The Nantucket Film Festival was founded in 1996 by siblings Jill and Jonathan Burkhart. The Burkharts lived on the island year-round, and knew it was the perfect place to begin a festival that combined their love of film and community.
In 1997, Mystelle Brabbée joined the team and today serves as the Executive Director.
NFF continues to thrive each year by always remaining true to its mission.
Mystelle Brabbée, Executive Director
Before becoming Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival in 2012, Mystelle Brabbée curated the festival program for sixteen years, ten of those as Artistic Director. Almost since its inception, she has stewarded the film program, including the line-up of as many as 75 feature, documentary and short films; As Artistic Director, she has been responsible for the overall creative direction of live programs, including the Screenwriters Tribute hosted by Brian Williams, the All-Star Comedy Roundtable Presented by Ben Stiller, the Staged Readings series, Late Night Storytelling, and the Teen View Filmmaking program. Brabbée has been the Senior Programmer for DOC NYC, a documentary festival at the Independent Film Center New York, and Director of Acquisitions for article27, a London-based film rights syndicator. In 2005, Highway Courtesans, a documentary shot in India that played over thirty-film festivals and garnered several awards along the way was released theatrically in the US. She has taught in the Graduate Film Department of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Basil Tsiokos, Film Program Director
Basil Tsiokos is a film festival programmer and consultant to filmmakers. He is a Documentary Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival, Director of Programming for DOC NYC, and Film Program Director for the Nantucket Film Festival. As a visiting professor at Pratt, Basil teaches a course on film festivals and oversees the Wallabout student short film festival. In 2010, he co-produced the feature documentary The Canal Street Madam. Between 1996-2008, Basil was the Artistic & Executive Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival. He offers advice and information to filmmakers on Twitter as @1basil1 and on his blog what (not) to doc. Basil holds a Masters degree from New York University in Cinema Studies and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.
Jaclyn Rose Wohl, Festival Producer
Jaclyn oversee all of operations and marketing for the festival, from thought to execution. She has worked in varying capacities for NFF since 2009. In addition to NFF, she has consulted for or worked on several other film festivals including Hamptons International Film Festival, Bentonville Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, First Time Fest, Heartland Film Festival, Architecture and Design Film Festival, and New York Television Festival. Outside of festival life, she has worked in special event production and operations for the Brooklyn Ballet, Big Apple Circus, Tribeca Enterprises, LLC and TBA Global, LLC. She is a graduate of the University at Albany with a B.A. in Theater. Jaclyn is a fabrics artist on her days off, and lives in Manhattan.
Megan Inaba, Development Director
Megan Inaba is an event production and business development executive with over 15 years experience specializing in sponsorship procurement and the execution of high profile events and memorable sponsorship activations. As a consultant, her past clients include Social Media Week, PEN World Voices Festival, the Kentucky Grand Gala and National Basketball Retired Players Association. Prior to founding her consulting firm, she worked for thirteen years at the National Basketball Players Association as Director of Events and Sponsorships. Megan received her JD from the University of San Francisco and BA from UC Berkeley. She lives in Harlem with her husband and two kids where Friday night is movie night!
Opal H. Bennett, ASSOCIATE Programmer
Opal curates the short film programs and the VR section, and manages all film and screenplay submissions. After several years in legal practice, Opal has spent the past four years working with several film festivals. She started as a volunteer for the first Sundance London Film Festival, then as a screener for the Hamptons and Rooftop Film Festivals, and a programmer with the Queens World Film Festival. Opal is additionally on the programming teams for Athena, DOC NYC and Tribeca Film Festivals, and is a Program Consultant for The March on Washington Film Festival.
Allyson Morgan, Digital Outreach Director
Allyson Morgan is an actress, writer, producer, and film festival veteran. Allyson is concurrently the Festival Producer for both the Indie Street Film Festival and the BEAT Festival, and has served as Outreach Coordinator for Tropfest New York, Volunteer Coordinator for the First Time Fest, and has managed events for Lower East Side Film Festival, NewFest and the Hamptons International Film Festival. She is additionally the founder and Executive Director of award-winning film and theatre collective F*It Club. Allyson was named one of just five winners out of thousands of entrants from over 63 countries in the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series; her short film Need For Speed (Dating) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014. More at: www.allysonm.com
RYAN GERHARDT, MARKETING COORDINATOR
Ryan is part of the marketing and executions team, helping coordinate advertising, outreach, and campaigns for the festival. In addition to NFF, he has been involved in various aspects of the Winter Film Awards and industry coverage with Screen Rant. Prior to joining the film festival circuit, Ryan directed strategy and messaging for an advertising agency that’s involved with a number of entertainment and nonprofit organizations. He received his bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and enjoys writing his own screenplays and manuscripts in his free time.
Beth Emelson, Signature Programs Producer
Beth produces the Signature Programs for the Film Festival, for maybe 19 years. She is a theater producer and has been the Producing Director for Atlantic Theater Company, Classic Stage Company, and Naked Angels; and on the staffs of Lincoln Center Theater, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The New York Shakespeare Festival, and Folger Theatre, where she is currently. She has also produced several short films and a comedy series for HBO, and worked for the Tribeca Film Festival.