Lights… Camera… Action! -June 2018

23rd Nantucket Film Festival celebrates storytelling on the screen

by: Joshua H. Balling

The 2018 Nantucket Film Festival rolls into town June 20-25, with an eclectic six-day lineup that includes more than 100 feature-length and short films, and a tribute to “The Squid and the Whale” screenwriter Noah Baumbach.

Now in its 23rd year, organizers say they’ve chosen a program of narrative films and documentaries that stays true to the festival’s founding principle, to celebrate the story – and the storyteller – on the big screen.

Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”) will be presented the festival’s annual Screenwriters Tribute.

“Boundaries,” a comedy starring Vera Farmiga as a single mom forced to drive her estranged pot-dealing father (Christopher Plummer) to Los Angeles after he is kicked out of a retirement home, will be the opening-night film. “Love, Gilda,” a documentary that reveals the personal side of comedian Gilda Radner through recordings and journal entries, will close the festival.

Another documentary, Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which depicts the life and legacy of the late Fred Rogers, host

of the popular children’s television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and a longtime Nantucket summer resident, is the centerpiece film.

Among this year’s narrative titles are several which highlight strong female leads, including Susanna White’s “Woman Walks Ahead,” starring Jessica Chastain; Isabel Coixet’s “The Bookshop,” starring Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson; Marianna Palka's “Egg,” starring Christina Hendricks and Alysia Reiner; Marc Turtletaub’s “Puzzle,” starring Kelly Macdonald; Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade,” starring newcomer Elsie Fisher; Björn Runge’s “The Wife,” starring Glenn Close and Richard Eyre’s “The Children Act,” starring Emma Thompson.

“First and foremost, when putting the program together for the Nantucket Film Festival, we want the lineup to be the very best films, not necessarily with any agenda in mind,” film program director Basil Tsiokos said.

“That being said, we are certainly aware of all the crazy stuff happening around how women are treated in Hollywood, and the world in general, and we are responding to that. We would be tone deaf not to respond to what’s happening in the world. They synched up this year. Some of the very best films out there have women in lead acting positions.”

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