Written By: Emme Duncan

The 23rd annual Nantucket Film Festival is taking over screens across the island this weekend, presenting narrative, documentary and short films sure to make you think, laugh and cry. From the centerpiece film with Nantucket ties Won’t You Be My Neighbor to a live taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another, there is no shortage of star power and pop culture. However, N Magazine wants you to remember that sometimes it is the quieter films that really stand out. Here is a list of our five sleeper picks you shouldn’t miss this festival.


Ballet Now provides a rarely seen, unfiltered glimpse into the world of ballet and what it takes to create a groundbreaking, one-of-kind dance extravaganza. Featuring a diverse cast of world-class dancers from around the globe, the film follows New York City Ballet’s Prima Ballerina Tiler Peck as she unites the worlds of tap, hip-hop, ballet, and even clown artistry as the first female curator of The Music Center’s famed BalletNOW program. With less than a week to pull it all off, Tiler faces the mounting pressures of not only dancing in multiple pieces, but also producing and directing this high-profile event. The success of the performances rests squarely on her shoulders. Will she pull it off? For tickets and more information, click here.


Bisbee, Arizona, a former copper-mining town on the border with Mexico, has never reckoned with its dark past. In 1917, a strike by mine workers, many of them immigrants, was violently brought to an end with an illegal forced mass deportation. On the occasion of this tragedy’s centenary, innovative nonfiction filmmaker Robert Greene collaborates with residents to confront this troubling episode through a town-wide reenactment, one that has haunting resonance with our present-day debates about immigration, unions, and corporate power. For tickets and more information, click here.


Two former art school friends, Karen (Christina Hendricks, Mad Men) and Tina (Alysia Reiner, Orange Is the New Black) reunite in Marianna Palka’s satirical chamber piece exploring motherhood, personal freedom, and social expectations. Karen, eight months pregnant and married to a successful developer, took a different life path than Tina, a conceptual artist recently engaged to her partner. Emotions run high when Tina reveals her latest project — surrogate parenthood as performance art — and things get even more tense when her surrogate arrives. For tickets and more information, click here.


Annie (Rose Byrne) is in a rut. Her long-term boyfriend, Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), is more devoted to the music of faded singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) than he is to their relationship. When an unreleased demo of Tucker’s acclaimed 25-year-old album surfaces — prompting the reclusive artist’s own reemergence — Annie and Duncan’s routine existence is upended in unpredictable ways. Based on the best-selling novel by Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked is an insightful and charming romantic comedy. For tickets and more information, click here.


In this compelling meld of career retrospective and film essay, Lauren Greenfield offers a meditation on her extensive body of documentary photography and film projects — which has explored youth culture, gender, body image, and affluence — seen through the lens of materialism and its increasing sway on culture and society. Her work reveals a focus on cultivating image over substance, where subjects unable to attain actual wealth instead settle for its trappings. Generation Wealth emerges as a fascinating, cautionary morality tale about our unquenchable desire for more. For tickets and more information, click here.

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