The Martha’s Vineyard Film Center will host the second annual Spectrum (LGBTQ+) Film Festival next weekend, featuring eight contemporary films with themes important to the LGBTQ community on Martha’s Vineyard.

Film center executive director Richard Paradise said organizers added the “plus” to the well known acronym LGBTQ to encourage everyone to come and enjoy the screenings.

The Lavender Scare screens April 26 at 7:30 p.m.

“We have a lot of new quality releases we’ll be presenting, in addition to a lot of engagement with the community, not just the LGBTQ community but also the straight community,” Mr. Paradise said. “That’s why we put the plus on the end.” Theatre manager Bob Dutton helped organize the festival, gathering the films and coordinating appearances by filmmakers and Island community leaders.

“It is four days of films that give a wide range of the LGBTQ world,” Mr. Dutton said. “It focuses on all aspects, documentaries, narratives, there are stories about lesbians, stories about gays, transsexuals, transgender. Using the term spectrum, it’s meant to be varied in its approach.”

Friday, the second afternoon of the film festival, will feature Love Simon, a 2018 romantic comedy starring Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner. It is billed as the first big budget Hollywood film to focus on a gay teenage romance.

Before the film’s 4 p.m. screening, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will address the festival goers in a videotaped message.

“She thought enough about the event, and thought enough about the issues in Massachusetts, the LGBTQ issues, that she wanted to be represented,” Mr. Paradise said.

Following Senator Warren’s message, state Sen. Julian Cyr will lead a short discussion on political engagement and other issues addressed in at the festival.

Saturday afternoon features the documentary TransMilitary, directed by Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson. The film tells the story of some of the transgender people serving in the U.S. armed services.

TransMilitary screens on Saturday, April 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Ms. Dawson will lead a question-and-answer session by Skype from her home in New York.

“It is as timely and up to date as you can possibly imagine,” Mr. Dutton said.

All U.S. military personnel and military veterans will receive free admission to the film.

Saturday evening’s screening is Disobedience, a drama that follows a woman’s return to her community, years after she was shunned because of her sexuality. The film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

After the screening, Rabbi Caryn Broitman of the Hebrew Center of Martha’s Vineyard will lead a discussion about the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

All films throughout the festival are free to patrons age 13 to 21. Each paid admission will include a $1 surcharge to establish a scholarship fund.

“The surcharges are going to be used exclusively to help establish a memorial scholarship for Tony Lombardi,” Mr. Dutton said. “Having run Alex’s place since its beginning, he‘s been the confidante of many, many teenagers over the years, and helped guide them to themselves and their interests and who they are as individuals.”

Mr. Dutton said the Spectrum Film Festival is important for LGBTQ youth on the Island. He pointed to the time gap between the Stonewall riots, considered the beginning of the gay rights movement, and the contemporary films shown at the festival.

“Stonewall was back in the 60s, and people think, oh well, you have same sex marriage, everything is all set,” said Mr. Dutton. “Well, it’s not. For friends and families of the strangers among us who can get something out of understanding that their lives can be the voice of joy, of drama, of comedy, is kind of an important message to get out to everybody. Though you think you are dealing with issues you think you are alone with, you are not.”