Made on MVY: Thomas Bena’s One Big Home


In his first feature-length documentary, One Big Home, Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival founder Thomas Bena makes the case that limiting house size can actually protect the sense of place in any given community: “Setting reasonable limits has no real downside. The jobs remain and property values are maintained.”

Now in his third year of travel with the film, it has screened at more than 100 venues in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Bena remarks, “I’m thrilled that communities, from Vancouver to Milan to Melbourne, are using the film as a catalyst for the important conversation about how much is too much.”

In the film, Mr. Bena bumps up against angry homeowners, builders, and architects who look the other way. He records the process of working with the Chilmark community to create a new bylaw that restricts house size. The DVD also includes a “four years later” interview with residential architect Peter Breese, whom Mr. Bena debates throughout the film.

One Big Home is available for purchase at Cronig’s Market, Healthy Additions, Bunch of Grapes, Mermaid Farm, North Tabor Farm, Menemsha Market, and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. The film is also available on iTunes or at