film festival

Every March on the Vineyard, the stage is set for a film frenzy as we travel to the Wild West (that would be Chilmark) for the annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Our cinematic celebration is a triple threat: independent movies from around the world, fresh local fare, and engaging workshops for ages 2 to 92. Before you call “lights, camera, action” on your island getaway, take our five tips to give yourself an award-winning festival experience.


5 Travel Tips Before Heading To The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival

Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
The 2017 Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Photo: Joshua Robinson-White.

1. Peek At The Lineup And Pick Your Faves

The festival’s full schedule of events may seem intimidating at a glance, but within that plethora of pictures, you’re bound to find some that are tailor-made for the film appreciator you are. From romantic comedies to animated short features to action-inspiring pieces on frontlining social issues, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival brings it all to the island big screen.


After considering your choice of genres, think about which festival pass you’ll pick. You can go for a General Admission Pass or a Festival Couch Pass — choose the latter if you’d prefer to be front-and-center for Q&A with the filmmakers (or if you really like couches). Don’t forget: before you grab a pass, you’ll first need to enroll as a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival member.


2. Pack Your Pens, Pads, And Thinking Caps

Whether you’re a bonafide movie buff or you’re intent on tackling more complex matters, come to the island contemplative! These artists bring an eclectic collection of experiences to learn from. In 2017, the festival began holding facilitated fireside chats after select screenings to allow festival goers and movie makers alike to dig deeper, talk about taking action, and of course — sit by the fire and get to know one another after a long day of film festivities.


3. If You Have Or Know Any Kids, Bring Them

Come one, come all — this festival o’ ours is for film fans big and small! Sure, some of the weekend’s flicks are fit for a more mature crowd, but don’t consider that a takeaway from the full-on family-friendliness of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. In fact, the weekend is filled to the brim with lessons for the littlest movie makers, including workshops on stop motion videos and the mysterious green screen.


Bigger kids, remember waking up to the theme songs of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons? Our festival evokes that familiar feeling on Saturday morning with imaginative animated shorts, along with other weekend screenings specifically for the young (and the young-at-heart).


4. Don’t Come On A Full Stomach

Yes, we’re aware that this is a film festival, but there’s a taste of food fest in there, too. You’ll get to enjoy some of the island’s best culinary delights with filmmakers and community members throughout the weekend. Past festivals have served up everything from farm-to-table meals fresh off Morning Glory Farm to baked goods from Pie Chicks — a perfect pairing with a good cup ‘o joe from Chilmark Coffee Company.


And of course, what’s a good movie without a big bag of buttered popcorn? With the help of Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt, savoring the full film fest experience is a cinch (or a crunch).


5. Nab A Nook Fit For A Movie Star

Naturally, you’ll need somewhere to crash after all the credits roll on the final flick, and that’s where we come in. Not only will public transportation to Chilmark be right by your doorstep, but our rooms and suites will have you feeling like you should be strutting your stuff on the red carpet yourself — Hollywood has nothing on us.

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