane Satrapi’s great-uncle, Chicken with Plums is a mesmerizing and exotic tale of love, music, and inspiration.

DETROPIA

Director/Producer: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady; Producer Craig Atkinson

Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the “American dream.” Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy while the entire country watches to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity and grit to reinvent itself rather than implode. Detropia is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people-who refuse to leave the building even as the flames are rising.

ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE

Producer/Director: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke

Escape Fire examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo of a broken healthcare system-a system designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. This eye-opening documentary interweaves the dramatic personal arcs of patients and physicians with the stories of leaders battling to transform the system. And it reminds us that the answers to our crisis are at hand and offers potential solutions, or “escape fires,” to fix it.

ETHEL

Writer: Mark Bailey; Director/Producer: Rory Kennedy; Producers: Jack Youngelson

Ethel relates the remarkable story of Ethel Kennedy, told by those who know her best: her family. The film is a personal portrait of her political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, Ethel offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by compassion and wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph.

FUTURE WEATHER
Writer/Director: Jenny Deller; Producer: Kristin Fairweather; Cast: Perla Haney-Jardine, Amy Madigan, Lili Taylor, William Sadler, Marin Ireland, Anubhav Jain

When 13-year-old Lauduree’s single mom runs off to California, Lauduree decides to manage on her own in her rural home. But her grandmother Greta, a caustic nurse, has other plans. Thrust together, the two women must learn to trust each other. Featuring an outstanding performance by newcomer Perla Haney-Jardine, Future Weather is a compelling coming-of-age drama that explores the sorrow of saying goodbye to what we love.

GOATS

Writer: Mark Jude Poirier; Director: Christopher Neil; Producers: Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Eric Kopeloff, Shannon Lail; Cast: Graham Phillips, David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk, Keri Russell

At 15, grounded and intelligent Ellis leaves his flaky mother and the only father figure he has, Goat Man, in the foothills of Tucson to attend his father’s alma mater, an East Coast prep school. As Ellis reconnects with his estranged father, he finds his life out West thrown into stark contrast. Based on a novel by Mark Jude Poirier, Goats wittily reverses the standard coming-of-age formula in an honest portrayal of life with awkward moments and unresolved endings.

HELLO I MUST BE GOING

Writer: Sarah Koskoff; Director: Todd Luiso; Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Hans Ritter; Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott, John Rubinstein, Julie White, Dan Futterman

Divorced, demoralized Amy’s prospects seem unpromising when she must move back in with her parents at age 35. As Amy’s patience with the situation dwindles, a bold 19-year-old ignites her last bit of passion. Fresh and original, Hello I Must Be Going is a modern, unconventional love story infused with sex, humor, and compassion-everything Amy needs to get on with her life.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN

Writer/Director/Producer: Eugene Jarecki;Producers: Melinda Shopsin, Sam Cullman, Christopher St. John

Over more than 40 years, the “war on drugs” has resulted in 45 million arrests, making the United States the world’s largest jailer. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from people at all levels – the dealer, the grieving mother, the narcotics officer, the inmate. Their stories combine to pose urgent questions: What caused the war? What perpetuates it? And what can be done to stop it?

THE INTOUCHABLES
Writers/Directors: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache; Producers: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou; Cast: Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy

Surprisingly funny and full of heart, The Intouchables tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between two men from radically different backgrounds. Fresh out of jail, Driss applies for a job as a caretaker to paraplegic aristocrat Philippe, hoping to get rejected and continue receiving welfare. But Philippe hires him. With standout performances by Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy (who won a Cesar for Best Actor for the role), The Intouchables was a box-office phenomenon in France.

LEMON

Writer: Charles Olivier; Producers/Directors: Laura Brownson, Beth Levison

Three-time felon, one-time Tony Award winner Lemon Andersen is a pioneering poet whose words speak for a generation. When he lands back in the projects, living with thirteen family members and desperate for a way out, he turns to the only things he has left-his pen and his story. An inspiring and beautifully crafted documentary, Lemon follows one man’s harrowing attempt to bring his life to the stage while battling demons from his past.

LIBERAL ARTS

Writer/Director/Producer: Josh Radnor; Producer: Brice del Farra, Claude Del Farra, Jesse Hara, Lauren Munsch; Cast: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney

When 35-year-old Jesse is invited to speak at the retirement dinner for his favorite professor, he’s glad to leave his uninspiring job and broken heart behind and escape New York for a few days. Jesse believes his best days are over, and once he’s on campus, college nostalgia hits him hard-although not as hard as the beautiful Zibby, a precocious theater student.

THE LIST
Director/Producer: Beth Murphy; Producer: Sean Flynn
Filmed over four years, The List is a poignant portrait of a modern-day Oskar Schindler who sets out to redeem a nation that has largely betrayed its Iraqi allies. Leading reconstruction teams in Iraq, Kirk Johnson discovers that many Iraqi colleagues are targeted as enemy collaborators and hunted by radical militias. Bound by moral responsibility and a sense of honor, and frustrated by a U.S. government bureaucracy that fails to protect them, Johnson takes matters on his own hands. Presented in collaboration with Facing History with Ourselves.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT

Director/Cinematographer: Matthew Akers; Producers: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present follows glamorous art-world icon Marina Abramovic as she prepares for a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The show would be a milestone for any artist, but for Marina it is also a chance to legitimize performance art. With unprecedented access, this documentary takes a mesmerizing cinematic journey into the world of radical performance and offers an intimate portrait of a magnetic woman who draws no distinction between life and art.

NOBODY WALKS
Writer/Director: Ry Russo-Young; Writer: Lena Dunham; Producers: Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, Alicia Van Couvering; Cast: Olivia Thirlby, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, India Ennenga, Justin Kirk, Dylan McDermott

Nobody Walks follows Martine as she enters the seemingly idyllic life of an open-minded family with two kids and a relaxed Southern California vibe. Martine’s arrival sparks a surge of energy that awakens suppressed impulses in family members and forces them to confront their own fears and desires. Exquisitely orchestrated, the film links characters in an intricate dance of lust, denial, and deception.

PEOPLE LIKE US

Director: Alex Kurtzman; Writers: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jody Lambert; Producers: Roberto Orci, Bobby Cohen, Clayton Townsend; Cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michael Hall D’Addario, Philip Baker Hall, Mark Duplass and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Inspired by true events, People Like Us, is a drama/comedy about family. Sam is called home where he must put his father’s estate in order and reconnect with his estranged family. In the course of fulfilling his father’s last wishes, Sam uncovers a startling secret that turns his entire world upside down: He has a 30-year-old sister Frankie whom he never knew about. As their relationship develops, Sam is forced to rethink everything he thought he knew about his family-and re-examine his own life choices in the process.

PRETTY OLD

Writer/Director/Producer: Walter Matteson; Writers: Josh Alexander, Matthew Prinzing; Producers: Josh Alexander, Daniel J. Chalfen

When thirty women ages 67 to 84 descend on Fall River, Massachusetts to compete in the 30th edition of the Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant, hilarity and heartbreak ensue. Under the doting attention of pageant founder Lenny “Low Price” Kaplan, the women share intimate experiences, discover newfound passions, and stir lifelong insecurities that challenge misconceptions about aging. Executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, Pretty Old is a profound look at what it truly means to age beautifully.

QUEEN OF VERSAILLES

Director/Producer: Lauren Greenfield; Producer: Danielle Renfrew Behrens

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the virtues and flaws of the American dream. The film opens on the triumphant construction of the country’s biggest house, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles. But then the economic crisis brings progress to a halt and plays out over the next two years in a riveting film fraught with delusion, denial, and self-effacing humor.

RED LIGHTS

Writer/Director/Producer: Rodrigo Cortes; Producer: Adrian Guerra; Cast: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen

Dr. Margaret Matheson (a superb Sigourney Weaver) has made a career of exposing paranormal hoaxes, but when psychic Simon Silver (played magnetically by Robert De Niro) announces that he is coming out of retirement after 30 years, she is reluctant to confront him. Matheson’s young colleague, however, becomes obsessed with investigating Silver. Thick with a mystery backed up by incredible performances, Red Lights takes the audience on a thrilling ride.

ROBOT AND FRANK

Writer: Christopher D. Ford; Director: Jake Schreier; Producers: Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Bisbbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, lance Acord; Cast: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeremy Sisto, Jeremy Strong

In the near future, aging curmudgeon and retired jewel thief Frank lives a solitary life until his son installs a caretaker robot against his wishes. At first, Frank stubbornly rejects the new arrival, but soon he realizes the robot has the ability to pull off highly calculated heists and a most unusual criminal duo is formed. Smart and heartfelt, Robot and Frank is ultimately a poignant story about family, friendship, and technology.

SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN

Writer/Director/Producer: Malik Bendjelloul; Producer: Simon Chinn

A bootleg recording by an artist known as Rodriguez found its way to apartheid South Africa, where it became the anthem of the white resistance. Rumors circulated about Rodriguez, including a bizarre tale of on-stage suicide. Two South African fans decide to track down the real Rodriguez. Featuring Rodriguez’s soulful melodies, Searching for Sugar Man is a heartwarming portrait of the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was.

THE SHEIK AND I

Director/Producer: Caveh Zahedi

Caveh Zahedi is commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of art as a subversive act. Told that he can do whatever he wants except make fun of the sheik who rules the country and finances the Biennial, he decides to do just that. In The Sheik and I, Zahedi turns his camera on the Biennial itself and gleefully presses every culturally sensitive button he can find with both hilarious and unsettling consequences.

SLEEPWALK WITH ME

Writer/Director: Mike Birbiglia; Writer: Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish; Producer: Ira Glass, Jacob Jaffke; Cast: Mike Barbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Kevin Barnett.

Highly autobiographical and wildly funny, Sleepwalk With Me follows a self-deprecating bartender as he juggles a burgeoning career as a stand-up comedian, a too-serious relationship with his girlfriend, Abby, and a severe sleepwalking disorder that causes him to act out his dreams. In this startling debut, Mike Birbiglia takes his successful one-man-show to the screen with wit, charm, and poignancy.

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

Writer/Director: Nancy Meyers; Producer: Bruce A Block; Cast: Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves

Diane Keaton shines in a role in this heartfelt comedy penned by the recipient of this year’s NFF Screenwriters Tribute, Nancy Meyers. Keaton plays Erica, a divorced New York playwright who arrives at her beach house to find her young daughter, Marin, cavorting with Harry, a perennial playboy whose libido belies his age. After Harry develops chest pains, Erica reluctantly nurses him back to health-and gives him romantic heart pangs.

TAKE THIS WALTZ

Writer/Director/Producer: Sarah Polley; Producer: Susan Cavan; Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman

An intelligent, perceptive take on marriage, Take this Waltz leads the audience, laughing, through an examination of the effect of long-term relationships on love, sex, and self-image. Margot and Lou have been happily married for five years, but their steady domestic life shatters when Margot meets Daniel, a captivating neighbor. At a crossroads, Margot will have to choose between the comfort of her marriage and the mystery of a new relationship.

TIGER EYES

Writer/Director: Lawrence Blume; Writer: Judy Blume; Producers: Lawrence Blume, Judy Blume, Mark Ordesky, Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman; Cast: Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Cynthia Stevenson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Russell Means

Forced by her grieving mother to move to Los Alamos, New Mexico, Davey feels lost. Then Davey meets Wolf, a mysterious NativeAmerican climber, and their intense relationship brings her back from the edge. Tiger Eyes marks the first major motion picture adaptation of the work of author Judy Blume, renowned chronicler of the charged emotional private lives of teens.

UNDER AFRICAN SKIES

Director/Producer: Joe Berlinger; Producer: Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes

Upon release in 1986, Paul Simon’s historic Graceland album was met with political crossfire: Simon was accused of breaking the U.N. cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end apartheid. On the album’s 25th anniversary,Simon reunites with the band and embarks on an exploration of its turbulent birth. Featuring interviews with musical legends and anti-apartheid activists, Under African Skies discusses both a singular artistic achievement and the role of the artist in society.

THE WELL DIGGER’S DAUGHTER

Writer/Director: Daniel Auteuil; Producer: Alain Sarde; Cast: Jane-Pierre Daroussin, Sabine Azema, and Kad Merad

Daniel Auteuil makes his directorial debut with this sun-soaked tale of a working-class widower raising six girls at the start of World War I. When the eldest daughter becomes pregnant after a brief affair with a wealthy young pilot, her father is torn between his sense of honor and his devotion to her. Beautifully capturing the bucolic charm of the South of France, The Well Digger’s Daughter features a star turn by the luminous Astrid Berges-Frisbey and an impressively fleshed-out performance by Auteuil.

YOUR SISTER’S SISTER

Writer/Director: Lynn Shelton; Producer: Steven Schardt; Cast: Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mike Birbiglia

With raw, funny, and emotional performances from an all-star cast, Your Sister’s Sister explores the complexities of relationships with remarkable humor, sensitivity, and warmth. When Iris offers her family’s cabin to a grieving Jack, she doesn’t know that her sister, Hannah, is already there, struggling with a broken heart. After the initial awkwardness, the pair bonds over a bottle of tequila, which leads first to hilariously embarrassing sex, and then to serious consequences when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next morning.


QUEBEC CINEMA SIDEBAR

CAFE DE FLORE

Writer/Director/Producer: Jean-Marc Vallee; Producers: Pierre Even, Marie-Claude Poulin, Jean-Yves Robin, Nicolas Coppermann, Vanessa Fourgeaud; Cast: Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Helene Florent, Evelyne Brochu, Marin Gerrier

Nominated for an astonishing 13 Genie Awards, Cafe de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways: Jacqueline, a young mother to a son with Down’s syndrome in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful deejay in present-day Montreal. A richly satisfying, crowd-pleasing balancing act, Cafe de Flore blends love and humor, redefining compassion in places where it is seldom encountered.

INCENDIES

Writer/Director: Denis Villeneuve; Writer: Waljdi Mouawad; Cast: Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette

When their mother’s will implores twins Jeanne and Simon to deliver letters to the father they thought was dead and a brother they never knew existed, the siblings travel to the Middle East to reconstruct their family’s hidden history. During the journey, they discover the tragic fate of an exceptional woman. Adapted from a Wajdi Mouawad play, director Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar-nominated drama Incendies flashes back to intense scenes set during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s.

SEDUCING DR. LEWIS

Writer: Ken Scott; Director: Jean-Francois Pouliot; Producers: Luc Vandal, Roger Frappier; Cast: David Boutin, Lucie Laurier, Raymond Bouchard, Dominic Michon-Dagenais, Guy-Daniel Tremblay

Residents of St. Marie-La-Mauderne are promised a new factory that would give the tiny fishing village a much-needed boost, provided they lure a doctor to take up full-time residency on the island. When a young physician from Montreal is forced to spend a month in the village, the townsfolk go overboard to persuade him to take the job, although their devious methods may backfire. A refreshing comedy, Seducing Dr. Lewis is one of the most popular Quebec films of all time.

STARBUCK

Writer/Director: Ken Scott; Writer: Martin Petit; Producer: Andre Rouleau; Cast: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand

Middle-aged David discovers that when he was donating sperm to make ends meet, the clinic experienced a processing error. As a result, he fathered 533 children, and now 142 of them are suing the clinic to learn the identity of their donor. Curiosity leads David to meet his progeny anonymously, changing his life forever. A lighthearted comedy, Starbuck was the audience favorite at the Toronto International Film Festival and Quebec’s number one box office earner last year.


For further information on the 2012 Nantucket Film Festival, please visit www.nantucketfilmfestival.org.

Nantucket Film Festival Update

The Screenwriters Tribute to Paul Haggis and the New Voices in Screenwriting Award to Ben Queen takes place tonight, Saturday, June 25 at 7 pm at the ‘Sconset Casino.

Who will be there: Academy Award winner Paul Haggis (writer/director, Crash), Ben Queen (writer, Cars 2), presenters Richard Corliss (senior writer, TIME Magazine) and Richard Orr (senior editor, The Atlantic), and host Brian Williams.

Morning Coffee With… for Sunday, June 26th at 9 am at the Rose & Crown will include Ben Queen (writer, Cars 2), Anna Kerrigan (writer/director/star, Five Days Gone), Ursula Lawrence (Writers Guild of America, East representative), Amy Sultan (co-director, To Be Heard), Daniel Meisel (writer/producer, Benevides Born), and moderator Dana Harris.

The All-Star Comedy Roundtable presented by Ben Stiller takes place tomorrow, Sunday, June 26 at 1 pm at Nantucket High School, with Ben Stiller, Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers, Aziz Ansari, and Colin Quinn.

Nantucket Film Festival Opening Film

Here is a sampling of photos from the Nantucket Film Festival Opening Film, Cars 2, Wednesday, June 22 at the ‘Sconset Casino. More photos next week.
Photos by Gene Mahon. More at MahonAboutTown.com.


Opening Day


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Nantucket Film Festival Opening Night Film

Here is a sampling of photos from the Nantucket Film Festival Opening Night Film, Buck, Wednesday, June 22 at the High School. More photos next week.
Photos by Gene Mahon. More at MahonAboutTown.com.


Opening Day


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Nantucket Film Festival “In Their Shoes with Vera Farmiga”

Here is a sampling of photos from the Nantucket Film Festival “In Their Shoes with Vera Farmiga”, Thursday, June 23 at the Coffin School. More photos next week.
Photos by Gene Mahon. More at MahonAboutTown.com.


NFF Vermiga


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Nantucket Film Festival and Dreamland Theater Reception

Here is a sampling of photos from the Nantucket Film Festival Reception with the Dreamland Theater, Thursday, June 23 at the Westmoor. More photos next week. Photos by Gene Mahon. More at MahonAboutTown.com.

Nantucket Film Festival Update


Nantucket Film Festival Update

The list of films to be shown at the 16th annual Nantucket Film Festival (June 22-28) has been released, and includes a film by Nantucket’s Kit Noble “Nantucket by Nature”. 55 films have been announced, with more to follow – the largest number of films ever shown at the Festival.

“After the success of NFF 15, it was inevitable that we would need to expand the festival’s length and scope to accommodate the growing interest,” said Executive Director Colin Stanfield. “Along with the later dates allowing more families to attend after the school year wraps, the festival stands to help bring more people to the island and in turn positively affect local business economically.” Passes are currently on sale on the festival website, with individual tickets on sale May 27.

The Screenwriters Tribute will honor Oscar winning director Paul Haggis (Crash).

The opening night films will be Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 2”, and “Buck”, a documentary about horse trainer Buck Brannman.

“Cars 2”, directed by John Lasseter, follows Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater as they race around the globe and unwittingly find themselves caught up in international espionage. “Cars 2” writer Ben Queen will receive the New Voices in Screenwriting award.

Closing the festival will be “Higher Ground” by first time director Vera Farmiga, who also stars in the film.

The festival will host a Mentor Brunch with Paul Haggis participating, advising emerging screenwriters on their upcoming projects.

NFF will also reinstate the Teen View Filmmaker Program, led by filmmaker Jay Craven (Disappearances), which focuses on teaching high school students the fundamentals of great storytelling by employing digital technology and methods. Said Artistic Director Mystelle Brabbée, “NFF attracts some of the most talented storytellers from around the world, and the students get to work with them in creating their own short films.”

Awards this year include Showtime’s annual Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting, The Audience Award for Best Feature & Best Short, Showtime’s Tony Cox Awards for Best Screenwriting in a Feature Film and Short Film, Teen View on NFF Award, Best Storytelling in a Documentary Film, and the Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award, which gives a cash prize annually to a promising female writer/director at the Festival.

Returning this year are Late Night Storytelling, the All-Star Comedy Roundtable Presented by Ben Stiller, and Morning Coffee With…®

The line up:

  • Being Elmo
  • A Puppeteer’s Journey
  • Benavides Born
  • Beyond the Road; Bobby Fischer Against the World
  • Buck
  • Cars 2
  • Circumstance
  • Connected
  • Donor Unknown
  • Five Days Gone
  • Granito
  • Happy, Happy
  • Higher Ground
  • Hot Coffee
  • The Last Rites of Joe May
  • Life in a Day
  • The Lie
  • Mia and the Migoo
  • Mozart’s Sister
  • The Names of Love
  • Nantucket by Nature
  • On the Ice
  • One Lucky Elephant
  • The Other F Word
  • Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times
  • Senna; Submarine
  • Terri; To be Heard
  • Tyrannosaur
  • Unraveled
  • We Still Live Here: As Nutayunean
  • When the Drum is Beating

More in the next issue of the Mahon About Town newsletter. Subscribe at left under “Blogroll”

Nantucket Film Festival All Star Comedy Roundtable 2010

The Nantucket Film Festival All Star Comedy Roundtable took place on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at the Nantucket High School Auditorium. Presented by Ben Stiller, the participants were Zach Galifianakis (writer/comedian, The Hangover, TV’s Bored To Death), Sarah Silverman (writer/comedian, The Sarah Silverman Program), and Andy Samberg (writer/comedian, Saturday Night Live). Photos by Gene Mahon. More at MahonAboutTown.com.

John Stanton’s “Last Call”

Looking Back At “Last Call”
by John Stanton

I wonder if other filmmakers stop halfway through a film and ask themselves what the thing is actually about. At some point we had that great old black and white photo of the last day of the Bosun’s Locker. We had a quote calling the place “the last great saloon on the east coast.” We had a bunch of cool stories about the hippie days. We had recently recorded some great music.

To my mind it did not yet add up to a film. What we had was a story that could not hope to be more than a series of “those were the days” memories. Then David Halberstam agreed to an interview.

Among the many talents of the late, great, writer was the ability to put experiences into a larger context. The moment in which he explains that big new money feels the need to show off, to build houses that “violate the landscape” with garages big enough for five cars when you only have two, was as concise a description of the attitude of the new gilded age as you will ever find.

Then there is that lovely moment when he smiles at the camera and says that he simply likes dive bars, feels more comfortable in them having a beer, thinking about his work day, and in a very simple way being part of things.

Halberstam had reminded us what this film was about. It was called, Last Call: Dreams, Main Street, and the Search for Community. It was a cautionary tale of gentrification. And so it was about change. One man’s fix up, of course, is another man’s end of an era.

I wonder if Halberstam ever worried about those things he had to leave out of his books? There must have been some story he liked but could not use. I remember John Shea telling a wonderful story about being on Nantucket fresh from the Yale Drama School and wanting to put on Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.”

It was a long and rambling story about trying to put on a play in which the audience would follow the actors to several locations on the island, which stood in for Prospero’s island of exile in the play. It was a story filled with the energy of youth, with cooks and carpenters, fisherman and waitresses, that he tried to turn into actors. It ended, like much of that decade, with the realization that, “there was just too much craziness going on in those days to pull it off.”

It was perfect. I tried for a month to fit it into the film. In one edit version the film began with a series of island images played out over Shea’s voice telling the story. But it ended up on what, in the days when films were made with real film, was called the cutting room floor. It exists only on some piece of videotape tucked away in a box in my office.

Through it all was Del Wynn. There is a scene in the film where Del and David Perry are just hanging around visiting in Del’s shop. The scene is like a clock tick to me, a physical manifestation of time passing now that they are both gone.



Del Wynn and David Perry (provided by John Stanton)

Finally it was rolled out to audiences. Again I was worried that we had failed. People brought their own interpretations to the film, some of which where a far cry from what I was trying to say.

Then I was invited to screen it in, of all places, Omaha, Nebraska. Somebody had seen it at the old Gaslight Theater, now the Starlight, that summer it premiered. He was the only person in that Omaha audience who had ever been to Nantucket.

There is an old saying that a documentary film begins when the houselights come up and people begin to talk about the ideas in it. That night in Nebraska the crowd told stories about the old pre-gentrification neighborhoods that once defined their lives.

As I left a couple stopped me to chat and the man said it was too bad I did not have camera with me because he had plenty of stories about a bar his dad once owned near the slaughterhouses that once marked on part of that town.

We all have our stories. At some point that become our shared history and define us in a way that a more distant history like say, 19th century whaling, can never do. If we are lucky we get to use these stories as a springboard to decide how we want to live today. More often life simply goes past us and we do not have that chance.

It might have been Tom McGlinn who pointed out to me one day that things on our island have changed much since Last Call first premiered. It is a point well taken. Nothing is quite so true as the idea that things will keep changing.

I have no idea what we can do about those changes. None at all. But it seems to me the first step is remember.


John Stanton’s film Last Call is now available on DVD for $24.95 by sending a check to Shouldered Oar Films, Box 348, Nantucket, MA, 02554. It can be seen at The Starlight Theater on Dec. 5, at 11:30 am and at The Chicken Box on Dec. 10 at 7:30 pm.

Nantucket Film Festival Late Night Storytelling

The Nantucket Film Festival Late Night Storytelling took place on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the ‘Sconset Casino, hosted by Jonathan Ames (writer/novelist and creator of TV’s “Bored to Death”), with unscripted amusing stories by writers, actors, filmmakers, and islanders. This year’s theme was “Dirty Laundry”. Photos by Gene Mahon and Amanda Morgan. Click on any photo to see more photos from this event or an archive of past events.