Filmmakers will host digital launch event for ‘Keepers of the Light’

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Filmmakers Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth of Film Truth Productions announce a partnership with American Public Television (APT) to distribute their documentary, “Keepers of the Light,” to Public Television stations across the U.S. beginning May 19. Film Truth Productions also announced that “Keepers of the Light” has just launched digital streaming for purchase on the film’s website keepersofthelightfilm.com.

Built over 200 years ago in Aquinnah, the Gay Head Lighthouse is one of America’s most famous beacons. According to a press release, from whaling days to electrification, “Keepers of the Light” tells the story of evolving technology, heroism, and shipwrecks, and the people who are called upon in each generation to keep the light. The history is woven with the story of the recent race against time to save the historic lighthouse from falling over the edge of the rapidly eroding Aquinnah Cliffs.

Film Truth Productions will celebrate the online and TV launch of “Keepers of the Light” with a Zoom launch party on Thursday, May 7, at 8 pm. Filmmakers Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth will be joined by special guests Gay Head Lighthouse Keeper Richard Skidmore, Lighthouse Historian Jeremy D’Entremont, as well as Wampanoag tribal members Kristina Hook and Martha Vanderhoop. The Q & A will be kicked off with a live performance by Isaac Taylor of his song the “Red Queen,” featured in the film. To register for this event, go to kol-launch.eventbrite.com.

Film Truth Productions will partner with the Center for Independent Documentary, Chilmark Writing Workshop, James Taylor, M.V. Film Society, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and Pathways Arts to present the Zoom Q & A launch event.

Witham and Wentworth say in the release that they are excited about the opportunity to bring the film to a nationwide public television audience through their partnership with APT and NCPM. For the filmmakers, “Keepers of the Light” is a story near to their hearts. The documentary takes place in Aquinnah where the filmmakers live, and where director Liz Witham was born and raised.

“This has been an extremely exciting project, as the history of the Gay Head Lighthouse is fascinating, but one of the wonderful things about this film is it’s not just about one lighthouse — it’s about the history of lighthouses in the U.S., shipwrecks and heroic rescues, it’s about Vineyard history and the Wampanoag community of Aquinnah, and the important role of historic preservation in saving our shared stories,” director Liz Witham says in the release.

“Keepers of the Light” was an official selection of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, Weyauwega International Film Festival, International Maritime Film Festival, and opened the Woods Hole Film Festival, where the filmmakers received the New England Emerging Filmmaker award.

Member stations numbering 246 and representing 80 percent of the Public Television market have signed on to broadcast “Keepers of the Light.” Northern California Public Media (NCPM) is the presenting station for this offering. Check the local Public Television station for program listings. To watch a trailer for “Keepers of the Light,” visit watch.keepersofthelightfilm.com.