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All the Buzz on Film Festival Awards, Celebrity Tributes and the Film Awards Season.

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Nantucket Film Festival Awards

Tuesday, June 18-------Films always begin with the written word. That ethos is celebrated at the annual Nantucket Film Festival, held on the exclusive island resort just off the Massachussets coast. Now in its 12th year, the Festival accentuates the role of screenwriters in the collaborative art form of filmmaking.  "Our festival focuses on screenwriting and the process of filmmaking", Artistic Director Mystelle Brabbée stated. "We had an amazing response to our screenings as well as the events, which we plan especially for people who want to hear stories about filmmaking from the people who write, produce and direct features and documentaries.”

Robert BentonRobert BentonAfter screening thirty features, twenty short films and hosting  more than a dozen special events (including an NBC Universal Screenwriting Award  to legendary writer/director Robert Benton and a staged reading of Steven Weber's screenplay FILTHY DIRTY TWISTED LUST), the 12th Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) came to a close on Sunday with the announcement of its awards. On Sunday afternoon, a ceremony was held to award the winner of Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, which recognizes an emerging screenwriter.  A jury comprised of Academy Award Winner Donna Gigliotti, Sharon Swart, and Anthony Swofford chose Marc Arneson for his script  PECK. Among other awards, Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting was presented to Nate Meyers for his film PRETTY IN THE FACE. Meyers also received the Best Writer/Director Award.  The winner was chosen by jurors Lee Daniels, Rachel Grady, and Academy Award Winner William Monahan.

The Devil Came On HorsebackThe Devil Came On HorsebackOn Friday evening, the festival introduced the first annual Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a cash prize awarded to a female filmmaker in honor of the late director.  Joe Pantoliano presented the award to Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, co-directors and co-producers of the Darfur documentary, THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK. The Audience Award for Best Feature was given to writer/director Joe Greco for the drama CANVAS, starring Joe Pantoliano and Marcia Gay Harden. The Festival then closed with a screening of ROCKET SCIENCE, one of the sleeper hits of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Special guests who participated in NFF 2007 included Joe Pantoliano, Steven Weber, Anne Meara, Peter Farrelly, Richard Corliss, Janet Maslin, Brian Williams, Robert Benton, Stanley Jaffe, Doug Liman, Anthony Swofford, Lee Daniels, Michael Cunningham, Jeff Sharp, Jake Paltrow, Mitchell Lichtenstein, Academy Award Winner Donna Gigliotti, Luke Parker-Bowles, Sharon Swart, and Jace Alexander.
  • Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition:  Marc Arneson (“Peck”)
  • Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting (Best Feature):  Nate Meyer (“Pretty in the Face”)
  • Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting (Best Short):  Dan Brown (“The Pipe”)
  • Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award: Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern (“The Devil Came on Horseback”)
  • Best Writer/Director Award:  Nate Meyers (“Pretty in the Face”)
  • Best Storytelling in a Documentary Film:  “Row Hard No Excuses” (dir. Luke Wolbach)
  • Audience Award for Best Feature: “Canvas” (dir. Joe Greco)
  • Audience Award for Best Short:  “Second Life” (dir. Katie Van Fleet)
  • Teen View on NFF Award:  “Caroline By Committee” (dir. Mary Haas)

 Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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