First Nantucket, then the world!
“[Well-made regional films] strengthen our own sense of who we are in a way that commercial Hollywood movies will not necessarily do,” Craven says. “We certainly go to those movies—and they are entertaining—but I also feel strongly that we have the resources to make good professional movies right where we are.”
For Craven, the completion of Peter and John has been personally rewarding because the project was many years in the making. In 2003, he was hired to co-write a screenplay for a British producer who was planning to make a cinematic adaptation of Pierre et Jean set in South Africa. Craven worked on the script, but due to financing issues, the film was never made.
While teaching—and working on other films and projects over the years—Craven always kept Peter and John in mind. While attending an event on Nantucket to promote his 2013 film Northern Borders, Craven says many he spoke with, including Nantucket residents and reporters, urged him to shoot one of his next films on the island.
He did not need much convincing. Craven says he feels a connection to the island. He treasures Nantucket’s natural beauty and enjoys the sense of community he has felt during his visits to the island. Craven also recognizes how Nantucket, with its many historic charms, can evoke the sense that one is visiting another time and place, one factor that made the island a great backdrop for the film, which is set just after the Civil War.
“It is nice to be in a place where you feel the presence of the past and where the past is present,” Craven says of the island. He appreciates Nantucket residents’ great pride in their island’s history and the fact they are good stewards of both their natural surroundings and the island’s developed areas. The director concludes that he’s also looking forward to the upcoming festival so he can share his film with the hundreds of Nantucketers who helped make it possible.
For more information about Jay Craven and his work, visit kingdomcounty.org.
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