Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick was the big winner at the 22nd annual Nantucket Film Festival, taking home the top audience prize. The Lionsgate/Amazon Studios film, which opened up the six-day festival, stars Kumail Nanjiani, who co-wrote the screenplay with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. The pic is based on their real-life, cross-cultural relationship.
The Weinstein Co.’s Jeremy Renner starrer Wind River, written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, was the runner-up.
On the documentary side, Ema Ryan Yamazaki’s Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators landed the top honor, while Joe Kean’s Holocaust-focused After Auschwitz: The Stories of Six Women came in second place.
Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson’s Ten Meter Tower was awarded best short film, and Tom Scottand Dan Honan’s The Illumination was the runner-up.
NFF also announced the winners of the prestigious Showtime Tony Cox screenplay competition, which recognizes the best-unproduced screenplays and television pilots penned by emerging writers. Moon Molson’s Johnny Ace won feature honors, while the episodic prize went to Tesia Walker’s The Line and Kaitlin Fontana’s Casey Can’t. The short award went to The Yao of Tao’s Rajiv Shah, with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg.
The feature and shorts screenplay competition jury was comprised of Mud producer Tom Heller, People magazine senior editor Samantha Miller and FilmNation chief operating officer Milan Popelka. Writer Eric Gilliland (The Wonder Years), New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz and actress-director Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, Empire) rounded out the episodic screenplay competition jury.
NFF also announced the winner of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award, a $5,000 grant to an emerging female filmmaker in honor of the late writer, director and actress and her contributions to film. This year's recipient is Alexandra Dean, director of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which focuses on the Hollywood star’s groundbreaking but underacknowledged work as an inventor.
The Nantucket Film Festival, which began June 21 and concludes Monday, featured Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk's An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power in the closing-night slot.