Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, Vineyard Haven, MA.

The 3rd Annual Spectrum (LGBTQ+) Film Festival opens Friday, May 1-3, 2020

Spectrum is a four-day film festival that presents a world perspective on LGBTQ+ stories, people, and issues through a variety of films and includes guest speakers, discussions,  and a special event for LGBTQ+ youth. The 2019 SPECTRUM Film Festival will be held at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven from Friday, May 1st, 2020 through Sunday, May 3rd, 2020.

The first and only festival of its kind on the Vineyard, the SPECTRUM Film Festival adds to the Film Society’s consistent efforts to broach subject matter not usually covered by major Hollywood motion pictures. The Festival draws moviegoers from the Cape Cod & Islands as well as the greater Boston area.

Following the theme implied by the name of the festival– “Spectrum” or ‘Wide-Ranging’–  the films we show at the SPECTRUM Film Festival are wide-ranging, indeed. They originate from various countries; cover gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender story-lines; combine comedy, drama, romance, documentary genres in both short and full-length formats; and focus on a variety of topics including legal matters, aging, parent-child relationships, religion, cultural changes, illness, and suicide.


The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society announces that its third annual SPECTRUM Film Festival to be held from Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, April 28 with eighteen different events in four different venues over the course of the festival.

Focused on presenting a wide spectrum of LGBTQ stories, people and issues, this year’s festival has grown significantly with the addition of collaborative partnerships with other Vineyard non-profits: Featherstone Center for the Arts, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Alex’s Place (the teen center at the Y), The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, and the Martha’s Vineyard Library Association. Apart from screening fifteen feature films, this year’s offerings include a live theatre play reading, a discussion of this year’s all-island “Teen Read” novel DEAR RACHEL MADDOW with author Adrienne Kisner in attendance, a white-line printing workshop at Featherstone, a writing and art contest open to all middle- and high-school students, as well as an Open House for parents and teens at Alex’s Place. Thanks to local sponsors, like MV Bank and Tilton Rental, several events this year are free to the public and, like last year, tickets for teens to all events are free.

A variety of guests will also appear in recorded video messages introducing many of the films. Currently among those submitting are U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the Mount Holyoke College a cappella group the Victory Eights, members of the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, and several of the producers and directors of our 2019 festival films.
The variety of feature films to be shown this year includes narrative films about advocates of gay rights activists, poet Emily Dickinson, members of the South African military choir, and Oscar Wilde. Documentary subjects range from dog rescue and Studio 54 to lesbian film history and transgender bodybuilding competition. There is also a youth event, an evening of award-winning short films, and the New England premiere of the current production of Matthew Bourne’s SWAN LAKE (now touring the UK). Festival screenings will be not only at The MV Film Center this year but also at The MV Playhouse which will also be home to a reading of Terrence McNally’s play MOTHERS AND SONS.

This year’s Opening Night Event starts off with a festival welcome message from Senator Elizabeth Warren followed by GREAT SHORTS, a compilation of nine award-winning short films (including the recent Oscar nominee MARGUERITE). These films cover the spectrum of LGBTQ representation and include the world premiere of MORE THAN HE KNOWS, a narrative short directed by GLAAD Media Award-winner Fiona Dawson (director of last year’s documentary TRANSMILITARY) who will be in attendance to conduct a post-screening Q&A. A post-show dessert and wine reception (sponsored by Tilton Tents) concludes the evening.

This year, all monies raised from the sale of festival t-shirts will benefit four of this year’s SPECTRUM collaborators: The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association (for the purchase of additional young adult novels for LGBTQIA youth), The Animal Shelter of MV (to pay for spaying and neutering), Alex’s Place teen center (for youth programming) and MVRHS’s Gay-Straight Alliance (for student field trips).

All-Access Pass Holders will receive entrance to all events except MOTHERS AND SONS and the White-Line Printing workshop at Featherstone.

Buy an All-Access Pass here

This year’s schedule of events:


4:00pm * PRIDE (2014) * Rated R

Presented by event
sponsor Holmes Hole Builders LLC.
Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.

The true story of gay and lesbian activists working to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. With Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy.

Pre-show: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (video message). 
Post-show: Skype Q&A with State Senator Julian Cyr.  

7:30pm * GREAT SHORTS * Not Rated

Presented by event sponsor Tilton Tents.

Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.

Some of the best LGBTQ short films of the last few years including the recent Oscar-nominated MARGUERITE. From animation to the narrative to poetry, these nine international films also include the world premiere of THE MORE HE KNOWS, a new short from TRANSMILITARY director Fiona Dawson.
Pre-show: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (video message). 
Post-show: Live Q&A with director Fiona Dawson and producer/actor Chris McNeany. 
A dessert and wine reception in the lobby follows.      


3:00pm * PACKED IN A TRUNK (2015) * Not Rated


: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.

A painter is institutionalized in 1925, her artwork hidden away in a relative’s attic. This fascinating story of how her grand-niece discovered Edith Lake Wilkinson’s place in the Art world is part detective story, part family history and part celebration of the arts.
Pre-show: Director/writers/executive producers Jane Anderson, Michelle Boyaner and Tess Ayers. (video message). 
Post-show: Local artist Liz Taft and Christine McCarthy from the Provincetown Art Association & Museum (via Skype).

5:00pm * THE HAPPY PRINCE (2018) * Rated R

Venue: The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven.
Once, he was the most famous man in London, author of the brilliant THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. But society crucified the talented genius for his audacity to be himself. The court famously punished him for homosexuality. Here’s the story of Oscar Wilde’s final days and his memories of the past. With Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Emily Watson.


Venue: Alex’s Place, 111R Edgartown-VH Road, Vineyard Haven.
The Alexandra Gagnon Teen Center was created by The Alexandra Gagnon Foundation to provide safe, educational, and entertaining experiences for teens on Martha’s Vineyard. With its first Open House under the direction of Ryan Schwab-Doyon, teens and families are welcome to get a look at the space and learn about its programming. Winners of the TEEN WRITING & ART CONTEST will be announced and receive their awards. The high school Gay-Straight Alliance also hosts a FREE teen movie with concessions

7:30pm * WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY (2018) * Not Rated

Presented by event sponsor CB Stark Jewelers
Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven
Shifting from comic romp to serious drama, WILD NIGHTS is based on the actual letters of Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) and questions the portrait her prudish literary executives invented for her after her death.
Pre-show: Members of the Mount Holyoke College VICTORY EIGHTS a capella group. (video message)


10:00am * LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE (2018) * Not Rated

Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
The inspiring story of Danny and Ron’s Rescue, run out of a couple’s home, that has rescued over 10,000 dogs from being euthanized because they weren’t adopted from shelters.
Pre-show: Film subjects Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw join us in-person to introduce the film and answer questions about it afterward.
Post-show: Director of the Animal Shelter of MV, Lisa Dawley, joins us with several four-legged friends to talk about pet adoption on the Vineyard.


Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
The annual SPECTRUM Youth Event feature film is this adaptation of the best-selling YA novel about the new kid in school trying to navigate the landscape of the real world.
Pre-show: The cast of the Broadway musical THE PROM. (video message). 

2:00pm * Teen Read: DEAR RACHEL MADDOW

Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
The MV Public Libraries’ “All-Island Teen Read” of the young adult novel Dear Rachel Maddow concludes with this group discussion led by local librarian Jennifer Rapuano. Participants will be able to discuss the book, share their thoughts and engage with author Adrienne Kisner(who will be in attendance). Books will be on sale at the event for Ms. Kisner to autograph.

4:00 * EVERY ACT OF LIFE (2018) * Not Rated

Venue: MV Playhouse, 24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven.
The life of 4-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally(MASTER CLASS, RAGTIME) has intersected with the likes of the greats: Edward Albee, John Steinbeck, Al Pacino, Angela Lansbury and hundreds more. In the last 60 years. he’s seen it all: groundbreaking plays and musicals, the struggle for LGBT rights, addiction and recovery, true love, and the relentless pursuit of inspiration.
Pre-show: The film’s subject, playwright Terrence McNally

4:00pm * MAN MADE (2018) * Not Rated

Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
A journey into the heart of transgender male culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. Four trans men take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world.
Pre-show:MV Community Services’ Apryl Anastacio leads a discussion: Understanding What Transgender Means.
Post-show:Q&A via Skype with the film’s director, T Cooper.

7:30pm * KANARIE (2018) * Not Rated

Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
A coming-of-age war musical about a small-town boy who gets chosen to serve his compulsory two-year military training in the South African Defence Force Choir. [In Afrikaans with subtitles]
Pre-show: Members of the NYC Gay Men’s  Chorus (video message). 

7:30pm * Theatre: MOTHERS AND SONS

Venue: Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven.
Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse presents a staged reading of Terrence McNally’s powerful play about a mother who pays an unexpected visit to the apartment of her late son’s partner who has moved on with his life. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led. Directed by MJ Bruder Munafo.
Ticket prices are $20 and $10 for Ages 30 and under
Tickets available at



Venue: Feat
Featherstone Center for the Arts, 30 Featherstone Lane, Oak Bluffs.
Featherstone teacher Fae Kontje-Gibbs leads a three-hour workshop about the white-line printing technique developed by Edith Lake Wilkinson (the subject of Saturday’s film PACKED IN A TRUNK).
TICKETS: $45 (includes all materials). Pre-registration recommended. Class size limited. 
Registration at

1:00pm * Matthew Bourne’s SWAN LAKE (2019) * Not Rated

Presented by event sponsor The Mansion House
Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
The New England cinema premiere of this production of the ballet (currently touring the UK)! 
Winner of 3 Tony Awards, this is the longest-running ballet in Broadway and West End history. Set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, England’s choreographer/director MATTHEW BOURNE has re-imagined the story it tells. In this version, the swans are played by male dancers and relates the tale of a modern prince, his distant mother and his desire for freedom, represented by the swan.

1:00pm * DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! and PARIS WAS A WOMAN (2018) * Not Rated

Venue: Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven.

A documentary double-feature! These two-hour-long films explore women in the arts during the last 100 years. In DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION!, trailblazer lesbian filmmakers share their stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film. PARIS WAS A WOMAN document the female (many of them lesbian) artists, writers, photographers, designers, and adventurers who settled in Paris between the wars. The City of Lights embraced them and, in return, these women cherished a way of life quite different than the one left behind in America.

4:00pm * McQUEEN (2018) * Not Rated

Presented by event sponsor MV Bank
Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
A personal look at the extraordinary life, career, and artistry of British fashion design icon Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals, and music, McQueen is an intimate portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary.
Pre-show: JAMES PHILLIPS, author of the hit London play McQUEEN
Post-show: Featherstone’s ANN SMITH leads a discussion about fashion with designers STINA SAYRE and MIKEL HUNTER.

7:30pm * STUDIO 54 (2018) * Not Rated 

Presented by event sponsor The Tisbury Printer.
Venue: MV Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven.
Closing Night Event! 
Studio 54 was the center of 70s hedonism — a place that not only redefined the nightclub but also came to symbolize an entire era. 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club’s hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.
Post-show: Disco reception in the lobby.