If you can get to Nantucket over the next week-plus, Nantucket Film Festival drive-in movies and garden parties await for those who can still score a space. And if you’re on this side of the ocean, the annual festival is offering nearly 60 movies to watch from off-island, too.
Expanding for the first time from six to 12 days, the hybrid festival has a host of film, TV and literary celebrities on the island and on camera to add conversations to the movie-watching and honor some of the best in the business.
The NFF Now At Home component — created because of COVID-19 concerns — brings the movies to a virtual audience, with most movies available for streaming anytime during the June 17-28 festival.
Some have certain rules about what states you can tune in from, and opening-night film ““Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised”) — a documentary about 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson due to be released later this year — is only available to stream after its opening-night debut at the Dreamland Drive-In.
The eight drive-in movies and 11 “garden” movies and events at private homes will go on rain or shine.
Honorees will include actor Kelsey Grammer (TV’s “Frasier”), who on June 26 will receive the festival’s Compass Rose Award for Career Achievement “as an outstanding artist whose contribution to the world of acting has been profound and serves as an inspiration to writers to create new material,” according to the festival. Grammer will talk about his new film “The Space Between,” which will be shown at the festival.
On June 19, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Gilmore Girls”) will receive the Excellence in Television Writing Award for their work as writers, directors and executive producers and discuss their work.
Other celebrities who will be part of the festival’s signature “In Their Shoes” interviews on the island or virtually will include actor Ethan Hawke on his work in film and novels; filmmaker/actor Mark Duplass (“Creep”) on balancing Hollywood with indie projects; journalists and news hosts Lesley Stahl and Chris Matthews on biography and political journalism; author Alice Hoffman on her “Practical Magic” series of novels; author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on “The Daughters of Kobani” that will be adapted for film by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton; Nantucket novelist Elin Hilderbrand on her career; author Blue Balliett on the appeal of ghost stories; comedian/actor Michael Ian Black on fatherhood; filmmakers Colin and Nick Barnicle on their Netflix true-crime series “This Is a Robbery” about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist; and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg hosting a sunset storytelling event.
Other films will include a “centerpiece screening” of Sally Aitken’s “Playing With Sharks,” about cinematographer/conservationist Valerie Taylor; the closing-night film of Siân Heder’s “Coda,” the story of a hearing child of deaf parents that was partly filmed in Massachusetts; “Luzzu,” about a struggling Maltese fisherman; “Inbetween Girl,” about a teenage artist who turns to secret hookups with her private-school heartthrob; and “Ninja Baby,” about a woman whose world changes when she finds she’s six months pregnant.
The short films will be presented in five programs: “Kids Shorts”; narrative programs “Crossroads,” which features characters facing the consequences of their choices and “For the Love of,” which looks at relationships of all kinds; and documentary programs “Bedrock,” stories about community, legacy, and roots, and “Stand Up, Stand Out,” described as “intimate portraits of unique individuals.”
Local filmmaking will be represented by short films produced by Nantucket High School students in the NFF Teen View program. The films will be shown before each drive-in screening. Jay Craven’s “Jack London’s Martin Eden,” based on an autobiographical novel about a poor sailor’s relationship with a young woman of means, which was shot on Nantucket, is also part of the lineup.
Festival passes, including passes for at-home streaming: www.nantucketfilmfestival.org. Individual tickets went on sale June 4.
Original posted at www.capecodtimes.com