The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) has appointed Brian Ditchfield as its new artistic and executive director, taking over for former directors Hilary Dreyer and Thomas Bena, according to a press release.
Ditchfield, who has been with the film festival for 12 years, will pick up the torch as Dreyer moves on to pursue a career in philanthropy, and Bena heads off to pursue a new project of his.
Over his time at MVFF, Ditchfield has served in many capacities, including as programming and financial director, and ringmaster of the film festival’s beloved children’s program, Cinema Circus.
After moving back to his birthplace of Martha’s Vineyard from Chicago in 2007, Ditchfield worked as business manager for the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.
Ditchfield has helped expand the festival, Summer Film Series, and Cinema Circus, oversaw the addition of the education and filmmaking departments, and was instrumental in creating and programming the drive-in partnership with the YMCA.
“After 21 years of running the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, it is time for me to begin my transition away from MVFF and onto my next chapter,” Bena said in the release. “Although this was a hard decision, I am so grateful to be handing the baton to Brian! His 12 years of love, hard work, and dedication make him the perfect person to continue to grow and expand MVFF.”
Dreyer said in the release that she is “ incredibly proud” of what the organization has accomplished over her seven years working there. “It has been an honor and a joy to create magic in gathering and inspiring my home community,” she said in the release.
Ditchfield said in the release that he looks forward to working with members of the film festival family to carry on the legacy that has provided so many opportunities to the Island community:
“I’m looking forward to working with Ollie, Jenna, Danielle, and Tom to continue to create a vibrant film and arts community on the Island for many years to come.”