Lights, Camera, Whitey Bulger?
The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival's annual winter event begins March 13 with showings through March 16.
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Screen Gems

Author Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone, published in 2000, examined trends in American society and concluded that the country was growing apart due to lack of community involvement. His thesis pointed to a disengaged populace that was more isolated and therefore less likely to be empathetic. The traditional outlets for bringing a community together were no longer thriving, he said, from bowling leagues to PTA meetings, and as a result the country as a whole was suffering. 

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No Need to Run Away for Cinema Circus
Simone McCarthy

The common room of the Chilmark School rustled with popcorn bags and whispers on Friday afternoon as the entire school, kindergarten through fifth grades, prepared to become the audience for their own animated films. The projector screen lit up and animated puppets hula-hooped, built forts, played four square, shared snacks and engaged in lively dialogue about conflict, compromise and cooperation.

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Martha's Vineyard Film Festival Screens a Community of Stories
Ivy Ashe

Next weekend, moviegoers will gather at the Chilmark Community Center for the 13th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. They will sit on bales of straw in the Hay Café and eat chef Chris Fischer’s home-cooked meals. But mostly, they will seat themselves in the cozy main room of the Chilmark Community Center, ready to get lost in the onscreen worlds of the 14 films in this year’s lineup.

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Success Brings Growing Pains for Independent Film Festival
Max Hart

Amid the stacks of DVDs and under the piles of papers, press photos and programs, the sixth annual Martha's Vineyard Independent Film Festival is coming together.

Slowly.

"This is the crunch time, for sure," festival founder and director Thomas Bena says one afternoon last week from the festival headquarters in North Tisbury. "We still have a lot to do."

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Reeling: Summer Film Festival Lures All
Megan Dooley

Call them critics-in-training. Children go behind the camera, videotaping kids' reactions to films.

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Festival Finds Itself Sitting Pretty on Chilmark Sofas at Ten Years
Megan Dooley

It took the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival about three years to get into the casual character it has enjoyed for the past seven. In the first year, a black and white printout distributed the day before the Grange Hall screenings announced a one-day program consisting of a collection of shorts, a few features and some ethnic food. The next year, a move to the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven eliminated the food; eating wasn’t allowed at the site, so the festival moved again.

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Island Cineastes Start New Season

Island Cineastes Start New Season

Richard Paradise was named 2009’s best regional film festival director at last month’s International Film Festival Summit in Las Vegas. In an Oscar-speech moment with the Gazette, he shared his glory with Island filmgoers: “The success of the festival, the regional coverage, the volunteership, and the exploration of other cultures ... the Vineyard audience contributes.”

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Summer Film Festivals Are Blockbusters of Talent, Never Mind the Bottom Line
Nina Tarnawsky

Did the Green Lantern, last week’s supposed Hollywood blockbuster, fail to light up your life? Don’t despair, there are others here on the Island who also hunger for something more fulfilling on screen. Indeed, the Vineyard in summer is a movie lover’s paradise with numerous festivals bringing narratives and documentaries from around the world just a stone’s throw from your front porch.

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Intimate Insight Into Islanders’ Boat-Building Launches Festival
Mark Alan Lovewell

The story of the building of the schooner Charlotte is a true Vineyard tale. Tonight at 7 p.m. the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will open the weekend’s festivities with a documentary about the building of this wooden boat.

The film is called Charlotte. But the title feels too narrow for it is far more than a story about one big sailboat or one beloved boatyard. It is the story of a people and a community with a love of the sea.

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