Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival announces schedule

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The audience of a MVFF event at the Chilmark Community Center in 2015. —Photo by Maria Thibodeau

Last week, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) announced the schedule for their spring festival, which will take place March 17 through 20 at the Chilmark Community Center, Chilmark School, and Pathways Gathering Space at the Chilmark Tavern. In addition to films, the festival will also feature music, meals, speakers, discussions, and children’s programs.

This year’s lineup includes the most recent award-winning films from the Sundance and Cannes film festivals. There will be 12 free events, including the screening of the opening-night film, “Heroin: Cape Cod, U.S.A.”

Several documentaries which focus on influential and iconic Americans will also be offered. “Maya Angelou and Still I Rise” reveals the private side of the stunning and daring poet. “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” is a revealing portrait of one of the most influential writers and producers in the history of television, now 93 years old. “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” delves into the privilege, love, loss, and survival of the renowned designer and socialite through interviews with her youngest son, news anchor Anderson Cooper.

The MVFF will also be screening the 2015 and 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners for U.S. Documentary. “The Wolfpack” is a gripping film that follows a resilient gang of brothers locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The 2016 winner, “Weiner,” follows Anthony Weiner and his fall from grace while running for mayor of New York City.

Continuing a featured theme at last year’s festival, three documentaries focus on courageous young women making their mark in the world. “Presenting Princess Shaw” follows Samantha Montgomery, a New Orleans retirement home caregiver who transforms into a soulful singer each night and rises to internet fame. “Sonita,” the winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at Sundance, and “Driving With Selvi” both follow the rise of two women who escape patriarchal oppression in incredible ways. One becomes the first female taxi driver in south India, and the other, an Afghan refugee in Iran, uses hip-hop and pure tenacity to break free.

Additional highlights are the winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, “Dheepan,” which follows a Sri Lankan man who flees civil war, and the closing-night film “Date with Destiny,” directed by Academy Award-nominated MVFF alum Joe Berlinger, the first outside filmmaker granted full access to a seminar held by motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

Other titles include “Bá,” “Boy and the World,” “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World,” “Resilience,” “Morris from America,” “The C Word,” “Being AP,” “Lamb,” “Landfill Harmonic,” “Suited,” “Bear Island,” “We’re Still Here,” “Holy Hell,” “Trapped,” and “Tickled.”

For more information on MVFF memberships, ticket purchase, and the full March festival schedule and showtimes, call 508-645-9599 or visit tmvff.org.