Haute Secrets Boston: Jill Burkhart of the Nantucket Film Festival

On Wednesday, the 20th Annual Nantucket Film Festival kicked off the summer season on the island showcasing new independent films now through June 29th. The festival was founded by brother and sister team Jonathan and Jill Burkhart in 1996 to promote an appreciation of the art of screenwriting. Since then, it has become one of the top film festivals with visitors coming from all over the world to preview screenings,

Nantucket Film Festival
Jill Burkhart, Executive Director, Zack Braff, Director and star of “Garden State” and Mystelle Brabbee, Executive Director

Photo Credit: Nantucket Film Festival

This year’s event is scheduled to premiere more than 75 films over five days. This year, Golden Globe-winning actress Robin Wright, and Academy and Emmy-Award nominated House of Cards creator and screenwriter Beau Willimon will participate in an In Their Shoes…conversation moderated by Chris Matthews at the Nantucket High School on Sunday, June 28. (Past featured notables include Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers, Glenn Close and Meg Ryan).

The festival will also commemorate the late comedian-actress Anne Meara, a longtime friend and supporter of the festival. Meara co-hosted the festival’s Late Night Storytelling event for 10 years, performed in numerous staged readings, and in 2008 presented Judd Apatow with the Screenwriters Tribute. Meara’s husband Jerry Stiller, son Ben Stiller, and daughter Amy Stiller are also supporters of the event.

We recently caught up with Jill to discuss what she loves most about Nantucket and Boston.

Where were you born?
Newark, NJ

How long did you live there?
I didn’t live in NJ for too long, we moved a couple times growing up.

Where do you live now?
Park Slope, Brooklyn

How long did you stay Nantucket?
I lived on Nantucket 1971-1977 & many summers following and still go up every year.

Director, Documentary Programming at EPIX.  Jill is also the Founder of the Nantucket Film Festival with her brother Jonathan Burkhart.

Favorite Restaurant in Nantucket:
Company of the Cauldron

Best Sunday brunch:
Topper’s (at the Wauwinet on Nantucket)

Best place for a power business meeting on the island:
The White Elephant

All-around favorite spot in Boston:
Newbury Street.  I love shopping and they have great boutiques and cute restaurants.

All-around favorite spot in Nantucket:
Drinking an iced coffee from the Nantucket Pharmacy on Main St.

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
The Wauwinet, Nantucket

Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
The Lovely, Nantucket

What makes Nantucket unique?
Nantucket is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is such a magical place. The nature is incredible and the fact that the island is 30 miles out to sea make it a special place.

Best pizza:
Pi Pizzeria, Nantucket and Crazy Dough’s Pizza, Boston

Best place for a romantic date:
The back bar at Cru in Nantucket

Favorite charity event:
GLADD Media Awards

Best sushi place in Boston?
Snappy Sushi

Best bakery in Boston?
Modern Pastry

Favorite boutique in Boston?

Favorite Hotel in Boston?
The Eliot Hotel

Favorite historic place to explore?
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – Boston and Greater Light of the Nantucket Historical Association

Best French restaurant in Nantucket?
Le Languedoc Inn & Restaurant