The Nantucket Film Festival’s most esteemed awards recognize writers and filmmakers from film and television for their significant contributions to the art of storytelling. These honors are presented annually during the film festival at a gala celebration. 


The Screenwriters Tribute Award is the highest honor presented by the festival. Established in 1998, it was created to honor an individual whose written body of work has made a distinct impact on American cinema. The Screenwriters Tribute Award is not a "lifetime achievement" award, but rather an acknowledgement of the indelible impact these artists have on the hearts and minds of people all over the world through their writing for the screen. They are what link us to our past, and provide a glimpse into our future.

2018 Honors: NOAH BAUMBACH

noah-baumbach 4.jpg

Noah Baumbach is an Oscar®-nominated writer and acclaimed director. His first feature, Kicking and Screaming, which he both wrote and directed, premiered to critical acclaim at the 1995 New York Film Festival. Baumbach was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his film The Squid and the Whale, which he also directed. Additional notable films include Mistress America (NFF 2015), Frances Ha, Margot at the WeddingWhile We’re Young (NFF Now April 2014), and Greenberg. Baumbach most recently wrote and directed The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), which debuted in competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Baumbach just wrapped production on a new film he wrote and directed starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern.


Past Honorees:


Some of today's most gifted cinematic storytellers work outside of scripted characters and plots. We honor these non-fiction filmmakers with our Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling. When it comes to imagination, scope, and heart, these directors more than equal their "fiction" colleagues. The greatest filmmakers in the non-fiction realm strive for a discerning fidelity to reality while simultaneously staying true to their instincts as a storyteller. What emerge are works that audiences will continue to cherish for decades to come.



Morgan Headshot.jpg

Morgan Neville is an Academy Award®-winning director, known for his work on documentaries and commercials. His acclaimed film 20 Feet from Stardom (NFF 2013) won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary as well as a Grammy® Award for Best Music Film. His 2015 documentary, Best of Enemies (NFF 2015), on the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, won an Emmy® Award and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Neville has been nominated for four additional Grammys for his films: Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied and Johnny Cash’s America, and The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Neville’s non-music films include The Cool School and Beauty Is Embarrassing. His film Won’t You Be My Neighbor? premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Focus Features in June. Other recent projects include Ugly Delicious, Chelsea Does, Keith Richards: Under the Influence, and Abstract: The Art of Design.

Past Honorees:

Award presented by:


Every once in a while, a writer bursts onto the independent film scene, making noise with a combination of an already recognizable style and a compelling yet fresh take on a genre or tried-and-true narrative. Since 2010, we've been shining the spotlight on these exciting new talents with our New Voices in Screenwriting award. These screenwriters think outside the box and still manage to engage audiences, critics, and the industry alike. We hope you take notice of these great filmmakers with us, and eagerly await what they come up with next.




After a long career as a stage and screen actor, Andrew Heckler made his writing and directorial feature film debut with Burden, the true story about the redemption of a Klansman, a passion project he has wanted to bring to the screen for 20 years. The film, starring Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, and Andrea Riseborough, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition. Heckler founded Workhouse Theater in New York City, where he has produced, directed, and acted in over 35 productions.

Past Honorees:

Award presented with support from: