Young filmmaker focuses on hunger on Martha’s Vineyard


Fourteen-year-old Josh Bernstein of Chilmark and Armen Hanjian, director of the Island Food Pantry, posed Sunday afternoon in front of the Capawock Theatre, where the premiere of Josh’s 28-minute documentary film about the food pantry was screened for a group of invited guests. The screening was followed by a reception at the Mansion House.

Introducing the film, Mr. Hanjian said he had one good idea last year — to ask Josh to make a documentary for the Island Food Pantry. The film, a mitzvah community service project, became much bigger than expected as Josh and his parents, both filmmakers, learned what it took to make the food pantry work and how the community comes together to help. The Vineyard may be a luxury destination for some, but hunger remains a fact of life for many Islanders. Last year there were 2,600 visits to the food pantry.

From detailing the pantry’s history, to the efforts of volunteers, to letting people know how they too can help, Bernstein documents the work of the Food Pantry with sensitivity and warmth. When he was recognized before the film began, Josh modestly said, “This was a year in the making. So enjoy.” We did.

The first public showing of the film will be on October 17 at 2 pm, also at the Capawock, whose owner, Benjamin Hall, has often shown films for free to raise money and goods for the Island Food Pantry. Admission is a donation to the Island Food Pantry in the form of canned goods or money. Bernstein’s documentary will be shown before a free feature length film. Plan to come, and bring food.