Thursday, July 12, 2018

LOCAL writer Margaret Kane-Rowe has just returned from the prestigious Nantucket Film Festival where she won one of the major prizes and had the opportunity to rub shoulders with many celebrated artists in the film industry. Her short screenplay “Cinderella War” took first prize at the Tony Cox Screenplay Competition. The award recognizes the best unproduced screenplays and television pilots by emerging writers.

The 23rd Nantucket Film Festival, was held on the small island just off the coast of Cape Cod, celebrates the art of screenwriting, and is renowned for drawing a wide spectrum of Hollywood heavy hitters. This year’s festival was attended by Ben Stiller, Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Garrett Hedlund.

As well as VIP access to the entire festival and specialized industry events,  Margaret Kane-Rowe’s prize included an invitation to an exclusive mentorship brunch conducted by the Oscar nominated writer/director Noah Baumbach.

“It was remarkable to sit in that room eating bagels, drinking coffee, like any normal Friday, with Ben Stiller on the sofa opposite me. We actually had to take our shoes off, it was raining outside and our host had the most beautiful floors that merited protecting. I thought it was both surreal and reassuringly normal. There were only about 20 of us at the brunch, a mixture of the award winners, like me, or established artists and industry names such as Eric Gillilund the writer/director of Rosanne, and writer/director Andrew Heckler.

“Two weeks previously I was sitting at home, planning activities and summer camps for the kids, and typing away on my laptop in our spare room. I was completely unaware of the adventure and experience that lay ahead. It’s wonderful to realise that these people, in that moment, were my peers.”

The judges for this year’s screenwriting feature film and shorts competition were the Oscar nominated producer, director and actress, Miranda Bailey, the director of the prestigious SXSW Film Festival, Janet Pierson, and Dade Hayes, contributing editor of Deadline.

“It was so edifying to hear each of the judges, separately, make a point of telling me that there had been no disagreement amongst them about who should get first prize, my script was the clear favourite”

She thanks the arts department of Kildare Co Council for their support, contributing towards her travel expenses, rushing it through last minute. “I only received word I’d won about 10 days before the festival started,” said Ms Kane-Rowe.

During the past two years she has been a finalist in the NYCmidnight scriptwriting competition, shortlisted for the Nashville Film Festival screenwriting competition, and Waterford Film Festival script writing competition. She has also being shortlisted for Listowel and last year was highly commended for the CD Lewis Award for her stage play “Mother and Toddler”. She blogs at

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