One of the sure signs of spring on the Island is the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, which for the past 15 years has brightened up the days and nights of mid March. It began as a few friends screening films for each other, but gradually grew into an annual community event held at the Chilmark Community Center. This year’s festival takes place from March 19 to 22.

Some of this year’s films include an in-depth look into vigilantes fighting the drug trade in Mexico, the life of Nina Simone, Ethan Hawke’s directorial debut about the life of an 87-year-old musician, a documentary on women’s empowerment, and many more. In addition to the films presented, the festival has always focused on bringing to the Island some or all of the artistic teams behind the films to lead discussions.

Visit or call 508-645-9599 for a full schedule of films and events, and to buy tickets.