FRONTLINE documentary "For Sama" and "The Peanut Butter Falcon" were among the Best of Fest at the 24th annual Nantucket Film Festival. Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ "For Sama," which captures life in Syria through five years of civil war, was the Documentary Feature Audience Award winner. Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s "The Peanut Butter Falcon," the story of a young man with Down syndrome who teams with a charismatic fugitive for the adventure of a lifetime, was the Narrative Feature Audience Award recipient. Both earned repeat screenings due to popular demand.
Other Best of Fest's included "Brittany Runs a Marathon," "Official Secrets," "Maiden," and "Sea of Shadows." "Master Maggie," a film about an acting student seeking help from a guru, received the Narrative Short Audience Award winner. "Mack Wrestles," a portrait of a transgender wrestler, was the Documentary Short Audience Award, and the Teen View on NFF Award winner.
The Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes the best-unproduced work submitted by emerging writers, recognized three new writers this year. Elizabeth Chatelain for her screenplay "Sundogs," which tells the story of a mother and daughter who head to work in the North Dakota oil fields after their family farm slips into debt. Kate Levitt for her pilot "Living," about an Orthodox Jewish teenager who struggles with the conformity of his community by dealing drugs in the secular world. And Alexis Barzin for "I Know Your Number By Heart," the story of a woman who loses hope as the world starts to disappear around her.
This year's recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award, an emerging female filmmaker grant, was Annabelle Attanasio, writer/director of "Mickey and the Bear." In Attanasio’s directorial debut, teenager Mickey, forced to take on adult responsibilities as her veteran father struggles with addiction and PTSD, must choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment.
“As this year’s festival comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to congratulate this edition’s incredible winners. Thank you for bringing such enchanting, powerful, and dynamic films and stories that have captivated audiences,” said Mystell Brabbée, Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival and Basil Tsiokos, Film Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. “Additionally, we would like to thank all of our filmmakers, audience members, staff, sponsors, and volunteers for making this yet another wonderful festival.”