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Rockin' the Big Screen at the MV International Film Festival

Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival
Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival
MV Film Society

The 6th annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival rocks another year (2011) of foreign films from all corners of the globe: Asia; Europe; the Middle East; South America; Eurasia and Africa supporting the recurring Festival theme “Other Places”. Four jam-packed short-film showcases and over two dozen feature films provides something for everyone with the overriding lesson that we are all connected.

From Thursday, September 8-11th, films will be shown day and night, all at in-town venues within easy walking distance of one another in Vineyard Haven. Four days filled with the best feature and short films from top-notch festivals such as Sundance, Berlin and Cannes. After-hour parties, beaches, galleries and shopping fill the ‘Fest’ part of the filmfest days.

Opening night kicks off at the 5:30 p.m. cocktail party in a tented area behind Saltwater Restaurant at the Tisbury Market Place. Live music by Afro Beat Project and fronted by Entrain drummer Tom Major.There will be passed appetizers provided by Joe DaSilva of Saltwater and beverages by Festival sponsors,IDOL vodka, San Pellegrino/Aqua Panna, Stella ArtoisBeer and the Boisset Family Estate Wines.

After the cocktail party it’s on to the Capawock Theater on Main Street for the 8:00 p.m. screening of JUST LIKE US. On a hilarious tour through the Middle East, Egyptian-American Director/Entertainer Ahmed Ahmed attempts to tear down cultural barriers with humor along with a roster of edgy comedian to help the cause along.

Friday, September 9th is the fourth annual REEL FOOD MV, an extravaganza party/dinner/screening event. Mingle with Festival filmmakers and notables while enjoying the very best of fresh locally grown produce at the sumptuous Saltwater Restaurant on Beach Road. Enjoy cocktails and feast on the MV raw bar and enticing three-course Island cuisine with dessert. After dinner and screening the Juried International Short Film Competition will take place at the Capawock Theater introduced by Festival Director and Founder Richard Paradise.

A Festival selection committee whittled two-hundred short-film entries down to ten finalists. Jury members Luke Matheny (he won last year's competition) Tim Miller (Cape Cod Times entertainment editor); Diana Barrett (President/Founder of The Fledgling Fund); and Andrew Mer (Vice President, Snagfilms) will present the ten finalists and, at the conclusion, announce their selection for Best Over-all Short Film. Luke Matheny won last year’s Short-film competition with his GOD OF LOVE which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Live-Action short film.

Friday and Saturday night’s tickets include late night after-screening parties at the Festival Lounge on Pushcart Alley, 34 Main Street in Vineyard Haven, a beautiful spot with hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants and libations by Festival sponsors. DJ Di will groove the house from 9:00 p.m. to midnight to the sounds of Latin beat on Friday and Samba, Tango and Disco on Saturday night.

Being on the Island for the Film Festival, at this beautiful time of year leaves an indelible memory of not just the global visions but galleries, shops and the most stupendous beaches. Long walks, sunsets, restaurants and lots of one-of–a kind shopping are right here. Spectacular farm fresh produce and just-caught seafood comprise meals and snacks .It’s an unforgettable shared experience via film.

There’s not only the excited buzz of what’s to come in films – but what’s to come for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, parent of MV International Film Festival – it’s about to commence a permanent home down at the Tisbury Market Place, where this year’s Festival is taking place. There will be plans and a model on display for patrons to see..

The International Film Festival not only unites us collectively as one, it’s socially conscious relevance to the environment is shown by a guy who stops using plastic bags The American documentary ‘BAG IT’ by director Suzan Beraza and writer Michelle Curry Wright, brings him to the realization of what a throw-away-mentality society we live in. Shown at 4:00 p.m., Friday, September 9 at the Katherine Cornell Theater.

More big news for the Festival is the Fledgling Fund; a New York based philanthropic organization. Through their generosity three new documentaries will be presented this year: the above BAG IT; then Connected :An Autobiography on Love Death & Technology, Saturday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m; and MADE IN INDIA, Sunday, September 11th at noon.Their mission is to improve the lives of the vulnerable through innovative media projects, inspiring and engaging audiences to change hearts and minds that will lead to social change.

A collection of some of the world’s best new short animated films from renowned animators will be shown Saturday, September 10th at the Katherine Cornell Theater at 7:00 p.m. The introduction will be made By Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton (The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger).

All-access passes are available, either for the entire week- end, or day passes which include after-parties.The Film Festival has always had a good interactive website but this year it’s awesome. Synopsis and trailers can be found here with this little wizard browser link that opens up everything you need to know about the week-end:

The Festival wraps up (always too soon) Sunday September 11th, with British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the final film, THE TRIP. Coogan gets a gig to tour and review six renowned restaurants in northern England. He plans to make it a romantic getaway with his much younger girlfriend Mischa (Margo Stilley), but she cancels at the last minute. Brydon is the only friend willing to accompany Coogan on the jaunt, and at some subliminal level he bears the brunt of Coogan’s disappointment and anxiety about Mischa’s absence. Their impressions are hysterical and anal in their disparagement. 4:00 p.m. at the Capawock Theater.

Party down at the Closing Night Reception and boogie to live blue grass by Ballyhoo at the Vineyard Haven Marina with appetizers from Blue Canoe, Net Result and other local establishments with libations from Festival sponsors. There’s a beautiful view of the harbor still filled with boats. It’s a heady nautical way to end the week-end, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

See you at the movies!




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