Nantucket Film Festival has become renowned as one of the most exciting destination film galas in the U.S. today. Nantucket Film Foundation organizes it between May and June as part of its seasonal and year-round schedule of programs.
Established in 1996, the fiesta is the brainchild of The Burkhart siblings, Jill & Jonathan. The avid film enthusiasts thought starting a festival in Nantucket would be a great way to bring together burgeoning film creatives and fanatics and foster community interactions. Today, they sit on the NFF board and have entrusted the long-serving Mystelle Brabbee with the firm’s Executive Director role.
NFF brings together independent screenwriters, filmmakers, and storytellers to display their talent to a diverse audience. Creatives view the NFF platform as a springboard to larger audiences thanks to its competitive programs and awards. Numerous spotlighted creatives have gone on to have illustrious careers in the entertainment industry and gained recognition in prestigious awards like the Oscars Academy Awards.
Exceptional festival programs and experiences have seen NFF earn numerous recognitions, including multiple USA Today’s “10 Best Film Festivals” feature nominations and partnerships with big-name brand sponsors such as Bank of America, the festival’s official NFF Presenting Sponsor.
Entertainment Programs, Tickets & Passes
Entertainment segments included in the festival include film & documentaries screening, screenwriting, storytelling, and the awards gala. Dozens of submissions of fiction & non-fiction films and documentaries are screened throughout the multi-day event. Storytellers take to the podium for a five-minute Late Night storytelling session of select topics without the benefit of reference scripts to test their fluidity and content delivery skills.
The fun-packed festival programs are mainly hosted at the Dreamland Theatre. Different venues for the Garden events and Awards Gala are chosen for every festival edition. The organizers announce Box Office and Festival venues and schedules on the organizer’s website and social web channels. You can also get a curated and downloadable graphic calendar of events and ticket availability status on the official NFF website.
Ticket packages are available a month before the start of the festival, and individual ticket prices go on sale at the beginning of the festival. Passes are categorized under Founder, Legacy, and Patron and cost $3,000 on average, tax-deductible. You can purchase tickets and passes by phone, on the NFF website, or in person. Look out for occasional discount promotions offered by the organizers.
Hundreds of filmgoers stream into Nantucket in every edition of the Nantucket Film Festival, and early bookings and reservations are almost a necessity if you’re an outsider planning to attend the festival. That is why we recommend booking your accommodation ahead and avoiding the hassle of scrambling for tedious, sometimes overpriced vacation accommodation owing to its streamlined booking and liaison process.
Initiatives & Workshops
Nantucket Film Festival takes a commendable role in women’s empowerment, a subject of activism calls in the film and corporate industry. A glance at the firm’s senior staff, which is more than three-quarters occupied by women, evenly distributed board, and the cash prize awards to women writers and filmmakers at each edition of the festivals highlight this.
Signature Programs feature interviews, talks, and roundtables where established names in entertainment offer guidance to new writers, filmmakers, and comedians. The experienced talents also offer personal mentorship to emerging talents in a fully-paid, month-long workshop where they get to develop their film projects.
NFF recognizes new and established creatives through various awards such as the Screenwriters Tribute, Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling, and New Voices in Television Writing.
In collaboration with The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, the organizers select a female writer or Director of feature-length film productions and present them with a $5,000 check.
A new award designated for the most creative filmmaker will commence in the 2023 edition. The Maria Mitchell Visionary Award will include a $5,000 reward and an inscribed telescope from Anna Jay, a celebrated jeweler on the island.
Filmgoers at the gala are granted the privilege of ranking Feature Films and Short Films at the Festival. Winners and runners-up in the NFF Audience Awards get to have their productions rerun at the culmination of the festival.
Organizers also enhance teenage film lovers’ knowledge of film through the Teen View workshop. A panel of teenagers is trained for free on filmmaking and critiquing. They are then tasked with discussing Short Films screened at the theater and awarding the best of the list.
In addition, NFF runs the Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, an intense, engaging, and competitive episodic contest that attracts dozens of emerging creative screenwriters and filmmakers. The program comprises four screenplay competitions: Feature, Episodic 60-minute, Episodic 30-minute, and Short Screenplay. Among other benefits, winners in the four categories receive cash prizes between $500 and $2,500. You can get regular updates on the NFF social platforms at each competition stage.
NFF is deeply rooted in Nantucket. It partners with small Nantucket businesses to promote their businesses by featuring their products and services on its platforms and in the festivals as part of its community-fostering initiatives.