Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival (Festival posts for 2012 or earlier)

Friday September 21, 2012

$10 General Admission, $7 Member
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening - buy at center

2012: The MV International Film Festival Finds Its Center
September 21, 2012

September 20, 2012 (Vineyard Haven, MA)-Right on cue the curtain went up! Though the scene of fevered construction just days before, the 7th annual MV International Film Festival was able to launch its opening night event at its new year-round home, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. The buzz about the new advanced-technology Center helped drive box office revenues 45% over that of previous years-but festivalgoers also touted a remarkable line-up of major independent and foreign film hits.

Opening night people queued in the rush line, hoping to snag a spare (and comfy stadium-style) seat for the national hit SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN, tickets for which sold out online before the box office even opened. The true tale of an unknown musician from Detroit-who discovers he’s as big as Elvis in South Africa-was preceded by a hot-off-the-camera short by Vineyard filmmaker Liz Witham. The 7-minute short, about singer Ben Taylor (son of James), warmed up the crowd pleasantly … then things got hot when Ben entered stage left and gave an impromptu concert.

From that point on, the festival revved up, with more than half the featured films selling out in advance.

Return of Favorite Festival Features

For the third year, the festival sponsored a Short Film Competition with a $500 cash first prize. More than 200 filmmakers entered, and the 10 finalists were screened at the festival, with expert judges choosing the winner. This year’s winner, THE RUNNER, came from Serbia. Director Ana Lazarevic, an MFA candidate at Columbia University, snagged this year’s prize with her tale of a human trafficker forced to face the consequences of his actions when he gets to know a Roma boy.

The other returning favorite was the ANIMATION SPECTACULAR. This year Joy Vaccese and Noelle Melody, of the creative team Twins Are Weird, curated the always-popular animation showcase. (The twins also created the clever festival trailer-view it at mvfilmfest.com.)

Special Appearances
The festival is known for attracting an eclectic crowd of residents, day-trippers, and long-time seasonal residents like BROOKE ADAMS, TONY SHALHOUB, and WES CRAVEN. Also attending was Hollywood producer DOUGLAS CRAMER who, with his partner HUGH BUSH, was a major backer of the Film Center project. DIANA BARRETT, head of the Fledgling Fund and another long-time supporter of the MV Film Society and the new Center, attended with her husband BOB VILA.

In the four packed days of the festival, though, one appearance stands out: Famed author JUDY BLUME, with her husband and Film Center advisor GEORGE COOPER, attended a premier of her son LAWRENCE BLUME’s new film TIGER EYES, based on Judy’s novel.

In addition to the best films from around the world, festival goers were also treated to a stunning gallery-like lobby featuring the paintings of the late GRETCHEN FELDMAN. The lobby’s gallery-quality lighting and display are thanks to SAM FELDMAN and family, who was the first of the major-donor “Founding Members” of the Film Center.

Parties Bigger and Better
Tickets to the opening and closing night parties were tough to come by, and no wonder. Opening night was under a tent on the water, with food supplied by the fabulous SALTWATER restaurant, which is owned by SAM DUNN, the man who first imagined the possibility of a film center at his Tisbury Marketplace. Friday night’s party, planned for CAFÉ MOXIE, ran into some snags-the planned venue turned out not to quite have their permits in order-but an owner of the newly reopened Vineyard Haven bistro came personally to the rescue and held the party at her home. It was an evening exotica with vodka drinks (supplied by EIGHT BALL VODKA) and belly dancers. Closing night moviegoers flocked to the MV Marina, to a beautiful harbor view highlighted by a rare double rainbow and the root music of GOODNIGHT LOUISE.

What A Difference a Another Year, and a New Film Center, Makes
What perhaps makes the 2012 MV International Film Festival unique is that it has yet to end. Year-round residents unable to buy a ticket for sold-out festival favorites learned at the box office that no longer would they have to wait for Netflix or DVD releases to see what they missed out on. Less than a week after the festival ended, the MV Film Center reopened with a full slate of the festival’s greatest hits.

“We had planned to close for a week or ten days after the festival-to regroup, clean up, finish the construction punch list,” said MV Film Society director Richard Paradise. “But the demand was so great, I slept for a couple days and then immediately reopened, along with the aid of my most stalwart volunteers.” He praised, especially, Steve and Peggy Zablotny, the design team who not only manned the lights and took tickets during the festival but who are also responsible for the Film Center’s fresh look, from the Vineyard-purple seats to the soothing forest green carpet.

Thus far, locals appreciate the effort, lining up this week to see the festival best-sellers, including ROBOT & FRANK (starring Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon), ALL TOGETHER (featuring Jane Fonda in her first French-speaking role in 40 years), and HEADHUNTER (based on the best-selling novel by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo).

For over a decade the MV Film Society has been a vagabond organization, moving from venue to venue, restricted by limited availability to one film a week. Opening the MV Film Center is, Richard Paradise admits, a dream come true. And now he has one more dream: “To keep Vineyarders and Vineyard visitors coming to the movies, all year long.”

To those who credit Mr. Paradise for building the Film Center and throwing another terrific festival, he’s equally quick to shine the light on the tremendous outpouring of support he received. In addition to the 50+ volunteers (many of whom have been with him from Day 1 in 2006) he lauds the financial and material support of Amtrak, Aqua Panna, Boisset America, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Cape Air, Eurochannel, Festival Genius, The Fledgling Fund, Imagine Magazine, Improper Bostonian, Izze Soda, KinderUSA, Liberty Hotel, Mansion House Inn, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, Martha’s Vineyard Productions, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, MV Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MVY Radio, MVOL.com, MV Patch, MV Permanent Endowment, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Martha’s Vineyard Productions, National Endowment for the Arts, Not Your Sugar Mamas, Saltwater Restaurant, San Pellegrino, SeaStreak, Stella Artois, Stina Sayre Design, Suffolk University, TicketsMV.com, Tisberry, Triple Eight Vodka, Vineyard Gazette, Water View Home, WGBH, and especially NPR’s WCAI.

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Finds Its Center
7th edition – September 6-9, 2012
July 21, 2012

Year 7: Film Center Heaven

In this, its seventh year, the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival has found its center-its Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, that is.

After a decade-long nomadic existence, the MV Film Society at last has a permanent home. Located in the Tisbury Marketplace (a short walk from the steamship dock and other festival venues) the MV Film Center holds a 27-foot screen, 185 stadium seats, and boasts DCI digital projection. During the festival, the Center will serve as box office, screening venue, and post-screening party site.

“Our ongoing theme is ‘Other Places,’” says MV Film Society founder and director Richard Paradise. “The Center is our new ‘Other Place,’ but our focus is unchanged: to present the best films from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. The only change is now we have one more fantastic place in which to screen them.”

The Festival launches its four-day, jam-packed movie spree on September 6 with an evening waterfront party at Saltwater Restaurant. After terrific food, wine, and music, festivalgoers will walk just steps to the opening night film at the new MV Film Center.

Riveting Lineup: Shorts & Features, Comedy & Drama, Old Pros & New Talent

One distinctive feature of the MV International Film Festival is its many showcases of innovative and unusual shorts. This year, Joy Vaccese and Noelle Melody, of the creative team Twins Are Weird, curate the always-popular animation showcase. (The twins also created the clever festival trailer-view it at mvfilmfest.com.)

The festival’s International Short Film Competition also returns. From the over 200 entries, 10 best have been selected and will be screened together, with the winner announced at the end. Saba Riazi, an Iranian American, who won last year with THE WIND IS BLOWING ON MY STREET, will be a judge, along with film experts Diana Barrett, president of the Fledgling Fund, Andrew Mer of Snagfilms, and Tim Miller, Cape Cod Times film critic.

Local filmmakers also get to display their talents in the short-film format via “Think Globally, Shoot Locally,” organized by Vineyarders Dan and Greg Martino.

Among the two-dozen feature films to be presented are a wide range of documentaries covering a vast array of subjects-from global warming (LAST CALL AT THE OASIS) to the fate of America’s Iraqi allies (THE LIST) to the world’s favorite treat (Grenada’s NOTHING BUT CHOCOLATE).

Comedy films include New Zealand’s BOY and ROBOT AND FRANK, an American film starring Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon, which critics describe as heartbreaking and hilarious.

This year’s dramas hail from all over, including Norway (OSLO, AUGUST 31ST); Finland (HEADHUNTERS); and Paraguay (LAS ACACIAS). In addition, Film Center supporter The Fledgling Fund returns as a Festival sponsor. Among the Fledgling Fund projects to be screened are GIVE UP TOMORROW, set in the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of the Philippines.

Daytime family films will include QUILL, from Japan, the story of a guide dog from birth to his assignment to Watanabe, who at first is reluctant to rely on him.

French films are ever popular at the Festival, and this year promises an array. Director Daniel Auteuil’s THE WELL-DIGGER’S DAUGHTER is bound to be a festival favorite. Director Julie Delpy’s 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK will also inevitably draw a crowd. The blending of suspense and comedy in NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU, about a blocked writer and a beauty who thinks she’s Marilyn Monroe reincarnated, promises to be both off-beat and thrilling. Rounding out this collection of new French films is IF WE ALL LIVED TOGETHER, which stars both Geraldine Chaplin and Jane Fonda, in her first French-speaking role since the 1970s.

Over the next several weeks we’ll be adding several new releases to the festival slate, including both Opening and Closing Night premieres.

Northeast Alliance: Year Two

In 2011, the MV International Film Festival began collaborating with the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Rhode Island International Film Festival to choose one essential film for all three festivals. This year’s joint selection comes from Egypt. WORDS OF WITNESS, directed by Mai Iskander (whose GARBAGE DREAMS was a festival favorite in 2009), follows a young female journalist who covers Cairo’s Tahrir Square protests while grappling with her mother’s disapproval over her chosen profession.

There’s an App for That

Want to know which movie’s showing when? Curious what the critics think? There’s an app for that! Scan all the details on the MV International Film Fest on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, using the app “Festival Genius,” free at the iTunes app store.

For all the details, including how to buy advance tickets and festival passes, search this web site.

Join Us in downtown Boston for a preview Evening of Film, Wine, and Music
Friday, June 29, 2012, at the Modern Theatre
May 7, 2012

Purchase Your Ticket On-line in Advance or Buy it at the Door at 5 pm.

OUR PROGRAM
5:00 pm Open Doors to Admissions/Ticket holders

5:30 – 6:30 pm International Short Films Program

6:45 – 7:45 pm Intermission at 49Social (49 Temple Street),
featuring Boisset Family Estate Feench Wines, Izze Sparkling sodas, and tasty appetizers

8:00 – Main Feature Film – NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

“A subversive and strange little film noir” — Boyd van Hoeij, Variety

Rousseau is a bestselling crime novelist from Paris, troubled by writer’s block. Candice Lecoeur is a local beauty, gracing the famous “Belle de Jura” cheese packaging, who has gotten it into her head that she might well be the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. The two will meet in the coldest village in France, but only after Candice has been found dead. The case was closed before it even opened and the cause of death declared suicide by sleeping pills. Rousseau is the only one who doesn’t buy it. Reality turns out to be stranger than fiction – and a source of inspiration – as Rousseau uncovers the truth about Candice’s past and her untimely death. Boasting strong lead performances and gorgeous wintertime landscapes, this off-beat mystery breathes fresh life into the thriller genre.

2012 * France * Murder Mystery/Comedy * 104 mins.* Not-rated (some nudity, language)

Parking is available at several garages nearby or take the MTBA to the theatre – just one block away - Click for Map and Directions.

Festival Accommodations Sponsor - Click for special rate - use code: FILMFEST

Festival Wine Sponsor

Festival Beverage Sponsor

Media Partners


Modern Theatre Interior at Suffolk University (photo by Peter Vanderwarker)

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT RICHARD at rich@mvfilmsociety.com or 508-696-9369.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival
7th edition – 2012 | 6-9 September
January 13, 2012

NOW ACCEPTING SHORT FILM ENTRIES
International Jury Competition – 10 films will be selected from worldwide entries and screened at 2012 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival short film showcase. Jury members will select winning film for jury cash prize and presentation at Closing Night program on Sunday, September 9th.

Our festival is about exploring other cultures/people of the world. We accept either fiction or non-fiction types of less than 20 minutes. We would love for you to send us your short film for consideration.

No fees, no application blues. There is also a Cash Prize!

PARTICIPATION DETAILS:

Eligible if short film was completed after 1 July 2011
English language, or with English subtitles
Entries to be submitted by DVD (NTSC format) with no regional coding
Please include full contact details including postal address, telephone number and email address
Your film must not be in breach of any copyright, including music or sound contained in your entry
Films of any genre are accepted

Maximum running time – 20 minutes or less

Entry deadline – 15 July, 2012

Announcement of selected 10 films for competition showcase – 15 August 2012

No entry screening fees!

Send your DVD (NTSC format) screener to: MV Film Society, P.O. Box 4423, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or send us a url link to preview your short film on-line.

For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Richard at rich@mvfilmsociety.com

Have a super day!

NEA Chairman Landesman announces Challenge America Fast-Track grants
Martha’s Vineyard Film Society one of only 162 grantees nationwide
December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011 (Vineyard Haven, MA)-As National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has noted, “Art works everywhere,” which is why the NEA’s Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences-those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society (MVFS) was selected to receive $10,000 for one of the 162 grants to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”

The MVFS’s Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is four days filled with the best feature and short films from over 20 countries of the world, plus evening events, provocative forums, and live world music. The recurring theme of the annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is “Other Places”; the festival’s purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly (about how huge the world of film is) and deeply (about the universal concerns and desires that unite all people). About 90% of all film selections are non-US productions, helping to fulfill the festival mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through film.

“Being recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts for our film festival is a high honor,” said Executive Director Richard Paradise. “We’ve strived to achieve a balance of artistic merit, cultural exchange, and cultural tourism for our community in presenting this annual festival each September for our island residents and visitors.”

“The arts are not a luxury, as many incorrectly assume,” said U.S. Representative William Keating. “They are dynamic, integral parts of our communities that often serve as small economic engines, and the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is a perfect example of this. The festival bolsters our tourism industry, bringing film enthusiasts from around the world who stay in our bed and breakfasts, eat at our restaurants and shop in our stores. I commend the festival’s organizers for continuing to enrich our community and further commend the National Endowment for the Arts for recognizing such a worthwhile grantee.”

The program is called Fast-Track because of its expedited review time line. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society was notified approximately six months after applying. Also, with 375 eligible applications submitted from across the country, there was significant competition for funding for these grants. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society’s grant award is evidence of the artistic excellence and artistic merit of its Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.

Up & Away! Attendance Climbs at 6th Annual MV International Film Festival;
New Film Center Is Next Project
September 14, 2011

It’s a wrap! The sixth annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, organized and executed by the all-volunteer Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, packed over 30 films from 6 continents into 4 vibrant days.
“The festival grows each year,” says Society founder and Festival director Richard Paradise. “We’re still counting but we sold an estimated 3,500 tickets for the movies and parties. Overall we saw a 12 percent increase in overall box office-and that’s with no increase in individual ticket prices for the past three years. Pretty exciting!”

This year eight directors attended the festival, including Aaron Schrock (CIRCO), Sally Rowe (A MATTER OF TASTE), Bill Plympton (ANIMATION SPECTACULAR), and Alrick Brown (KINYARWANDA). They held Q&As after their screenings and sat in on other films, and mingled with newfound fans on the street and at the parties.

Also attending was director Ahmed Ahmed, a professional comedian touring with the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour. His JUST LIKE US, which opened the festival, follows a comedy show through Dubai, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Mr. Ahmed also attended an “encore” screening on the last day of the festival. “We always rescreen the opening night film on the last day of the festival,” said Mr. Paradise, “but this is the first time the encore screening nearly sold out. We had a handful of tickets left.” Attendees who visited the box office after the show raved about the film and about the personable Mr. Ahmed, who was stopped repeatedly on the street and thanked for his effort to eliminate the barrier of suspicion that divides Westerners and Middle Easterners. One fan said Mr. Ahmed should be a diplomat. Another, who came to the box office in search of a memento-a ticket stub, a poster-praised it as a mind-changing film. “So many people lump them [Arabs] all together with terrorists. But they’re, like the title says, just like us!”

For the second year, the festival sponsored a SHORT FILM COMPETITION with a $500 cash first prize. Over 200 filmmakers entered. The 10 finalists, from eight different countries, was chosen by an expert panel of judges that included last year’s winner Luke Matheny (GOD OF LOVE), who last year went from the MVIFF to win an Oscar. This year’s winner was Iranian filmmaker Saba Riazi. Her THE WIND IS BLOWING ON MY STREET was shot in Teheran; Ms. Riazi, currently a graduate student at NYU, will serve as a judge at the 2012 Short Film Competition.

Award-winning food expert and bestselling author Steven Raichlen was on hand to introduce the closing night film, THE TRIP. It stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as a pair of professional comedians who take an assignment from a British magazine to tour the UK’s finest restaurant. The “mockumentary” is a combination road picture, foodie film, and stand-up act, with Coogan and Brydon discussing life, love, and what makes a perfect Michael Caine impression. It was an upbeat note on which to end a festival whose films covered all genres and evoked every imaginable mood.

In addition to the packed screenings, moviegoers flooded to the parties: opening night the Afro Beat Project (featuring Entrain drummer Tom Major) brought the lighted tent on the grounds of Saltwater Restaurantalive. Attendees enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvre and waters, wine, beer, and vodka donated by the festival’s sponsors. Saltwater also served up a delicious four-course meal at the Friday night “Reel Food” filmmaker dinner. Friday and Saturday’s late-night parties were at the beautifully exotic Festival Lounge on Main Street where the drinks and food flowed and a DJ played world music. On closing night, film fans packed the Vineyard Marina, where they chatted about their favorite films and enjoyed the bluegrass acoustic sounds of Ballyhoo.

With another successful fest behind them, Mr. Paradise, the MVFS board, and an ever-energetic corps of volunteers are taking a very short break before tackling their biggest project ever: raising capitol to fit out the new Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. Last week, festival attendees were able to examine architectural plans. “Now it’s time to make those beautiful drawings a reality,” says Mr. Paradise.

Mr. Paradise credited the 50+ volunteers and the vital support of all the festival’s sponsors-Amtrak, Aqua Panna, Boisset America, Boston Herald, Cape Air, Center for Therapeutic Massage, Delegation du Quebec-Boston, Eurochannel, Festival Genius, The Fledgling Fund, Imagine Magazine, IndieFlix, KinderUSA, Mansion House Inn, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber, Martha’s Vineyard Productions, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, MV Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Mass Vacations, MVY Radio, MVOL.com, MV Patch, MV Permanent Endowment, The Point Way Inn, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, MVTV, Net Result, Saltwater Restaurant, San Pellegrino, Stella Artois, SeaStreak, Stina Sayre Design, TicketsMV.com, Tisberry, Tisbury Business Association, Triple Eight Vodka, Vineyard Gazette, Water View Homes, NPR’s WCAI-for making the event possible.

Click Download button for a .pdf of the 2011 Festival Program.

Laughing, Crying, Learning:
The World Comes to 2011 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival
6th edition – 2011 | 8 – 11 September
August 5, 2011

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society revs up the port town of Vineyard Haven once more with its annual International Film Festival. During September 8-11, films will show day and night, all at in-town venues within easy walking distance of one another and the town’s many galleries, shops, and restaurants, punctuated by parties large and small.

It’s the sixth festival for the Society, but the organization is not just going strong, it’s growing fast (see sidebar). Again, the films to be screened come from every corner-Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Eurasia, and Africa-supporting the ongoing festival theme, “Other Places.” With four jam-packed short-film showcases and over two dozen feature films, the 2011 MV International Film Festival lives up to what is too often a cliché, and provides something for everyone.

Comedies abound, starting with JUST LIKE US, an American film but one that was shot in Dubai, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Director and stand-up comic Ahmed Ahmed shows how humor can help break down cultural misperception that persist despite how technology and globalization has shrunk the world. As Variety put it, “Egyptians are well known for being hilarious-who knew?”

Steve Coogan, an edgy British comedian with a cult following, plays a striving actor turned food critic in THE TRIP. When his American girlfriend takes off abruptly, Coogan gets friend Rob Brydon to accompany him on a tour of fine dining establishments across the UK. Largely improvised, the pair’s dueling Michael Caine impressions alone are worth the ticket price.

One would not think that the years of oppression under the depraved Romanian dictator Ceausescu would be a source of humor-but in TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE, Palme d’Or winning director Cristian Mungiu takes tragedy and twists it into mordantly funny tales that are part Kafka, part Seinfeld.

From Italy and China come two tales of middle-aged men adapting reluctantly but ultimately with grace and humor to a world that is not always kind to its elders. In SALT OF LIFE, actor-writer-director Gianni di Gregorio is a lost soul whose daughter pities him and whose amicable wife he hasn’t slept with in years. It’s a problem to which he simply can’t reconcile himself. Women no longer notice me, he moans to a friend, not in “that way.” In THE PIANO IN A FACTORY (grand jury prizewinner at the 2011 Miami Film Festival), Guilin, a middle-aged ex-steelworker struggles to hold on to his daughter when his wife, who’s found a sugar daddy, wants a divorce. The daughter, an aspiring musician, decides she must live with the parent who can provide a piano, and Guilin sets out with musician pals to make one-from the scraps of his closed factor.

Documentaries are well represented, including a trio of films that have benefitted form the support of The Fledgling Fund, a philanthropic organization based in New York whose mission is to improve the lives of the vulnerable through innovative media projects. CONNECTED, an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, takes a multidimensional approach to understand urgent social issues, by examining how they connect-through the environment, population, technology, economy, and more. Combining powerful visuals and animation, CONNECTED uses both humor and irony to make its powerful point. BAG IT, the second Fledgling Fund-supported film, won audience choice awards at three US film festivals this year. It’s the tale of an America guy who decides to stop using plastic bags. This simple action gets him thinking about the use and abuse of plastic in society and soon he’s off on a global tour through our crazy-for-plastic world, with its throwaway mentality. MADE IN INDIA, a festival favorite at the 2010 Hot Docs International Film Festival, explores the phenomena of “outsourcing” motherhood, exploring the booming industry known as Reproductive Tourism by following an infertile American couple as they see a surrogate. Rarely spoken about, this one sector of international trade currently brings $450 million a year to India.

Another eye-catching documentary focused on India is MARATHON BOY, which explores a four-year-old phenomenal runner. Is he a gifted athlete? Another exploited Indian child? “Epic, artistic, and even archetypal,” was the fervent review by Variety.

“Food porn, par excellence,” says Slant magazine of JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI, a documentary on the 85-year-old sushi master of Tokyo who still strives for perfection. “I’ll try to reach the top,” sais Jiro Ono, “but no one knows where the top is.”

Award-winning dramas round out the schedule. INCENDIES, winner of 8 Genie Awards, the Canadian Oscar equivalent, tells the tale of twins Jeanne and Simon who, upon their mother’s death learn two shocking things: their father, long thought dead, is alive in Lebanon. And they have a brother they never knew about. They set off to find their family and reclaim their roots. “Stunning in its impact,” Roger Ebert declares. This Academy Award nominee (for Best Foreign Language Film) is bought to the festival in cooperation with the Quebec Delegation-Boston.

OCTUBRE, from Peru, won the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, with its story of devout Sofia and stoic Clemente, brought together over an abandoned baby, the result of Clemente’s liaison with a prostitute. In PUZZLE, a more lighthearted film, a housewife ignored by her family, discovers she has a gift for championship puzzle-solving. It stars María Onetto (THE HEADLESS WOMAN), whom the New York Times descries as having the “dignified bearing and mysterious expression of a middle-aged Mona Lisa.”

Two Danish families intersect in a revenge thriller, IN A BETTER WORLD, which nabbed the 2011 Best Foreign Film Oscar and Golden Globe. HONEY, a contemplative drama that won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin international film festival, focuses on a very young Turkish boy and his father, a beekeeper. Says, the New York Times, director Semih Kaplanoglu is a “rare director who can imbue the outdoors with a soul of its own.”

Even more ethereal is THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA, a romance and ghost story both, by 101-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira. A young photographer is called in to shoot a portrait of a recently deceased young bride. When he looks through his lens at her, she comes alive. “One of the 10 best films of the year!” says Film Comment.

Shorts don’t get short shrift on the Vineyard. Oscar-nominated independent animator Bill Plympton-a festival supporter from year one-returns to curate another outstanding showcase of animation shorts. (He’s also the author of the just-released autobiographical Independently Animated, which includes a hilarious foreword by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.)

This is the second year for the festival’s International Short Film Competition, with expert judges Andrew Mer, of Snagfilms, Diana Barrett, president of the Fledgling Fund, and Tim Miller, Cape Cod Times film critic. Rounding out the panel is last year’s competition winner, Luke Matheny, whose GOD OF LOVE went from the Vineyard to Hollywood, winning the 2011 Oscar for Best Live Action Short.

A third shorts showcase is the ongoing feature “Think Globally, Shoot Locally.” This year Vineyarders Dan and Greg Martino are they organizers, offering a public forum for the many local, talented filmmakers to display both short films and portions of works in progress.

Filling out the shorts schedule is a selection of international shorts selected by festival director Richard Paradise. “Shorts are big at our festival,” he quips.

This is a mere sampling of what’s in store for MVIFF attendees. Learn more at the festival website, www.mvfilmfest.com, where you can also join the mailing list and buy advance festival passes beginning in early August.

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival announces its Short Film jury panel members for its 6th annual festival.
August 1,, 2011

International Jury Competition – 10 short films will be selected from our festival’s worldwide entries based on a rating system and screened in our 2011 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival short film showcase. Jury members will select the winning film from these finalists for a cash prize and a special presentation at Closing Night program on Sunday, September 11th.

Our festival is about exploring other cultures/people of the world. We accept either fiction or non-fiction films. The following individuals are respected professionals in the film community and have agreed to participate on this year’s film jury panel. Last year’s winning short, GOD OF LOVE, went on to win the 2011 Oscar for Live-Action Short Film – not a bad follow up prize to our festival award.

Luke Matheny is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based (actually Luke has recently gone Hollywood moving to L.A.) filmmaker, writer and actor. His short film “God of Love” – a comedy about a lounge-singing darts champion who receives a package of love-inducing darts – won the Best-Live Action Short category for the 2011 Academy Award. The film was also winner of the gold medal at the 2010 Student Academy Awards; special jury recognition at Aspen ShortsFest; as well as first prize and the King Award for Screenwriting at the NYU First Run Film Festival. “God of Love” was Matheny’s thesis at NYU’s prestigious graduate film program. He is currently writing a feature comedy script called “Ron Quixote.” He enjoys jazz, Scrabble and cleaning his desk.


Tim Miller, entertainment editor of the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, has been a newspaper film critic for more than 30 years. A Detroit native (and proud of it), he has been obsessed with movies from an early age: His first album, which he bought at age 7 in 1962, was the soundtrack to “Lawrence of Arabia.” For the past several years he has taught film courses – from International Cinema to The Films of Humphrey Bogart – at Suffolk University and Cape Cod Community College. He lives in Marstons Mills with his wife, Susan; they have two children in their 20s, Katie and Josh.

Diana Barrett founded The Fledgling Fund in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health. At Harvard Business School, she was a member of the Social Enterprise core group where she taught Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as in various executive programs. Her areas of interest at Harvard included the use of public private partnerships for global poverty reduction and specifically, in addressing the social and personal burden of disease such as HIV/AIDS. She received both her Masters in Business Administration and her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. The Fledgling Fund provides an opportunity to further those interests by focusing on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. In addition to leading The Fledgling Fund, Diana serves on the Boards of the International Center for Photography, the Institute for Philanthropy in the U.K., the Social Change Film Forum at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Advisory Board of the Acumen Fund.

Andrew Mer is VP of Content Parterships for SnagFilms and has been instrumental in building the SnagFilms library of over 1100 documentary films. SnagFilms library consists of single titles from individual filmmakers and producers to multiple titles from many of the most widely known and respected distributors, aggregators, and broadcasters including, Virgil Films & Entertainment, E1, Alive Mind, Cactus Three, ITVS, Sundance Channel, FilmBuff and IndiePix.

Andrew Mer has been an independent consultant to the film industry in development and acquisitions. His most recent client was AOL where he served as chief acquisitions consultant for AOL True Stories, an all-documentary broadband platform. Andrew helped build and develop AOL True Stories’ slate of documentary films beginning with its launch slate.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival
6th edition – 2011 | 8 – 11 September
January 9, 2011

NOW ACCEPTING SHORT FILM ENTRIES
International Jury Competition – 10 films will be selected from worldwide entries and screened at 2011 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival short film showcase. Jury members will select winning film for jury cash prize and presentation at Closing Night program on Sunday, September 11th.

Our festival is about exploring other cultures/people of the world. We accept either fiction or non-fiction types. We would love for you to send us your short film for consideration. No fees, no application blues. Cash Prize!

PARTICIPATION DETAILS:
Fiction / Live Action
Animation
Documentary

Eligible if short film was completed after 1 July 2010

Maximum running time – 15 minutes

Entry deadline – 15 July, 2011

Announcement of selected 10 films for competition showcase – 15 August 2011

No entry screening fees

Send DVD (Region 1) screener to: MV Film Society, P.O. Box 4423, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Richard at rich@mvfilmsociety.com

Have a super day!

Fifth MV International Film Festival Sold-Out Success; Global Citizen Matthew Modine and ‘King of Independent Animation’ Bill Plympton Plan 2011 Return
September 28, 2010

It’s official: Gone are the days when the island of Martha’s Vineyard slips into sleep-mode by mid-September. While final ticket tallies are not yet confirmed, organizers of the Fifth Annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival report that, despite a down economy, festival ticket sales increased 12% this year. Nine events completely sold out (including the popular opening night film BEIJING TAXI, whose director Miao Wang attended). Even advance online ticket sales were up at least 25 percent, indicating a rise in attendance by off-islanders.

Throughout the weekend, crowds waited outside sold-out shows in the hopes more tickets would become available. At night, festival-goers partied at Richard Lee’s Art Gallery. In all, one local journalist noted, it looked more like July 4th weekend than September. Many local businesses cited an uptick in their weekend business at stores and restaurants.

Reasons for the surge in attendance include this year’s new Global Citizen Award, which went to veteran actor and activist Matthew Modine for his long-term dedication to environmental challenges. One of Modine’s many accomplishments is the creation of Bicycle for a Day (BicycleForaDay.org), which promotes bicycling as an alternative to driving in order to both cut pollution and promote healthier living.

Mr. Modine and his wife Cari stepped off the New Bedford Friday afternoon along with many filmmakers also attending. On Saturday night, prior to a premiere screening of Modine’s latest film, “The Trial,” Mr. Paradise and Island sculptor Barney Zeitz presented the Global Citizen Award to Mr. Modine, which Zeitz had crafted. It was the Modines’ first visit to the Vineyard, but they fit right in, hanging out in the box office and wandering to Main Street’s Mocha Motts for coffee and walking down the road to the REEL Food dinner at Saltwater Restaurant. “I knew we’d made the right choice for the Global Citizen award,” said festival director Paradise, “when I saw him standing in the lobby of Mansion House barefoot.” Just before returning to New York, Mr. Modine says they enjoyed the Island so much they plan to return for the 2011 festival.

Another event that drew record crowds was the new, juried short film competition. An expert panel chose NYU student Luke Matheny’s GOD OF LOVE over nearly 200 entries as the best; the audience concurred with the selection. Mr. Matheny received a $500 cash award.

It often seemed like a one-man show, with festival director Richard Paradise chatting up filmmakers and special guests, checking in on the box office, and introducing individual films and programs. However Paradise is quick to credit his superb army of volunteers-50 in all-and a core festival support team for the weekend’s success, especially Mary Spencer (who oversaw both box office operations and volunteer planning). Equally important were night-time party organizer Carol Beecher and Richard Lee, who lent his Main Street gallery space for those after-parties Friday and Saturday nights. Sam Dunn’s Saltwater Restaurant provided the setting and the fantastic food for the REEL Food dinner, which the Modines and most visiting filmmakers attended. Sponsor representatives Philip Hillman (Boisset America) and Ellie O’Keefe (San Pellegrino) were also crucial to the festival’s success.

In addition, Vineyard residents Kristi and Gary Maynard pulled off an exceptional event. The Maynards, supporters of the refugee resettlement program Mapendo.org, sponsored the showing of THE LAST SURVIVOR and a post-screening reception for Mapendo. They also flew in and hosted one of the film’s stars at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. Paradise cited the Maynards as an example of the type of community support that makes the film festival work.

In all, 24 features and 30 short films were screened during the four-day festival. Most were introduced by a special guest, such as comic veteran writer Marty Nadler, entomologist Paul Goldstein, Adam Brown, New York Times correspondent and Middle East expert Steven Kinzer, filmmaker and Vineyard resident, Victoria Campbell, author Kate Feiffer, local NPR host Mindy Todd, and Plum TV host Sissy Biggers.

Plum TV supported the event by giving extensive on-the-spot coverage and conducting interviews with key participants like Matthew Modine and “King of Independent Animation” Bill Plympton (All videos available at: http://www.plumtv.com/vineyard). Plympton’s return to the Island was a welcome surprise, thanks to a change in the production schedule for his latest project. Plympton joined a team of animators who presented a special Animated Shorts show that included Plympton’s “The Cow Who Wanted To Be a Hamburger.” As Plympton, a two-time Oscar nominee, told Plum TV, “I love it [the festival] so much I keep coming back.”

Despite the bigger-than-ever festival, director Paradise says there’s no time for laurel resting. Plans for the 2011 Sixth Annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival are already in the works. Key issues include expanding venues, choosing the next Global Citizen honoree, soliciting short filmmakers for the annual competition, and building a network of Island Hosts who will help lodge and transport filmmakers and special guests to the festival.

Mr. Paradise credited the vital support of all the festival’s sponsors–Amtrak, Aqua Panna, Boisset America (IDOL vodka, French Rabbit Wine), Boston Herald, Cape Air, Clarion Inn, Delegation du Quebec – Boston, Doctor’s House B&B, ECO MV, Fallon Inn, Harbor View Hotel, Holmes Hole Builders, Mansion House Inn, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, MV Cultural Council, Mass Cultural Council, MVY Radio, MVOL.com, MV Songwriters Festival, MV Permanent Endowment Plum TV, MV Times, Point Way Inn, San Pellegrino, Sapporo Beer, SeaStreak, TicketsMV.com, Tisbury Business Assoc., Water View Homes, WCAI, Zephrus Restaurant, 1720 House B&B –for making the event possible.”

Click Download button for a .pdf of the 2010 Festival Program.

“God of Love” Scores Top Prize for Shorts At Martha’s Vineyard International
Film Festival
September 11, 2010

The youngest finalist took home the big prize last night at the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival’s Juried International Shorts Competition. Director Luke Matheny’s “God of Love” unanimously won the votes of the judges to capture first prize in the Festival’s first annual shorts competition. The event sold out before doors opened; after viewing all the finalists, the audience also chose “God of Love” as their favorite.

“God of Love” is the tale of Raymond Goodfellow, a lounge-singing darts champion, who learns about unrequited love and his place in the universe. Earlier this year Mr. Matheny, from New York University, won the gold medal in the 2010 Student Academy Awards, in the Narrative category.

According to MV International Film Festival Director Richard Paradise, nearly 200 entries were submitted to the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival; earlier this month 10 finalists were chosen by the four judges: Amin Matalqa (writer/director/producer of last year’s Festival hit “Captain Abu Raed”); Tim Miller (Cape Cod Times entertainment editor); Susan Petersen (vice president, Shorts International); and Adam Roffman (program director, Independent Film Festival of Boston).

In the spirit of the MV International Film Festival, the shorts finalists came from around the world, including: Britain (“Watching” by Max Myers); Ireland (“Out of the Blue” by Michael Lavelle); Croatia (“Yellow Moon” by Zvonimir Juric); Germany (“Run Granny Run” by Nikolaus von Uthmann); The Netherlands (“Variete” by Roelof van den Bergh); New Zealand (“The Six Dollar Fifty Man, by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland); Sweden (“Incident by a Bank” by Ruben Östlund); Ukraine (“Deafness” by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy); and the USA (“The Cow Who Wanted To Be a Hamburger” by Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton).

This is the fifth annual MV International Film Festival, which has garnered increasing national attention this year, including recognition from the International Film Festival Summit (“Best Regional Festival Director”) and from MovieMaker magazine (“Top 25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”).

Tonight (September 11) at 7:00 pm another first happens for the Festival: veteran award-winning actor Matthew Modine will accept the Festival’s first annual Global Citizens Award in recognition of his superb efforts as an environmental and political activist. The award he will receive was handcrafted by acclaimed Vineyard sculptor Barney Zeitz. Mr. Modine is attending the festival and will answer questions from the audience following a premier screening of his new film “The Trial.”

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival combines a vibrant waterfront location, an art-loving community, and the best cinema from around the world. The festival runs through September 12, closing with a farewell celebration on the Vineyard Haven marina.

ACTOR MATTHEW MODINE TO RECEIVE GLOBAL CITIZEN AWARD AT
MARTHA’S VINEYARD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
August 26, 2010

Renowned actor Matthew Modine will receive the MV International Film Festival’s first annual “Global Citizen” award.

The award, created by Vineyard sculptor Barney Zeitz, will be presented on Saturday, September 11, 2010. Mr. Modine’s new film “ The Trial,” directed by Gary Wheeler and to be released by 20th Century Fox, will screen at 7:30 at the Capawock Theatre on Vineyard Haven’s Main Street. The award presentation and a Q&A with audience members will immediately follow the screening. Mr. Mark Freiburger, one of the film’s producers/screenwriters will also be joining us for the screening.

“We’re honored that Matthew has accepted our first-ever Global Citizen award,” says Richard Paradise, MVIFF founder and director. “He’s not only had a distinguished artistic career, but has as much energy and passion into his human rights and environmental activism. He truly is a model Global Citizen.”

Mr. Modine film credits include Birdy, Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob, and Shortcuts; he’s also had a recurring role on Showtime’s Weeds. His stage successes include the recently completed Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker with Abigail Breslin. In addition to being nominated for multiple Emmys, Mr. Modine is recipient of a Golden Globe as well as the Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup and Golden Lion. He also authored the award-winning book Full Metal Jacket Diary.

An environmentalist for over three decades, Matthew is the founder and force behind Bicycle For a Day (BFAD; www.bicycleforaday.org) whose mission is to encourage bicycling as a major mode of transportation in America. BFAD’s first event in 2008 attracted 14,000 bicyclists; this year Modine helped win approval for creating a dedicating biking lane along Columbus Avenue in Manhattan. More recently he launched Do-One, which he describes as “the ‘Smokey the Bear’ campaign for the environmental movement” that will help provide effortless, doable goals to reduce waste and consumption.

A similar passion fuels his work as a founder of CardCarryingLiberal.net, a grassroots group that celebrates liberal ideas and values such as free speech, women’s right to vote, trial by jury, child labor laws, and more.

Mr. Modine is the first recipient of the MVIFF “Global Citizen” award, which festival director Richard Paradise plans to make an annual event. The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival was launched in 2006. During this year’s festival, which runs 9-12 September, the “festival district” created in the Vineyard’s main port town will feature nightly parties, dinners, music, as well as over 50 films screened in three theatres in downtown.

Its Our Fifth Year – Come Celebrate the World of Film with us on the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard in September.
August 3, 2010

It’s Year 5, and the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival has hit its stride. Combining a vibrant waterfront location, an art-loving community, and the best cinema from around the world, this September’s film festival, September 9-12, 2010, promises to live up to its growing national reputation.

The MV International Film Festival has raked in kudos: this year MovieMaker magazine included it on their list of the top 25 film festivals “worth the entry fee.” (This comes on top of International Film Festival Summit’s recognition of MVIFF founder Richard Paradise as the best regional festival director.) The secret to this success? Since its inception, the ongoing theme of the festival has been “Other Places,” which means, says Mr. Paradise that “we seek films that are both outstanding and that offer insights to places our audience may not have the opportunity to experience first-hand. When we pick a film, we ask two questions: Does it entertain or inspire? And will it (whether it’s a comedy, a thriller, a documentary) encourage our audience to think about the world around us? It’s overwhelming, the number of films produced-the world of cinema is so big!–but it’s rewarding to be able to bring to our island four days’ worth of high quality entertainment from around the globe.” Like the tagline on the festival poster promises, this festival is all about “The Big Picture from a Small Island.”

One of the highlights is the 2010 Oscar winner, Juan Jose Campanella’s EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (“SECRET IN THEIR EYES”) from Argentina. Campanella has two stories to tell, featuring the same characters separated by time. The first is the story of a rape and murder. The other is the effect the crime has on the other characters. The film begins as a conventional crime thriller but then take off, delivery, as Paste magazine put it, “one of the most virtuosic chase sequences ever filmed.”

At the opposite end of mood scale is the unique and funny DET RODE KAPEL (“THE RED CHAPEL”). Two Danish comics, both born in Korea, decide to visit North Korea; they gain permission from the authoritarian regime by pretending they are a vaudeville act that offers an opportunity for a safe cultural exchange with the West. Director Mads Brügger, though, has other plans: to reveal to the West the horrific conditions inside the DPRK and “expose the very core of the evilness” of its regime. The contrast between the absurd comedy of the duo and the stifling controls of the North Korean regime under the thumb of the Dear Leader lends to a Borat-style comedy at once hilarious and uncomfortable but sharp enough to nab the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2010.

In a small German village just before World War I, strange things are happening and no one knows why. A barn burns. A child dies. Soon the villages of DAS WEISSE BAND (“THE WHITE RIBBON”) are all looking over their shoulders and looking suspiciously at one another. Winner of multiple awards at Cannes (and chosen Best Foreign Film by the Chicago Film Critics Association), this movie raises serious questions in a compelling way-such as, what conclusions does a community draw when the facts don’t add up. And can bad things just happen to good people? A visually stunning film shot in black and white, it uses a simple story to pose complex questions about both fear and security.

BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO, from Japan, sounds like a Godzilla-wannabe but it is a documentary exploring the island nation’s fascination with insects. Promising to shift Westerners’ perspectives on nature, life, and beauty, the film explores how nature manages to flourish on an island the size of Montana crammed with 128 million human beings. “Bewitching,” says the Village Voice. “Bristles with kinetic energy,” Film Comment magazine acclaims. Nominated at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards in the “Truer Than Fiction” category, BEETLE QUEEN promises to enchant and enlighten.

A movie of a very different sort comes from Japan’s neighbor, China. BEIJING TAXI follows three cabdrivers in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics. Powerful and uncensored, the film shadows the cabbies as they move through a rapidly changing city where historical districts are razed and luxury complexes thrown up. The drivers’ quality of life improves…but their sense of isolation increases. Just back from three months in China, film director Miao Wang will be on hand to introduce her film and discuss it with the audience.

Also from Asia is MADEO (“MOTHER”), a crime thriller described as “riveting and darkly funny” (Vogue) and “one of the year’s movie-going must-sees” (Salon.com). It’s the story of a mother desperately searching for the killer of a young girl who has framed her son for the crime. Winner of multiple awards (Asia Pacific Screen Award for best actress; Asian Film Award for best actress, screenwriter, and film), MOTHER contains, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “some of the best movie surprises I’ve seen in years.” These are just a few of the features being screened; a full and up-to-date listing is available at mvfilmfest.com.

The festival this year contains something new: a juried International Short Film competition. From the 200 entries submitted, 10 finalists will be chosen for screening at the festival and a cash prize awarded to the expert jury’s favorite. This addition to the program, which should become an annual event, is being judged by a top-notch group of film experts: Amin Matalqa, the writer/director/producer of last year’s festival hit CAPTAIN ABU RAED; Tim Miller, the Cape Cod Times entertainment editor; Susan Petersen, Vice President of Shorts International; and Adam Roffman, program director of the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

Films are only one half of the “film festival” equation, of course. The “fest” half includes relaxed mornings and early afternoons, which means plenty of time to explore the island and its beaches, followed by fun relaxed gatherings. Opening night there’s a sunset cocktail reception with live music on the roof of the Mansion House Inn overlooking Vineyard Haven harbor. On Friday it’s the third-annual Reel Food MV evening at Vineyard Haven’s Saltwater Restaurant. Sponsored by Pellegrino Waters, attendees will enjoy the fruits of island farmers’ labors with a sumptuous meal and drinks provided by sponsors like French Rabbit wines, Sapporo beer, and San Pellegrino waters.

Both Friday and Saturday night feature post-screening parties, too, with world music, exquisite appetizers, and refreshing drinks provided by festival sponsors and IDOL Vodka. Closing night it will be all hands on deck at Vineyard Haven Marina. Festivalgoers will enjoy live bluegrass by Ballyhoo, appetizers by Vineyard faves Blue Canoe restaurant, Net Result, and Il Tesoro of the Charlotte Inn along with libations from the fest sponsors.

MV International Film Fest passes and individual tickets are available online at TicketsMV.com, our festival ticketing partner. Tickets may be purchased in person beginning September 9 (10 am) at the festival box office (Mansion House Inn, Main Street, Vineyard Haven).

This year’s film festival poster was Illustrated by Signe Baumane, a past participant of our festival’s animation showcase in 2008.
July 21, 2010

A big thank you to Signe for her eye-catching and big picture design of this year’s festival poster. For more information on Signe’s unique talents check out her Web site.

Poster Design by Islander Stephen Zablotny

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is honored as MovieMaker Magazine’s 2010 “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”
May 15, 2010

During the year the MovieMaker office gets peppered with calls and e-mails from readers who ask us some variation of the following question: Which film festivals have the most to offer me?

We know that in today’s tight economy, with hundreds of festivals of various sizes, reputations and genres demanding entry fees between $25 and $50 each, and with a majority of moviemakers still believing that their festival strategy can make or break their indie film’s commercial prospects, readers can really use a little help from their friends at MovieMaker.

Thus, for the last several years we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile an annual list that highlights only a fraction of the events we believe are worth our readers’ hard-earned money. Of course, a festival game plan is still essential. Think about which fests have the most to offer, which feel right and which can deliver the kind of rewards—financial or otherwise—that can seed one’s career.

While every moviemaker’s priorities vary, what follows is a list of festivals that offer something a little out of the ordinary. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s a distribution opportunity and sometimes it’s the chance to be a part of an event regardless of whether your submission is even accepted.

So here are our 2010 picks; for the full text of why we chose this lot of more than two dozen fests, pick up a copy of the Spring 2010 edition of MovieMaker magazine, on newsstands now.

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival announces its Short Film jury members for its 5th annual festival.
May 1,, 2010

International Jury Competition – 10 films will be selected from our festival’s worldwide entries and screened at 2010 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival short film showcase. Jury members will select the winning film for a cash prize and a special presentation at Closing Night program on Sunday, September 12th.

Our festival is about exploring other cultures/people of the world. We accept either fiction or non-fiction types. The following individuals are respected professionals in the film community and have agreed to participate on our first ever film jury.

Jordanian-American Amin Matalqa received his MFA in Directing at the American Film Institute. In 2007 he wrote, directed, and produced his first feature film, Captain Abu Raed, Jordan’s first-ever entry into the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Captain went on to win the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 along with 27 other international awards, including Best Director in Seattle, Portland, and Palm Springs; and the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the Heartland Film Festival. While he lives in Los Angeles, Amin plans to continue making both American and international character-driven comedies. Most recently, his screenplay “The Cello and The Flower” was selected for the upcoming anthology film, Love Berlin. His upcoming feature film, Welcome To Nowhere, is an American comedy with heart and balls.


Tim Miller, entertainment editor of the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, has been a newspaper film critic for more than 30 years. A Detroit native (and proud of it), he has been obsessed with movies from an early age: His first album, which he bought at age 7 in 1962, was the soundtrack to “Lawrence of Arabia.” For the past several years he has taught film courses – from International Cinema to The Films of Humphrey Bogart – at Suffolk University and Cape Cod Community College. He lives in Marstons Mills with his wife, Susan; they have two children in their 20s, Katie and Josh.

Susan Petersen has over 20 years experience in the Entertainment and Media industry. She is currently the Vice President of Global Film Sales and Business development with SHORTS INTERNATIONAL. The Company has 4 Television Channels including SHORTS TV France, SHORTS TV UK, SHORTS TV Turkey and SHORTS HD USA and is the short film content provider to iTunes in all territories. Ms. Petersen oversees film licensing across all platforms worldwide, including the annual Academy Awards Nominated Shorts Program. She resides in Manhattan with her Jack Russell Terrier, Mila.

Adam Roffman has served as the Program Director of the Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFBoston) since 2003. He has worked in Set Decoration with such filmmakers as Robert Altman, Martin Scorcese, Ben Affleck, David Mamet, and Martin Campbell. He has recently moved into producing, having completed three films in the last three years; “Woodpecker” (2008), “Trust Us, This Is All Made Up” (2009), and “Phillip The Fossil” (2010).

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival
5th edition – 2010 | 9 – 12 September
January 21, 2010

NOW ACCEPTING SHORT FILM ENTRIES
International Jury Competition – 10 films will be selected from worldwide entries and screened at 2010 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival short film showcase. Jury members will select winning film for jury cash prize and presentation at Closing Night program on Sunday, September 12th.

Our festival is about exploring other cultures/people of the world. We accept either fiction or non-fiction types. We would love for you to send us your short film for consideration. No fees, no application blues. Cash Prize!

PARTICIPATION DETAILS:
Fiction / Live Action
Animation
Documentary

Eligible if short film was completed after 1 July 2009

Maximum running time – 15 minutes

Entry deadline – 15 July, 2010

Announcement of selected 10 films for competition showcase – 15 August 2010

No entry screening fees

Send DVD (Region 1) screener to: MV Film Society, P.O. Box 4423, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Richard at rich@mvfilmsociety.com

Have a super day!

New York, NY (PRWEB) The International Film Festival Summit presented their 3rd Annual IFFS Excellence Awards on Monday at the 6th Annual International Film Festival Summit.
December 15, 2009

For the third consecutive year, the IFFS Excellence Awards honored and paid tribute to the dedicated professionals and executives managing film festivals. “As film festivals continue to evolve and play a larger and more pivotal role in the entertainment industry we were absolutely thrilled to honor such accomplished and dedicated professionals for their contributions at this year’s summit,” said Waco Hoover, CEO of the International Film Festival Summit.

The awards were presented by American actor Ernie Hudson, and he was joined by over 200 film festival professionals and directors at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

The 2009 IFFS Excellence Awards honorees were, for International Director: Graham Leggat, Executive Director, San Francisco Film Society; for International Professional: Rose Kuo, Artistic Director, AFI Fest; for National Director: Gary Meyer, Co-Director, Telluride Film Festival; for National Professional: Natalie McMenemy, Managing Director, Aspen Film; for Regional Director: Richard Paradise, Festival Director, Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival; and for Regional Professional: Mary Dippell, Executive Director, Lake Arrowhead Film Festival.

The 2009 International Film Festival Summit featured the top industry leaders and directors including: SXSW, IFC, Cinetic Media, Aspen Film, San Francisco Film Society, Film Finders, New York Film Festival, HotDocs, Dallas International Film Festival, Enigma Research, Thompson On Hollywood, European Independent Film Festival, IEG, The Method Fest, Big Island Film Festival, The Woods Hole Film Feistval, Rochester High Falls Int’l Film Festival, Hollywood Black Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Foundation, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Film Threat, Phoenix Film Foundation, Atlanta Film Festival, Palm Springs Int’l Film Society, Miami International Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Silverdocs Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, and many many more.

About International Film Festival Summit (IFFS):

The International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) is the largest international organization representing the film festival industry. The IFFS mission is to promote and strengthen the global film festival industry through education, networking, dissemination of information, and the cultivation of high standards for the industry. The IFFS was founded in 2002 and provides the only annual conference & symposium for film festival professionals and entertainment executives to network, learn from one another, establish partnerships, and understand the latest trends in festivals and independent film. www.filmfestivalsummit.com.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Returns for 4th Year
September 10–13
August 1, 2009

Take an exquisite New England island, add fantastic films, parties, and invite lovers of both, and voila: it’s the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival! Established in 2006, the festival’s annual theme is “Other Places,” and is reflected in this year’s slate. “We hope,” says festival director Richard Paradise, “everyone will be challenged to think broadly—about how huge the world of film is—and deeply, about the universal concerns and desires that unite us.” This year, Paradise adds, 10% of profits will be donated to causes depicted in the screened films, such as PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL (from Liberia) and GARBAGE DREAMS (Egypt).

With less congestion and usually great weather, September is the perfect time for a Vineyard visit, and that goes double on festival weekend. The film fest, in fact, was designed with relaxation in mind: most events are in the afternoon and evening, leaving hours open to explore the island’s beaches and towns.

This year’s festival films come from every corner of the globe: Palestine, Russia, China, India, Norway, France, Israel, Germany, Spain, Japan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, and more. The opening night feature, though, is American-made (but India-inspired). SITA SINGS THE BLUES (“The Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told”) won the Cristal grand prix for best feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Its creator, Nina Paley, will speak at the opening night screening. Her time in India and the end of her marriage to an Indian man inspired her first feature. A syndicated cartoonist, she began making short films in 1998 and created SITA on her home computer.

Other notable films are RUDO Y CURSI, one of the top-grossing Mexican films of all time, and winner of the audience award at the Newport Beach Film Festival. WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Israel) is an innovative animated drama and was nominated for a 2009 Oscar (Best Documentary). LEMON TREE is based on the true story of a Palestinian widow who battles with her new neighbor, the Israeli defense minister, over the survival of her lemon grove, but finds a friend in his wife. At the Berlin International Film Festival, its star, Hiam Abbass, won Best Actress and the film received an audience award.

From Kazakhstan comes TULPAN, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Prix Un Certain Regard. It’s the tale of a dreamer who makes his way from the Russian navy to his hometown and, he hopes, a future with a mysterious local woman. A love story of another type is GONE WITH THE WOMAN (Norway), a fast-paced tale of a man and the woman who takes over his life.

The award-winning THE POPE’S TOILET (Argentina) is a comedy about the 1988 papal visit to a Uruguayan border town, whose residents anticipate great bounty from the anticipated 50,000 visitors. Another Argentine award-winner is THE MAID, which explores the netherworld of a long-time servant who is, and is not, part of the family. SIN NOMBRE (Mexico) is a socio-thriller set on the US border that won director Cary Fukunaga the 2009 New Director’s Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

One of the most anticipated films of the festival is MUNYURANGABO. It explores the Hutu-Tutsi genocide from the point of view of an orphaned teen and is the first film ever in the Kinyarwanda language. Among its many awards is the Grand Jury Prize at the American Film Institute festival.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS, directed by Doris Dorrie (How to Cook Your Life) comes courtesy of the Goethe Institute in Boston. When he loses his adored wife, Rudi discovers she once longed for a life in Japan. Off-balance, he leaves Germany for Tokyo. This clash of cultures film won Best Actor and Best Production at the Bavarian Film Festival. Japan is also the setting for OKURUBITO (this year’s Oscar Winner for Foreign Language Film), the story of one man’s attempt to survive the financial recession by taking a career he never imagined he’d ever consider.

The MV International Film Festival is a success largely because of support from year-round and seasonal residents. This year that’s particularly true: BROOKE ADAMS, film and Broadway star, will premiere her new 20-minute short, PET PEEVES (co-produced with her husband, Tony Shalhoub, star of TV’s “Monk”). GERALDINE BROOKS will introduce a feature from her native Australia and comic writer extraordinaire MARTY NADLER (“Carol Burnett Show,” “Happy Days”) will introduce GONE WITH THE WOMAN. Loyal festival supporter BILL PLYMPTON returns with a slate of animated international shorts and nationally known cartoonist Paul Karasik designed this year’s festival poster. Local business ECO MV will keep the festival “green” with recycling bins and biodegradable cups, plates, and napkins. And LIZ WITHAM and KEN WENTWORTH of Film-Truth Production again present THINK GLOBALLY, SHOOT LOCALLY with new work by up-and-coming Island amateur filmmakers. (Two films from past TGSL forums, MOW CREW and HOUSE OF BONES, were completed and screened in 2009.)

Films are just the start. In addition to art gallery and meet-the-filmmaker gatherings, festival passholders will enjoy nightly parties and other special events. The opening night cocktail party on the Mansion House roof offers the island’s best harbor view and includes live jazz by ALB Jazz Trio, Southeast Asian-inspired food by Chef Robert Lionette, and drinks by festival sponsors French Rabbit wines, Charles de Fere Sparking wine, Sapporo Beer, and San Pellegrino waters. REEL FOOD MV, a special party/dinner/screening event will include a menu of locally grown cuisine at sumptuous Saltwater restaurant and a screening of international short films curated by festival director Paradise. Che’s Lounge will be the nighttime hot spot: on Friday, DJ Phillipe Borde provides the music for a Parisian theme party; on Saturday, DJ Carter Keith Hakala brings in a Caribbean beat. Boisset American’s IDOL Vodka and Domaine de Canton host the open bars.
The festival rolls through Sunday and wraps up with THE END OF THE LINE, a British independent film and a party on the harbor with live blue grass by Ballywho, food from Blue Canoe, Home Port, and Net Result, and libations again by the festival sponsors.

Listen to a Preview of the 2009 Film Festival with Mindy Todd (The Point on WCAI), Tim Miller, Entertainment Editor of Cape Cod TImes, and Richard Paradise, Festival Director, click download button.

Click Download button for a .pdf of the 2009 Festival Program.

This year’s film festival poster was designed by Islander Paul Karasik
July 12, 2009

A big thank you to Paul for his eye-catching and fun design of this year’s festival poster. For more information on Paul’s unique talents check out his blog.

Wrapping things up for another year – the third annual film festival was a resounding success
September 29, 2008

The MV Film Society’s 3rd annual International Film Festival wrapped in mid-September, signaling a strong sense of a bright future. Of the over 2400 festival attendees, about 50% came from off-Island, and the festival’s attendance was at 85% overall capacity: It seems the festival’s programming and events were very well received.

With a showcase of films from over 20 countries – the festival’s central theme of “other places, other cultures” has given it a unique niche in the film festival market. Few US film festivals truly embrace the “international” the way that the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival does.

The program featured many of the best global movies of the year: it opens with Frenchwoman Irena Salina’s documentary on the global water crisis, Flow: For Love of Water, and also on the non-fiction front there is Canadian Yung Chang’s superb Up the Yangtze, Brit Lucy Walker’s compelling Blindsight, and Americans Tony Gerber and Randy Moss’ wry portrait of an army training center’s fake Iraqi village, Full Battle Rattle. On the narrative side, Norwegian Joachim Trier’s virtuosic debut Reprise, French enfant terrible Christophe Honore’s iconoclastic musical Chansons D’Amour and Israeli husband-and-wife team Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen’s poetic and moving Jellyfish entranced islanders.

The festival would not have been the success it was without our many volunteers and sponsors. With a team of over 50 volunteers putting in long hours to make things run smoothly; over 30 financial and in-kind sponsors also backed their efforts and commitment. Please show your thanks to our sponsors by visiting oursponsors’ page

We also want to recognize the continued support of local organizations, such as the MV Chamber of Commerce, the Tisbury Business Association, the MA Film Office, Film-Truth Productions, and Main Street merchants who came together to make our third festival a cultural success for the Vineyard.

Click Download button for a copy of the 2008 Festival Program.

DISPATCH FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD | In Its Third Year, Festival Grows Beyond Local Event
by Cameron Yates, IndieWire
September 15, 2008

As September begins, Martha’s Vineyard breathes a sigh of relief after 100,000 summer visitors have left, and the island’s population returns to 15,000 year-round residents. The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, in its third year, is meant for those who remain, as Co-Directors Richard Paradise and Nevette Previd are quick to point out. “This place is known for clambakes and pretty beach walks,” says Previd, “but the idea is to offer something different for local people. What makes Martha’s Vineyard so special is that it is a destination, but it’s also a microcosm of the world.” Paradise adds, “It’s about community, bringing together people and watching some great films from around the world.”

Filmmakers and islanders gathered on the rooftop of the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven on Thursday evening to celebrate the Opening Night of the festival at a pre-screening reception for “FLOW” by Irena Salina. The slightly unfocused documentary highlights the current crises of clean drinking water shortages and the privatization of water around the world. And one of the film’s main targets, Nestle Waters, is also one the festival’s presenting sponsors; what “FLOW” lacked, the Q&A made up for, especially when a representative from Nestle spoke up to challenge some of the statistics in the documentary. Smoothing over any awkwardness, Paradise put it into perspective, “It’s about water…but more than that, community and sharing and being good global citizens.”

“Our overall theme is films about other places,” says Previd, “and we try to get a film from each continent.” Some of the highlights included Christophe Honore’s polyamorous musical “Love Songs,” Yung Chang’s “Up the Yangtze,” and Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg.” “Tuya’s Marriage,” with its breathtaking cinematography and naturalistic acting, looks at one woman’s struggle to provide for her family in the harsh landscape of Inner Mongolia. And in “The Listening Project,” filmmakers Dominic Howes and Joel Weber follow four Americans abroad as they find out what the rest of the world has to say about the US.

On a much lighter note, the weekend started out with a dose of Wizard Rock at a screening of “We Are Wizards,” a doc focusing on musicians who sing about Harry Potter and artists who have been inspired by the series. Unlike other quirky obsessed fan portrait docs, “Wizards” gives its subjects a chance to tell their stories and effortlessly weaves interviews with animation and archival footage. Director Josh Koury, who himself may have had a healthy obsession with the books, made it clear, “We didn’t want to poke fun at the fandom. The subjects of the film are great artists besides from being fans.” “We Are Wizards” opens theatrically in New York City on November 14. From left: Festival Co-Director Richard Paradise, William E. Marks – author of “The Holy Order of Water and subject from the Opening Night Film “FLOW,” and Festival Co-Director Nevette Previd at the Opening Night rooftop cocktail party. Photo by Cameron Yates.

Friday night in Town Hall saw a screening of shorts from the All Roads Film Project, a forum that aims to give indigenous storytellers a voice. “We have a huge Native American tribe on the island,” says Previd, “and they were really involved with the screening.” The centerpiece of the event was Billy Luther’s “Miss Navajo”, an intimate and touching portrait of the Miss Navajo Nation competition. After the film, Luther noted that when his mother won the title in 1966, the emphasis was on being able to speak English; now it’s the opposite, on preserving the spoken Navajo language. “I hope that the film sparks some interest in Navajo culture,” said Luther during the Q&A. “I think it’s really important that we tell our own stories and we don’t give the camera to National Geographic and say film us.”

Echoing that sentiment was renowned cinematographer Ellen Kuras, there to present her lyrical directorial debut “The Betrayal.” “One of the reasons I wanted to make this film is to give the Lao a voice, so they would be able to speak for themselves,” said Kuras. This beautifully composed, moving documentary focuses on one family’s exile in America, after leaving a war-torn Laos. Kuras followed her subject Thavisouk Phrasavath for 23 years, who became so involved in the making of the film that she gave him a co-director credit. “We talked about the ideas for so long… This film was about philosophy and death and life and what happens to people without land, in exile.”

Beloved animator Bill Plympton, who designed the festival’s poster, returned this year both to present the world premiere of his new short “Mexican Standoff” and to curate Animation Lollapalooza, a fast paced, quirky, not-for-kids shorts program. Plympton enthusiastically introduced the showcase on Saturday night, “I was here last year and I just had a ball, so I brought some animator friends of mine back to show their new work.” Richard Paradise hopes that other filmmakers will fall in love with the island and the fest and come back each year. “We try to make sure our filmmakers are here for the whole weekend. That they don’t just pop in for their screenings and leave.”

“One of the goals of the festival is for the audience to interact with the filmmakers,” said Nevette Previd, “so we’ve amped up the programs as far as filmmaker meet and greets.” And this year, the fest launched Reel Food MV, celebrating local food, island farmers, and filmmakers with a raw bar, three-course dinner, and screening of shorts. As Previd put it, “One of the best ways to explore the Martha’s Vineyard is through food.” Another way was through Destination MV, a tour of the island arranged by The Trustees of the Preservation, exploring the beaches of Chappaquiddick and Cape Poge’s lighthouse, and finally through Think Globally, Shoot Locally, a screening and discussion with local filmmakers. After showing a trailer for her doc “House of Bones,” Torri Campbell compared her film to the Maysles’ “Grey Gardens,” with four generation of women in one West Chop house. Through photos and home video shot over the last few decades, Campbell focuses on her family’s last summer on the Vineyard.

All in all, the festival in its third year and growing is maybe not just for the locals anymore. Previd concluded, “There were a lot more people who came in for the weekend and made it an event. They came here to see films and go to parties and check out Martha’s Vineyard.”

Make a Splash with Project WET at Owen Park Sponsored by Nestle Waters North America
September 8, 2008

This Saturday, September 13, from 10 am to 2 pm at Owen Park, Vineyard Haven , Join Project WET, an award-winning global education organization, to learn about water conservation, health and hydration, recycling and more at the Make a Splash Festival in Owen Park. Local non-profit organization Tisbury Waterways Incorporated will also be on site to share information and interactive education.

Water Conservation: Find out why it’s important to conserve water at home, school and in your community. Construct a water flow cup, and discover how water-saving devices work. Learn important water conservation tips.

Health and Hydration: Determine why hydration is critical. Pretend you’re a water molecule and travel through the human body. Which organ uses more water – your heart or your lungs? How much water should you drink in a day to maintain peak physical performance and mental acuity?

4Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew: Learn what you can do at home, school and in your community to practice the 4Rs. What happens after you put a plastic bottle into the recycling bin? What innovative products have come from recycled materials?

Ground Water: See how our actions above ground affect the quality of water below. Using a ground water flow model, watch as water moves through sand, clay and rock; witness the interaction of surface and ground water.

* Tisbury Waterways Inc.: Will be on hand and will have a demonstration of how catch basins work to clean the rainwater that goes into our storm drains. TWI also invites visitors to our Demonstration Garden in Owen Park that incorporates salt and drought tolerant local plants into an attractive seaside garden. Children and their parents will get a chance to help build “Flotsie Jetsam”, our tireless beach-cleaning personality who is the mascot of our Adopt-a-Beach program.

An Overview of the International Film Festival 10 Days Out
September 1, 2008

The Third Annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, produced by the MV Film Society, is a showcase for the best feature and short films from around the globe. As its exquisite setting would suggest, this is not your typical film festival – “Which is a good thing,” says actor Hayden Christensen. “It has a laidback vibe to it, fitting for film and the industry.”

Laidback or not, the days and nights of September 11 through 14 is still packed with excellent films, great parties, and many other special events. Festival co-directors Richard Paradise and Nevette Previd have selected over forty feature, short, and documentary films for this year’s festival. Overall excellence was the main criteria, but also how well a film reflects the ongoing festival theme of “Other Places.” On one level, as Previd puts it, “the concept of our festival is simple. Great global films, world music, and spectacular events, all on a beautiful island.” But there’s even more, adds Paradise. “Our mission is to shine a light on different cultures and places. Having an appreciation of others’ hopes, dreams, lives makes us better global citizens.”

Films chosen for the festival are almost all major award winners, and come from Europe, Central Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as North America. In addition to the movies, attendees will have daily opportunities for discussions with the creators of the showcased films as well as time to simply enjoy being on the Island. “They don’t begin screening films until the afternoon, so you have the mornings to enjoy the Island – to get lost in its beauty,” says producer Jared Goldman. The festival is centered on the main Island town of Vineyard Haven, with all major events within an easy stroll of the ferry and Main Street (excluding Saturday’s after party at the Oyster Bar Grill in Oak Bluffs).

Among the films to be shown is REPISE, the winner of 12 international awards including the Discovery Award at Toronto International Film Festival; The Sundance favorite FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER and KASSIM THE DREAM, which premiered at Tribeca and won a Silverdocs award, are two other film bound to draw crowds, as is PERSEPOLIS, the acclaimed Iranian animated film. Other chosen films are MY WINNIPEG, Guy Maddin’s award-winner, and the Israeli MEDUZOT (JELLYFISH), winner of the Camera D’Or at Cannes.

Japan is represented this year. The winner of a dozen awards in the past year, BUSHI NO ICHIBUN (LOVE AND HONOR) is the concluding film in director Yoji Yamada’s acclaimed Samurai trilogy. There are two French entries: LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR (LOVES SONGS), the story of three lovers in Paris, has received four awards and raves for its musical score. HORS DE PRIX (PRICELESS) stars the enchanting Audrey Tautou (of AMELIE and DA VINCI CODE fame) as a modern day Holly Golightly. Two Italian entries are MIO FRATELLO E FIGLIO UNICO (MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD) and L’ORCHESTRA DI PIAZZA VITTORIO, the true story of a music lover who draws on Rome’s immigrant community and creates a fabulous world music band.

The category of documentary films is particularly rich this year. The films to be screened include BEYOND THE CALL, the story of some modern-day knights in shining armor who travel the world to deliver aid; it’s racked up over 30 festival awards already. BLINDSIGHT follows a group of blind monks as they scale Mt. Everest. THE LISTENING PROJECT, a captivating cinematic journey around the world in search of the meaning of America. National Geographic returns this year with four shorts from its ALL ROADS FILM PROJECT, which supports the work of filmmakers from indigenous or under-represented minority cultures. The tumultuous making of a Bollywood film is captured in SHOT IN BOMBAY, directed by Liz Mermin, who also did the festival hit BEAUTY ACADEMY OF KABUL.

Famed animator BILL PLYMPTON, a fan of the festival from year one, declared last year, “I’m telling all my animator friends in New York City – this is really a rock-in festival!” True to his word, Plympton returns this fall with some animator buddies and a program of animation shorts he curated, drawn from the works of animators from around the globe. (He also designed this year’s festival poster, which is sure to become a collector’s item.)

“Films are just the beginning,” notes Previd. In addition to the popular nightly parties and the gallery walk, two new events are “Destination MV” and “REEL FOOD MV.” The local Trustees of Reservations is this year’s festival partner and “Destination MV” sponsor. Trustees specialists will be on hand to help festival-goers explore the Vineyard’s exquisite and remote Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge (and among other things offer expert suggestions on where the best fishing might be).

The second new feature of the festival is “REEL FOODS MV,” a very special reserved-seating dinner created by SALTWATER, the new hip Vineyard Haven restaurant with spectacular salt water pond views. The menu will feature locally grown produce, meats, seafood, and produce. Dinner includes private screenings of some of the international shorts presented at the festival and a ticket to the after-party at Che Lounge.

This event-jammed festival with the laid-back air draws about half of its attendees from off-island (one reason that director Richard Paradise received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Trade and Tourism). But it’s also a favorite of the locals, perhaps not surprising given that the Martha’s Vineyard community has long embraced the MV Film Society. After all, as director Doug Lyman observed, “A community that supports the arts on every level would of course support this film festival.”

Opening Night Film – FLOW, FOR LOVE OF WATER will screen at both DNC and RNC in coming weeks
August 22, 2008

This Monday, August 25, the award-winning film, FLOW, will screen for the delegates at the Democratic National Convention. FLOW will screen at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis a week later. Local water author, William E. Marks, has a “significant presence” in FLOW, and has spoken and signed books after screenings at Sundance, Lincoln Center, and the DC Environmental Film Festival.

FLOW will be the opening night film for the MV International Film Festival on September 11, and will also screen at Noon on September 14. Join Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch – a nonprofit consumer organization working to ensure clean water and safe food around the world:http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/ and Author William Marks, “Water Voices from Around The World”, voted 1st Place in the world’s largest international book competition as: “Most Likely to Save the Planet”

Recently, Robert Redford released the following quote about FLOW: “Water is the sleeping giant issue of the 21st Century, and we all need to wake up about it. FLOW: For Love of Water, opens our eyes about the greatest threat of our time – the global water crisis. It is a compelling and passionate film. Its engaging narrative will grip the viewer.”

MV International Film Festival Awarded MASS FILM OFFICE Grant
May, 2008

“The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival has come a long way in a short time. We were especially impressed with the Festival’s THINK GLOBAL, SHOOT LOCAL initiative and we hope this award helps to make 2008 your most successful year ever. We are also grateful to Chairman Turkington for these important programs. Without his enthusiastic support, this grant–and the positive impact it has on the region–would not be possible.”  –Nick Paleologos, Executive Director, Massachusetts Film Office

Click here for more information

MV International Film Festival introduces Destination MV
April 20, 2008

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is excited to announce our new festival program DESTINATION MV. For your festival weekend, films are just the beginning. Explore the island and experience all that makes Martha’s Vineyard a truly special place.

Our 2008 partner, The Trustees of the Reservation is offering Film Festival goers the opportunity to explore the remote parts of the magical island of Martha’s Vineyard with an expert naturalist. The tour will travel via over-sand vehicles and foot where you will learn about barrier beach ecology, wildlife, and see Cape Poge’s lighthouse, the natural wonders of diverse upland and marine habitats, and world-renowned fishing spots.

Click here for more information

MV International Film Festival Receives State Grant
March, 2008

(BOSTON) -  Representative Eric Turkington (D-Cape and Islands) is pleased to announce that the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival will be receiving a grant from the Massachusetts Film Office in the amount of $5,000. As House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, it was his amendment to the state budget last year that created a fund to support film festivals on the Cape and Islands.

“As Nantucket has shown, film festivals can be huge economic stimulators, bringing hundreds of visitors to our local economies. The Vineyard festival has shown itself to be increasingly popular and well attended and I hope this assistance from the state will help it reach the next level.” Turkington said.

Festival Wrap 2007
September, 2007

Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most beautiful places on the Atlantic coast, a scenic haunt of the Kennedys and the Clintons full of rambling hills and quaint New England architecture that has taken a special place in the American imagination. It may seem strange, then, that the organizers of the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, which this weekend held its second annual run in the town of Vineyard Haven, would choose “Other Places” as their theme. Why bother with other places, when you’re on Martha’s Vineyard? “This is really an ideal place,” says Nevette Previd, who runs the festival with co-chair Richard Paradise, “but in order to really appreciate it you have to leave, get away from your surroundings. And film can really take you somewhere else, even just for a few hours.”

Click download button for a copy of 2007 Festival Program.

Festival Wrap 2006
September 2006

Four days filled with the best feature and short films from top-notch festivals (with a few undiscovered gems thrown in!), great evening events, provocative forums and live world music – all within the “Walking Festival District”. And don’t forget to enjoy the island’s many beautiful beaches when visiting.

Click download button for a copy of 2006 Festival Program.

Comments are closed.