Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” documentary on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival will open the 26th annual edition of the Nantucket Film Festival that kicks off on June 17th. Festival organizers on Thursday unveiled the programming lineup, which will feature a hybrid format of online and open-air screenings, including this year’s Centerpiece film “Playing with Sharks” on marine maverick Valerie Taylor from National Geographic Films’ Sally Aitken. The closing night film selection is “Coda” by Siân Heder, on a hearing child of deaf parents who finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.

Actor Ethan Hawke will be featured in an online conversation about his work in film and novels, as well as New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman on her Practical Magic series of novels.

This year’s Film Festival is expanding from 6 to 12 days for the first time, and showing films in three formats: online through what it is calling “NFF NOW: AT HOME; in-person and outdoors at the Dreamland Theater’s drive-in location at the Nobadeer Farm Road playing fields dubbed “NFF AT THE DRIVE-IN”; as well as 11 open air events at private residences known as “NFF Garden Series.”

“This year’s edition of the Nantucket Film Festival is a tribute to the creativity and tenacity of filmmakers, authors, and comedians alike,” said NFF Executive Director Mystelle Brabbeé. “This past year has been isolating for so many of us, and we are overjoyed to have the opportunity to bring everyone together again, both in-person and virtually, to enjoy some of the year’s best cinema, along with colorful conversations from exceptional individuals across the entertainment and cultural spaces.”

The open air conversations will feature Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino; Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on The Daughters of Kobani, soon to be adapted for film by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton; Lesley Stahl and Chris Matthews on biography and political journalism; Elin Hilderbrand on her career as a powerhouse novelist; Blue Balliet on the appeal of ghost stories; Michael Ian Black on fatherhood; the Barnicle Brothers on their hit Netflix true crime series This Is a Robbery; and Ophira Eisenberg hosting a storytelling event at sunset.

Passes are currently on sale at the Festival’s website (, including newly released Streaming Passes for NFF NOW: AT HOME. Individual tickets will go on sale June 4.

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