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The Big Sick
The Big Sick

The Big Sick, written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and based on their real-life, cross-cultural relationship, and directed by Michael Showalter, was awarded Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 22nd annual Nantucket Film Festival. The atmospheric Native American reservation-set mystery Wind River, written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, is runner up.

Monkey Business: The Curious Adventures of George’s Creators, directed by Ema Ryan Yamazaki is the winner of theAudience Award for Best Documentary Feature, and Joe Kean’s Holocaust-focused After Auschwitz: The Stories of Six Women is the runner up. Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson’s study of human vulnerability, Ten Meter Tower, is the winner of the Audience Award for Best Short film, and Tom Scott and Dan Honan’s inspirational portrait, The Illumination, is the runner-up.

NFF also announced the winner of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a $5,000 grant to an emerging female filmmaker in honor of writer, director, and actor Adrienne Shelly and her contributions to film. This year’s recipient is Alexandra Dean, director of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which focuses on the Hollywood star’s groundbreaking but under-acknowledged work as an inventor.

In the Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes the best-unproduced screenplays and television pilots by emerging writers, Moon Molson’s Johnny Ace received the top prize as the winner of the Feature Screenplay Competition. The Episodic Screenplay nods went to Tesia Walker’s for The Line and to Kaitlin Fontana for Casey Can’t. The Short Screenplay Competition was won by Rajiv Shah, with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg for The Yao Of Tao.

Moon Molson’s Johnny Ace follows two Houston homicide detectives as they investigate the seemingly accidental death of a popular R&B singer in 1954. Molson received a $5000 cash prize, VIP access to this year’s Festival, a bound copy of his script, and an exclusive spot in the Screenwriters Colony writers retreat on Nantucket for the entire month of October.

The Showtime Tony Cox Award for Episodic 60 Minute Pilot, The Line by Tesia Walker, is set in a small South Carolina historically black university, in the early 1960s. Walker received a $1000 cash prize, as well as a consultation with a Showtime executive.

The Half-Hour Episodic Screenplay winner, Casey Can’t by Kaitlin Fontana, is a dark comedy that tells the story of a flawed writer being blackmailed into managing a hipster music blog by its man-child owner. Fontana receives a $1000 cash prize, a consultation with a Showtime executive, and one of only four slots in the Screenwriters Colony: Episodic Comedy, a two-week immersive writing and mentorship program on Nantucket earlier this month.

The Short Screenplay Competition winner, The Yao Of Tao by Rajiv Shah, with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg, follows a Chinese caregiver for a Isaac, a dying cancer patient as he finds himself at odds with Isaac’s estranged daughter. Shah receives a $500 cash prize.

The Festival’s Teen View Jury Award, selected by a group of Nantucket junior high school students, went to Game, written and directed by Jeannie Donohoe.

“We were thrilled to present Nantucket audiences with a diverse offering of films and special events celebrating the craft of screenwriting and storytelling,” said Mystelle Brabbee, Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival and Basil Tsiokos, Film Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. “We are thankful to our audiences and to all of the screenwriters and filmmakers who shared their work with us this year.”

Actor, writer, director, producer and NFF Board Member Ben Stiller hosted the Screenwriters Tribute Awards from the Siaconset Casino on Friday, June 23rd. Director and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Tom McCarthy accepted the Screenwriting Tribute Award, given to him by Emmy Award®-winning actor Bobby Cannavale.

Ground-breaking television creators and Emmy®-nominated writing team Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane (“Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Episodes”) received the Creative Impact in Television Writing Award, presented to them by “Episodes” actress Kathleen Rose Perkins. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield (NFF Centerpiece Film (Whitney. “can I be me”) accepted the A&E Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award, presented to him by journalist Regina Weinreich, while the New Voices in Screenwriting Award was presented to Geremy Jasper (NFF Spotlight Film Patti Cake$) by comedian, actress, and performer Bridget Everett.

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