Martha's Vineyard Film Festival shines
Just in time to end the winter doldrums, the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) has announced its schedule for the March 13 through 15 event at the Chilmark Community Center. The ninth annual festival started on March 6 with a special preview showing of "Ballast" at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
The festival traditionally has emphasized documentaries, and of this year's 14 full-length features, four are fiction films and nine are documentaries. There will also be a program of international shorts.
For the first time, Martha's Vineyard Film Festival filmgoers will be able to buy tickets online for the rest of the festival through TicketsMV.com or the festival website, tmvff.org. That option ends at 12 noon on Friday, March 13, after which all tickets will be available at the community center. "It's kind of an experiment," says Managing Director Brad Westcott. Festivalgoer response to the online opportunity will determine whether Martha's Vineyard Film Festival continues the practice.
"We are making a push for more sofas this year," Mr. Westcott says of the comfortable borrowed seating that has been a hallmark of the community-oriented festival. But viewers will have to give up their cozy seats between screenings unless they already have purchased tickets for the next show.
For the kids
In addition to a full program of adult films, Martha's Vineyard Film Festival will once again offer a free series for children at the neighboring Chilmark Library. Nicole Dreiske, curator of the Chicago International Children's Festival, has come on board to choose this year's children's films. A veteran of nearly 35 years of curating children's films, she is also expected to choose the films for the summer Martha's Vineyard Film Festival series.
Praising Martha's Vineyard Film Festival Producer and Artistic Director Thomas Bena as a tremendous artist's advocate, Ms. Dreiske says she hopes the films in the series "will give children a window into cultures they've never experienced before."
The children's programming is divided into two sections: "A Different Drummer" for children 5 to 8, and "Inside Look" for those from 8 to 10.
One of Ms. Dreiske's choices is "Zoologic," an animated film about a fussy zookeeper. Another, "Stella and the Star of the Orient," which won Best of the Festival in Chicago, is a time-travel feature about a girl who ends up in the same house she lives in - 100 years earlier.
Still another feature, "The Secret of Skeleton Island," is based on a best-selling children's book series. A total of 19 children's films from 11 countries will be offered.
In explaining why she was willing to curate Martha's Vineyard Film Festival's children's program, Ms. Dreiske said Vineyard summer visitor Harold Ramis ("Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day") told her, "Whatever you do there will never be wasted. They have a reverence for culture."