For 17 years, the Nantucket Film Festival has distinguished itself as a progam that puts the spotlight on writers. “All of our live events are rooted in writing and storytelling,” says artistic director Mystelle Brabbée. She cites NFF signature programs “Late Night Storytelling,” hosted this year by actor-writer Mike O’Malley, and Ben Stiller’s 4th annual All-Star Comedy Roundtable. Both events take place Friday.
Brabbée says she’s especially pleased that the NFF’s popular staged reading returns this year on Saturday after a hiatus. An ensemble of actors will perform a new script, “The Lost Cause” by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, with Taylor directing the reading. “These are two of Hollywood’s hottest writers and [there’s] a great cast coming in. It will be a real treat for the audience and not something they usually get to see,” says Brabbée.
Kicking off on Wednesday, this year’s NFF honors screenwriter and director Nancy Meyers, who will receive the 2012 Screenwriters Tribute on Saturday at 8 p.m. Her longtime friend Diane Keaton, star of the Meyers-penned films “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Baby Boom,” will present the award. Meyers will talk about her career with “Hardball” host Chris Matthews next Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m.
Fresh off his Tony nomination for “Man and Boy,” stage and screen star Frank Langella heads to the NFF as this year’s recipient of the Compass Rose acting award. Matthews will present the award and interview Langella on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. Langella’s most recent film, “Robot and Frank,” screens at the NFF on Saturday at 7 p.m. and next Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
“We made a strategic decision that our festival would offer a hands-on experience for festivalgoers,” says NFF executive director Colin Stanfield. “It’s small and intimate. There are more opportunities to meet and engage with filmmakers.”
A new NFF live event this year is “The Fog and Flounder Radio Hour” (Thursday, 7 p.m.) hosted by Tom Bodett from National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” It features live music from Sierra Hull and her band, vintage comedy sketches from Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, and new bits written and performed by veterans of the Upright Citizens Brigade (Meghan O’Neill) and The Onion (Dan Mirk and Sascha Stanton-Craven) with additional material by Nantucket teenagers working in this year’s NFF Teen View Writing Lab.
On the film front, the NFF includes “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” with writer Lucy Alibar in attendance. The film, which screens on Wednesday, is about a 6-year-old girl in a forgotten bayou community desperate to save her ailing father and sinking home. It won the grand jury prize for dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s based on Alibar’s play “Juicy and Delicious.” Alibar, who co-wrote the script with director Benh Zeitlin, will accept the NFF’s New Voices in Screenwriting award.
For more information, go to www.nantucketfilmfestival
Band in Boston
Boston’s punk music scene between 1981 and 1984 is documented in “All Ages: The Boston Hardcore Film.” The film, which premiered at this year’s Boston Independent Film Festival, will have four screenings during a Friday to next Sunday run at the West End Museum. Duane Lucia, executive producer of the film, is also the executive director of the museum. In the early ’80s, Lucia owned and operated Gallery East, an art and performance space in Boston’s Leather District that provided a venue for emerging local bands to perform in front of an all-ages audience. The film is directed by Drew Stone, who was a film major at Emerson College in the early ’80s. Stone was also the front man for the Mighty CO’s, a band that performed at Gallery East.
“All Ages: The Boston Hardcore Film” features never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with members of the hardcore scene, including author Michael Patrick McDonald and Newbury Comics owner Michael Dreese, along with a soundtrack by SS Decontrol, Gang Green, Jerry’s Kids, The F.U.’s, and more.
Tickets are $10. A portion of the proceeds will go to support programming at the West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., Boston. For more information, go to www.thewestendmuseum
If Hollywood’s summer blockbusters “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and “The Dark Knight Rises” inspire little more than a yawn, maybe your inner superhero needs “Captain Celluloid vs. the Film Pirates” (1966). It’s yet another obscure cinematic classic dug up by the super folks at Channel Zero, who call the film the “weirdest amateur superhero serial ever made.” It screens, along with a few other oddities and surprises, on June 29 at
8 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre Screening Room (55 Davis Square). Admission is $5. For more information, go to www
The DocYard, Boston’s showcase for documentary film, continues its twice-monthly summer program at the Brattle Theatre on Monday with “Low & Clear.” Tyler Hughen and Kahlil Hudson’s film, winner of the Emerging Visions Audience Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, explores the friendship between two men during a winter fly-fishing trip in Canada. The screening is at 8 p.m., followed by a discussion with Kahlil Hudson moderated by film journalist and producer Erin Trahan. For more information, go to www.thedocyard.com or www.brattletheatre.org.