EXPLORE OUR #NFF2023 Signature Programs

More programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
Our schedule will be announced on May 17th.

Special Talk
Documentarian Lynn Novick has been at the forefront of such pivotal films as BASEBALL, THE VIETNAM WAR, THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST, and HEMINGWAY, in collaboration with longtime directing partner Ken Burns. Novick will share clips and insights into how and why these films were made, followed by a conversation with Dyjuan Tatro, a Bard Prison Initiative alumnus, and legal reform strategist who was featured in her documentary series COLLEGE BEHIND BARS.
In Their Shoes
Join Maureen Orth in an intimate interview with the legendary music maker, activist, and engineer of social change Joan Baez, who will be in attendance at NFF with the new documentary, JOAN BAEZ I AM NOISE
Garden Event
Escape is the stuff of legend, and more than one legendary story has been spun on the stage of this favorite event. Come hear some hilarious or poignant tales of flight. Plus, what better way to escape the boredom of everyday life than by spending the night in the garden of a gorgeous private home. After your bubbly evening at Late Night Storytelling, the last thing that you’ll want to do is run away.
Special Talk
How risky is your summer swimming? Shark Migration to the Cape and Islands is a featured subject in the conversation following the film After the Bite. Great White sharks have dominated headlines in recent years, as their deadly interactions with people have increased in the waters stretching from Maine to the Cape and Islands. But what are the actual risks? Come join the shark and seal scientists and we talk about the balance of ecological preservation.
Morning Coffee With
What better way to spend your mornings than with the most talented writers, actors, directors, and producers in the film industry over a cup of coffee? Start your day with this beloved Festival program which features a moderated conversation with our filmmakers in the lovely and lively courtyard of the Sister Ship restaurant. Complimentary Coffee, Tea, and Breakfast Pastries.
Special Talk
Following a screening of HAIL TO THE BREADSTICKS!, host Joey Clift (enrolled Cowlitz tribe member, comedian, and screenwriter of SPIRIT RANGERS) leads a conversation about the state of Native American representation, from sports mascots and stoic Indian stereotypes to the Netflix series RESERVATION DOGS.
Garden Event
A special evening to bring together people who are invested in the lands they farm, the people they employ, and the food that is brought to the table. With an eye to sustainability and equality, this conversation stirs a sense of what can be possible. Much like chef, author and producer of Food and Country, Ruth Reichel, the inspiration for this conversation, NFF is gathering people who are plotting ways to wrest themselves (and us) from the puzzle and problems that are at the heart of our local food system.
NFF's annual gala celebration and most esteemed awards recognize writers and filmmakers from film and television for their significant contributions to the art of storytelling. This year we are thrilled to honor and pay tribute to these amazing screenwriters and storytellers who've propelled the medium forward, Nicole Holofcener (ENOUGH SAID, YOU HURT FEELINGS), Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST, HEMINGWAY), and Jenny Han (THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE).
MARK DONATO

Once upon a time from La Canada, CA, Mark came to Nantucket in 1982, after a decade in Ketchum, ID. That year, he opened his first restaurant, The Morning Glory Cafe, soon followed by The Dockside and The Sconset Cafe. During his early career as a restaurateur, he acquired the Sconset Market which he owned and operated until his retirement in 2017. Mark calls Nantucket home year-round and has been involved in the community for decades, including 2 terms as Vice President of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and 3 terms as President of the Sconset Civic Association. In 2020 he was elected a Commissioner of the Nantucket Land Bank. With a budget of nearly $40M, the Land Bank purchases land for purposes of conservation, parks, agriculture, and recreation. An original member of the Nantucket Wine Festival team, Mark has worked for the festival in various capacities since it was founded in 1997, most recently as Ambassador and Community Liaison. Other community service includes the Dreamland Theatre Advisory Board, 2-time Chair of The Nantucket Historical Association Festival of Trees, and 2023 Honorary Co-Chair of the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket Gala. Presently, Mark works with his wife Beth English in their wine shop, Current Vintage, celebrating its 16th season on Easy Street.

BETH ENGLISH

Beth is the founder of Current Vintage, a wine, clothing & home store entering its 16th year in downtown Nantucket. Established in 2008, Current Vintage merges her two great loves and expertise in fine wine and vintage clothing. CV has been recognized by Vogue, Forbes, In Style, et al, and named “Best of Nantucket“ by Town & Country, “Best Boutique” of the Cape and Islands by Boston Magazine and 2022 Silver Medal “Best Liquor/Wine Store” by Cape Cod Life Magazine. Originally from North Carolina, Beth spent her first summer on the island while a student at Clemson University. After brief stints in Breckenridge and Albuquerque, she realized Nantucket just might be home. She co-owned Provisions for 13 years and during that tenure, partnered with Nantucket Nectars in the venture Provisions & Juice Guys. Beth serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Workshop of Nantucket and as Honorary Co-Chair of the TWN Gala this August. She is active in the First Congregational Church and has twice been Co-Chair of the Nantucket Historical Association Festival of Trees. She and her husband, Mark Donato, have spent the last 20 years traveling the world in the off-season with a focus on wine regions and exploring different cultures. Beth has the distinction of having never missed the Opening Night of the Nantucket Film Festival.

RYAN RUNDSTADLER

Ryan Runstadler has served as Chief of Staff for Seward and Cecelia Joyce Johnson & Producer for Deep End Productions for the past 8 years and, recently, is a Co-Founder, Producer, and Editor for Closure Creative, a new story production company focusing on graphic novels and entertainment projects. As Producer for Deep End Productions, Ryan oversees investing, production, and development for theatrical, film, and literary projects and, sometimes, will go as far as writing his own projects.  Most recently, Nantucket!  The MusACKal, a comedic historical musical about the history of Nantucket which he produced for the Nantucket community with Cecelia Joyce Johnson and Sally Horchow for 2 summers as well as a virtual benefit concert (thanks, COVID *eyeroll*) and hopes to bring it back soon (shameless plug).  As a producer at Closure Creative, Ryan recently served as creative director, producer, and editor for a graphic novel adaptation of Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story, currently in discussions for a possible film adaptation, and has several new graphic novel projects in development. Ryan has also worked as a freelance journalist, run a small independent film studio in NYC with clients and collaborations as wide-ranging as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to Ryan Murphy and Heidi Klum, and, at one point, served as a producer (and terrible faux-makeup assistant—when absolutely necessary and entirely unavoidable) for a high-profile makeup artist, beauty photographer, and image consultant to pop stars, rock stars, and up-and-coming stars. Some may also recognize Ryan from his career gap-year stint at the Nantucket Yacht Club’s Burgee Bar—a position he is forever grateful for as it led him to this absolutely wonderful island he had never even heard of beforehand.  Nantucket! The MusACKal serves as his lasting thank you and attempts to share all the magic the island, and its community has shared with him.  He is forever eager to continue to give back and encourage creativity and community in this truly special place. Ryan also currently serves on the board of Waterfront Playhouse in Key West, Florida, and independently consults, produces, and writes on a freelance, ad hoc, and when-inspired basis.

SAM COX

Sam Cox is the Manager of Business Operations and the Chief of Staff to the COO of Bally Sports+, with experience in the media and entertainment industry, specifically in streaming. Prior to joining Bally Sports+, Sam worked for Disney and Showtime, where he worked in marketing strategy, business development, and distribution. Sam is a graduate of Bucknell University and will soon complete an MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business.  He grew up spending his summers on Nantucket and worked at Nantucket Community Sailing. Sam is the son of Tony Cox, for whom the Screenwriter’s Award is named.

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Notable Films: Next Stop Wonderland, Gadjo Dilo, Safe Men, Slums of Beverly Hills, Smoke Signals

Screenwriters Tribute: Ring Lardner, Jr.

1997

Notable Films: Ma Vie en Rose, The Full Monty, Shooting Fish, Hugo Pool, Colin Fitz, Forgotten Silver, Star Maps

Staged Reading: Love-40 by Warren Leight, Domestic Disturbance by Frank Novak, Peace, Love & War by Pete Nelson

1996

Notable Films: The Cable Guy, Lone Star, Walking and Talking, Losing Chase, White Squall, Café Society, A Perfect Candidate

Staged Readings: Unknown Citizen by Nicole Burdette, Grapefruit Moon by Mary Stuart Masterson, Saint Maybe by Craig Lucac –Participants: Robert Sean Leonard, William Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Mary Stuart Masterson, Fisher Stevens

Screenwriter Sessions Enrollment

RHODA H. WEINMAN, SECRETARY

Rhoda Weinman is an attorney on Nantucket where she has lived and practiced law for 28 years. Prior to moving to Nantucket, she was a Corporate Attorney at Polaroid Corporation. Weinman is President of the Nantucket Women’s Bar Association, which she co­founded in 1985. Along with three other members of the Nantucket Women’s Bar Association, she founded and served as President of A Safe Place which is an organization on Nantucket dealing with domestic violence and sexual abuse. She was President of the Nantucket AIDS Network for fourteen years, and chaired the Personnel Board for the Town of Nantucket for ten years. Her real passion is her five longhaired dachshunds, and she looks forward to watching her nationally ranked top dogs in shows across the country.

BEN STILLER

Ben Stiller is an actor, director, writer, and producer. He has directed and starred in Reality Bites, Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder. His acting credits include There’s Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, The Royal Tenenbaums, Flirting with Disaster, Night at the Museum, and Greenberg. He also co­created, with Judd Apatow, the Emmy Award®-­winning series, The Ben Stiller Show. In 2013, he directed and stared in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

CARTER STEWART

Carter Stewart is executive vice president for programs. He works closely with the Foundation’s president, board, and staff to shape the Foundation’s funding priorities and programmatic direction. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Stewart served as a managing director of the venture philanthropy Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK) where he played a lead role in sourcing new investments and grantees—primarily early-stage, justice-oriented organizations—and then worked closely with those organizations on strategy, scaling, organizational capacity building, and leadership development.

In addition to his philanthropic work, Mr. Stewart held academic positions at the Ohio State University in law and public policy. Specifically, from 2018 to 2021, Mr. Stewart taught “Lawyers as Leaders” at the Moritz College of Law, and he was the lead investigator and co-author of a research evaluation of the City of Columbus, Ohio’s response to the 2020 summer protests. In the latter role, he worked under the auspices of the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs to interview protestors and police officers, analyze public data on policing, and make recommendations for policy changes based upon the input of an expert advisory council.

From 2009 to 2016, Mr. Stewart served as the presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio where he emphasized deterrence, crime prevention, and alternatives to incarceration. He created the district’s first community outreach position and established a community leadership group geared towards building trust and improving communication between the public and law enforcement. Mr. Stewart also served on the attorney general’s advisory committee and chaired a group of US attorneys who examined racial inequities in the federal criminal justice system.

Mr. Stewart previously worked as an assistant US attorney in San Jose, CA, and he was a litigator at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP in Columbus, OH, and Bingham McCutchen LLP in San Francisco, CA. Prior to law school, Mr. Stewart taught history at Friends Seminary High School in Manhattan and was a New York City Urban Fellow. Mr. Stewart received a JD degree from Harvard Law School, holds an MA in education policy from Columbia University, and a BA in political science from Stanford University. Mr. Stewart has served on the boards of several arts-related organizations, including the Contemporary American Theater Company and the Joyce Foundation. He currently is a trustee for the Marshall Project, Nantucket Film Festival, Nantucket Historical Association, and the Atlantic Foundation. In a prior life, Mr. Stewart acted in various community theater productions in the SF Bay Area and St. Croix, USVI.

TOM SCOTT

Tom Scott began his career as co­founder and CEO of Nantucket Nectars. The company reached national prominence, appearing on the “Inc. 500” list of fastest growing U.S. companies five years in a row. In 2002, Scott and his partner sold Nantucket Nectars to Cadbury Schweppes. Scott currently serves as Chairman of The Nantucket Project, which he co­founded in 2010. Scott’s vision for The Nantucket Project (TNP) is to energize the public dialogue by creating a venue in which individuals can engage innovative thinking from a fresh perspective. TNP participants include Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel, Larry Lessig, Julie Taymor, Larry Summers, Dambisa Moyo, Dean Kamen, Rahm Emaunuel, and Craig Venter, among others. Scott is also a film and television creator/producer. His accomplishments in the field include the “double­double” he achieved in 2010 when his film Daddy Longlegs received the rare honor of selection to both the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. The film also received the Independent Spirit Award. That same year, his television series, The Neistat Brothers, aired on HBO. Most recently, Scott produced the documentary film Apple Pushers with Ed Norton. Prior to TNP, Scott was founder and Chairman of Plum TV. He developed a national network of eight stations receiving more than 14 Emmy Awards® in total. Scott is currently enrolled at Yale University where he is a Master’s candidate in Divinity and Political Science.

FELIX SANCHEZ

Felix Sanchez is the Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), a veteran media and communications expert, who consults regularly on Latino programming and content. NHFA was launched in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. NHFA co-founders include: Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Merel Julia. NHFA ambassadors include: Melissa Barrera (Starz’s VIDA) and Ryan Guzman (Fox’s 9-1-1). Felix has created a number of impactful programs focused on creating diverse content and a new generation of diverse content creators. He launched the NHFA scholarship program with eight esteemed universities: NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, USC, UCLA and UT Austin; created the PitchNY program with Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Pictures and Television, NBCUniversal and industry leaders to cultivate the talent of higher ed students throughout New York. Developed PitchDC – a content pitch program–made possible through a community grant from the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs. Created PitchLA with VIACOMCBS to connected development executives at CBS, Showtime and C.W. with NHFA’s Artists. Collaborated with Connecticut Public Television & Radio to develop PitchCT and The State of Latinos in Media 2020, which aired last May.

As a response to COVID 19, Felix created InformGente, a web talk series aimed at bringing current and relevant information to the Latino community on topics like the pandemic, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. InformaGente, was created in association with Gov. Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services and LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens. Felix also launched: “Coctelitos con Rita Moreno and then-Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquín Castro, D-TX;” along with a program highlighting emerging high school talent in a homage to the play: “In the Heights.”

Felix, as NHFA Chairman, led the fight to desegregate the honors and awards programs of major cultural and entertainment institutions. His work resulted in major administrative and personnel changes at the Kennedy Center, and yielded new Latino honorees for Kennedy Center Honors, along with the induction of 22 new Latino members into the Association of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars). He was also the force behind convincing NBC’s Saturday Night Live to hire Melissa Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member ever in the show’s then-47-year history.

Felix Sanchez was a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D-TX, with principal responsibilities for issues arising from the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Felix has been an advisor to numerous Democratic presidential and corporate campaigns. Felix served as the first National Deputy Campaign manager to the Paul Simon for President campaign. Felix went on to work on the Dukakis/Bentsen campaign as the head of the inaugural Hispanic Outreach office and originated the first Latino celebrity engagement/outreach campaign effort. Felix duplicated this role in the Clinton 1992, 1996 and Gore 2000 campaigns. Felix created a signature Florida campaign event with former President Clinton, then-Presidential Candidate Obama and former TV POTUS Jimmy Smits (The West Wing). Felix’s work on behalf of NHFA has been honored by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), (Advocacy Award), and the Government of Mexico (Ohtlí Award its highest national honor presented to Mexican American and Latino philanthropy leaders).

Felix serves on a number of advisory boards: the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Latino Jewish Leadership Council; the Kennedy Center Latino Advisory Board, the El Rey Network’s Diversity Council (Robert Rodriguez’s streaming platform); the Creative Thread Foundation and Storytelling Unbound. He also advises the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Multicultural Media Caucus; and the Congressional Caucus for Advancement of Studio, Talent (CAST) on diversity and inclusion issues in the entertainment industry. Felix is a CNN opinions contributor. Felix has a B.A. in Child Psychology and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin; Felix also holds a J.D. in International Law from the University of Houston Law Center. Felix’s daughter, Isabella is a 2018 sum cum laude graduate of Boston University and his son Philippe is a 2020 West Point graduate, currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska.

STEVE SAMUELS

Steve Samuels jointly is a commercial real estate developer on the East Coast and one of the founders of FilmNation Entertainment. With an unorthodox approach to both real estate and film, Samuels approaches every new project with a fresh eye and pushes his team to question the status quo: ultimately, achieving a new/better/more efficient solution. An active real estate developer since 1984, Samuels has redeveloped over fifty projects in seven states. He developed his idea of placemaking-revitalizing neighborhoods and communities and always doing the right thing by those communities—when he founded Samuels & Associates. His company is currently integrally involved in rebuilding the historic Fenway Park area into a thriving 24-hour mixed-use urban village. Taking a page from the strategy and risk involved in real estate development, Samuels launched Samuels Media in 2004 which produced and financed the critical and commercial success Michael Clayton starring George Clooney, as well as the Oscar®-nominated film In The Valley Of Elah starring Tommy Lee Jones, among many others. In 2008, he founded FilmNation Entertainment with veteran international film executive Glen Basner. FilmNation is a leading independent entertainment company focused on the sales representation of international film and television rights as well as the development, production, and financing of feature films. In its short history, FilmNation has secured an industry-leading slate of diverse, high-profile titles for international sales representation including: David Michôd’s The Rover starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, a 2014 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection; Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups and an untitled project; Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams; and The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch. Recently released sales titles include Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, an In Competition film at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as critically acclaimed films All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford and Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, both of which received rave reviews at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, including a Best Actor win for Bruce Dern. FilmNation’s production arm previously released Jeff Nichols’ Mud, one of the highest grossing independent films of 2013, starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, and is in development on Denis Villeneuve’s Story of Your Life, The Rules of Inheritance starring Jennifer Lawrence, and The Good House starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, among others. In addition to Emerson College and Children’s Hospital Boston Boards, Samuels and his family have long been actively dedicated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in real estate & finance from Ohio State University. Samuels lives with his wife, and their three children in Brookline, Massachusetts.

ALICE ROGOFF

Alice Rogoff is the publisher of AlaskaDispatch.com and founder of the Arctic Imperative Summit. In 2011, Rogoff hosted the summit, the first international policy gathering in Alaska focused on the issues and opportunities presented by the melting sea ice. Beginning in 1985, Rogoff was the chief financial officer of U.S News and World Report, a position she held for 12 years. She also worked at The Washington Post Co. as an assistant to publisher Donald Graham. Rogoff was the creator of the national weekly edition of The Washington Post. From 1978­ to 1980, Rogoff was the special assistant to the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration. She has served on numerous boards, including those of the Carter Center in Atlanta, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Potomac School, the National Child Research Center, and the National Geographic Society’s Council of Advisors. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard.

ABBE RAVEN

Abbe Raven is Chairman Emeritus of A+E Networks, an award-winning multi-billion dollar global media company encompassing A&E Network, HISTORY Channel, Lifetime, LMN, Vice TV, FYI, A+E Indie Films, A+E Studios, and A+E Networks International. Raven was the longest running employee at A+E Networks—she began as a production assistant and rose through the ranks to become President & CEO and first Chairman in the company’s history. Under her leadership, A&E Network and HISTORY Channel catapulted into top 5 cable networks, and reclaimed Lifetime’s position as a leading brand for women. Raven was elevated to Chairman after a successful tenure as CEO, tripling the company’s revenues and expanding its global portfolio. After retirement, Raven returned as Acting Chairman for a term and is now Chairman Emeritus. She also founded Raven Media Advisors which counsels companies, agencies, executives, and entrepreneurs on strategy, branding, and leadership. Raven is a Vice Chair of the inaugural Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Museum Advisory Council. She has most recently served as Chairman of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Board. She also serves on the boards of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Nantucket Film Festival. She has served as vice chairman of the board of the National Cable Television Association. Raven has been honored for building some of the most prominent and highly valued cable networks in the entertainment industry including named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list, which listed her as one of the Top 5 most Powerful Women in Entertainment, and as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune. Raven has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Association. She was Broadway co-producer of the Drama Desk Best Musical and Tony-nominated, THE PROM, and is co-producer of the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY. Ms. Raven received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Buffalo and a Master of Arts in Theatre and Film from Hunter College. She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hunter College, Florida Southern College and State University of New York at Buffalo.

MILAN POPELKA

Milan Popelka is the Chief Operating Officer at leading independent entertainment company FilmNation Entertainment. Popelka’s responsibilities include overseeing all day-to-day operations, strategic planning/business development, and finance for the company. FilmNation is consistently ranked as one of the highest-grossing independent international distributors globally, and has garnered a total of 45 Academy Award nominations (including 8 wins) across their sales and production titles. Popelka served as Executive Producer on Denis Villeneuve’s epic Arrival starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, which was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He has overseen many of the company’s recent notable production/finance titles, including Judd Apatow-produced comedy The Big Sick (NFF 2017 Opening Night Film), John Lee Hancock’s The Founder starring Michael Keaton, and Sebastian Lelio’s Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. Upcoming, FilmNation has This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself, which is set for a Sept 2018 release, and Tom Hanks WWII epic Greyhound which Sony Pictures will distribute worldwide in 2019. International sales credits include, among others: Academy Award Best Picture winner The King’s Speech; Academy Award Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game, Alexander Payne’s Academy Award favorite Nebraska, and Rian Johnson’s sci-fi hit Looper. Prior to joining FilmNation, Popelka oversaw creative/finance at production and financing outfit Samuels Media, which financed and produced Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton starring George Clooney. He also previously worked in the Independent Finance Group at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and served as a management consultant in the entertainment practice of McKinsey & Company. Outside of his professional work, Popelka is a standing member of the Executive Committee of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, an organization within the National Academy of Sciences that brings together the world’s best storytellers with leading science professionals to catalyze the use of science across all entertainment fields. He received a B.A in Economics with Honors from Harvard College.

KATHLEEN MATTHEWS, BOARD CHAIR

Kathleen Matthews has worked in the nation’s capital for more than 40 years as a television journalist, corporate executive, and political activist. For 25-years, she was an award­-winning news anchor and reporter at the ABC­-TV affiliate in Washington, D.C., and hosted the nationally syndicated Working Woman television show, where she was awarded nine local Emmys® and other top journalism honors. She later served as the chief communications and public affairs officer for Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, and was responsible for the company’s global brand public relations, corporate communications, social responsibility, and government affairs. She was vice-chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board during the Obama Administration, and served on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association, International Tourism Partnership, and the World Economic Forum’s Policy Council on Travel and Tourism. More recently, Kathleen chaired the Maryland Democratic Party, was a candidate for Congress in 2016, and remains active in local and National Democratic politics. She is a 1975 graduate of Stanford University, and was a 2004 Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She and her husband, Chris, are passionate about the movies, and have two sons who are filmmakers.

CHRIS MATTHEWS

Chris Matthews is an American political commentator, former talk show host, and author. Matthews hosted his weeknight hour-long talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, on America’s Talking and later on MSNBC, from 1997 until 2020. Matthews is the author of eight best selling-books: Hardball: How Politics is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game (1988), Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America (1996), Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think (2001), American: Beyond our Grandest Notions (2002), Life’s a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success (2007), Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero (2011), Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked (2013) and Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit (2017).

KATY KNOX

Katy Knox is president of Bank of America Private Bank and a member of Bank of America’s executive management team. She leads more than 4,000 professionals who are dedicated to helping high-net-worth individuals, families, and institutions grow, preserve and share their wealth. Knox is also responsible for Wealth Management Banking & Lending, overseeing how advisors deliver Bank of America’s premium banking and loan products to clients.

The Private Bank leverages the global resources of Bank of America to help every client meet their life and legacy goals—delivering highly customized banking, investment management, wealth structuring, trust, and estate planning, philanthropic solutions, and art services to clients. As president, Knox has modernized and grown The Private Bank by expanding into new markets, adding new advisors, and driving digital engagement with clients.

With over 35 years of financial services industry experience, Knox has held numerous leadership positions across a variety of client segments at Bank of America, including Commercial Banking, Business Banking, Retail Banking, and Wealth Management. Through these leadership roles, she has developed a deep understanding of the strategic needs of each client across the stages of their life and their career.

Knox is a leader within the company’s diversity networks and actively participates in Bank of America’s Global Ambassadors Program, which provides mentorship to women leaders worldwide. Knox has also served as vice chair of Bank of America’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council. Knox earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from Elmira College and her Master of Business Administration from Boston College. She serves on the boards of trustees for Carnegie Hall, the JFK Library Foundation, and the Nantucket Film Festival.

JILL KARP, VICE CHAIR

Jill Karp is the owner of Nantucket Island Resorts, whose luxury properties include The Wauwinet, the White Elephant, the White Elephant Village Residences & Inn, the Jared Coffin House, The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin, and the Nantucket Boat Basin. Karp is a Board Member and past President of the Children’s Hospital League, Children’s Hospital Boston Board of Overseers, and Children’s Hospital Boston Member. She also serves on the boards of the Nantucket Comedy Festival, the Theatre Workshop on Nantucket, and is a founding member of the Nantucket Project. Karp has also been friend and ambassador to Facing History & Ourselves for over twenty years. Karp’s passion for education began in the classroom as a schoolteacher, and she currently serves as the chair of Facing History’s New England Advisory Board, taking on numerous leadership roles including chairing the 2006 Annual New England Regional Benefit Dinner and serving as a member on the Board of Directors.

DEBORAH KAHN

Deborah Kahn graduated from the University of Maryland and went to work in the investment business. After her start with a small investment research firm in Philadelphia, she moved to Putnam investments in Boston where she took her technical training and joined the marketing team in 1977. She spent the next 29 years at Putnam as a Senior Vice President and Marketing Director. Debbie participated in the growth of the mutual fund industry helping Putnam grow their assets from $300 million to $400 billion.

A lifelong cinephile, Debbie studied film in college and had the opportunity to do an independent study of the American influence on the New Wave in France at the Library of Congress under the supervision of Professor Robert Kolker. At Putnam she wrote the movie review column for the company newspaper, “The Bull News and Bear Facts” and later took many film classes at the New School in New York City with Professor Richard Brown. Active in the community before and after she retired from Putnam, Debbie served on the Finance Committee of the New York Friars Club where she was a member for many years. She joined the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and as chair of development, raised money for stem cell research on diseases including Alzheimers, ALS, MS, and cancer during a time of significant limits on federal funding for this type of research. In addition, Debbie has been on the board of the South Church Preservation Foundation helping to raise money to conserve one of our historic treasures on Nantucket, and on the social committee of Congregation Shirat H’Yam. Debbie and her husband Peter live in New York City, suburban Washington, DC as well as Nantucket. Devoted Blue Devils, Debbie is active at Duke University where Peter is a Trustee when he is not practicing law at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC.

CINDY JONES

Cindy Jones is an internationally recognized and exhibited wildlife photographer who focuses on birds that she tracks on her travels around the world. She has been a Legacy Circle member of the Nantucket Film Festival and a leading philanthropist in her WASHINGTON DC community. For the past three years, she served as president of the board of trustees of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, where she raised more money than at any time in the museum’s history. In addition, Cindy has served on the Foundation Board of Children’s National Health System, the Women’s Board of the American Heart Association, the Advisory Board of the Washington Ballet, and the Women’s Committee of the Washington National Opera. Her husband Evan is founder of jVen Capital, a company that invests in biotech research, and is a board member of the Children’s National Health System and of the Children’s Research Institute. The Joneses funded a professorship in Pediatric Clinic Pharmacology at Children’s Hospital. They split their time between Nantucket, Jackson Hole Wyoming and Potomac Maryland.

CECELIA JOYCE JOHNSON

Cecelia Joyce Johnson, originally from the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, received an Associate of Arts degree in Art History and a B.A. in English Literature from George Washington University. She later was accepted into the Graduate Writing Seminars at John Hopkins University and continued on to the New School in New York City where she studied directing and served as a dramaturg. Johnson was instrumental in bringing the Maryland Stage Company’s production of three Beckett plays to the 2000 International Samuel Beckett Festival in Germany. In collaboration with the Australian Pianist Alan Kogosowski, she created and produced a series developed for public television on Chopin which was a TV Guide Critics Pick for three consecutive weeks. She produced two albums: ‘Moonlight in the Garden’, performed by Mr. Kogosowski; and ‘Chris Gillespie Live at the Carlyle’. Johnson produced several off-Broadway plays beginning with Savannah Bay at Theater for the New City, followed by Fathers and Sons by Richard Hoehler at the Lion Theater on Theater Row. She co-produced Theresa Rebeck’s Omnium Gatherum with Bob Cole, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Johnson created and produced three shows at Cafe Carlyle: Remembering Bobby Short, starring Clint Holmes; This Thing Called Love: Cole Porter and Paul Simon, winner of the Bistro Award and created in collaboration with Holmes; and, Stop This Train also in collaboration with Holmes and earned him BroadwayWorld.com’s award for Best Celebrity Male Vocalist. All three were directed by Larry Moss and received critical acclaim. In addition to her production credits, Johnson has published two short stories, one translated into Dutch. She serves on numerous boards including the Martin E. Segal Theater at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Johnson Atelier.

GINNY GRENHAM

Ginny Grenham is President of Grenham Networks LLC, a communications and public affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. and New York. For the past two decades, Grenham Networks helped clients develop innovative strategic partnerships with non-profit leaders, Capitol Hill, government agencies, and the private sector. Ginny has been involved in several digital and traditional media companies, including iVillage (the first website for women), Revolution Health, Sparkpeople.com, Hearst Media, and others. In addition, Ginny has focused on women’s health and mental health advocacy, and has represented a number of leading companies and non-profits in the health care arena. Grenham Networks is currently engaged in seeking legislation that would create tax incentives for film and television production in Washington, D.C. She is a long-term Board Member of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, and a founder of a scholarship fund at Harvard, which over the last 20 years, has supported dozens of Hispanic students at Harvard, who are interested in Hispanic language, history and culture. Ginny’s interests in U.S. Hispanics grew out of the founding of Entravision Communications Corporation (NYSE:EVC), a leading Spanish-language media company which reaches over 90% of the nation’s 60 million Hispanics (including Boston/Nantucket) through a combination of television, radio, and digital media. Ginny is also on the Board of the Pen Faulkner Foundation, with a focus on the Writers in Schools program – bringing the world’s best writers to underserved urban junior high and high school students.

NANCY DUBUC

Nancy Dubuc served as Chief Executive Officer of VICE Media from 2018-2023 where she oversaw an international network of digital channels; a weekly and daily news programming partnership with HBO; a television and feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; an in-house creative services agency; and an international television network. VICE operates in over 30 countries, reaching hundreds of millions of young people across all screens and platforms every month. Prior to joining VICE in 2018, Dubuc served as President and Chief Executive Officer of A+E Networks, encompassing A&E®, Lifetime®, HISTORY®, Lifetime Movies®, FYI™, VICELAND™ and other industry-leading brands. Under her leadership, A+E Networks transformed into a global powerhouse, expanding its roster of top-performing channels, generating significant financial growth and reaching over 360 million households in more than 200 territories across a multitude of platforms. As CEO of A+E Networks, Dubuc championed innovative storytelling by investing in early-stage content and technology companies. She became A+E Networks’ third CEO in the company’s nearly 30-year history in June 2013. Dubuc and VICE have shared a strong relationship since 2015, when Dubuc joined VICE’s Board of Directors and oversaw A+E Networks’ joint venture agreement with VICE Media that launched VICELAND, VICE’s linear network, in 2016. Dubuc is known for her out-of-the-box approach toward content and storytelling, promoting diverse and cutting-edge programs. She is an experienced chief executive with an unmatched track record when it comes to running a sprawling international media company while also producing and distributing award-winning content. A graduate of Boston University, Dubuc received a Distinguished Alumni Award from its College of Communications in 2013. Dubuc is also the 2013 recipient of the NCTA Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership.

DONICK CARY

Emmy-winning Writer, Producer, and Director Donick Cary got his start writing for Late Night with David Letterman. He continued writing for Dave at The Academy Awards and served as both Head Writer and “The Guy in the Bear Suit” on Late Show with David Letterman. After five years in late night, Cary moved to The Simpsons, where he served as a Co-Executive Producer for seasons seven through eleven, winning an Emmy and penning many memorable episodes including “D’oh-in in The Wind,” “In Marge We Trust,” (Mr. Sparkle) and “Hell Toupee” (Homer gets the hair transplants of a killer).

Cary has since served in the same capacity on New Girl, Silicon Valley, AP Bio, Bored to Death, Just Shoot Me, and Parks and Recreation where he also played the character Vern Palletta. Cary has produced pilots for and developed with: Brillstein Grey, Sony, Happy Madison, Conaco, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, FX, HBO, the WB, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central (where he was EP on The Naked Trucker and T-Bones show) and MTV where he had a hand in creating The Osbournes.
In 2004 Donick created the animated series Lil’ Bush for Ampd mobile cell phones. The show was quickly picked up by Comedy Central and became the first web series ever to move from the internet to television. Over it’s 16 years Sugarshack produced and aired hundreds of hours of animation for everyone from Fox’s “New Girl” to Netflix’s “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics” to music videos for the likes of Moby and Yo La Tengo. In 2007, after a rash of teen suicides in his hometown of Nantucket Island, Donick founded Musack.org, a 501©3 charity that provides musical instruments and classes to under-served youth around the world. Donick also serves on the boards of The Nantucket Film Festival, The Nantucket Comedy Festival, and The Songbirds Foundation.

2020 brought the release of Cary’s feature directorial debut: “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics,” which was selected by SXSW and debuted on Netflix in May of that year, remaining in the top five for over a month. Currently, Cary is wrapping up the first season of “Welcome to Flatch” with Paul Feig and Jenny Bicks for Fox television and Executive Producing the animated show “Carol” with Dan Guterman for Netflix. Cary is also in production on a new documentary, “Hail to the Breadsticks!” a very personal look at team mascots, fatherhood, racism, and what it means to be Native American in America today.

JONATHAN BURKHART, FESTIVAL FOUNDER + TREASURER

A little too early in his career, Jonathan Burkhart worked as a cameraman on dozens of television shows, commercials, and feature films, including Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Mountain View, A Better Tomorrow, Dazed and Confused, Roommates, and Reversal of Fortune. Having his fill in the camera department, Burkhart went on to produce independent film, television, and theater. He produced the award-winning film Baby Steps, starring Kathy Bates. Recently Burkhart produced several feature films for BCDF Pictures, including Higher Ground, directed by Vera Farmiga and starring Farmiga, John Hawkes, Josh Leonard, and Norbert Leo Butz; Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, directed by Bruce Beresford, and starring Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Elizabeth Olsen; The Last Keepers, directed by Maggie Greenwald, and starring Aiden Quinn, Virginia Madsen, and Olympia Dukakis; and Rhymes with Banana, directed by Joe Muszynski and Peter Hutchings. In development are Jan Egleson’s Military Working Dog and Geoffrey Naufft’s Next Fall. Television projects include Ivy Dreams, a feature documentary for AZN, Must Do Disney for Disney World Theme Parks, Away We Go by Jonathan Larson, and the Tomorrow is Tonight Show starring Ben Stiller for Comedy Central. Burkhart has also produced commercials for Time Warner, NY1, Honda, HGTV, The Walt Disney Company, Bionorica Pharmaceutical, Chase Bank, Nintendo, American Express, Prudential Life, Verizon, and the Ford Motor Company. In theater, Burkhart produced the Tony­-nominated Broadway production of Mario Cantone’s Laugh Whore, which he also produced as a television special for The Showtime Networks. He also produced the award-winning play A Vow with Bill C. Davis, the 10th anniversary production of RENT on Broadway with the original cast, and In Search of Cleo, written by and starring Gina Gershon and featuring free drinks at the bar. After losing his dear friend, Jenifer Estess, to ALS, Burkhart joined Project ALS where he is most proud of his duties as an event producer. But wait, there’s more: Burkhart is the co-­founder and president of the Nantucket Film Festival.

JILL BURKHART, FESTIVAL FOUNDER

Jill Burkhart is the VP of Unscripted Programming for Epix where she executive produces documentary series for the cable network including the Emmy nominated Laurel Canyon; A Place in Time, Helter Skelter: An American Myth, and the upcoming Fall River. She is the co­founder of the Nantucket Film Festival, which she also helmed, first as Artistic Director, then as Executive Director, from 1996­-2008. Jill was also the Executive Director of the Screenwriters Colony from 1999-­2001, a sister Nantucket organization created to enable screenwriting retreats and creative guidance. Previously, she worked with Madstone Films as a curator for its Very Indie Film Series. And a very long time ago, Jill was an actress. She attended New York University for Theatre and The New School for Film. Jill grew up on the island of Nantucket, is a proud graduate of NHS, and now happily lives in Barrytown, New York.