Emily Dickinson was not a wallflower, Swan Lake need not be the domain of female dancers, and Presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are heading to the Vineyard, beamed here by video.

Welcome to the third annual Spectrum Film Festival held at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.

The festival begins Thursday evening, and throughout the weekend will screen 13 movies through an LGBTQ+ lens. Festival organizer Bob Dutton said he was inspired to start the festival three years ago because of the absence of Island organizations serving the LGBTQ+ community outside of the high school Gay-Straight Alliance.

“The entire thing is a festival that’s dedicated to the world of LGBTQ+ ,” he said.

Though movies are the focus, Mr. Dutton said some of the best programming this year is happening off-screen, including a staged reading of a Terrence McNally play at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse and a workshop at Featherstone on white-line printing, developed by Edith Lake Wilkinson, the subject of Saturday’s film Packed in a Trunk.

“A significant change is we are working in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations this year,” said Mr. Dutton. “They’re all natural fits. There’s something for everyone.”

The films on Thursday night will be introduced with video messages from 2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. “It is a thing that makes us stand out,” Mr. Dutton said. “With two contenders for President appearing, hopefully we can step it up next year.”

Friday night’s screening of Wild Nights with Emily will also be introduced by video, including an a capella performance from the Mount Holyoke College Victory Eights.

“Emily Dickinson is not the recluse we thought over the years,” Mr. Dutton said of the film. “This movie will make people reevaluate who she was and her writing over the years.”

Mr. Dutton said the hidden gem this year is Canary (Kanarie), a South African coming of age drama about a boy who fulfills his military duty by enlisting in the South African Defence Force Choir and discovers his true self through music.

“It is a terrific film, beautifully directed with lots of long takes,” said Mr. Dutton.

Another can’t-miss film according to Mr. Dutton is the New England premiere of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, a Tony Award-winning reimagining of the ballet. “All the swans are men and it’s focused on the prince, so the story is different and modernized,” he said.

Following the closing night film Studio 54, a documentary about the New-York nightclub, guests are invited to stay for a disco reception. Mr. Dutton said he hopes people leave the party and festival with open hearts and minds, eager to celebrate the lives of the wide spectrum of people they interact with day to day.

“There’s something of value to sharing these stories,” said Mr. Dutton.

For tickets and further information, visit mvfilmsociety.com. All films throughout the festival are free to patrons age 13 to 21.