The Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) proudly announced its feature film lineup today. The opening night selection for its 2019 festival is Universal Pictures’ YESTERDAY, a Working Title production written by Oscar nominee Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, and Notting Hill) from a story by Jack Barth and Richard Curtis, and directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later). The film tells the story of Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town who wakes up after a freak accident to discover that The Beatles have never existed, and only he remembers their songs. Sony Pictures Classics’ MAIDEN, directed by Alex Holmes, will close the festival. This immersive documentary recounts the thrilling story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old charter boat cook who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. The 24th Nantucket Film Festival runs June 19-24, 2019, and celebrates the art of screenwriting and storytelling in cinema.
A24’s THE FAREWELL, written and directed by Lulu Wang, will screen as the festival’s Centerpiece film. Starring Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), the comedy follows a Chinese-American woman as she returns to China to say goodbye to her grandmother under the ruse of a family wedding.
For the tenth year in a row, NFF will screen a Disney•Pixar film on opening day. This year the studio will showcase the eagerly anticipated animated feature TOY STORY 4, directed by Josh Cooley, produced by Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen, with a screenplay by Stephany Folsom and Andrew Stanton. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the whole gang find themselves far from home, discovering new friends—and old ones—on an eye-opening road trip that takes them to unexpected places.
Nearly 50 feature selections have been revealed as part of NFF’s 2019 lineup. Among these are several notable award-winning films from Sundance, including Grand Jury Prize winners ONE CHILD NATION, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, and HONEYLAND, directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska; Directing Award winners AMERICAN FACTORY, directed by Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert, and COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD, directed by Mads Brügger; Special Jury Award winners JAWLINE, directed by Liza Mandelup, and MIDNIGHT FAMILY, directed by Luke Lorentzen; and Audience Award winners SEA OF SHADOWS, directed by Richard Ladkani, and BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON, written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. Also included are Audience Award winners from SXSW: SAINT FRANCES, written by and starring Kelly O’Sullivan and directed by Alex Thompson, and FOR SAMA, directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, which will be presented with a special conversation in collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves.
The Festival will welcome back several NFF alumni, including Roger Ross Williams with THE APOLLO, Irene Taylor Brodsky with MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS, Barbara Kopple with NEW HOMELAND, and Nick Broomfield with MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE, among others. Both Kopple and Broomfield are past recipients of NFF’s Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award. Another notable alumnus is TEL AVIV ON FIRE’s Sameh Zoabi, whose screenplay with Dan Kleinman was the winner of the Festival’s 2016 Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition and now comes full circle with the completed film screening as part of the 2019 edition.
This year’s lineup also includes a large number of female filmmakers with narratives featuring strong female leads, including Annabelle Attanasio’s MICKEY AND THE BEAR, Claire McCarthy’s OPHELIA, Hilary Brougher’s SOUTH MOUNTAIN, Chanya Button’s VITA & VIRGINIA, and THE FAREWELL. Documentaries helmed by women, in addition to several of the titles noted above, include Cindy Meehl’s THE DOG DOC, Jenifer McShane’s ERNIE & JOE, Petra Costa’s THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY, and Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS.
“We are thrilled to announce the lineup for this year’s edition. NFF’s 2019 program continues our tradition of diverse and entertaining content for the whole community. From musicals and period dramas to comedies and thought-provoking documentaries, there is a wide range of options for all audiences,” said Basil Tsiokos, Film Program Director, Nantucket Film Festival. “This is the moment we look forward to each year, sharing an exciting new slate of films highlighting strong screenwriting and storytelling.”
The Festival’s celebrated Signature Programs, including details about the Screenwriters Tribute, will be announced in an upcoming release.
The 24th Annual Nantucket Film Festival runs from June 19-24, 2019. Festival passes and ticket packages are currently on sale now on the festival’s website (www.nantucketfilmfestival.org
Over the past 23 years the Nantucket Film Festival has mixed highly anticipated awards contenders with the films of talented emerging and established filmmakers. NFF has brought together the film industry’s most recognized screenwriters and storytellers, including Oliver Stone, Noah Baumbach, Steve Martin, Judd Apatow, Tom McCarthy, Beau Willimon, Kathryn Bigelow, Sarah Silverman, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell, Diane Keaton, Robert Towne, Glenn Close, and Aaron Sorkin. NFF has also produced the All-Star Comedy Roundtable Presented by Ben Stiller, and the insightful conversation series In Their Shoes…®, which has included Noah Baumbach, Ben Stiller, and Adam Driver with Chris Matthews, Molly Shannon with Michael Ian Black, Tom McCarthy and Bobby Cannavale with Chris Matthews, and Robin Wright and Beau Willimon with Chris Matthews.
The full feature film program for the 2019 Nantucket Film Festival is listed below. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Writer: Richard Curtis, from a story by Jack Barth & Richard Curtis
Director: Danny Boyle
Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later), Oscar-nominated screenwriter Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill), and Working Title comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Director: Alex Holmes
This thrilling, immersive film tells the against-all-odds story of sailor Tracy Edwards, who skippered the first all-female international crew in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
OPENING FAMILY FILM
TOY STORY 4
Writers: Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton
Director: Josh Cooley
When Bonnie takes the toys on her family’s road trip, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep. Woody and Bo are worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, and they soon realize that’s the least of their worries. Featuring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Jordan Peele, and Keanu Reeves.
Writer/Director: Lulu Wang
Billi (Crazy Rich Asians’ Awkwafina) returns to China with her dysfunctional family to say goodbye to her grandmother under the ruse of a family wedding.
FEATURE FILM PROGRAM
Director: Davy Rothbart
Two decades of intimate home video reveal the story of Washington, DC’s Sanford family, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence lead to a journey of love, loss, and, eventually, acceptance.
Directors: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
Cultures clash when a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio. Winner: Directing Award, Sundance
Director: Roger Ross Williams
From the director of the Oscar-nominated Life, Animated comes this rich history of Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater, which over 85 years has demonstrated the pivotal role that the arts play in the African American experience.
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
Writer/Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo
A young woman who hides her insecurities with humor becomes determined to turn her life around one block at a time training for the New York City Marathon. Featuring Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Winner: Audience Award, Sundance
COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD
Director: Mads Brügger
A filmmaker provocateur and private investigator team up to solve the suspicious 1961 death of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and uncover a shocking, stranger-than-fiction conspiracy with global ramifications. Winner: Directing Award, Sundance
DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME
Director: A.J. Eaton
Produced by Cameron Crowe, this incredibly intimate portrait of David Crosby finds the legendary musician of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame reflecting on his life, loves, music, and regrets with unflinching honesty.
Writer/Director: George Pelecanos
Directors: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Stephen Kinigopoulos & Nicholas Pelecanos
Based on short stories written by acclaimed author and writer/producer George Pelecanos (HBO’s The Deuce, The Wire), this crime anthology follows a diverse cast of characters living and dying on the fringes of society in the nation’s capital.
THE DOG DOC
Director: Cindy Meehl
Called a miracle-worker by some, dismissed as a quack by others, maverick holistic veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein and his dedicated team provide a mecca for pets and their owners looking for hope.
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY
Director: Petra Costa
Brazil’s recent political upheaval, which saw the ouster of its first female president and growing polarization, is explored with unprecedented access in this urgent cautionary tale for these times of democracy in crisis.
ERNIE & JOE
Director: Jenifer McShane
Two compassionate officers with the San Antonio Police Department’s innovative mental health unit divert people away from jail and into proper treatment, one 911 call at a time.
A FAITHFUL MAN
Writer/Director: Louis Garrel
Writer: Jean-Claude Carrière
In this charming French comedy, Abel, a hapless journalist and hopeless romantic, reunites with an old flame suddenly widowed years after leaving him to marry his best friend. Featuring Louis Garrel, Laetitia Casta, and Lily-Rose Depp.
Directors: Waad al-Kateab & Edward Watts
A woman reflects on five years of footage she shot while living in Aleppo during the Syrian civil war and siege of the city. Winner: Grand Jury Award and Audience Award, SXSW. Co-presented with Facing History and Ourselves.
Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska
In this visually stunning film, a traditional Macedonian beekeeper finds her peaceful existence – and nature’s delicate balance – upset by the arrival of new neighbors. Winner: Grand Jury Prize, Sundance
IT STARTED AS A JOKE
Directors: Julie Smith Clem & Ken Druckerman
A funny and surprisingly moving love letter to the world of stand-up comedy through the decade-long story of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival and its founder, featuring Mike Birbiglia, Michael Ian Black, Jim Gaffigan, Kristen Schaal, Kumail Nanjiani, Janeane Garofalo, and Bobcat Goldthwait, among its who’s who of standout comedians.
Director: Liza Mandelup
Enter the unusual world of live-streaming with Austyn, an optimistic 16 year old trying to escape the confines of his rural Tennessee hometown through online fame. Winner: Special Jury Award, Sundance
THE KILL TEAM
Writer/Director: Dan Krauss
Based on a true story, this gripping drama follows an ambitious young soldier stationed in Afghanistan as he finds himself swept up in an escalating conspiracy of violence perpetrated by his fellow troops. Featuring Nat Wolff and Alexander Skarsgård.
Writers/Directors: Michael Matthews & Thomas Matthews
Back home in Washington, DC, for the holidays, a young woman and her irresponsible friends find themselves embroiled in an unexpected adventure involving kidnapping, drugs, and extortion. Featuring Kate Lyn Sheil, Thomas Matthews, William Jackson Harper, and Joshua Leonard.
MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE
Director: Nick Broomfield
Leonard Cohen met single mother Marianne Ihlen on an idyllic Greek island during a time of free love, beginning a love story that endured long after he became a world-famous musician.
MICKEY AND THE BEAR
Writer/Director: Annabelle Attanasio
Teenager Mickey, forced to take on adult responsibilities as her veteran father struggles with addiction, must ultimately choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment.
Director: Luke Lorentzen
In Mexico City, the Ochoa family struggles to make a living as ragtag private paramedics, facing cut-throat competition to respond to patients in need of urgent help. Winner: Special Jury Award, Sundance
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE
Director: Avi Belkin
An engrossing, in-depth look at 60 Minutes’ hard-hitting reporter Mike Wallace, whose legendary career paralleled the evolution of broadcast journalism from its infancy to today’s polarized media landscape.
MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS
Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky
Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky turns the camera on her own family to craft a moving, intergenerational exploration of living with deafness, as her teenage son grows up, and her parents confront growing older.
Director: Barbara Kopple
Refugee boys from war-torn Syria and Iraq newly resettled in Canada attend summer camp, a rite of passage where some thrive while others struggle.
Writer/Director: Gavin Hood
Writers: Sara Bernstein & Gregory Bernstein
A British intelligence officer risks everything to become a whistleblower after she learns of a plot to blackmail the UN Security Council to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Featuring Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, and Ralph Fiennes.
Writer/Director: Jeremy Teicher
Writers: Alexi Pappas & Nick Kroll
In the Athlete Village at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, a tentative relationship develops between a lonely cross-country skier and a volunteer dentist. Featuring Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, and Gus Kenworthy.
ONE CHILD NATION
Directors: Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang
After becoming a mother herself, filmmaker Nanfu Wang uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment. Winner: Grand Jury Prize, Sundance
Writer: Semi Chellas
Director: Claire McCarthy
In this fresh retelling of Hamlet, Ophelia takes centerstage, navigating court intrigue, true love, and the desire to control her own destiny. Featuring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, and Clive Owen.
Writer/Director: Daniel Schechter
A young professor faces criticism over a classroom controversy while grappling with his beloved grandmother’s serious illness in this New York City comedy. Featuring Justin Long, Kate Berlant, Richard Schiff, and Fran Drescher.
Writer: Kelly O’Sullivan
Director: Alex Thompson
Not following a prescribed path of motherhood or career, a thirty something woman takes a job as a nanny for an opinionated six-year-old girl. Winner: Audience Award and Special Jury Award, SXSW
SEA OF SHADOWS
Director: Richard Ladkani
In the Sea of Cortez, environmental activists, marine biologists, and undercover investigators are on a mission to save the vaquita – the world’s smallest whale – from extinction. Winner: Audience Award, Sundance
Writer/Director: Guy Nattiv
A young man raised by skinheads and adorned with white power tattoos begins to question his convictions and seek redemption. Featuring Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Bill Camp, Mike Colter, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Vera Farmiga.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Writer/Director: Michael Tyburski
Writer: Ben Nabors
A successful “house tuner,” who calibrates the sound in people’s homes in order to adjust their moods, meets a client with a problem he can’t solve. Featuring Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones, and Austin Pendleton.
Writer/Director: Hilary Brougher
When her teenagers head off to camp and her husband abruptly leaves her, Lila is left to her own curious and chaotic devices for a summer in her rural home in the Catskill Mountains. Featuring Talia Balsam and Scott Cohen.
TEL AVIV ON FIRE
Writer/Director: Sameh Zoabi
Writer: Dan Kleinman
In this irreverent satire, a middle-aged slacker fails upwards in his job on the set of a popular Palestinian soap opera only to end up fielding script notes from a disgruntled Israeli military officer. Winner: 2016 NFF Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition
THEM THAT FOLLOW
Writers/Directors: Britt Poulton & Dan Madison Savage
Inside a snake-handling church deep in Appalachia, a forbidden relationship forces a pastor’s daughter to confront her community’s deadly tradition. Featuring Olivia Colman, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, and Thomas Mann.
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM
Director: Timothy-Greenfield Sanders
An artful and intimate meditation on Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and her iconic body of work, which explores the complex intersection of race, history, and subjectivity in American writing.
UNTITLED AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY
Director: Ben Berman
What begins as a documentary following a magician’s final tour becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.
VITA & VIRGINIA
Writer/Director: Chanya Button
Writer: Eileen Atkins
In 1922, socialite and author Vita Sackville-West meets the enigmatic Virginia Woolf and becomes enamored with the celebrated writer, beginning an unconventional affair that inspires one of Woolf’s greatest novels. Featuring Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, and Isabella Rossellini.
WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS
Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color in Oakland on the front lines of social justice, and the two pioneering women who began this alternative self-empowerment organization.
ABOUT THE NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL
The Nantucket Film Festival was founded by brother and sister team Jonathan and Jill Burkhart in 1996 to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the fine art of screenwriting in the world of cinema. Since then, NFF has become one of the premier destination film festivals in the world. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the preview screenings, unique signature programs, and stand out hospitality on a magical island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere, and beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to screening over 100 films across six days, NFF presents the Screenwriters Tribute, In Their Shoes…®, our daily Morning Coffee With…®, and other Signature Programs.
The Nantucket Film Festival is supported by Showtime and The White Elephant Nantucket Island as Major Sponsors, A&E IndieFilms, Bank of America, Brand Content, Delta Air Lines and WGBH as Signature Sponsors.
The 24th Annual Nantucket Film Festival will take place June 19-24, 2019. For further information on the 2019 Nantucket Film Festival, please visit www.nantucketfilmfestival.org.