Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival offers abundant options

The 17th annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, March 16 to 19, is a collection of workshops, films, and discussions that include everything from cartoons to a short about a day in the life of Menemsha’s Hershel West, to a film about former enemies — Israeli soldiers from elite units, and Palestinian fighters — who throw social norms aside in the name of peace. 

The four-day festival, held around Chilmark, begins with a film for all ages, “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” on Thursday, March 16, at 7 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. The film will be shown again at the Chilmark School on Saturday, March 18, at 9:15 am. Bill Nye inspired millions with his television show, and in this film, he embarks on a quest to encourage science advocacy and education. 

A social justice theme prevails with films such as “I Am Not Your Negro” (previewed in this week’s Calendar), “Dolores,” and “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,” while children and adults work together during the workshop Tell Me Your Story. Vineyard filmmakers are highlighted in “Vineyard Shorts” when Islanders Chris Fischer and Conor Hagen present a day in the life of Menemsha’s Hershel West. Other Island filmmakers include Julia MacNelly and Tom Ellis, who visited refugee camps in Serbia and turned their footage into a powerful short film. Nancy Aronie joins MVFF staff in a narrative by Reece Robinson. And viewers will be among the first to see some of Georgia and Len Morris’ newest project, which took place in India.

For a complete list of the films, workshops, and discussions, visit


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