(April 27, 2022) After two years of virtual screenings, backyard events and drive-in premieres, the Nantucket Film Festival returns to the big screen at the Dreamland Theater and Sconset Casino when it returns in June.
“The magic of going to the movies and sitting in a dark theater, experiencing a narrative with a community – it heightens the drama or laughter of a film,” said film festival executive director Mystelle Brabbee. “Everything is accentuated when you experience it with other people.”
To a large extent, she said, the pandemic has upended the experience of watching a movie.
In 2021, the film festival introduced the drive-in and backyard garden premieres as an interim step to bring people together in outdoor spaces with more air circulation. In 2020, the festival was entirely online. It was an adaptation. But for Brabbée, watching movies at home could never replace the feeling of being at a festival, watching a new release on the big screen.
“Every night, watching episodes or movies on your own screen, you drift away,” Brabbée said. “How often do you just watch something? It’s so much more enjoyable in the theater without the distractions of technology or the distractions of your home life. Give yourself for 90 minutes. This is what the festival is supposed to be.
The festival opens with the National Geographic documentary “Fire of Love,” about the spark that bound Katia and Maurice Krafft, and their fascination with volcanoes that ultimately led to their deaths in the 1991 explosion on Mt. Unzen in Japan.
The closing night feature is called “Linoleum”, starring Jim Gaffigan as a struggling host of a Bill Nye-like children’s TV show in the midst of a midlife crisis who decides to building a rocket in his garage despite his wife, played by Rhea Seehorn.
The centerpiece is “892,” a feature film based on the true story of a U.S. Navy veteran on the brink of homelessness, who threatens to detonate a bomb in a bank in a desperate attempt to voice his case by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which owes him $892.
“You want depth of field in your programming,” program director Lori Donnelly said.
“One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been the opportunity to witness the creativity and resilience of the film industry. Filmmakers have found a way to present films virtually. It has been a curveball. “learning. But there’s also a level of disconnection there. Nothing is more impactful than that in-person experience. The best possible platform is a theater and experiencing it with a live audience. The immediacy , feedback from a film.
There are 60 features and shorts this year, split between narrative features and documentaries. This number is up from 50 last year and 32 in 2020.
This year, the festival is also launching a new program called Green Carpet Cinema, selecting films that tell a story related to the environmental and human effects of climate change. These films include three documentaries: ‘Fashion Reimagined’, about the burgeoning field of sustainable clothing design, ‘To the End’, about four young women activists for the Green New Deal, and ‘The Territory’, about protecting of an indigenous territory against large agriculture.
This year’s festival is scheduled for June 22-27. Festival passes and ticket packages are available at www.nantucketfilmfestival.org.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our digital edition
Subscribe to SMS alerts