MVFF responds


To the Editor:

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival is a nonprofit organization. Since day one, we have stayed true to our mission, embraced input from friends and neighbors, and taken great pride in providing a place for the Island community to gather, discuss, create, learn, and take action on the issues of our times.

In the past year, we have created events that examined the local drug epidemic, race in America, women’s rights, Native American culture, and the environment. This summer’s films explore the sustainability and stewardship of our oceans, gun control, animal rights, and socioeconomic inequality on the Island and off.

There has been much misinformation about our desire to create a gathering space. Please know that we have no intention of building a “restaurant complex,” an “apartment complex,” or a “megaplex.”

There are no concrete plans yet for our land purchase in West Tisbury. We are in the early stages of planning. We know that we want to conserve the forested area, and consider farming some of the land, and that anything we build will be simple, barnlike, and fit the landscape. We know that we will use new eco-technologies, acting as stewards of the land and our natural resources.

Finally, perhaps most important, we know that we will move forward with kindness and openness, and sincerely hope you will join us in that spirit. If it is determined after this process that this not the right location, we hope you will help us find a space that might be.

We look forward to hearing your input. Give us a call, shoot us an email, or stop by our office to have a conversation. We can be reached at 508-645-9599 or at

In the meantime, we are focusing on producing our programming for kids (the Cinema Circus, and our filmmaking camp), and our film screenings in Oak Bluffs and Chilmark.

The MVFF staff: Thomas Bena, Chilmark; Brian Ditchfield, Edgartown; Hilary Dreyer, West Tisbury; Robyn Athearn, West Tisbury; Molly Purves, Aquinnah; Lilian Robinson, Tisbury; Chris Mara, Edgartown; Kara O’Sullivan, Chilmark; Elina Street, Tisbury; Caitlin Bingham, West Tisbury