Made on MVY: ‘One Big Home’ documentary

There is no downside to placing reasonable limits on house size. 

In his first feature-length documentary, “One Big Home,” Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival founder Thomas Bena makes the case that limiting house size can actually protect the sense of place in any given community. In 2016, One Big Home premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival. In 2017, it won the Audience Award at the Hamptons Take Two Documentary Film Festival. It has screened in more than 70 venues in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Bena recently testified at the Honolulu City Council, which voted to pass a two-year moratorium on “monster houses.”

In the film, Mr. Bena bumps up against angry homeowners, builders, and architects, who look the other way. He records the process of working with the Chilmark community to create a new bylaw that restricts house size. The DVD also includes a “four years later” interview with residential architect Peter Breese, whom Mr. Bena debates throughout the film. It is available for purchase at Cronig’s Market, Healthy Additions, Alley’s General, Mermaid Farm, and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. To rent or download the film, visit

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