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By Film Threat Staff | May 18, 2006

The Nantucket Film Festival has announced the program of films and events for the 11th annual festival to be held June 14-18, 2006. The Opening Night film this year will be the documentary Al Franken: God Spoke from directors Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus. The Closing Night film will be the documentaryThe Heart of the Game from director Ward Serrill. The centerpiece film will be the documentary Ground Truth from director Patricia Foulkrod with never-before-seen footage.

“For NFF11, we chose to focus on the art of storytelling in the documentary form,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director, Jill Burkhart. “ What we find so exciting is that non-fiction filmmaking is borrowing the storytelling engines usually reserved for fiction films, giving docs an extraordinary power.”

Artistic Director, Mystelle Brabbée, said, “The fact that we have decided to celebrate the up-and-coming power of documentaries does not mean that we still are not foremost a festival devoted to the art of screenwriting.”

In response to the record-breaking sales and attendance at last year’s festival, the Nantucket Film Festival has added some new and larger venues, expanding its stretch and accessibility across the island. New for this year will be the 450-seat tent on the lawn of The White Elephant. The tent will be home to “Late Night Storytelling”, one of the audience favorites among NFF’s special events, and the “NBC Universal Screenwriters Tribute”. Also announced, the beautiful Sconset Casino will serve as one of NFF’s screening venues while the Dreamland Theater is under renovation. Among the programs dedicated to screenwriting, the Nantucket Film Festival introduces a new panel called “A Film is Written Three Times” to emphasize that screenwriting doesn’t begin and end with the script. A film is written a second time by the director and a third time in the editing room.

As previously announced, the writing team of Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne will be the NBC Universal Screenwriter Honorees for the 2006 Nantucket Film Festival. Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, and Thomas Haden Church will be on island to fete Payne and Taylor. The tribute will be followed by an In Their Shoes® conversation on screenwriting with Mr. Payne and Mr. Alexander, hosted by Leonard Maltin on Sunday.

The Opening Night Film will be the documentary Al Franken: God Spoke directed by Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus. From Pennebake Hegedus Films, Al Franken: God Spoke is a cinema vérité pursuit of Al Franken from his highly publicized feud with Bill O’Reilly to his relentless campaign against George Bush and the Right Wing during the 2004 election, and beyond.

The Closing Night Film will be the documentaryThe Heart of the Game directed by Ward Serrill. From Woody Creek Productions, The Heart of the Game follows the Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls’ high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player in particular whose off-court struggles threaten to destroy her dream of being the first person in her family to get a college education.

For the full program, visit the Nantucket Film Festival website.

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