MV Environmental Film Festival – May 25 – 28, 2017

Presented by

Martha’s Vineyard Film Society
in collaboration with
Vineyard Conservation Society

Nature As Inspiration

4rd Annual

Environmental Film Festival

Thursday, May 24 – Sunday, May 27, 2018

For four days, we combine environmental films, discussions, and an art exhibit by MVRHS students that will adorn the walls of the Feldman Family Art Space in the Film Center. A Q&A follows each film with experts, community members, and special guests.

Enjoy a stimulating green weekend…

If you would like to get a clearer picture of the Film Festival, please read last year’s program below (we hope to post our 2018 festival schedule by late April 2018):

Festival Film and Event Schedule 2017

Thursday, May 25:

6:30PM — Opening reception in the Film Center Lobby with live jazz music by David Hannon. Appetizers by Herring Run Kitchens, menu sourced from Mermaid Farms, MG Farms, Grey Barn, Ghost island, Blackwater Farm.



Join us before the movie for our OPENING NIGHT reception with John Ubaldo, and co-directors Ken Marsolais and Nancy Vick.  All three will participate in an after movie panel discussion with Vineyard farmers (Eric Glasgow, Grey Barn, and Jefferson Monroe, Good Farm confirmed). 

THE BULLISH FARMER is a feature-length documentary on sustainable agriculture. It journeys into the life of a Wall Street investment banker-turned farmer as he struggles to build and run a farm that feeds his family and his community. 

Over a decade ago, John Ubaldo, aka “John Boy,” decided to call it quits with his career in high finance. Distraught over the loss of his best friend in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, John decided to purchase 185 acres of land on the Battenkill River in Cambridge, NY, and to live a quiet life as a small farmer raising livestock and crops. His goal was to raise delicious and nutritious food and return to healthier farming methods that were used 100 years ago.

But John’s dream of living an uncomplicated, traditional, agrarian life gets complicated when he comes up against Big Agriculture (Big Ag), a corporate farming technique that uses all-in-one resources for large-scale producers, operators, and growers. With this ever-growing monolith in the background, John soon realizes that his preferred farming methods are not in sync with today’s prevailing agricultural practices. This very private farmer becomes a passionate and outspoken activist lobbying for GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling, animal rights, the preservation of crop diversity, and the reduction of chemical fertilizers to help preserve small farms and rural America. The birth of John’s first child only deepens John’s commitment to leave the world a better place for all children. 

It is our hope that THE BULLISH FARMER will inspire families to reconsider their eating habits and to better understand how their food choices affect their health. We further hope that the film will contribute to society’s current shift toward good clean food, and that it will spark dialogue about how to change prevailing farm policies.


Friday, May 26:


Special Guests: Charter School students Astrid Tilton, Clancy Conlin, Lucy Thompson, Jared Rivard, Lily Tilton) who participated in a climate change field trip to Alaska.

If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award®-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet. Beyond the steps we can take as individuals, the film urges viewers to push their elected officials in supporting the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power. “We need everyone to demand bold action from their political leaders and to elect representatives who have their best interests at heart, not the interests of corporations to perpetuate a cycle of greed and destruction,” says DiCaprio. “This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is — but also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet.”

Before the Flood premieres in theaters on October 21st and will air globally on the National Geographic Channel on October 30th in 171 countries and 45 languages. The film is directed by Fisher Stevens and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Fisher Stevens, Jennifer Davisson and Trevor Davidoski with Brett Ratner and James Packer of RatPac Entertainment. It was written by Mark Monroe and Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, Adam Bardach, Mark Monroe, and Zara Duffy. The film is edited by Geoffrey Richman A.C.E., Ben Sozanski, Abhay Sofsky, and Brett Banks. The Director of Photography is Antonio Rossi. The Executive Music Producers are Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with original music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Mogwai and Gustavo Santaolalla.

The carbon emissions from Before The Flood were offset through a voluntary carbon tax. Learn how you can offset your own carbon emissions by going to




Special Guests for Discussion: Jim Athearn, Shelley Edmundson (ED of MV Fisherman’s Preservation Trust) and a member of her board.

Out on America’s vast working landscapes – the ranches of the Mountain west, the farmlands of the Great Plains, the waterways of the Mississippi Delta – a huge, largely hidden, and entirely unexpected movement is being born. Tens of thousands of heartland conservationists are leading some of the most consequential work in the nation to restore America’s forests, grasslands, wildlife, soil and fisheries: the vast, rich bounty that shaped our national character and sustains our way of life.


1000K_Title_300DPIIn the film, One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts, filmmaker Peter Byck takes viewers to Bluffton, Georgia to hear from Will Harris of White Oak Pastures about his journey from industrial to re-generational farmer. This is the second film in Byck’s Carbon Nation: Soil Carbon Cowboy series; it continues to highlight farmers and ranchers who are pioneering regenerative grazing practices and soil health.


Saturday, May 27

3:00PM — MVRHS Student Art Show Reception and Awards  

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On Saturday, join us for a special event honoring our Island’s talented young artists. The Art of Conservation, an art competition created by the Vineyard Conservation Society, holds its annual award ceremony at 4:00, preceded by the first public showing of the winning artworks. (The opening is at 3:00, but the art will remain in the Feldman Family Artspace throughout the festival.) The Art of Conservation encourages students from the MV Regional High School and Charter School to reflect on the value of nature, what it means to them, and to express themselves through a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and digital design. Visit the Art of Conservation online to view the works and accompanying descriptions from the previous years’ winners.


Special guest, Jennifer Smith Turner will read her poem, SEA LIFE

JenniferSmithTurnerJennifer Smith Turner is the author of two poetry books, Lost and Found, Rhyming Verse Honoring African American Heroes and Perennial Secrets, Poetry & Prose. Her third poetry collection, Flirting with Truth, is currently being considered for publication. 

Jennifer’s poems are included in several anthologies – Vineyard Poets, an anthology of poems by Martha’s Vineyard writers; Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse; and in the Union College Upward Bound Anthology. Her poems frequently appear in the MV Gazette. She retired to Martha’s Vineyard in 2012 with her husband, Eric.


Set on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, “Reefs at Risk” explores the harmful effects some sunscreen chemicals have on coral reefs and marine life.

Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. Why should you care? Coral reefs protect our shores and supply food and oxygen to our planet. They are considered the “rainforests of the sea.” Although there are many factors contributing to the destruction of coral reefs worldwide, toxic chemicals in sunscreens is one we can easily eliminate. This timely film takes you underwater to explore the marine environment and follows those on land trying to protect it. The film also questions the effects these chemicals may have on humans and presents solutions.


Special Guests for discussion: Signe Benjamin for VCS and Nina Carter Hitchen for Zero Waste

A Plastic Ocean is a new feature-length adventure documentary that brings to light the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle. We thought we could use plastic once and throw it away with negligible impact to humans and animals. That turns out to be untrue. In A Plastic Ocean, an international team of adventurers, researchers, and Ocean ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine Ocean. The result will astound viewers–just as it did our adventurers–who captured never-before-seen images of marine life, plastic pollution, and its ultimate consequences for human health. During its four-year production period, A Plastic Ocean was filmed in 20 locations around the world in beautiful and chilling detail to document the global effects of plastic pollution–and introduce workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.




Special Guests: Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau will join us via SKYPE tonight after the screening of TROPHY.

Directors Shaul Schwarz, left, and Christina Clusiau pose for a portrait to promote the film, "Trophy, at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

“Trophy” first premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival back in January. Endangered African species like elephants, rhinos, and lions march closer to extinction each year. Their devastating decline is fueled by a global desire to consume and collect these majestic animals.”Trophy” investigates the powerhouse businesses of big game hunting, breeding, and wildlife conservation.

Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau are the cofounders of Reel Peak Media, a production company that prides itself on documentary work of both “journalistic integrity and cinematic quality.” Both filmmakers began as photojournalists before making the move to documentary cinema. On Trophy, Schwarz and Clusiau served as DPs with Schwarz acting as director. Their film explores the worlds of big game hunting, breeding, and wildlife conservation.


Sunday, May 28

1:00PM — Environmental FF Children’s Program at Film Center

Come join The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society’s Environmental Film Festival’s Children’s Event on May 28th at 1:00pm at the film center for a FREE screening of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax! Afterwards Vineyard Conservation Society will speak about their work on how they are helping to protect our island. 

All children are welcome to come 30 minutes before the film to decorate their reusable canvas bags with a copy of The Lorax’s How to help the Earth. Reusable canvas bags donated by Vineyard Conservation Society with a copy of The Lorax’s How to help the Earth before the free screening of Dr. Seus’s The Lorax!    After the screening, VSC will have a Q & A for children to ask how they can make an impact on our island.

Special Guest: Astrid Tilton


Astrid Tilton was born on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School in 2016 and has just completed her first year at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts where she is studying photography and place-based knowledge and research with a hint of environmental policy.

Astrid worked with the Vineyard Conservation Society to write the Bring Your Own Bag Bylaw, the goal of which was to reduce plastic waste island-wide, and helped successfully bring the bylaw to vote in five of the Island towns in 2016. Oak Bluffs voted on and approved the bylaw at their 2017 town meeting. The island will be free of thin-film plastic checkout bags by January 2018, when the Oak Bluffs bylaw goes into effect. 

A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dream. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fight to protect his world.

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The Lorax book on how to help the planet

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SPECIAL GUESTS: Myron Dewey, Co-director in person; James Spione, Co-director in person; Josh Fox, Producer-Co-Writer-Director via SKYPE; Tanyette Colon –; and Alison Rose Levy, hosts the weekly radio program, “Connect the Dots,”

Standing Rock North Dakota became one of the most watched places on earth. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock, captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed how we fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet.

PART 1 Floris White Bull , Wes “Mekasi” Horineck , Oceti Sakowin Youth, Doug Good Feather, Tara Houska, Malia Hulleman, Erin Schrode, Danny Grassrope, Suzi/Candy Girl, YahNé Ndgo PART 2 Peji Trudell, CNN’s Sara Sidner, John Bigelow, Ladonna “Brave Bull” Allard, Jordan Chariton, Jasmine, DJ Dizzy PART 3 Myron Dewey, Kandi Mossett, Jan Hasselman (Earth Justice), Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!), William Jerome, Chief Looking Horse, Dallas Goldtooth, Prolific Rapper, Cornel West




Climate is changing. Instead of showing all the worst that can happen, this documentary focuses on the people suggesting solutions and their actions.

TODAY, we sometimes feel powerless in front of the various crises of our times.

TODAY, we know that answers lie in a wide mobilization of the human race. Over the course of a century, our dream of progress commonly called “the American Dream”, fundamentally changed the way we live and continues to inspire many developing countries. We are now aware of the setbacks and limits of such development policies. We urgently need to focus our efforts on changing our dreams before something irreversible happens to our planet.

TODAY, we need a new direction, objective… A new dream! The documentary Tomorrow sets out to showcase alternative and creative ways of viewing agriculture, economics, energy and education. It offers constructive solutions to act on a local level to make a difference on a global level. So far, no other documentary has gone down such an optimistic road…

TOMORROW is not just a film, it is the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

After the show, special guest Marc Rosenbaum. Marc is a student of low carbon living, bicycle enthusiast, and mechanical engineer specializing in environmentally friendly, high performance buildings and communities. Currently working with South Mountain Company. His current projects include passive house design, Deep Energy Retrofits, and Net Zero Energy buildings. For thirty years, Marc has pioneered an integrated design approach to help create buildings that connect us to the natural world.


For more information please contact or call us at 508-696-9369. Individual Tickets: $12 per movie, $9 for MV Film Society members (except when special pricing), CHILDREN 14 OR YOUNGER ADMITTED FREE, THANKS TO THE ROTARY CLUB OF MV. Festival Pass $75, Member’s Festival Pass $60.

More information about the 2017 Environmental Festival FILMS and to                 purchase tickets will be available in April 2017

The Vineyard Conservation Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the environment, charac50th logo no text - jan 12 2015ter, and quality of life of Martha’s Vineyard through advocacy, education, and the protection of the Island’s land and waters VCS is the Island’s only conservation organization whose mission includes advocacy and public education, as well as resource protection. We believe that the future health of our Island and its waters will increasingly depend on an informed public.

Greg Reitman, Film Director, Producer, Writer & Activitst

Greg Reitman is the founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc., an independent production company focusing on environmentally conscious entertainment. Widely regarded as Hollywood’s “Green Producer,” Greg produced the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.” He wrote, produced, and directed the2-gr feature documentary “HOLLYWOOD’S MAGICAL ISLAND- CATALINA” (PBS) and returns back on the festival circuit with his latest revolutionary feature documentary film, “ROOTED in PEACE” which is recently won the United Nations Film Award for 2016 documentary. Greg was written up in Movie Maker Magazine as one of the top ten producers in the Entertainment industry making content that makes a difference in the world.   He also contributes as the Festival Director for the Martha’s Vineyard Environmental Film Festival during Memorial Day weekend.



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