Nantucket Film Festival: Get Your Story On
"Those who tell the stories rule the world"
As hard as it is to escape with young children at home, I just love going to the movies - breathing in the cool, dark air of the theater, making dinner out of popcorn and gummy bears, and escaping to another place (both real and metaphorical) for a few hours. For me, seeing a great film, like enjoying great literature, music or even a meal, is simultaneously relaxing, energizing and inspiring. The great ones always stay with you.
One of the best venues to catch those films with that certain life-altering je ne sais quoi is a film festival, of which there in many in the world including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca and, of course, Nantucket. Whether shorts, documentaries or feature films, the eccentric cocktail of films showcased in these festivals is usually quite captivating. You may not have heard of many (or any) of the titles, but that’s also part of the allure – being the first to see them before they break out into whatever they are destined to become.
The Nantucket Film Festival, in its eighteenth year, is a perfect example of this kind of transforming experience. Known as the screenwriter’s festival, it celebrates the art of storytelling – and stories, especially the ones that strike a chord within us, are how we find meaning in life. In this regard, it is only appropriate that the film festival falls just a few days after the close of the second annual Nantucket Book Festival. Both festivals, through their respective channels, celebrate those with that special gift of telling a story.
At the heart of the Nantucket Film Festival is the Screenwriters Tribute which this year, honors one of my favorite screenwriters and directors, David O. Russell. Did you see Silver Linings Playbook? I Heart Huckabees? Three Kings? The Fighter? He’s the one behind these incredible films, and many others. The talented Barbara Kopple and Lake Bell are also receiving screenwriting awards. The best part about this tribute event, however, is host (and film fest board member) Brian Williams. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I think he is the funniest person on earth. Seriously.
Besides the films and tributes, there are some other not-to-be-missed events that are part of the festival including Late Night Storytelling, Ben Stiller’s All-Star Comedy Roundtable, and a fascinating conversation series hosted by Chris Matthews. And don’t forget that after the credits roll in the films, themselves, the filmmakers, including some of the actors, are often there to answer your questions. That’s one of the great benefits of film festivals – being able to actually talk to the people who made the movie.
At the Nantucket Film Festival there is something for everyone. From Disney Pixar’s animated feature Monsters University, to short films made on our beautiful island like Wood/Sails/Dreams, you will find a film (or hopefully, many films) that are enlightening and entertaining. Or maybe you just want to walk the red carpet, mingle with the filmmakers and hit some fun late-night parties. Whatever your reason for going to our film festival, just go! At the least, you’ll have a great story to tell.