Acting | Company/Organization Profiles

Summer of Films: Nantucket Film Festival

1 Jun , 1998  

Written by D.P. Bettencourt | Posted by:

A profile of the films at the 1998 festival.

Over the course of six days and nights on the island of Nantucket, through screenings, staged readings and panel discussions, the Nantucket Film Festival celebrates original voices in cinema and explores the art of screenwriting.

Selected with an eye toward original screenplays and provocative ideas, over 40 films including features, shorts and documentaries are screened in the town’s cozy theatres. Approximately 500 submissions are viewed by a screening committee composed of writers and filmmakers and final selections are made under the helming of the Festival director and programming team. The 1998 line-up includes the Boston-filmed Next Stop Wonderland, premieres of Nadia Tass’ Amy and Mr. Reliable; Tamara Jenkins’ Slums of Beverly Hills; Steve Klein’s Game Day featuring Richard Lewis; John Hamburg’s off-the-wall buddy picture Safe Men; Jez Butterworth’s adaptation of his stage play Mojo with a diabolical performance by Harold Pinter; Sherman Alexie’s Fish in the Bathtub starring Nantucket’s own Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara; Mary Cybulski and John Tintori’s gritty Chicago Cab; and the East Coast premiere of John Shea’s Southie.

In celebration of the art of screenwriting, the Nantucket Film Festival also offers a series of professionally staged readings of unproduced screenplays. This is a wonderful way to experience the screenplay in its purest form – before it is worked over by a team of directors, producers and editors. Cast with notable actors from around the country, the readings are invaluable for the writer, as well as educational and entertaining for all participants. This year, Producer and Director Ed Sherin of Law And Order will be directing and casting the staged readings. Actors who have participated in past readings include: Jace Alexander, William Baldwin, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ann Meara, Rob Morrow, Winona Ryder, John Shea, Fisher Stevens, Ben Stiller and Callie Thorne.

Another truly unusual aspect of this festival is the "Morning Coffee With…" which invites you to start your morning with a cup of coffee, a bagel, and casual discussion about any and all aspects of filmmaking with writers, directors and producers. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences and ideas with writers and filmmakers in an intimate café setting.

Launching this year, the 1998 Nantucket Film Festival will pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of Ring Lardner Jr. to the world of cinema. The Festival will honor Mr. Lardner with a gala evening and screenings of Mr. Lardner’s work as part of the overall festival programming. Ring Lardner Jr., a veteran Hollywood screenwriter, has won Academy Awards for Woman of the Year in 1942 and M*A*S*H* in 1970 in addition to scripting numerous other distinguished movies and several novels. As one of the Hollywood Ten, Mr. Lardner brings with him an enormous history and a wealth of provocative and insightful stories – both in real life and fiction.

For more information about the Nantucket Film Festival, visit their web site at