New York, NY – Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) ® will dive into the political fray with Al Franken, Brian Williams, Daily Show correspondent Nathan Corddry, and an assembly of US troops. The 11th annual festival will embrace the narrative power of documentary films, starting with the Opening Night film Al Franken: God Spoke.
Al Franken: God Spoke is a cinema vérité pursuit of Al Franken from his highly publicized feud with Bill O’Reilly to his relentless campaign against George Bush and the Right Wing during the 2004 election, and beyond. Mr. Franken will be on island to support his film, reveal more of his political future, as well as participate along with Brian Williams in the special program IN HIS OWN WORDS: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina.
In this program, Brian Williams shares his experience of Hurricane Katrina -- from his arrival inside the Superdome before the hurricane to the chaos that followed. His impressions of that first week create a moving and devastating portrait of a catastrophe, an abandoned people, and an indictment of the failure of government response.
The 27-minute film will be followed by a half-hour interview with Brian Williams, conducted by Al Franken.
In correlation with the Centerpiece Screening of their film Ground Truth, Focus Features has planned a special press reception in honor of US troops, hosted by Focus Feature's producer and CEO James Schamus. Ground Truth tells the stories of a half-dozen American heroes – ordinary men and women who heeded the call for military service in Iraq – as it charts recruitment and training, combat, homecoming, and the struggle to reintegrate with families and communities.
With several US troops in attendance, the reception that precedes the screening will provide an invaluable forum for first-hand accounts of the war in Iraq.
In addition to the events above and the signature events that have helped secure the Nantucket Film Festival as the premiere Screenwriters’ Festival, there will be several new programs at this year’s festival showcasing the “screenwriter” including “Iconoclasts” with Academy- Award winning Brokeback Mountain scribe Diana Ossana.
The Best Writer/Director Award Jury for the 2006 Nantucket Film Festival will comprise of Anthony Bregman (producer of Friends With Money and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Marc Levin (director of Slam and Protocols of Zion), and Henry-Alex Rubin (director of Murderball).
In collaboration with “This and That” Films, this year’s staged reading is COUP DE TAT written by Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse. COUP DE TAT follows sixteen-year-old Tatiana, a rebel-without-a-cause, who makes a Latin American dictator, Hector Vivas, her pen pal. When Vivas is overthrown, he takes refuge in Tatiana’s suburban garage and Tatiana learns what being a rebel is truly about.
The celebrities participating the staged reading include Jimmy Smits, Steven Webber, Mary Kay Place, Nathan Corddry, Anna Belknap, Michael Mastro, Nadia Dajani, and Michael Cera.
New Programs and Venues at the 2006 Nantucket Film Festival® :
This new NFF event will bring together leading screenwriters, directors, actors, editors and other creators in the filmmaking process. The original series on Sundance Channel pairs two leading creative innovators from fields such as literature, architecture, music, journalism, food, fashion and film. “Iconoclasts” presents intimate, unpredictable portraits of today’s leading innovators and risk-takers in their respective fields. In the same tradition, NFF will present a pair of creative visionaries, with one acting as a guide into the world of the other, in order to explore their creative process, inspirations and passions.
Guests include: Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain), Tom McCarthy (writer/director The Station Agent), and Campbell Scott (actor/director, Big Night, Off the Map)
NEW PANEL: A Film is Written Three Times
Among the programs dedicated to screenwriting, the Nantucket Film Festival introduces a new panel called "A Film is Written Three Times" to emphasize that screenwriting doesn’t begin and end with the script. A film is written a second time by the director and a third time in the editing room.
The panelists include Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Writers and Director, Half Nelson), Neil Burger (Writer/Director, The Illusionist), Jay Craven (Writer/Director, Disappearances), and Goran Dukic (Writer/Director, Wristcutters: A Love Story).
In response to the record-breaking sales and attendance at last year’s festival, the Nantucket Film Festival has also added some new and larger venues, expanding its stretch and accessibility across the island. New for this year will be the 450-seat tent on the lawn of The White Elephant. The tent will be home to “Late Night Storytelling”, one of the audience favorites among NFF’s special events. Also announced, the beautiful Sconset Casino will serve as one of NFF’s screening venues while the Dreamland Theater is under construction.
As previously announced, the Closing Night film will be the documentary The Heart of the Game from director Ward Serrill.
ABOUT NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL
The NFF was founded in 1996 to spotlight screenwriters, screenwriting and storytelling in today's cinema. The festival takes place over five days in June on the idyllic island of Nantucket, MA.
Now in its eleventh year, NFF has become a prestigious annual event within
the international film industry. Screening over 50 feature-length and short films in all genres that highlight the art of storytelling, the NFF is significant
attraction that draws over ten thousand attendees, screenwriters, producers, agents and development executives each year.
Screenwriting is further explored through panel discussions, a screenplay competition, an emerging screenwriter's mentorship with the Screenwriters Colony, an educational program for teens and community beach screenings. The Festival also hosts the popular evening of Late Night Storytelling (hosted by Peter Farrelly and Anne Meara and past stories told by Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, Mos Def and Paul Rudd) in addition to screenplay staged readings.
Past staged readings have included the hilarious SHOWSTOPPER by Anthony Barille & Geoffrey Nauffts including the talents of Ben Stiller and Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei. Last year’s reading, SPECTACLE, Part One of the Mark Rosen Chronicles by Stacy Weiss and Dan Chariton was directed by Ben Stiller and the cast included: Macaulay Culkin, Amy Sedaris, David Krumholtz, Lake Bell, Robert Sean Leonard, Ben Stiller and more. The coveted screenplay A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES by Steven Soderbergh and Scott Kramer was the centerpiece staged reading of NFF 2003 and featured Will Ferrell in the starring role with Alan Cumming, Mos Def, and Rosie Perez.
The NFF has been a showcase for some of the top independent films of the last decade. The festival was one of the first to find and platform such films as: The Full Monty, Next Stop Wonderland and Girlfight. NFF 2005 Featured the North American Premiere of Jim Jarmush's Broken Flowers as the Opening Night Film.
For more information on the recently unveiled complete slate and special events, please visit our website at www.nantucketfilmfestival.org.