Nantucket Film Festival to Honor 'Chinatown' Screenwriter Robert Towne

Associated Press

The festival will also present awards to Leslye Headland and 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' filmmaker Liz Garbus and screen Sundance opening night film 'The Bronze.'

The Nantucket Film Festival will present its 2015 screenwriters tribute to Oscar-winning Chinatown writer Robert Towne, it was announced Thursday.

Towne's other credits include Mission: Impossible, Shampoo and The Last Detail in addition to doing uncredited work on The Godfather and Bonnie & Clyde. Past recipients of the screenwriters tribute award at the festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, include Aaron Sorkin, David O. Russell, Nancy Meyers, Harold Ramis, Judd Apatow, Steven Martin, Charlie Kaufman and Alexander Payne. This year's award, presented by Epix, will be handed out on Saturday, June 27 at an event hosted by David Steinberg. Towne will also participate in a Q&A with MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

The festival will also honor Leslye Headland and Liz Garbus. Bachelorette writer-director Headland will receive the new voices in screenwriting award. Her latest film, Sleeping With Other People, which she also wrote and directed, will screen as the festival's spotlight film. Garbus will receive the special achievement in documentary storytelling award, presented by A&E IndieFilms. Her most recent film, What Happened, Miss Simone? will screen as the festival's centerpiece film.

“In our 20th anniversary year we could not be more thrilled to honor the incomparable Robert Towne. As a festival that recognizes achievements in screenwriting, Towne’s body of work has truly changed the landscape of American cinema,” Nantucket Film Festival executive director Mystelle Brabbee said in a statement. “In addition, the festival is excited to recognize Liz Garbus, Leslye Headland and Beau Willimon, all at the forefront of their craft. What better way to celebrate our anniversary year than to have comedic great David Steinberg host this tremendous evening.”

The festival will also present an anniversary visionary award to Bob and Suzanne Wright in recognition of their contributions to the festival, the screenwriters tribute and their support of storytellers.

The festival also announced two additional screenings: Mistress America, written and directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig, and The Bronze, the Sundance opening night comedy about a former Olympic gymnast, directed by Bryan Buckley and starring The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch.

Also announced Thursday, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc and USC professor Stacy L. Smith will participate in a panel titled "Women Behind the Words: Stories from Hollywood's Front Lines," moderated by NPR's Ophira Eisenberg, who will also host this year's edition of "Late Night Storytelling," in which guests and locals are invited to share stories live onstage in keeping with this year's theme of "Fact vs. Fiction."

The festival will also host a live staged reading of the unproduced TV pilot Spencer Sloan's Bob Fisher's My Roommate, presented in association with Wedding Crashers screenwriter Fisher and actor-comedian Denis Leary, Bob Fisher's My Roommate is a meta-comedy that follows Sloan (SNL's Pete Davidson), a writing assistant who lives in the same apartment as his executive producer boss Fisher (Dave Foley) while filming the first season of USA Network's Sirens.

The festival will also again present the conversation series "Morning Coffee With…," hosted by comedian Eddie Brill and featuring writers and filmmakers talking about their craft.

The 20th annual Nantucket Film Festival runs from June 24-29.

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