Film : Cinema Circus: Bring the family
Cinema Circus, the highly successful mix of Island music and film shorts for children and adults, and good food from local sources, continues its winter series. "Family. Film. Feast," at the Chilmark Community Center the day after Christmas, Saturday, December 26.
"We're really trying to reach out to people with young kids," says artistic director Lindsey Scott. A former art teacher at the Martha's Vineyard Charter School who left to raise her family, she has volunteered at Martha's Vineyard Film Festival events like Cinema Circus since last April.
The fun begins at 5 pm, when Island musicians Mary Wolverton and Gregg Harcourt, producers of KCT Concerts, play their lively Irish mix on guitar, banjo, and violin. Donna Swift, the founder of IMP, the Island's children's improvisational group presents their performance of interactive skits for the audience.
Island chefs Heather Gude and Amy Miller have created a menu from home grown suppliers including the Farm Institute, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Morning Glory Farm and ECO MV, the Vineyard's biostore.
The winter harvest meal created by Ms. Gude features empanadas stuffed with pork or lamb and sweet potatoes, salad and squash soup. Ms. Miller will bake brownies, chocolate chip cookies and coconut bars for dessert. The price for dinner is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
And then there are the films. A roster of short films, both live action and animated, starts at 6 pm and will last slightly longer than an hour. They are designed for children from five years to adults, but babies are also welcome.
The seven films come from five countries, including the U.S., England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Germany. Because of its high production quality, the program will entertain adults as well as children.
In the animated film "Lost & Found," the longest of the films at 20 minutes, a little boy befriends a penguin who arrives unexpectedly at his house. Eventually he decides to return the lost animal to the South Pole, beginning an adventure with several ups and downs.
An insect who wants to be an architect stars in "Roberto," an animated short with termites, roaches, ladybugs, fleas and carpenters. Adults will enjoy the puns made out of well-known architects' names.
An electric guitar comes to life in another imaginative animated film, "Live Music." In "The Happy Duckling," an impish duck follows a little boy around, and the pair bring smiles and laughter wherever they go.
An elderly man who needs a cane to climb stairs plays the central character in "Flights." He ends up defying all expectations in this live-action short.
In another live-action film, "Rosa Summer," a little girl rides a quadricycle through her neighborhood while people exercise, dance and hang out laundry. A boy on his way to school finds a dog tied to a tree in "Doggie." When his parents take away the dog, the boy begins acting like one himself.
Saturday's event makes the second in Cinema Circus's winter series. The third offering is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30. The series has been made possible by support from the Island community.
Looking ahead, The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary the weekend of March 12-14 at the Chilmark Community Center and the Chilmark Public Library. The weekend of films has become a high point of the long winter season.
"Family. Film. Feast," Saturday, Dec. 26, Chilmark Community Center, South Road, Chilmark. Dinner and music at 5 pm. Films at 6 pm. Dinner $10 for adults, $5 for children. Film tickets, $6, available at the door. For more information, go to tmvff.org.
Brooks Robards reviews films, art, and books for The Times.