Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival
Richard Paradise stood in the corner of the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Saturday afternoon, silent but smiling.
It was a rare moment. Mr. Paradise, co-director of the annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, is a natural talker and schmoozer. From the time this year’s festival kicked off Thursday afternoon to the time it closed Sunday at sunset, Mr. Paradise gabbed nonstop. He introduced films, talked shop with reporters and greeted audiences and filmmakers alike.
One of Richard Paradise’s favorite things about cinema is its ability to transport viewers in an instant to far-off places, foreign cultures and fanciful situations. At the 2009 Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, Mr. Paradise will enhance these screen voyages by bringing a taste of the exotic right to our doorstep, or rooftop, in the case of opening night.
The Vineyard prides itself on promoting all things local: music, painting, livestock, produce, you name it. This weekend, though, the Island goes international as it celebrates the cinema of the world.
Last night the fifth annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival kicked off as it always does, with an opening night reception on the Mansion House rooftop.
The Island band Ballywho performed a little bluegrass outside the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven Sunday afternoon as patrons lined up to be let into the movie house. It was a gray September day, but within a few minutes, Islanders were swept off the streets of Vineyard Haven and into the heart of a failing Hamburg restaurant, as the fifth annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival came to a close.
Film Festival Honored
Those living on or visiting Martha’s Vineyard have long recognized the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival as a particular gem. Each year Richard Paradise, the director and founder, programs numerous series of movies all year round, culminating in the four-day festival each fall. The films are always ones you can’t see anywhere else; foreign films being a particular specialty of the festival.
In A Better World, a Danish thriller that won Best Foreign Film at the 2011 Academy Awards, is among the fare being offered up this weekend by the International Film Festival.
In A Better World is one of three choices being shown at 7 p.m. Friday night, this one at the Vineyard Playhouse. Ten international short films, selected by a festival jury, will be shown at the Capawock Theatre, and Marathon Boy, a documentary of a young Indian runner, will be shown at the Katherine Cornell Theatre.
While summer movies typ ically lean to big explosions, gooey romances, or gross-out comedies, films of a more thoughtful nature will be loaded into projectors next weekend as the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival gets underway. The festival, now in its sixth year, begins on Thursday, Sept. 8 and runs throughout the weekend at locations around Vineyard Haven.
The festival is known for bringing together a broad mix of films that include both the serious and lighthearted.
It’s the most fun you could have all year, maybe the most fun in five years. What I discovered at this year’s Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival was, you need a big breakfast on each of the four days and a powerful multivitamin to build your strength. Though stamina for this event has nothing to do with age: 82-year-old Doreen Kinsman is the all-time movie maximizer, able to view 12 to 14 screenings (out of 36-plus offered, three per time slot) per festival. I believe she also can leap tall buildings in a single bound.