Any visitor to Martha’s Vineyard quickly comes to know its rich habitat, which for many is the Island’s draw. It boasts a diverse but fragile ecosystem, and organizations like the Vineyard Conservation Society exist to protect the Island’s natural environment. Enter the first annual Environmental Film Festival, to be held at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center from May 20 through May 24, and presented in partnership with the VCS.

The festival pays homage to Jacques Perrin and could be called a retrospective of his evolving body of work as an actor, director and producer. In fact, all of the films screened during the festival are films he has either directed or produced. Mr. Perrin will also be on hand to lead discussions during the festival.

Although not a nature film, Cinema Paradiso, the Academy Award winning film in which Mr. Perrin plays the protagonist in his later years, will be shown on May 20.

“We thought it would be fun to show our audience him as an actor before he went behind the camera as a director/producer,” said Richard Paradise, film society founder and executive director.

The other films to be shown at the festival include Winged Migration, Microcosmos, Night on Earth, Oceans, Himalaya and Seasons.

In Microcosmos, Mr. Perrin employs innovative camera technology to study the world of insects.

“You get so deep into the insect environment that it looks human,” said Mr. Paradise. “And compared to humans, insects are relatively stronger and more athletic — in terms of their ability to lift and climb things.”

The festival marks the North American premier for two of the films. Night On Earth, a wildlife documentary, captures African wildlife at night and in color, using new camera technology developed by Mr. Perrin’s team. Advance clips from the not-yet-released Seasons will also be screened. Discussions with Mr. Perrin and leading experts in science, conservation and entomology will follow the screenings. Winged Migration, nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 and perhaps Mr. Perrin’s best known film, will screen on Friday, May 22.

“We have a huge birding community here,” Mr. Paradise said. “Martha’s Vineyard is a key migratory stopping point for birds up in Canada going south for the winter and then coming back in the summer. So Winged Migration is a perfect film to show here.”

There will be an opening reception on May 21, a champagne reception on May 23 and an awards ceremony on May 24. For more information visit