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Martha's Vineyard Film Festival

People in a theater for a Martha's Vineyard film festival.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than curling up and watching a movie. Take this pastime to the next level by planning your visit to a Martha’s Vineyard film festival. Each festival is unique, but they all have something in common. They showcase incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Anyone planning to visit one of these events needs a relaxing place to call home. Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites provides you with precisely that. Located in the heart of downtown Edgartown, our boutique hotel puts you close to all the action. Keep reading to learn more about three film festivals any movie enthusiast will love.

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival

The first event of the year is the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. The annual event takes place over four days in mid-March. Produced by Circuit Arts, the gathering shows independent films that spark discussion, action, and debate.

Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival

One of the year’s most anticipated events is the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, also known as MVAAFF. This nine-day August event is an Oscar Qualifying Festival in the Short Film category. Showings take place at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center in Oak Bluffs. Given its popularity, we highly recommend reserving your accommodations as early as possible.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival

A third popular option is the International Film Festival in September. For over 15 years, this event has celebrated worldwide cinematic magic. The best films from dozens of countries are shown at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

Reserve Your Martha’s Vineyard Accommodation Today

The living  space of an Edgartown hotel that's close to the site of a Martha's Vineyard film festival.

If you plan on attending a Martha’s Vineyard film festival, it’s important to start your stay planning as soon as possible. This includes booking your room at Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites and figuring out how to get to the island. Reservations for ferries and hotels can fill up quickly, so don’t wait too long.

Our boutique hotel is the perfect place to escape the festival crowds and rest for another day of watching exceptional films. Enjoy a bite to eat at Chesca’s Restaurant, found on hotel property, before retiring to the comfort of your well-appointed room. All of our accommodations come with luxurious en-suite bathrooms, sumptuous bedding, and more. Call 508-627-4711 to speak with a reservation specialist about booking your stay or ways to save.

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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.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

halloweenkidsSo there you are back in what we affectionately call “the real world”. There are errands to do, kids to transport, work and obligations to fill your every hour. A pleasant fleeting memory of summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard may flicker through your mind only to be overpowered by whatever task is presently before you. You wish you could still be here, but nothing happens on Martha’s Vineyard after Labor Day anyway, right? Wrong! So, so wrong.

Get in the car, bus, or plane and get yourself back here for a fall weekend of delightful activity (or non-activity). Or even better, come midweek when the best Martha’s Vineyard hotel deals are available!  Anyone who lives here will tell you September and October are the best months to be on the island. For instance, the MV International Film Festival wraps up on September 12. Tivoli Day, celebrated in Oak Bluffs, takes place September 18, rain date September 19. The increasingly popular Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival is October 15 and 16. And the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is ongoing now through October 16. Come test your casting skills and win a prize!

Besides the special events, so many of the best summer activities live on through the fall. Some of the things you can still enjoy are the Artisan’s Festival in West Tisbury, the Speaker Series at the Aquinnah Town Hall, bird walks, Felix Neck Treks and Guided Kayak and Marine Discovery Tours, artists’ receptions at all the galleries, and the Vineyard Playhouse productions. If those don’t entice you, how about fall sales in all the stores? All the goodies you talked yourself out of in August, because they were too expensive, start taking a dive. And I’ve saved the best for last: Friday night lobster rolls continue to roll out of Grace Church in Vineyard Haven until October 1!

Oops! My phone is ringing. Must be another “fall on the Vineyard lover” calling to make a reservation. Hope to see you soon!

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

One of the things that I love about Martha’s Vineyard in the summer is the quality and variety of activities and events from which to choose – many not normally available in such a small community.  Evening events are naturally geared more toward “grown-ups,” however (when the wee ones are in bed).  But being a mother of 4, I understand the need to entertain the WHOLE family at any given time of the day; so I have come up with a couple of suggestions for those long summer nights…

To be honest, my favorite “family night out” is not very original… but it’s always relaxing and a hit with the entire family.  My husband is strongly opposed to anything involving crowds (which eliminates a lot in July & August), so our family beach time involves a picnic dinner and an evening dip in the ocean.  Regardless of the number of folks on the beach during the day, if you wait until after 6pm, you are sure to find your own sandy spot of solitude.  We normally head to State Beach because we never have to walk far from our car (you know there’s always lots to lug w/kids), and if there are a lot of cars in one area, we can keep going until we find an unclaimed stretch of beach.  The water is warm from the day’s heat; and with the volume of fun (and fights) that ensues when my family arrives, “the crowds” are very happy that we avoided them!

Then there is the obligatory evening out in Oak Bluffs.  Oak Bluffs is always a swarm of activity in the summer (as well as a lot of fun)… so I suggest leaving the claustrophobic members of the family at home (Yes, you guessed it… hubby stays home!).   A great place to start your evening is Nancy’s on the harbor (or another favorite haunt for fast, casual waterfront fare), and then take time to meander along the harbor and across New York Ave… with ice cream in hand, of course!   Or wait to grab a cotton candy at The Flying Horses Carousel. The carousel is the nation’s oldest operating platform carousel and a National Historic Landmark.  They are open until 10pm every evening in the summer and a ride is only $1.50.   After the Flying Horses, you can continue up Circuit Ave. to the Game Room which is open until midnight.  Plenty of time to spend all of your quarters!

If you crave something different after a day at the beach, I recommend the Cinema Circus, put on by The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival every Wednesday in July and August at the Chilmark Community Center.  The mission of the Cinema Circus is “to produce family events that engage children with films, discussion, and activities that promote media literacy and community interaction” and they’re FUN!  The doors open at 5pm with acrobats, jugglers, and face painting as well as activities and discussions around the film(s) being screened.  And then there is always the pizza and popcorn… Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for kids.

The Island Cove Mini Golf is another sure hit for a family evening out!  Located on State Rd. (across from Cronig’s grocery store), they are open until 10pm daily during the summer.   They offer an adventure themed mini golf course and a 24ft high outdoor climbing wall with three levels of difficulty to accommodate (almost) everyone in the family.  Their grill is open for lunch and dinner with relatively inexpensive, casual fare so it is a “one stop shop” for the night…  and don’t forget to leave room for the ice cream!

If your kids still crave action at the end of a busy day…  check out the Family Dance-O-Rama at Nectar’s on Tuesday nights (they are located at the airport in the old Outerlands location).  They have music from 5:30-7:30, so the younger set can boogie and blow off some steam…  hopefully winding up very tired and ready for bed!  Admission is complimentary, and food is sold there, so it’s another “one stop shop” for dinner and fun (ya gotta love it when they make it that easy!).

Do you have other evening activities that are part of you island summer traditions?  Please make a comment.  We would love to hear your ideas.

Image courtesy of owlhere.

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown