This year’s Spectrum (LGBTQ+) Film Festival produced by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center will feature six films, a smaller selection than in previous years due to the pandemic. Films range from a documentary about Madonna’s Truth or Dare tour, to the public premiere of Dimka by local filmmaker, Victoria Campbell.

The annual event founded five years ago by former film center manager Bob Dutton takes place May 7 to 9, at the film center and online.

“It’s what I consider a very short and focused festival, without a lot of external activities going on,” Martha’s Vineyard Film Society executive director Richard Paradise told the Gazette.

Ms. Campbell’s new documentary screens on May 7. Raised in Vineyard Haven, where she and her baby daughter are staying in the family home with her parents Bruce and Dolly Campbell, Ms. Campbell will make a personal appearance at the film center following the 7:30 p.m. screening.

Dimka, a new documentary by Vineyarder Victoria Campbell, makes its public debut at the festival.

“It is a finished film, but it is not sound mixed or color mixed, which are a couple of things I want to do,” said Ms. Campbell, an eighth-grade teacher at a New York city public school who is teaching her classes virtually from the Vineyard.

While she has shown Dimka at New York’s Millennium Film Workshop and the School of Visual Arts, her graduate school after Bard College, the Vineyard screening will be its first before a general audience, Ms. Campbell said.

The film is a 360-degree portrait of a complex Russian-born New Yorker who became close friends with Ms. Campbell after meeting by chance at a Millennium screening some 10 years ago.

Unmistakably male, Dimka dresses as a woman while retaining he-him-his pronouns and a passion for guns, tanks and communism. He lives with his parents in a Canarsie, Brooklyn apartment building with bulky, utilitarian outlines that echo housing in the old Soviet Union, which he misses.

“I walked into his world and I felt like I was in Russia a decade ago,” recalled Ms. Campbell, who was still in graduate school when they met. “He had a picture of Stalin in his room. He had all these Russian rifles and Soviet paraphernalia.”

But the two grew close quickly, Ms. Campbell said.

“We both shared the same kind of aesthetic of filming,” she said. “We liked to film each other and tell stories, and he loved being photographed and filmed. He was very open when I brought my camera.”

As their relationship developed, Ms. Campbell said she wound up becoming part of the film as well, because she was part of his life.

“I didn’t know that it would turn into this nine-year project,” she said.

Influenced by the avant-garde works she saw at the Millennium, Ms. Campbell uses minimal equipment in her work, doing her own sound recording and filming.

“It’s really just me going into these worlds and getting close to them,” she said. “Instead of using a tripod I use a table or a chair. I use what’s around me, then I kind of piece it together in the editing.

“The films I make are a little more time-consuming because I tend to do everything myself,” Ms. Campbell added. “I have a certain vision of how I want it to be.”

In addition to Dimka, the festival is showing the documentary Strike a Pose, in which Madonna’s Truth or Dare dancers dish about what really happened during the singer’s controversial 1990 tour and what they’ve been doing in the years since. Co-sponsored by the Yard, it shows at the film center May 7 at 4 p.m.

The acclaimed romantic drama Supernova, starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as an ageing couple facing loss, is one of two films in the festival that will not screen online. It plays the film center May 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The documentary Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker, screening May 8 at 4 p.m. at the film center, is a dynamic portrait of the writer, photographer and activist David Wojnarowicz, who died in 1992 of AIDS after making the disease a focus of his work.

Transhood, screening May 9 at 4 p.m., is a very different kind of documentary, tracing the development of transgender children of different ages over a period of five years.

“You get a very, very wide perspective on the journey of being a transgender adolescent,” Mr. Paradise said.

Closing the festival, at the film center May 9 at 7:30 p.m., The World to Come is a period drama starring Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby as 19th-century wives drawn more to each other than to their husbands (Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott).

The festival takes on extra resonance this year, having lost its founder, Mr. Dutton, who died of brain cancer last year.

“That was his baby,” Mr. Paradise said. “He came to me five years ago and said we should be doing a focused festival weekend on LGBTQ (themes).”

In pre-pandemic times, Mr. Dutton organized lively panel discussions, director and actor appearances and audience talk-back sessions after many screenings.

Mr. Paradise is recording a series of interviews with filmmakers for festival viewers to watch. But with theatre audiences still small, Mr. Paradise said, it didn’t seem fair to ask directors — Ms. Campbell excepted, as she already is here — to make the trip to the Vineyard.

Mr. Dutton’s spirit will continue to preside over the festival he created. In a recorded announcement that will run before film center screenings, his widow Molly Conole reminds audiences to ask questions about what they see at Spectrum.

“His goal for this festival was education through entertainment,” Ms. Conole says in the trailer, one of several custom-made for the festival. Two former presidential candidates also contributed brief videos endorsing the series: Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg.

“Bob was the one that reached out to them and they both did these nice videos,” Mr. Paradise said.

While this year’s Spectrum may be more concise than past festivals, Mr. Paradise said he hopes the event’s spirit of diversity and inclusion comes through.

“This is a very important part of our calendar, and it will remain an important part of our calendar,” he said.

Spectrum Film Festival passes and individual tickets are available on the film society website: