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Nantucket Film Festival: Must-See Movies

The beginning of summer reminds me of relaxing beach days, afternoons spent in the sunshine, and the Nantucket Film Festival. For the first time since its founding in 1996, the structure of the festival will hold hybrid events, with virtual streaming online as well as drive-in screenings and intimate garden screening events on Nantucket. Their 26th festival starts on June 17th and ends on June 28th.

Over the years, I have always looked forward to the Nantucket Film Festival. From watching the premier of new stories that have yet to be told, to witnessing craft conversations by talented filmmakers and screenwriters, the festival has such a variety of entertainment. However, if you are unable to make it to the island this summer, they now offer NFF Now At Home where there are a plethora of options available to stream online.

In celebration of the upcoming festival, I wanted to highlight two films that I have had the honor of being a part of as an executive producer and I am extremely proud to share them with you!

Jack London’s Martin Eden written and directed by Jay Craven

Garden Screening premier on Friday, June 18th, 2021 from 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Jay Craven is a friend, an award-winning director, writer, and producer who is affiliated with my Alma Mater, Sarah Lawrence College. Jay is also a Kingdom County Productions co-founder, whose narrative films include High Water (1989); Where the Rivers Flow North (1993); A Stranger in the Kingdom (1997); In Jest (1999); The Year that Trembled (2003); Disappearances (2006); Northern Borders (2012); Wetware (2018); and Blood Brothers (2021). To learn more about Jay Craven’s projects and films, click here.

When Jay Craven presented me with his inspired script, I was reminded of some thoughts that lingered with me after reading the novel Martin Eden, specifically of the two main characters connection both to each other and to themselves. Martin starts as this hungry, dynamic character, who has a ferocious desire to live and learn and be touched by the brilliant rays of new light. He sees Ruth as part of his driving desire to belong to (what he envisions to be) the high attainment of morals and enlightenment. Compared to Ruth, who has a low simmer of passion, but contended by an oppressive coating of her family's bourgeois history. The film explores the pull and push of relationships, fame, and humanity.

The film was developed with Sarah Lawrence College and shot on Nantucket, making its debut at the Nantucket Film Festival even more exciting. For more information regarding the Garden Screening, click here.

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way directed and produced by Susan Sandler

Premiered at the 2020 virtual NFF, now available for purchase on most digital platforms!

Susan Sandler is a playwright, screenwriter, and director. Her screenplays include the Golden Goble nominated Crossing Delancey and Friends At Last as well as projects for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, TNT, Columbia Pictures, Jersey Films and Interscope. Her work for the stage has been produced in New York, at major theatres across the country, and around the world. Her plays include Crossing Delancey, Under the Bed, The Renovation, The Moaner, If I Were A Train, Hokey-Pokey, The Find, The Burial Society, The Lovely Just So, and Kinfolks and Mountain Music. She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the HB Playwrights Foundation, and the Writers Guild of America. Sandler’s work is published by Smith and Kraus, Vintage Press, and Samuel French Publishers. Her plays have also been produced for “Playing on Air” on Public Radio and related podcasts. Susan is also on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can read more about Susan Sandler’s biography here.

From the moment the film opens, you feel as if you are welcomed with open arms into the world that Julia Scotti lives in. Within the first five minutes it is impossible not to be captured by her essence, charming personality, her love for her family, and of course comedy. Much like Julia herself, the film transitions between heavy and lighthearted, almost as if the viewer is taken on the ride that is Julia’s life. She sheds light as she shares her story with waves of sadness, happiness, support, and reality that exemplifies the complexity of what it takes for someone to, against all odds, live in their truth. Julia’s story is so important to share with the world, now more than ever.

Although the it is no longer on the Nantucket Film Festival website, you can purchase the film where it is now available on iTunes, Amazon prime, and other digital platforms. Also, here is a wonderful article that transcribes an interview with Susan Sandler about the film.

There are many more films that are in the line-up for this year’s film festival. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by phone. Click here to learn more.

Are you planning on attending the Nantucket film festival? Or do you have any films that you would recommend in watching at the festival? Please let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

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