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New Writers Program Launched on Nantucket

The Screenwriters Colony and Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) are thrilled to announce the launch of a new writers’ program, the Screenwriters Colony: Episodic Comedy, running June 10-23, 2016. This inaugural collaboration will provide four emerging episodic comedy writers with an all-expense paid trip to Nantucket for an immersive residency and mentorship program.

While on Nantucket, the writers will work together with eminent professional industry mentors to experience the writers’ room, hone their craft, and develop their pilots. The Nantucket Film Festival’s Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition winner will receive one of the spots in the writers-in-residence program. The Tony Cox Screenplay Competitions are sponsored by Showtime. The Colony will overlap with the start of the 2016 Nantucket Film Festival, taking place this year from June 22 to 27.

Eric Gilliland will serve as the Creative Advisor on the curriculum and will run the two-week program in June. Gilliland is a Peabody- and Golden Globe-winning writer/producer whose television credits include Roseanne, The Wonder Years, Who’s The Boss?, and That 70’s Show. Gilliland also produced the documentary God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of The Lost Boys of Sudan, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He currently teaches at Tisch’s Goldberg School of Dramatic Writing at New York University.

As partners in supporting the art of screenwriting, the Nantucket Film Festival and Screenwriters Colony have collaborated for more than a decade to make Nantucket a home for screenwriters and screenwriting. Each year since its founding, The Screenwriters Colony has proudly hosted the winner of the Nantucket Film Festival’s Feature Screenplay Competition winner as one of the four emerging writers-in-residence at its month-long October program.

“Moving into our 15th year of partnering with the Screenwriters Colony, we are thrilled to be able to open up this new opportunity to writers working in episodic comedy,” said Mystelle Brabbée, Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival. “Offering the program in the weeks leading up to the Nantucket Film Festival will allow the writers to go from an incredible and immersive closed door experience to a more public-facing celebration of writing and storytelling.”

“We are currently enjoying an amazing golden age of television, and innovative episodic comedy writing is having a vital impact on our culture,” said Lydia Cavallo Zasa, Managing Director of the Screenwriters Colony. “We are excited to expand our capacity to support the next generation of talented writers through this partnership with NFF. We look forward to finding strong voices working in the valuable art form of original scripted comedy, and nurturing them to push the boundaries of the craft.”

The Screenwriters Colony was founded in 2002 to provide a select group of emerging screenwriters with time, space and freedom from the pressures of their daily lives to develop their work, engage with peers, and receive guidance from industry professionals. Accommodating a single writer in its first year, the Colony has grown into a prestigious incubator of new talent recognized throughout the film community. Since its inception, more than 50 emerging writers and 75 industry mentors have participated in the Colony’s writers-in-residence program.

The Nantucket Film Festival was founded by brother and sister team Jonathan and Jill Burkhart in 1996 to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the fine art of screenwriting in the world of cinema. These days, NFF has become one of the premier destination film festivals in the world. Visitors come from all over to experience the preview screenings, unique signature programs, and stand out hospitality on a magical island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere, and beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to screening over 75 films across six days, NFF presents the Screenwriters Tribute, All-Star Comedy Roundtable Presented by Ben Stiller, In Their Shoes… hosted by Chris Matthews, Late Night Storytelling, and our daily Morning Coffee With… series.

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