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. 

Highlights from 2017 Screenwriters Tribute:

2017 Host: Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller is a producer, director, writer, and actor. He has directed and starred in Reality Bites, Zoolander, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Tropic Thunder. Stiller’s acting credits include There’s Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, The Royal Tenenbaums, Flirting with Disaster, Night at the Museum, and Greenberg. Stiller also co-created, with Judd Apatow, the Emmy Award®-winning series, The Ben Stiller Show. Next up, he will direct Escape at Clinton Correctional, an 8-episode limited series on Showtime. Stiller has been on the NFF Board of Directors since the Festival’s inception.


For the first time the Nantucket Film Festival has assembled a jury of four esteemed writers to bestow its top award, the Screenwriters Tribute Award. The Screenwriters Tribute Award Jury is comprised of some of the most gifted storytellers, each bringing their own approach to writing and each having made an impact on American Cinema and culture.

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.

The jury includes: 

2017 Honors: TOM McCARTHY

Tom McCarthy is an Oscar-winning filmmaker — a prolific writer, director, actor, and producer. McCarthy's most recent film Spotlight, which he wrote and directed, won the Oscar® for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay (for McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer).  Spotlight was nominated for six Oscars in total including one for McCarthy for Best Director. The film earned massive critical acclaim and a barrage of critics awards and guild nominations including a BAFTA, Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards, a Writer’s Guild of America Award, National Film Society of Film Critics/Los Angeles Film Critics/Boston Film Critics Awards, a Director’s Guild of America nomination, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and it won four Indie Spirit Awards (Best Ensemble, Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Feature).

McCarthy began his career as a working actor until he burst onto the filmmaking scene with his critically acclaimed first feature The Station Agent, starring Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, and Patricia Clarkson. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. The film was also awarded the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and won two Independent Spirit Awards, including the John Cassavetes Award. The Station Agent was nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards including Best Ensemble and was also nominated by the Writers Guild of America for Best Original Screenplay. McCarthy followed this with the equally acclaimed film The Visitor (2007) which received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for Richard Jenkins. For this film, McCarthy won the Spirit Award for Best Director, received a Writers Guild Award nomination, and the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival.

In 2009, McCarthy shared story credit with Pete Docter and Bob Peterson on the award winning animated feature Up, for which he received his first of three Oscar nominations. In 2011, McCarthy wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan. McCarthy also wrote and directed The Cobbler, starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman.

In addition to his writing and directing, McCarthy continues his career as an actor. He made his screen debut in the 1992 film Crossing the Bridge and went on to appear in such films as Flags of Our Fathers, Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, Year of the Dog, Meet the Parents, All the King’s Men, Duplicity, 2012, and The Lovely Bones. He was also featured in the final season of HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire and had a series regular role on Boston Public.

McCarthy's upcoming projects include executive producing and directing the first two episodes of 13 Reasons Why, Selena Gomez's Netflix series, which is based on the 2007 New York Times bestselling YA book by Jay Asher.



Bobby Cannavale is a critically-acclaimed actor whose feature film roles include Win Win, The Station Agent, Ant-Man, Chef, and the upcoming Going Places. He received Emmy Awards for his roles on Boardwalk Empire and Will & Grace, and was twice Emmy-nominated for Nurse Jackie. Other TV work includes Vinyl, Master of None, and the upcoming season of Mr. Robot. On the stage, Cannavale has appeared in The Big Knife, Glengarry Glen Ross, and received Tony nominations for both Mauritius and The Motherf**ker with the Hat, winning a Drama Desk Award for the latter.

Past Honorees:


In 2015, the Nantucket Film Festival created an award to honor the writing for the small screen. Television and episodic writing holds a deep and increasingly profound place in American culture, and NFF is proud to recognize the achievements in this medium. As the definitions of what screenwriting means is constantly changing and the way people experience TV are constantly shifting, what remains timeless is amazing storytelling. This award celebrates the writers whose vision and passion keep us watching episode after episode.



David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are the co-creators of the Showtime series Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc, which is about to launch its fifth and final season. For their work on Episodes, Crane and Klarik have received four Emmy® nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. They also share two Writers Guild of America nominations for the series, as well as a BAFTA nomination for Best Situation Comedy and two Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy.

David Crane is best known as the co-creator of the long-running comedy series Friends, for which he won numerous awards including an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Crane also co-created the Kirstie Alley comedy Veronica’s ClosetThe Powers That Be starring John Forsythe, David Hyde Pierce, and Holland Taylor, and the much-beloved HBO series, Dream On, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

With Crane, Jeffrey Klarik co-created the critically acclaimed, award-winning comedy The Class starring an ensemble that included Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lizzy Kaplan, and Jon Bernthal. Klarik’s work on the hit comedy Mad About You earned him a Golden Globe as well as an Emmy nomination. He also created the series Half & Half, starting Essence Atkins. He has also written and produced the comedies INK, The Naked Truth, and Dream On.

Jeffrey and David have been partners in life for 28 years.



Kathleen Rose Perkins stars on Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated series Episodes opposite Matt LeBlanc, soon to air its fifth and final season. Other TV work includes You're the Worst, Code Black, Colony, NCIS: LA, American Horror Story, Private Practice, Person of Interest, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist, Royal Pains, and Nip/Tuck. On the film front, Perkins appeared in David Fincher’s Gone Girl opposite Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike; the Duplass Brothers’ The Skeleton Twins with Kristen Wiig and Bill Heder (NFF 2014 Opening Night Film); and Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said opposite Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini.

Past Honoree:


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.



Nick Broomfield is a British filmmaker best known for his award-winning documentaries. He made his first film Who Cares, about slum clearance in Liverpool, while at university. There he was encouraged in participant observation filmmaking, and met his sometimes filmmaking partner Joan Churchill, with whom he made Juvenile Liaison, Tattooed Tears, Soldier Girls, Lily Tomlin, and Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer

Broomfield developed the idiosyncratic filmmaking style for which he is better known while making his 1988 film Driving Me Crazy. Placing himself and his producer in the story led to a more investigative and experimental type of filmmaking, as seen in his films The Leader, the Driver and the Drivers WifeAileen WuornosKurt & Courtney, and Biggie and Tupac.  

Broomfield has won numerous accolades, including the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, the BAFTA, Prix Italia, Dupont Peabody Award, Grierson Award, Hague Peace Prize, and the Amnesty International Doen Award. His latest documentary, Whitney: Can I Be Me, co-directed with Rudi Dolezal, tells the story of Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death.

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.


2017 Honors: GEREMY JASPER

Geremy Jasper is a writer, director, and composer born and bred in North Jersey. He co-directed MTV VMA–nominated videos for Florence + The Machine and Selena Gomez, and his direction for the "Target Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular" won a Cannes Lions Gold Lion and was inducted into MoMA's permanent collection. His debut feature film, Patti Cake$, participated in Sundance Institute's Directors and Screenwriters Labs, and had its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired for distribution by Fox Searchlight. A lifelong music freak, Geremy wrote the movie's original songs.



BRIDGET EVERETT is a world-renowned cabaret artist.  Her film, theater and television credits include Inside Amy Schumer, Two Broke Girls, Sex And The City, TrainwreckGirls and the off-Broadway smash Rock Bottom. Her live television special Bridget Everett – Gynecological Wonder premiered on Comedy Central, and she can also be seen featured on the hit Netflix show Lady Dynamite.  She is the star of the upcoming films Little Evil, Fun Mom Dinner and the Sundance hit Patti Cake$. She is the co-creator, co-writer and star of the new Amazon series Love You More, premiering this fall.

Past Honorees:

Award presented with support from: