Five Questions With... Geremy Jasper, Writer/Director of PATTI CAKE$ and New Voices in Screenwriting Award Recipient

First-time writer/director Geremy Jasper—a musician and past music video director—showcases his music chops in this brash and bombastic story of unlikely MC Patti “Killa P” Dombrowski. In working-class “dirty Jersey,” Patti and her best friend and music partner, Hareesh, dream of escaping their dead-end jobs and pursuing their dreams of hip-hop superstardom. When they meet reclusive Goth newcomer Basterd, he provides the missing link to elevate their sound. Breakout talent Danielle Macdonald plays Patti with the magnetism and stage presence of a seasoned recording artist, matched by the prodigious talents of Bridget Everett as Patti’s disillusioned mother, who saw her own aspirations of stardom pass by long ago.

Geremy Jasper, who will also be recognized with the New Voices in Screenwriting Award at the Screenwriters Tribute on Friday, June 23, gave us a few minutes of his time to chat about PATTI CAKE$. Take a look below, and join us for the only screening on Saturday, June 24 at 2:45pm!

NFF: How did your background in music and music videos affect or influence your use of light and sound/music in the film?

Geremy: Hmmm. The film encompasses two worlds - an objective rough & raw Jersey reality and Patti’s subjective fantasy world. These two different worlds are lit differently and sound different. One is very natural, minimal lighting and “real” sounding while the other is bold, colorful and kaleidoscopic. My DP Fede Cesca and I were not shy in pushing more color and more smoke into a fantasy scenes. My music video background gave me a love for and vivid colors and surrealism but also a handle on how to capture musical performances that feel dynamic and visceral.  It’s magic catching a song on film. 

I wrote around 25 original songs for the film, so sound was a major focus in how things were shot, edited and mixed. There a many performances that needed to feel raw and authentic and at other times take over the film almost like score.

NFF: Can you talk a little about casting, and how you found the incredible Danielle Macdonald?

Geremy: The character of Patti Dombrowski is so specific physically, emotionally, and musically that it was going to take someone incredibly special and gifted to play her. Luckily my producer Noah remembered Dani from a small role she had in a film called The East. She looked IDENTICAL to the image of Patti I had in my brain so she joined me in Utah for the Sundance Director’s Lab even though she was Australian and had never rapped before in her life. She’s so brilliant and hard working it didn't faze me so we spent the next 2 years training her to rap while developing the character. Dani carries the film on her shoulders and I think she should win every award on the planet.  

NFF: Tell us a little about your inspiration for the film. Do you have a connection to New Jersey?

Geremy: I grew up a chubby blonde, hip hop loving kid from suburban Jersey who filled secret notebooks with endless rhymes. At 23 I was stuck living in my parent’s basement working crappy jobs while nursing an unbelievable hunger to move to NYC and be a musician. I was also raised around big, sarcastic Jersey women who were always called “The Boss” as in you wanted / needed something, “Go ask the Boss.” All this got mixed up into what would become the world of PATTI CAKE$. 

NFF: Are there directors (or musicians) whose style or body of work have influenced you as a filmmaker?

Geremy: Oh yes, they all seem to be named BOB: Bob Dylan, Bob Fosse, Bob Redford, and Bobby Digital (AKA The RZA from WuTang).

NFF: Why are you excited to screen in Nantucket, and what do you hope Nantucket audiences take away?

Geremy: Growing up in Jersey my family used to spend summer vacation at a trailer park in the Poconos (no joke) and to me the idea of “Nantucket” seemed like a mythic East Coast paradise - as well as well as a wonderful word for limericks. This’ll be my first time on the island & I couldn't be more excited. My hope is that the audience will be transported into an exotic blue collar fantasia and will be dancing in the aisles. 

Five Questions With... Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein, Writers/Directors of THE STRANGE ONES

Young Sam (James Freedson-Jackson) and older, rugged Nick (Alex Pettyfer) are seemingly on an innocent, brotherly road trip into the woods. But the younger boy has disturbing nightmares that suggest all is not as it seems. Are they on the run, and from what? Is Nick the quiet boy’s protector, his captor, or something else entirely? For their feature debut, Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein have crafted an engrossing, atmospheric mystery.

We spoke with Christopher and Lauren about THE STRANGE ONES - read more below and catch a screening on Thursday, June 22 at 9:15 PM and/or Saturday, June 24 at 4:00 PM!

NFF: The film is deliberately vague. Do you prefer to let audiences draw their own conclusions, rather than provide explicit exposition?

Christopher & Lauren: Yes -  we tend to be more drawn to films that ask questions rather than give out answers; we think it's more fascinating to consider multiple dimensions and possibilities for what a film might be, and we hope our film has this sort of quality. Rather than being vague, we wanted the film to be quite precise in its mysteriousness, if that makes sense... everything the viewer sees and hears in the film is there for a reason and we hope that it adds up to a beguiling and satisfying experience for anyone who watches it, even if it takes different shapes for different people.

NFF: The atmosphere/setting is such a prevalent part of the film. Where did you shoot, and how did you decide on your location/s?

Christopher & Lauren: We shot in upstate New York, mostly in the Catskill region and Hudson Valley. The script was written with pretty specific locations in mind, and they all hold different meanings that relate the characters and their journey.  They are two people journeying away from civilization and into an unknown future, so the places they go naturally needed to mirror this in terms of being both beautiful and seductive in a way, but also treacherous and full of mystery.

NFF: How did you work together as co-directors? Were there pre-determined work or shots you divided up, or was it more in the moment decision-making?

Christopher & Lauren: When we co-direct we basically do everything together. We both direct solo as well, so we are both pretty opinionated and are always thinking of all aspects of job, so it never felt right to divide up tasks in any way. We prep and shotlist really extensively together, so we have a really unified vision for the whole thing going in and this in turn allows us to give each other the space on set to make decisions in the moment.

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

Christopher & Lauren: The most challenging aspect of our film was probably making sure that each scene presented multiple dimensions, in addition to figuring out when to reveal pertinent information about the characters' past while still keeping the film in the present tense. We were surprised in the edit process that certain scenes we shot didn't fit into the natural progression and pace of the film we were making, and therefore these scenes ultimately had to be cut. Since our film is a mystery that is largely left for the audience to solve, we were very aware of how each scene would be interpreted in multiple ways when we were writing, shooting, and editing the film. Because of these challenges, it was a very ambitious first feature film for us.

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

Christopher & Lauren:Nantucket is a really special place and the festival is known to have excellent programming, so we're really excited to be included in that. We hope the audiences there take away a sense of intrigue and wonder with the film's story and our approach to it, and find it to be something they continue to think about even after the film ends.

Five Questions With... HOT SUMMER NIGHTS Writer/Director Elijah Bynum

Daniel (Timothée Chalamet, Miss Stevens, NFF 2016) has been sent to spend the summer of 1991 with his aunt on Cape Cod. He quickly falls in with the town rebel, Hunter (Alex Roe), and falls for the town beauty, McKayla (Maika Moore), who just happens to be Hunter’s sister and thus off-limits. As Daniel re-invents himself in surprising—and illegal—ways and a hurricane looms on the horizon, the stage is set for an unforgettable coming-of-age drama in writer/director Elijah Bynum’s assured feature directorial debut.

We spoke to Elijah about Imperative Entertainment’s  HOT SUMMER NIGHTS - read more below, and see the film on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 PM and/or Friday, June 23 at 4:30 PM!

NFF: The film is based on a "mostly true story" - can you talk a little about your inspiration?

Elijah: It's based on two kids I knew in college. Daniel and Hunter are much different than the two kids I knew but the unlikely friendship or so called “odd couple” dynamic is the same. They started out selling weed around a dorm and then they were selling in two dorms, then 10 dorms, next the entire campus and the five other colleges in the area were getting weed from these two. As their success grew so did their paranoia and distrust for one another and you could see their friendship starting to come apart at the seams. Eventually it all came to an end in dramatic fashion and both kids dropped out of school and vanished. Nobody really knows where either of them are or what they're up to. Still gives me chills to think about.

NFF: This could be classified as a "coming of age" film - were you influenced or inspired by any coming of age films when you were working on it?

Elijah: Absolutely. The John Hughes movies of the 80s were certainly an influence. As were other classics such as The Sandlot and Stand By Me. The Last Picture Show was another film I found myself revisiting over and over again while making Hot Summer Nights. But the biggest influence was probably the book Virgin Suicides. It haunted me and has stayed with me in ways few other movies or books have. 

NFF: You have an impressive young cast. Tell us a little about casting and how you found them?

Elijah: First of all, I'd like to say I love all the actors. They are all incredibly talented and dreams to work with. I had seen Timothée Chalamet on “Homeland” and then again in “Interstellar” and thought he was great. One of our producers, Ryan Friedkin, was also a big fan and everyone was on board right away. As far as the role of Daniel goes Timothée was always the first (and only) choice. Alex Roe was brought to us by WME after a long search for Hunter. The role was really tricky to cast and a bunch of great actors came in and read for the part, but nobody felt quite right. Alex did an audition tape, and it was basically love at first sight. Then we skyped and he held up well under interrogation and the rest is history. I think he did a fantastic job and now I can't imagine Hunter being played by anyone else. Another producer of ours, Bradley Thomas, had seen Maika Monroe in “It Follows” and called me up and said "this is McKayla". I went out and watched “It Follows” and agreed. She did a great job with a role that could have very easily turned into a clichéd mess. Maia Mitchell had come in and read for the role of McKayla but at this point we were closing in on Maika for the part. But she was just so good I knew we had to have her in the movie. Again, she took a role that didn't give her much on the page and turned Amy into a fully formed human being. Maia is great. I first saw Emory Cohen in Place Beyond The Pines and thought he was fantastic. I remember thinking "if I ever get to make a movie I want to put him in it." Originally I had imagined Dex as being played by someone much older but Emory had gotten hold of the script and responded to the role. We met up and talked about it and he had really exciting ideas. He's such an incredibly inventive actor and it was a joy watching him work. He's also one of the funniest people I've ever met.

NFF: The soundtrack is so important for setting the tone of the movie - and you have a diverse, engaging collection of songs throughout. How did you decide on the music you wanted to use?

Elijah: A lot of the music in the movie were songs that I would listen to while writing the script. Their energy seemed to seep into the story. I would play them on set whenever I could to set the rhythm and mood. While the story is set in 1991 I wanted the story to feel timeless -- I wanted it to feel suspended in some bygone summer of America's yesteryear. I knew the wardrobe and production design would tell audiences the movie was set in 1991, not to mention the fact we slap "1991" on the screen, so I didn't think we had to also remind them through the music. The tone of the movie is slightly heightened, it's a dreamy memory,  more so than a fact based account. It's a story about teenagers with raging hormones who's emotions run the full gamut. We felt that this gave us the artistic license to choose music that complemented the story and characters on an emotional level rather than try to use music that felt grounded in a specific time and place.

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

Elijah: Not only is Nantucket a great film festival but it's only right that a movie set in Cape Cod, a movie in which Cape Cod plays an integral character, gets to be seen in Cape Cod. Hopefully the Nantucket crowd can relate in some way to that special feeling of being on the Cape during those summer months while also taking note of some of the more subtle social-class issues and the effects it can have on the kids who live there.

Five Questions With... Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse, Writer/Directors of COUP D'ETAT

NFF is delighted to showcase Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse’s satiric comedy COUP D'ETAT, originally presented as a staged reading at the Festival in 2006! Putting a rebellious twist on a high school English assignment, 16-year-old Tatiana (Odeya Rush) strikes up a pen pal correspondence with Anton (Michael Caine), the notorious dictator of an island nation. When his people rise up and depose him, Anton escapes to the last place anyone would think to look: the suburban home Tatiana shares with her single mom, Darlene (Katie Holmes). As he plots his return to power while in exile, Anton takes on Tatiana as a protégée, helping her plan the overthrow of her high school’s ruling mean girls. What could possibly go wrong?

We chatted with Lisa and Joe - read more below, and join us at COUP D'ETAT on Thursday, June 22 at 6:15 PM, and/or Friday, June 23 at 4:30 PM!

Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse

Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse

NFF: How do you work together as co-writers and directors? Does one of you handle certain tasks more than the other, or do you divide everything down the middle?

Lisa & Joe: We’ve been screenwriting partners for twenty years so we’ve ironed out working together. We are usually of one mind, which is good and bad. It’s good because we don’t fight that much. It’s bad because if we are going off a cliff, no one stops us. In general, though, Joe is the ‘idea’ guy, and Lisa is the ‘decision maker.’ Joe comes up with a million ideas, and Lisa tells him what seems to work, what doesn’t; what’s funny, what isn’t. Also, on set, Joe is usually there with the actors and Lisa is watching through the monitor to see if it’s working. Before directing, we storyboard together. Unlike most indies, there is no handheld in our film (on purpose) because we wanted to create a more heightened, stylized reality. This is very hard to achieve on a short shoot like this one (19 days) so we really had to have our shots nailed down. Similarly, we didn’t have much rehearsal time, so we had to know in advance what we wanted from the actors. We had such super pros, they understood what we were going for very quickly but if there was any confusion/debate, we’d usually tag team until we got our way. 

NFF: Can you talk a little about casting, and how your actors came to the project? Did you write this with any of them in mind?

Lisa & Joe: We always thought of Jason Biggs because we knew him and had worked with him before. At various times there were many other actors in the lead roles, including for the staged reading we did at your festival ten years ago. For that, we had Jimmy Smits as our dictator and Heather Graham as the mom. Later, we had Alfred Molina, Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins, but our heart always was with Michael Caine. He has the gravitas but also pairs that with the most subtle wit. We were blessed to have him.  We also got very lucky with Odeya Rush. She came in just weeks before shooting and she blew us away. 

NFF: The production design and art direction is so specific to the storytelling. Did you have the world in mind when you were writing, and/or was it a collaborative effort with your team putting it together?

Lisa & Joe: On a small budget,  the art department is the most under-funded area. Directors should have very clear ideas because it’s hard to create a look with no money or crew. We had a very specific vision for Tatiana’s room. We wanted no punk rock posters and wanted it to look like the character hand-made everything. In real life, we made the decor with our kids and a student from SCAD. The idea of defacing cute animal pics later became Tatiana's DIY motif, she then defaced her backpack, her boots, her school etc. 

We wanted suburbia and Tatiana’s town to showcase consumerism gone awry. Lots of Americana.  When choosing locations, anything kitsch we used— the huge globe, the mall with the insane train and toy animal play area,  the school that looks like a post modern fortress.  We wanted America to be Disneyfied and not totally real because we felt that would allow people to believe the very unlikely story. When choosing props, we went for gaudy color, especially yellow because it reflected Anton Vincent’s flag and also made the world a little more fantastical. (We used yellow for Darlene’s hygienist outfit, her silly car and the crazy adult tricycle)!

By contrast, we wanted the island nation to look deprived and rural, like Guiana/Cuba. we also wanted to push the dictator’s Soviet imagery, with his very eastern european fortress, his retro Rolls Royce and his very Fidel style propaganda posters. since we shot everything in Savannah, we are pleased that it actually does look like a different country. 

NFF: This is a satirical look at family, relationships, and politics, among many other topics. Would you say you approach the world or are you drawn to stories from a place of humor?

Lisa & Joe: We always start with our own stories from our lives. In PARENTAL GUIDANCE we used our real stories with our kids. In Coup D’etat, we used stories from both of us growing up with single moms.  Joe’s mom really did force him to spy on her boyfriends. Lee’s mom really did date a convict because he could fix her car and make her life easier. 

In high school, we were very into punk rock and always wanted to find a way into a story about teens, punk and moms. When Saddam went missing, we imagined him hiding in suburbia and that became the thread to weave our real stories together.  

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

Lisa & Joe: We love Nantucket. We are from upstate NY and CT and we both went to Connecticut College. We had many summers on New England beaches and on Nantucket, so it feels like home to us. Also, we think Nantucket could use some punk rock and DIY spirit, so, we hope everyone becomes galvanized to spark their own revolutions. 

COUP D'ETAT

COUP D'ETAT

Five Questions With... Angus MacLachlan, Writer/Director of ABUNDANT ACREAGE AVAILABLE

Following the death of their father, brother and sister Jesse (Terry Kinney) and Tracy (Amy Ryan) must decide whether to continue to run the family farm or make a change in their lives. Their choice is complicated by the arrival of another group of siblings, who set up camp and claim a surprising connection to their land. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and written and directed by Angus MacLachlan (Goodbye to All That, NFF 2014), ABUNDANT ACREAGE AVAILABLE wrestles with questions of family, legacy, and generational responsibility.

Read more with writer/director Angus MacLachlan below, and come see a screening on Friday, June 23 at 2:15 PM and/or Saturday, June 24 at 9:00 PM!

NFF: Do you have siblings? Was the story influenced or inspired by any personal relationships?

Angus: I do, actually, have two brothers. But that realization didn’t really occur to me until late in the project. I can’t say the specifics of this piece were inspired by actual events, but as we were making it there were many events that mirrored the story. In fact, my father died a week after we finished shooting the film.

NFF: Can you talk a little about casting, and how your actors came to the project? Did you write this with any of them in mind?

Angus: I do not write with specific actors in mind, wanting to create characters first. I had a relationship with a wonderful agent at Gersh, Rhonda Price, who read the script and suggested Amy Ryan. She then gave it to Amy’s agent. Steve Coulter, who plays Charles, had been in my last film, and we actually went to school together. Terry, Francis, and Max came about through luck and flukes and much good fortune.

NFF: The location is integral to the story. How did you find and decide on your location? Where did you shoot?

Angus: We shot it where it is set in East Bend, NC. Which is about 40 minutes from where I live. I had imagined the story there, and then wanted to shoot there. To find the actual farm I drove around East Bend and came upon the house, which was empty. It had been a rental, but empty for a year or so. I had to do some sleuthing to find out the owner, Thad Joe Matthews. And then had to convince him that we would take good care of his property. It was such a perfect embodiment of what I had imagined.

NFF: A few of your actors come from a theatre background, and film is notoriously short on time for rehearsal. Did having theatre actors on set change the way you rehearsed or prepared?

Angus: We had a day before we started shooting to rehearse with everyone. Of course I had had one on one discussions with each actor prior. And, yes, I would say all the actors had theatre technique and came prepared. This helped with the amount of dialogue that everyone had. And also resulted in a very close relationship between the cast.

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

Angus: My experience at the Festival with my last film, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, in 2014 made me feel the Nantucket audiences were some of the most responsive, savvy viewers my film had. They seem appreciative of film. I hope this movie will be resonant. It truly is about ‘letting go’. And the idea that no matter what we possess, or earn, or hold on to, no matter who we love in this life - we will all have to let go of it at some point. And how hard that is to do. 

Amy Ryan in Abundant Acreage Available

Amy Ryan in Abundant Acreage Available

More Finalists for Showtime's Tony Cox Screenplay Competition Announced!

Congratulations to the Short Screenplay and Episodic Screenplay (60 minute) Finalists!

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SHORTS FINALISTS:

Koko Ni Inai (I'm Not Here), by Emel Saat
An imaginative, visually rich story in which two characters tackle themes of social media, isolation in a crowd, and the need to connect. 

The Yao of Tao, written by Rajiv Shah with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg
Tao, a Chinese caregiver for Isaac, a dying cancer patient, finds himself at odds with Isaac’s estranged daughter.

Unreliable Narrators, by Sara Alize Cross
A storyteller suffering from writer's block encounters a younger woman with a story eerily similar to her own.

From L to R: Emel Saat, Rajiv Shah, Sara Alize Cross

ONE WINNER RECEIVES:

  • $500 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival;
  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;
  • Attend Showtime ­sponsored reception during the Film Festival;
  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;
  • Name inclusion on Festival catalogue and website as Competition winner;
  • Print and media coverage.
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EPISODIC (60 MINUTE) FINALISTS:

The Line by Tesia J. Walker
In the era of civil rights, racial tensions run high in a small South Carolina town home to a historically black university.

The Rize by Bryan Parker
A teenage boy from the projects discovers he may be the key to saving his neighborhood from both a gentrifying developer and darker forces at work.

Rue Pigalle by Jessica Shields
In 1930s Paris, on the seedy streets of Montmartre, a group of musicians, mobsters and misfits desperately cling to their slice of utopia as they contend with the global depression and encroaching war.

From L to R: Tesia J. Walker, Bryan Parker, Jessica Shields

ONE WINNER RECEIVES:

  • $1,000 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival;
  • Private one-on-one consultation with Showtime executive;
  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;
  • Attend Showtime ­sponsored reception during the Film Festival;
  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;
  • Custom leather bound copy of the winner’s script, courtesy of Showtime;
  • Name inclusion on Festival catalogue and website as Competition winner;
  • Print and media coverage.

Showtime's Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Finalists Announced!

Congratulations to our three finalists in Showtime's Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition:

Corporate Retreat, by Marty Johnson. Eliza, a single mom and would-be actress making ends meet as a property manager for second homeowners, takes on the role of a lifetime: one of her wealthy clients.

Johnny Ace, by Moon Molson. Christmas, 1954: Houston homicide detectives investigating the seemingly accidental death of popular R&B singer Johnny Ace discover that the case is far more complex than it first appears.

Lifers, by Amanda Peppe with Chris Peppe. An ex-con gets out of prison after 35 years and seeks redemption, standing up for a family of migrant farmworkers.

From L to R: Marty Johnson, Moon Molson and Amanda Peppe

Finalists Receive:

  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;
  • Attend Showtime ­sponsored reception during the Film Festival;
  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;
  • Name inclusion on Festival catalogue and website as Competition winner;
  • Print and media coverage.

And One Winner, to be announced during the Festival, will receive:

  • $5,000 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival;
  • All expenses paid, month­-long stay at exclusive Screenwriters Colony on Nantucket in October;
  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;
  • Round­ trip from New York to Nantucket to attend Film Festival;
  • Accommodations in Nantucket during the Film Festival;
  • A Showtime­ sponsored reception during the Film Festival in the winner’s honor;
  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;
  • Custom leather bound copy of the winner’s script, courtesy of Showtime;
  • Name inclusion on Festival catalogue and website as Competition winner;
  • Print and media coverage.

Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (60 Min), and Shorts Writer Semifinalists Announced!

Congratulations to all of our writers - finalists will be announced soon!

Episodic 60 Min Pilot Screenplay Semifinalists:

The Line by Tesia J. Walker
In the era of civil rights, racial tensions run high in a small South Carolina town home to a historically black university.

Miburn by Matt Gossen and Bennett Viso
Assigned with the insurmountable task of bringing down the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in segregated 1960s Mississippi, undercover FBI agents turn to unorthodox means.

North Country by Jeremy Craig
This layered, historical saga follows a man's transformation from ignominious prisoner to powerful timber baron during the Michigan lumber boom of Reconstruction Era America.

The Rize by Bryan Parker
A teenage boy from the projects discovers he may be the key to saving his neighborhood from both a gentrifying developer and darker forces at work.

Rue Pigalle by Jessica Shields
In 1930s Paris, on the seedy streets of Montmartre, a group of musicians, mobsters and misfits desperately cling to their slice of utopia as they contend with the global depression and encroaching war.

Short Screenplay Semifinalists:

Against the River by Dan Ritter
In this atmospheric suspense drama, three boys witness something unexpected in the woods.

Gemini I: Hold the Wind by Janae Green
Set during the historical Great Migration period of World War II, a newlywed Black couple seeks an escape from their lives in the Jim Crow South.

Koko Ni Inai (I'm Not Here) by Emel Saat
An imaginative, visually rich story in which two characters tackle themes of social media, isolation in a crowd, and the need to connect. 

Unreliable Narrators by Sara Alize Cross
A storyteller suffering from writer's block encounters a younger woman with a story eerily similar to her own.

The Yao of Tao by Rajiv Shah with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg
Tao, a Chinese caregiver for Isaac, a dying cancer patient, finds himself at odds with Isaac’s estranged daughter.

Showtime's Tony Cox Feature Screenplay SemiFinalists Announced!

Congratulations to our writers:

Any Given Week by Jen Richards
A week in the lives of three successful, but very different, transgender women, as they navigate career, love, and friendship.

Corporate Retreat by Marty Johnson
Eliza, a single mom and would-be actress making ends meet as a property manager for second homeowners, takes on the role of a lifetime: one of her wealthy clients.

The Esther Code by Esa Nurminen
An FBI agent must solve a ancient hidden code to stop a serial-killer vigilante.

Germ by Niki Sharirli
Inspired by true events. In the mid 1800s, Ignaz Semmelweis worked against the prejudices of his peers and his own self-doubt to pioneer one of the most important procedures in modern medicine - hand washing.

Henry County by Walker Kalan
While struggling to raise his preteen cousin, a young mechanic in rural Virginia falls for a journalist from New York.

The Interlude by Paul G. O'Connor
An idealistic young American woman running a soup kitchen near the front lines in World War I is confronted with the realities of war by a mysterious Belgian soldier.

Johnny Ace by Moon Molson
Christmas, 1954: Houston homicide detectives investigating the seemingly accidental death of popular R&B singer Johnny Ace discover that the case is far more complex than it first appears.

Lifers by  by Amanda Peppe with Chris Peppe
An ex-con gets out of prison after 35 years and seeks redemption, standing up for a family of migrant farmworkers.

Long Shot by by Tamar Halper with Stephen Wiesmore
A young biracial dancer from a broken home has big dreams that seem completely unattainable until she meets the most unlikely mentor.

Savage Beauty by Charles Lyons
The story of Edna St. Vincent Millay, the ultimate bohemian of 1920s Greenwich Village, and her struggle to find love while burning her candle at both ends.

    Finalists Announced for Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition

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    Congratulations to our three finalists in Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Minute) Competition:

    CASEY CAN'T by KAITLIN FONTANA
    A dark comedy about a flawed writer who is blackmailed into managing a hipster music blog by its manchild owner, heir to a porn fortune. It's about being too old for this shit before you’re 40.

    SUBSCRIBE NOW by CARRIE MCCROSSEN
    Wharton grad Christine finds herself the newbie at a YouTube-like company, tasked with finding and developing new content makers.

    WAKE by GREGORY BONSIGNORE
    81-year-old Maggie moves from Arizona back to NYC to pick up the life she had left as a young woman. 

    The winner receives:

    • A $1,000 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival
    • An all-inclusive two-weeks-long writer's retreat on Nantucket in June with the Screenwriter's Colony and NFF
    • One-on-one consultation with a Showtime executive
    • A VIP week-long Festival Pass to all events
    • Participation in our Mentor Brunch during the Festival
    • A Showtime-sponsored reception during the Festival in the winners’ honor
    • A Custom leather bound copy of the script, courtesy of Showtime
    • Print and media coverage
    • Name inclusion on Festival program materials as a competition finalist and winner

    Stay tuned for the winner, to be announced soon!