Five Questions With... Lisa Cortés, producer of THE TALE OF FOUR

THE TALE OF FOUR is Oscar®-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe's (EmpirePrecious) directorial debut. We're proud to present this piece at our Afternoon Tea Talk on Sunday, June 25 at 2:15pm, followed by a lively, moderated conversation accompanied by tea and treats.

This multi-layered story inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women” spans one day in the lives of four different women connected by their quest for love, agency and redemption. Featuring Jussie Smollett (Empire) and Ledisi.

Sidibe’s directorial debut is part of Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology short film series, which works to cultivate and spotlight the voices of women behind the camera, in order to provide emerging female filmmakers with the support to realize their creative vision.

We spoke with producer Lisa Cortés about the film, and are also happy to present the first trailer, below. Take a look, and join us on Sunday!

NFF: Can you talk a little about how this project came to you? Why were you interested in this script?

Lisa: I've had the pleasure of knowing Gabby (Gabourey) since working with her as a Producer on "Precious". When she was putting together the team for The Tale of Four, she and her manager reached out and asked if I'd be interested in joining the team. Hello, where do I sign up? I love when personal and professional relationships come full circle. 

The story is timely and relevant to where we find ourselves right now. The script spoke to me because it compliments much of my work which has been committed to telling expansive stories about our Black bodies.  

NFF: The film asks a lot of questions about identity and how we define ourselves. Do you think self-image is something that can be shaped and changed, or is it more structured and set?

Lisa: Self-image can be fluid. The woman I am is different from the girl I was. The change happened because I did the work (which never stops) and met the right people along the way who supported my quest.  What's important is that we create mirrors in our work that provide vistas and portals to possibility and change.

NFF: Why is this film important right now?

Lisa: The characters in the film were inspired by the women that Nina Simone sang about in 1966 in her iconic song, "Four Women".  Some of the challenging situations and microaggressions that these sisters undergo are still a part of our everyday experiences as Black women. If it's true that "the more things change, the more they stay the same",  I hope that their are lessons for empowerment and self love to be found within our film.

NFF: What surprised or challenged you the most while you were making the film?

Lisa: I have tremendous respect for Gabby and was delighted to see that all the ideals she upholds and represents are a part of her directing style.  We had a set filled with committed, smart and passionate people. Yes, there were challenges but along with the other producers - Refinery29 (Amy Emmerich, Shannon Gibson and Kate Bolger) and Kia Perry we always built upon our community to find solutions.

NFF: Why are you excited to show the film in Nantucket, and/or what do you hope Nantucket audiences will take away?

Lisa: I am so looking forward to premiering our film at Nantucket. The strong direction and rich programming of the festival promises to provide a forum for thoughtful exchanges about film and its ability to create empathy and fuel change.

 Producer Lisa Cortés

Producer Lisa Cortés

Latest GLEASON Trailer Promises to be a Tearjerker

Clay Tweel's (Finders Keepers, NFF2015) hit documentary from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival goes inside the life of Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints defensive back who, at the age of 34, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son expands to chronicle Steve’s determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition—utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible.

Click below for the latest inspirational look at this powerful documentary.

Spotlight Documentary GLEASON plays the Nantucket Film Festival on Friday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. Director Clay Tweel will be in attendance.

Watch the trailer for CHRONICALLY METROPOLITAN, a World Premiere at NFF!

A World Premiere at NFF16, Xavier Manrique's (Hope Springs) CHRONICALLY METROPOLITAN has just released a trailer. Written by Nick Schutt (Blood and Oil), the sardonic comedy about love and letting go stars: Shiloh Fernandez, Ashley Benson, Addison Timlin, Josh Peck, Mary Louise Parker and Chris Noth.

Click the image below for a link to the trailer at Deadline.com.

CHRONICALLY METROPOLITAN has its WORLD PREMIERE at Nantucket Film Festival on Friday, June 24th. It also screens Saturday, June 25th. Director, Xavier Manrique, and writer, Nick Schutt will be in attendance.

 

Watch a trailer for our 2016 Centerpiece Film: NORMAN LEAR, JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU

Norman Lear, arguably the most influential creative force in television history, changed the face of the small screen—and American culture—through a string of hit shows in the 1970s. Topical series such as All in the FamilyMaudeGood Times, and The Jeffersons tackled taboos of race, class, and gender through humor and prodded audiences to confront longstanding prejudices. Masterfully crafted characters like Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker and Bea Arthur's Maude Findlay introduced progressive ideas into living rooms around the nation. Acclaimed filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady compose an artful portrait and appreciation of the incomparable Lear. Present-day interviews with the writer/producer, now 93 years old and still professionally active, underscore the thoughtfulness he employed first as he crafted his groundbreaking television series and later in his activist work, including the founding of the progressive advocacy organization People For the American Way.  

NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU plays Nantucket Film Festival on Thursday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 25th.


Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady will receive the  Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling  at the Screenwriters Tribute on Saturday, June 25.

Thursday's screening will include an extended conversation between director Heidi Ewing and Facing History and Ourselves' Marc Skvirsky. 

See the trailer for EQUITY, the first female-driven Wall Street drama

Check out the trailer for Meera Menon's debut drama, EQUITY.  Starring Anna Gunn, it's a film featuring what Variety calls, "the She Wolf of Wall Street...." Rounding out the cast are: James Purefoy, Craig Bierko, Nate Corddry, and Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner, whose Broad Street Pictures produced the film.

EQUITY plays Nantucket Film Festival on Saturday, June 25th, and Producer/Actor, Alysia Reiner will be in attendance.

 

 

See a teaser of Werner Herzog's LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD

"Legendary master filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) examines the past, present and constantly evolving future of the Internet in Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. Working with NETSCOUT, a world leader in-real time service assurance and cybersecurity, which came aboard as a producer and led him into a new world, Herzog conducted original interviews with cyberspace pioneers and prophets such as PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, Internet protocol inventor Bob Kahn, and famed hacker Kevin Mitnick. These provocative conversations reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works, from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships. In the words of Herzog himself: “It is one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing.”

The Playlist's Nick Schager calls Lo and Behold, “A masterful inquiry into technological evolution. Herzog’s profound inquisitiveness comes across as natural, sincere, and infectious."

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World plays the Nantucket Film Festival on Thursday, June 23rd and Friday, June 24th.

Todd Solondz's WEINER-DOG just released a trailer

From director Todd Solondz (WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, HAPPINESS), WIENER-DOG is a dark, starkly funny story of a single dog and the many different people she touches over her short lifetime.  Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener (Greta Gerwig). Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip. After leaving Dawn, Wiener-Dog encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter—all longing for something more.  Solondz’s perversely dark comedy offers an appallingly honest look at the American experience, brought to life by its all-star cast.

Rounding out the cast are: Danny DeVito; Zosia Mamet; Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Tracey Letts and Julie Delpy.

WEINER-DOG plays the Nantucket Film Festival Thursday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 25th.

Tennis Legend Serena Williams Soars in SERENA

In the feature documentary SERENA, Director Ryan White offers an enticing glimpse of the tennis player many call the greatest of all time.  "Shot verité style, the feature-length documentary, executive produced by Peter Berg, focuses on the external pressures and vulnerabilities Williams faces in her quest to achieve four Grand Slams in a row (a “Serena Slam”), and her losses at the 2015 U.S. Open and 2016 Australian Open. The film also looks at Williams’ life off the court with her family and inner circle of coaches, trainers and friends."  --Epix

SERENA blasts into the Nantucket Film Festival on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th.

See trailer for NFF Feature Documentary ZERO DAYS

NFF16 selection, ZERO DAYS, is a documentary thriller about the world of cyberwar. Directed by noted documentarian, Alex Gibney, the film tells the complete story of Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware (known as a “worm” for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.

ZERO DAYS is the most comprehensive accounting to date of how a clandestine mission hatched by two allies with clashing agendas opened forever the Pandora’s Box of cyberwarfare. Beyond the technical aspects of the story, ZERO DAYS reveals a web of intrigue involving the CIA, the US Military's new cyber command, Israel's Mossad and Operations that include both espionage and covert assassinations but also a new generation of cyberweapons whose destructive power is matched only by Nuclear War.

ZERO DAYS plays the 21st Nantucket Film Festival on:  Thursday, June 23rd and Friday, June 24th.

Click below to see the trailer.