Exploring Cinema in Nantucket

By Kim Livengood, Director of PR and Events for Tervis

Ever heard of a “pinch-me” moment? I definitely had one last month when I was given the tough assignment of attending the 19th Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) to promote Tervis as the festival’s official drinkware.

The festival ran June 26- 30 with over 100 showings. Films from cool indies like Arlo & Julie to insightful documentaries like Honest Liar and fabulous feature films starring Elisabeth Moss (The One I Love) and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood).

NFF has an impressive group of board members, including MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, NBC’s Brian Williams, actor Ben Stiller, and Sarasota’s very own Mark Famiglio.

Mark, as you may know, is the president of the Sarasota Film Festival. He considers NFF to be a sister festival to ours. He said “many of those involved with NFF travel to Sarasota each year to observe and participate.”

At NFF, they focus on the art of screenwriting. This year they paid tribute to Aaron Sorkin. You know, the Academy and Emmy-award winning screenwriter, producer, and playwright, whose works include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, and The Newsroom. Yeah, him. One of my favorite events was the on-stage Q&A with Chris Matthews and Aaron (pictured above). Sorkin was very honest, humble and engaging. And both drank from Tervis custom mugs.

Other signature events include “Late Night Storytelling” and the “All-Star Comedy Roundtable.” Both had actors/comedians sharing stories. Nothing like a good belly laugh after hours of sitting in a dark theater. Between Ben Stiller, Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street), Jenny Slate (SNL), and Michal Ian Black, it was a guaranteed good time.NantucketFilmFestival

According to film critic and avid festival goer Brian Flieder (check out his blog), every festival has its darling or “belle of the ball.” At this festival, I thought it was either Mark Duplass or Bradley Whitford. I wasn’t familiar with Mark, but he’s been in The Mindy Project, The League and Zero Dark Thirty to name a few. And Bradley, well, anyone who ever watched The West Wing knows who he is. Both actors attended events, hung out and were totally accessible. And yes, both are now proud owners of a custom NFF Tervis water bottle.

Surprises happened quite frequently. Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) appeared on stage prior to the screening of his movie, Begin Again. It wasn’t on the schedule. It wasn’t planned. It was pretty cool. And at the screening for Boyhood, Ben Stiller walked in. Only six seats away from me! Yeah, that was pretty cool too.

I tried to see as many films as possible. This was fairly simple because the town of Nantucket is small and there were only two locations where they showed movies. The locations were conveniently located only a couple of blocks away from each other. I’m not a film critic, but if you want recommendations based on what I saw, here is my list. I believe many are coming to Burns Court.

  • –  Boyhood (It took 12 years to make this film. They used the same actors. Crazy good!)
  • –  The One I Love (with the previously mentioned Mark Duplass)
  • –  Begin Again (Hello, Adam Levine. Where were you at this festival???)
  • –  Honest Liar (documentary about the Amazing Randi)
  • –  Life Itself (documentary about Roger Ebert)
  • –  Arlo & Julie (super cute indie flick)
  • –  Boyhood (yes, I know I mentioned it already, but it was THAT GOOD!)

Rumors were that I Origins, Gabriel and The Skeleton Twins were great. I just couldn’t see everything. And of course, I had to make time to walk the charming cobblestone streets of Nantucket.


It was a tough assignment, but someone had to do it!


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