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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Oscar Winner Takes Viewers to Dark Side
Jim Hickey

In the disturbing yet vital film Taxi to the Dark Side, Army Specialist Damien Corsetti, one of six interrogators who confessed to torturing and killing an innocent taxi driver at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan in 2002, stoically peers into the camera and tries to justify his actions.

“When you look at people as less than human, you find yourself doing unthinkable things,” Mr. Corsetti says of his role in the death of Dilawar, the young Afghani wrongly accused of being the trigger man in a rocket attack.

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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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Goodbye Milk Duds: Film Festival Offers Slow Food

Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival present a January Film and Feast at the Chilmark Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 8.

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Film Festival Mission; Stories that Matter
Elizabeth Bennett

When speaking with Thomas Bena, the founder and creative director of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, there is no hesitation when he talks about his guiding principle. The films shown at the festival are always diverse in subject matter, a mixture of documentary and feature, and representative of many cultures. The common denominator is good storytelling.

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