Two-time Academy Award winning documentarian Barbara Kopple will be on the Island tonight, July 15, to present her newest feature Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation at the Chilmark Community Center for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Ms. Kopple is the director of Harlan County USA and American Dream, and she will participate in a discussion about her latest film after the screening with dinner and music before the movie.

The film explores the history of one the country’s oldest political magazines, from its founding after the Civil War by Republicans to its contemporary status as the flagship liberal publication in America. But the documentary is more than a sketch of history. Alongside the footage of old headlines and notable coverage the magazine has done through its decades of existence, the film depicts the process that goes into the weekly release of each new issue and the inner workings of the publication from the editors down to the interns.

“You can see the front side, you see the articles online,” said Brian Ditchfield, programming director of MVFF. “But now you can also see the how and the day to day at the office.”

After the movie, Ms. Kopple will discuss the making of the film and her nearly unlimited access to the magazine and its staff, which commissioned the film in honor of its upcoming 150th anniversary. The conversation after the film will be moderated by another documentarian, Dawn Porter, who sits on the board of MVFF.

In keeping with the editorial focus of the event, the screening will be free to local journalists on the Island.

“It’s a great thing for any local media or political junkies to see,” said Mr. Ditchfield. “Because it’s also a story of survival. This delves not only into print media. But all media today, and really explores that survival.”

The movie begins at 7:30 p.m, with dinner starting at 6 p.m. Non journalists can purchase tickets online at or at the show.