MV DOCUMENTARY WEEK – August 5 to August 9, 2019

Documentary films have become the conscience of the nation, providing a deeper study of contemporary, and often unnoticed, social issues. By using the unique medium of film, documentarians are able to cultivate a more compelling and fruitful discussion by mixing strongly-driven narratives with vivid imagery. In recognition of the rising importance of documentaries to public dialogue, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is proud to announce its Fifth annual Documentary Week from August 5 to August 9, 2019.

DOC WEEK is in Collaboration with HBO Documentary Films

The 2019 MV DOC WEEK Line Up will be available in late June – please send us your email to to receive updates 


MONDAY, July 30 at 6:30 pm – Opening Reception 

Opening reception in the Film Center Lobby with live music and more.

SOLD OUT 7:30 pm — LOVE, GILDA with Director Lisa D’Apolito

In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner looks back and reflects on her life and career. Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with her friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short), rare home movies and diaries read by modern-day comedians inspired by Gilda (Bill Hader, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong). LOVE, GILDA opens up a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.

TUESDAY, July 31 at 7:30 pm – BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY with Steve Young and Director Dava Whisenant

A Late Show comedy writer (Steve Young) stumbles on a hidden world of bizarre corporate entertainment and finds an unexpected connection to his fellow man. With David Letterman, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, Jello Biafra, and more.




SOLD OUT — WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 at 7:30 pm – A PAINTER WHO FARMS: ALLEN WHITING – PAINTER AND FARMER, a Benefit for the MV Museum and the MV Film Society.  Q&A with Allen Whiting and Co-directors David Fokos and Barbarella Fokos. 

Allen Whiting is a farmer who has been living off the land as his family has for 12 generations. Allen Whiting is also a plein-air painter, whose depictions of island landscapes can be found in the collections of the rich and famous who have been visiting his home gallery since the 70s. From his taciturn delivery to his creative expression of the beauty that surrounds him, Allen Whiting is the human embodiment of the island in which his roots run deep, and from which he derives his inspiration: Martha’s Vineyard.



SOLD OUT — THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 at 7:30 pm – SAY HER NAME with Co-director/Co-producers and Film Society Board Member Kate Davis and David Heilbroner.  

Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested for failing to signal a lane change in Waller County, Texas, in 2015. Three days later, she was dead, having apparently committed suicide while in police custody. But, as the case took on nationwide notoriety and sparked street protests, family and friends were left with nothing but questions: What, after all, took a bright, energetic Black Lives Matter activist from the promise of a new job to a mysterious jail cell death in just three days? Academy Award®-nominated nominated filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner accompanied Bland’s family on their search for answers during the two years following her death. The result is a vigorous, unflinching case study in racial justice that also weaves in Bland’s own voice through her empowering online video series, “Sandy Speaks.” The character who emerges, beyond the flashpoint case, is a woman who dedicated her life to seeking out justice, and whose story and voice remain essential in the ongoing climate of racial injustice.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 at 7:30 pm – 306 HOLLYWOOD with Co-directors Jonathan Bogarin, and Producer Laurie David. 

306 Hollywood is a magical realist documentary of two siblings who undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother’s house. They embark on a journey from her home in New Jersey to ancient Rome, from fashion to physics, in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind.




SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 at 7:30 pm – JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS with Director/Producer Susan Lacy and Producer Jessica Levin

Girl next door, sex kitten, activist, fitness tycoon: Oscar-winner Jane Fonda has lived a life marked by controversy, tragedy, and transformation, and she’s done it all in the public eye. Directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy.

Jane Fonda has been vilified as “Hanoi Jane,” lusted after as “Barbarella” and heralded as a beacon of the women’s movement. This film goes to the heart of who she really is, a blend of deep vulnerability, magnetism, naiveté and bravery, revealing a life transformed over time. The documentary draws on 21 hours of interviews with Fonda, who speaks candidly and frankly about her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of an eating disorder and three marriages to highly visible, yet diametrically opposed, men. Jane Fonda in Five Acts also includes interviews with family and friends, as well as rare home movies and verité footage of the 80-year-old Fonda’s busy life today at, as she puts it, “the beginning of my last act.”

Tickets are $15 for General Admission and $12 for MVFS Members

ALL-ACCESS PASS: $65 for nonmembers/$55 for members

*Festival Pass Does Not include the Allen Whiting Film/Benefit on August 1st. Ticket must be purchased separately – benefits MV Museum.