The 26th annual Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) today announced the award winners for the 2021 edition, including the recipients of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award and of the Tony Cox Screenplay Competition. Additionally, while the in-person NFF continues through Monday, June 28 with Drive-In screenings and Garden conversations, the Festival announced NFF Encore, a special seven-day extension of its online screenings and conversations through July 5th for audiences across the U.S.
NFF Encore will allow viewers to have even more time to access many of the wonderful films and conversations that are screening through the Festival’s online program, NFF NOW: AT HOME. This includes extended access to “In Their Shoes…” conversations with Ethan Hawke, Mark Duplass, Alice Hoffman, and Katie Silberman and Olivia Wilde, plus the addition of a conversation with New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand that took place on Nantucket during the Festival. Encore will also include all six of the Festival’s short film programs, plus a selection of acclaimed feature films, such as CODA, the Festival’s Closing Night Film. A full list of Encore programming follows below. Encore will begin at 12:01AM June 29 and end at 11:59PM July 5. Existing Festival passholders will receive complimentary access to Encore, while new viewers may purchase an Encore Pass for just $35.
Sonia Kennebeck, the director of UNITED STATES VS REALITY WINNER, was named the recipient of the 2021 Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a $5,000 grant to an emerging female filmmaker in honor of writer, director, and actor Adrienne Shelly and her contributions to film. Kennebeck’s riveting documentary follows the story of 25-year-old NSA contractor Reality Winner, who disclosed one document about Russian election interference to the media and became the number one leak target of the Trump administration. On June 14, Winner was released from prison to serve her remaining sentence in a halfway house program.
Also announced were the winners of the Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes the best unproduced screenplays and television pilots submitted to the Festival by emerging writers. Sonja Perryman received the top prize as the winner of the Feature Screenplay competition for THE 84. Katherine Sainte Marie won the Short Screenplay Competition with her script THE LITTLE MONSTER OF RAVENSWOOD MANOR. The Episodic 60 Minute Pilot Competition nod went to James Howells for SECOND CROSSING. Jade Edwards’ HEAD FIRST was named the winner of the 30 Minute Episodic Category. All categories receive a cash prize, while the Feature category also comes with a coveted all-expenses-paid spot in Screenwriters Colony’s month-long writer’s retreat on Nantucket in October.
Sonja Perryman’s THE 84 follows fourteen-year-old Shay in South Central Los Angeles in 1968 as she sets off on a journey to find her father, and, in the process, faces truths about herself and her family that will prove to be transformational. Katherine Sainte Marie’s THE LITTLE MONSTER OF RAVENSWOOD MANOR follows an insolent child as she torments her family in an old English manor, but soon discovers the family harbors a dark and dangerous secret about their ancestral home. In HEAD FIRST, by Jade Edwards, busy attorney Saya, in the final weeks of pregnancy, struggles with impending motherhood. James Howells’ SECOND CROSSING follows the new sheriff of a small Colorado town as she investigates the strange death of a man who seemingly plummeted from the heavens.
The Film Screenplay Competition jury was comprised of screenwriters, filmmakers, and executives from across the industry: Elizabeth Chatelain (Writer and Winner of 2019 NFF Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition), Sam Cox (Marketing Strategy Associate at Disney Streaming and son of Tony Cox, for whom the Competition is named), Rachel Winter (Academy Award-nominated producer of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB and director of NFF 2021 Selection THE SPACE BETWEEN).
The Episodic Screenplay Competition jury was comprised of screenwriters and previous winners of the Competition including: Andi Delott (Winner of the 2020 NFF Tony Cox Episodic 60 Minute Competition), Kate Levitt (Winner of the 2019 Tony Cox Episodic 60 Minute Competition), Huong Nguyen (Winner of the 2018 NFF Tony Cox Episodic 30 Minute Competition).
“We extend a huge congratulations to this year’s Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking and Tony Cox Screenplay Competition – we are so excited to see what’s next for these incredible projects and their talented creators,” said Mystelle Brabbée, Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival and Basil Tsiokos, Film Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. “Additionally, we are thrilled to be extending the festival for another seven days for our audiences and are so grateful to the filmmakers, staff, and sponsors who helped make the festival possible this year.”
Special guests who attended NFF 2021 both virtually and in-person included Mark Duplass, Ethan Hawke, Olivia Wilde, Katie Silberman, Kelsey Grammer, Rachel Winter, Amy Sherman Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Chris Matthews, Lesley Stahl, Siân Heder, Joshua Zeman, Jay Craven, Elin Hilderbrand, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Alice Hoffman, Blue Balliett, Michael Ian Black, Ophira Eisenberg, and The Barnicle Brothers, among others.
NFF ENCORE PROGRAMMING:
CODA – CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Writer/Director: Siân Heder
Producer: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger, Jérôme Seydoux
Seventeen-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the sole hearing member of a deaf family–a CODA, child of Deaf adults. Her life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant). But when Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and soon finds herself drawn to her duet partner Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). Encouraged by her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez) to apply to a prestigious music school, Ruby finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, Amy Forsyth, Kevin Chapman, Marlee Matlin. Courtesy of Apple Original Films.
Director: Stephanie Soechtig
Producer: Kristin Lazure, Nancy Armstrong
This immersive look at ADHD debunks harmful myths and re-frames our understanding of this deeply misunderstood condition, providing much needed insight and hope.
Director/Producer: Peter Nicks
Producer: Sean Havey
Oakland High School’s class of 2020 confronts the developing pandemic while fighting to eliminate the school district’s police force amidst nationwide demands for systemic change.
HOW IT ENDS
Writer/Director/Producer: Zoe Lister-Jones, Daryl Wein
On the last day on Earth, one woman goes on a journey through LA to make it to her last party before the world ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way. Cast: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny, Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris.
Writer/Director/Producer: Mei Makino
Producer: Matt Stryker, Connor Pickens, Emily Gollahon, Kate Gollahon, Udoy Rahim
Teenage artist Angie turns to secret hookups with the heartthrob of her private school after her parents’ sudden divorce. Cast: Emma Galbraith, William Magnuson, Emily Garrett, Lizabeth Waters, KaiChow Lau, Thanh Phuong Bui, Shanshan Jin, Kelsey Buckley.
JACK LONDON’S MARTIN EDEN
Writer/Director/Producer: Jay Craven
Producer: Fred Strype, Stephanie Serra
Shot on Nantucket, this adaptation of Jack London’s autobiographical 1909 novel tells the story of a poor and unschooled sailor, whose unconventional relationship with a magnetic young woman of means and education upends both their lives. Cast: Andrew Richardson, Hayley Griffith, Annette Mahendru, Jeff Adler.
THE LONELIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52
Director: Joshua Zeman
Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio, Adrian Grenier
In this fascinating story about isolation and interconnection, the filmmaker and a team of intrepid scientists set out on a wild quest to find the 52 Hertz Whale, which has spent its entire life calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale.
MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE
Writer/Director: Kate Tsang
Producer: Carolyn Mao
A teenage delinquent forms an unlikely friendship with a surly magician who helps her navigate her inner demons and dysfunctional family with sleight of hand magic. Cast: Miya Cech, Rhea Perlman, Leonardo Nam, Kannon Omachi, Paulina Lule, Keith Powell.
PLAYING WITH SHARKS – CENTERPIECE FILM
Director: Sally Aitken
Producer: Bettina Dalton
Valerie Taylor is a maverick who forged her way as a fearless diver, cinematographer, and marine conservationist. Her life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today. Using stunning underwater archival footage, along with interviews with Taylor, filmmaker Sally Aitken follows her trajectory from champion spearfisher to advisor on the blockbuster classic JAWS to passionate shark protector.
ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN
Director: Morgan Neville
Producer: Caitrin Rogers
A documentary about the uncommon life of the late storyteller, explorer, and chef, Anthony Bourdain. Directed by Oscar winner and past NFF honoree Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?).
SHORT FILM PROGRAMS:
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: CROSSROADS
Characters facing the facts, their choices, and the consequences.
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: FOR THE LOVE OF
An exploration of relationships of all kinds.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM: BEDROCK
Stories about impacting the community, preserving legacy, and acknowledging your roots.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM: STAND UP, STAND OUT
An intimate look at unique individuals who stand out in a crowd and stand up for themselves.
Stories for our youngest audience members. Suitable for ages 6 and up.
NFF TEEN VIEW SHORTS SHOWCASE
A presentation of the short films produced by Nantucket High School students participating in our Teen View Labs, organized in collaboration with Nantucket Community Television (NCTV).
IN THEIR SHOES®… with Mark Duplass
Mark Duplass talks about climbing up the ladder as a writer, director, and actor from indie films to Hollywood and back down again.
IN THEIR SHOES®… with Ethan Hawke
Celebrated actor, writer, and director Ethan Hawke will discuss his new novel, A Bright Ray of Darkness and his work in front of and behind the camera.
IN THEIR SHOES®… with Elin Hilderbrand
Prolific New York Times bestselling author and “queen of beach reads” Elin Hilderbrand discusses how she keeps up the pace of writing two books a year—many set on Nantucket—and the process of having several of her novels making the transition from page to screen.
IN THEIR SHOES®… with Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman discusses the creative journey she took in her Practical Magic series of novels, which focus on the treatment of women across the ages.
IN THEIR SHOES®… with Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman
Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman, the directing and writing team behind the acclaimed film Booksmart, are leading a new wave of women creating insightful and inclusive films.