Tonight, March 15, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival begins. Now in its 13th year, the festival has become an annual cultural rite of spring. The snows have melted, Daylight Saving Time begun, and now into the mix add a bit of enlightenment in the form of films and conversations at the Chilmark Community Center. The festival runs through Sunday, March 17.
This year there are 14 movies, 12 of which are documentaries, covering a variety of subjects but are held together by the common purpose of the festival screening committee — to get audiences to think. To help facilitate discussion after each screening the festival organizers, including Thomas Bena, the founder and executive director of the festival, and programming director Brian Ditchfield, work hard each year to bring principles from the films to the Island. Directors, actors, subjects of documentaries, professors all will be on hand this weekend to keep the conversation flowing after the screenings and around the Chilmark ‘campus.’
The movie subjects include a tribute to the music of the legendary Muscle Shoals, a snowboarder recovering from injury, the court trials of the Central Park Five directed by Ken Burns, the gentrification of Brooklyn and a longtime friendship with the playwright and actor Sam Shepard.
Festivalgoers are guaranteed full and happy stomachs, too, thanks to the cooking expertise of Chris Fischer and his on site meals. Enjoy a performance of Shakespeare for the Masses to underscore the themes of narrative meets documentary film, Caesar Must Die
For a complete list of films and subjects, visit tmvff.org.