Nantucket, MA (June 27, 2022) – The 27th annual Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) today announced the audience winners for this year’s festival. Sean Mullin’s IT AIN’T OVER, an intimate portrait of a misunderstood American icon, Yogi Berra, takes the viewer into the heart of a sports legend whose unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball diamond were often overshadowed by his off-the-field persona, won the Feature Film Audience Award at this year’s NFF. Alex and Paul Cannon’s THE F WORD, about a young girl who asks her father what the word ‘fuck’ means, he falls into a feedback loop of explaining its many definitions, was the recipient of the Short Film Audience Award.
IT AIN’T OVER, directed by Sean Mullin and BARTLETT’S OCEAN VIEW FARM, directed by Grace Barlett were among NFF’s Best of Fest selections granted special repeat screenings due to popular demand.
NFF also announced the winners of the prestigious Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes the best unproduced screenplays and television pilots submitted to the Festival by emerging writers. Michael Lei received the top prize as the winner of the Feature Screenplay Competition for THE RIFT. The Episodic 60 Minute Screenplay Competition nod went to Elisabeth Hayward for MURDER-IN-MARSH, the Short Screenplay Competition was won by Sav Rodgers for PANCAKE SKANK, and the 30 Minute Episodic Screenplay Competition was won by David Crane and Nicole Evans for IMPERFECT*.
Michael Lei’s THE RIFT tells the story of a smuggler and his estranged son, polarized by their political beliefs, are further divided by a mysterious force that is splintering the world into two competing realities: one where the sun never sets and the other eternally in the dark. Lei receives a $2,500 cash prize, VIP access to this year’s Festival, custom bound copy of his script, and an all-inclusive month-long writer’s retreat on Nantucket with the Almanack Screenwriters in October.
In MURDER-IN-MARSH, by Elisabeth Hayward, the viewer relives the 1990 Moreton Murders, as Detective Asher secretly opens her old case files after receiving a mysterious confession from the killer, thirty years later. Hayward receives a $1,000 cash prize, VIP access to this year’s Festival, as a custom bound copy of her script.
David Crane and Nicole Evan’s IMPERFECT*, is about an L.A. girl with a big dream, a complicated family and a little disability. Crane and Evan’s receive a $1,000 cash prize, a custom bound copy of their script, and VIP access to this year’s Festival.
In Sav Rodger’s PANCAKE SKANK, A mythical anti-heroine and her meek sidekick wreak havoc on a small town when they decide to rob every breakfast joint in this surrealist fantasy. Rodger’s receives a $500 cash prize and VIP access to this year’s Festival.
The Film Screenplay Competition jury was composed of screenwriters/directors John Patton Ford (EMILY THE CRIMINAL) and Colin West, (LINOLEUM), as well as UTA agent, Christina Bazdekis.
The Episodic Screenplay Competition jury was composed of shorts filmmakers (WE ARE HERE), Domenica Castro and Constanza Castro, as well as senior writer at Rolling Stone, Tatiana Siegel.
NFF also announced the winner of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a $5,000 grant went to filmmaker Amy Bandlien Storkel for her film THE PEZ OUTLAW, where she has made her directorial debut.
The Teen View Jury Award went to writers/directors Callie Marie Bloem and Christopher J. Ewing for WRITTEN BY.
“The filmmakers treated us to a seriously great festival this year and we were thrilled for the audience to be back in the theater to share in film screenings and signature programs together. As it comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to congratulate this edition’s incredible winners. Thank you for making this year extra special with dynamic, diverse, and enlightening films” said Mystell Brabbée, Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival and Lori Donnelly, Film Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. “Additionally, we would like to thank all of our filmmakers, audience members, staff, sponsors, and volunteers for making this yet another wonderful festival.”
Ophira Eisenberg and Bethany Van Delft hosted the Screenwriters Tribute from the ‘Sconset Casino on Saturday, June 25th. Director Barry Jenkins accepted the Screenwriters Tribute Award virtually (MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, MOONLIGHT, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD).
Actor, director, producer, and writer John Turturro received the Compass Rose Award for Career Achievement, with Ben Stiller presenting the award to him. Turturro is known for his contributions to the independent film movement and has appeared in over sixty feature films since the beginning of his career in the 1980s (DO THE RIGHT THING, BARTON PINK, MAC, ROMANCE & CIGARETTES, THE JESUS ROLLS, THE BATMAN, SEVERANCE). While at this year’s Festival, Turturro participated in an exclusive reading of his in production script HOWARD BEACH with actors Alice Smith and Damian Young, as well a conversation with Ben Stiller for their Apple+ series Severance.
Ramin Bahrani, who screened his documentary 2ND CHANCE, as well participated in the Screenwriter’s Roundtable discussion moderated by Deadline’s Dade Hayes, received an award for Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling. Bahrani is an Academy Award and Emmy nominated writer, director, and producer (PLASTIC BAG, LIFT YOU UP, BLOOD KIN, 2ND CHANCE).
The New Voices in Screenwriting Award went to actor, director, and writer Cooper Raiff who screened his second film CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH at this year’s NFF. His debut film, SHITHOUSE, won the SXSW Grand Jury Award among other Honorees. Cooper also participated in the Screenwriter’s Roundtable.
Special guests who attended NFF 2022 included Ben Stiller, Jenny Slate, James Morosini, Chris Matthews, Peter Farrelly, and George Pelecanos.
ABOUT THE NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL
The Nantucket Film Festival was founded by brother and sister team Jonathan and Jill Burkhart in 1996 to celebrate the vast diversity of human experience through the art of screenwriting and storytelling. Since then, NFF has become one of the world’s premier destination film festivals. Visitors come from all over the world to experience new films, unique Signature Programs, and stand out hospitality on a magical island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere, and beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to its June festival, NFF presents Screenwriter Sessions, with partner Screenwriters Colony; and the Tony Cox Screenplay Competitions.
The Nantucket Film Festival is supported by White Elephant Resorts as Major Sponsor; A&E IndieFilms, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines, and Faraway Nantucket as Signature Sponsors; Douglas Elliman, Apple Original Films, The Inquirer and Mirror and WB Mason as Producing Sponsors; and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Barbour, Hertz, Tradewind Aviation, InterContinental Insurance Brokers, Montana Film Office, Nantucket Resort Collection, Polar Beverages, Seastreak and WGA East as Contributing Sponsors.