Filmmaker Murray Lerner, a longtime summer resident of Aquinnah, died of kidney failure on Sept. 2 at his home in Long Island City, N.Y. He was 90.

Mr. Lerner graduated Harvard in 1948 as an English major. While a student there, he helped create a film production society, as film schools didn’t yet exist. He felt that film should be a unified art and taught himself every aspect of filmmaking, an ideal he continued throughout his career as a writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor.

He began coming to Martha’s Vineyard in 1961. For a period he rented the guest house belonging to his friend Thomas Hart Benton. He eventually built his own home in Aquinnah and enjoyed spending summers at Martha’s Vineyard for decades.

His first short film, Witch Doctor, (1952) showed a the magic of a voodoo ceremony, and his second, Secrets of the Reef, (1956) was a feature-length undersea documentary.

As an avid fan of folk music, he travelled to the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 to help document the burgeoning movement that would galvanize the coming revolutions of the sixties. He filmed the festival for four years, capturing both the return of lost blues legends like Mississippi John Hurt and Son House, as well as emerging stars like Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary and Joan Baez. In 1965 he documented the iconic moment of Dylan going electric, a performance endlessly canonized in music history. The 1967 Academy Award nominated Festival! captured the essence of the moment and the movement brilliantly, showcasing the juxtaposition of images and ideas that became a hallmark of his music documentaries for the next 50 years.

Festival! was edited by Mr. Lerner and Howard Alk while staying at Martha’s Vineyard.

At the same time, Mr. Lerner continued to make non-musical films, such as To Be A Man (1966), a film exploring the educational system at Yale, which prompted WGBH producer Henry Morgenthau to proclaim “I am left full of admiration for your artistic and institutional courage. It is the best TV film essay I have ever seen.” Within a few years, he began teaching at Yale in their new film curriculum. He also directed Search for the Lost Self (1966) for NET, and The Return which was the first film to show the practice of physical rehabilitation.

His next musical project was directing the filming of the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970, which was the largest rock festival of the era, and considered the last great event of the sixties, featuring a stunning list of musical luminaries such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, The Doors, the Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others. Mr. Lerner ultimately went on to release 10 films utilizing the beautifully-photographed performances. At the time of his death, he had just completed a concert feature covering Joni Mitchell’s tumultuous Isle of Wight appearance and begun work on an expanded version of the 1996 film Message To Love.

Mr. Lerner continued to make award-winning non-musical documentaries, commercials and big-budget industrials for Gulf throughout the ‘60s and 70s. This experience led him in the mid-seventies to move into 70mm and 3D. He pursued a completely different pioneering path as a filmmaker with the short Sea Dream, which is considered by enthusiasts to be one of the most innovative films ever made in the 3D format. Sea Dream was shown as an attraction in amusement parks worldwide, translated into over 15 languages, seen by millions and ultimately ran for nearly 20 years. During this time Mr. Lerner also became a consultant in theme park theatrical design worldwide.

In 1979 he directed the film Mao To Mozart, which documented Isaac Stern’s journey into China during the cultural upheaval after Mao’s death and the fascinating story of how Western classical music was outlawed then revived in the post-communist era. The film won the Academy Award in 1980 for best feature documentary.

He then went back into 3D for what would be the one of the biggest films of his career. When the Disney film Magic Journeys opened in 1982, it was pioneering in its use of computer animation and blue screen effects. It was ultimately seen by over 60 million people in an 11-year run at Disney theaters. His other forays into 3-D included a short film Space Fantasy for Hitachi, which was so innovative that it looks modern nearly 40 years later, and a 3-D promotion for The Birds which was one of the most expensive films per minute ever made.

In 1991, the first Isle of Wight film, showcasing Jimi Hendrix’s performance, was released. The critically acclaimed Message To Love followed in 1996, and for the next 20 years, he continued to create more films from the concert and documentary work that was shot at the 1970 festival.

In 2007, a long-running project begun in the ‘70s involving all of Bob Dylan’s Newport appearances was released as The Other Side of the Mirror. The 80 hours of additional Newport film he shot is in high demand and regularly accessed for historical documentaries, including recent acclaimed films such as Two Trains Runnin',  American Epic, and Soundtracks.

Throughout his 65-year film career he constantly pursued new directions and projects, mastering many different disciplines and utilizing his ever-fertile imagination, winning awards and recognition at film festivals all over the world. His films are constantly in rotation at festivals worldwide, and the body of work he created in the hours of immortal film shot at Newport and the Isle of Wight will endure along with untold hours of archival interviews and essays, ensuring his legacy will remain for future generations to appreciate and learn from.

He is survived by his wife, Judith; son, Noah; daughter in law Julie; and grandchildren Matthew and Catherine.