Roxane Ackerman and Elaine Vanderhoop
Roxane Ackerman (left) and Elaine Vanderhoop were among the lucky audience members to watch the screen from a comfy couch. Photos by Ralph Stewart

All thumbs up for indie film fest

Posted March 22, 2007

A bevy of fascinating films, delectable food, and a mellow but energized atmosphere drew crowds to the Chilmark Community Center all last weekend for the Martha's Vineyard Independent Film Festival (MVIFF). Now in its seventh year, the annual event featured new independent films, both short and full length, spanning the spectrum from quirky to lyrical, witty, moving, and thought-provoking.

Festival founder/producer/director Thomas Bena, who runs the event with single-minded passion, joined by guest director Alison Prouty, staunch regular staff, and dozens of cheerful volunteers transformed the center into a warm social haven and kept the packed schedule flowing smoothly. Conversations with guest filmmakers, good music, and hearty meals and snacks by Danielle Dominick of the Scottish Bakehouse were added pleasures for the enthusiastic audiences.

Jeremy Mayhew
Jeremy Mayhew (center), a Vineyard filmmaker and festival staff member, chats with friends as movie-goers relax and socialize.
Julie Verost and Scott Allen Hershowitz
Julie Verost and Scott Allen Hershowitz were all smiles after winning the gift bag raffle; everyone who purchased a new MVIFF membership was entered.
Thomas Bena
Thomas Bena welcomed audiences and spoke of his dream of expanding the festival to show films year 'round.
Rob Flow
New York City deejay Rob Flow enhanced the weekend's mood with music.
Sergeant Steve Pink
Sergeant Steve Pink, a National Guard member living on the Cape, shared his experiences as one of several soldiers who filmed in Iraq for "The War Tapes."