Lights, Camera, Action! It’s time for the MV International Film Festival!

Think things are slowing down on this little island now that Labor Day has passed?  Hardly, get ready for four days filled with film and fun, Thursday, September 6th – Sunday, September 9th with the 7th Annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival (MVIFF).  Think of this as our own little Sundance, but in an even more fabulous location.  With films from all over the world and parties to celebrate these cinematic treats, this year is going to be even more amazing..

What makes this year more spectacular?  Well, not only will we be able to see 22 feature films from all around the world and a number of short films, many of which are critically acclaimed, but most will be shown in the MVIFF’s new home, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. Located in the Tisbury Market Place in Vineyard Haven, this new addition to MV features stadium seating and the latest in digital film presentation.  There’s a cool concession stand, a “green room”, and so much more.  It’s a great space to see the films, Q & A’s, meet the directors, and enjoy yourself during the MVIFF.  Also, it’s something we’ve been looking forward to have as a part of our community for a while.  Those who fear change, don’t worry there will still be films shown in other favorite locations, like the Capawock and the Katherine Cornell Theatre, but having this new theater is a great addition for movie buffs.

My Movie Pics

Before we talk about the parties, one of my favorite parts of the event, sorry Richard Paradise(founder), let’s talk about a couple of the movies that are being featured.  There is one that I am sure will be a big hit this year, Searching for Sugar Man.  Though there are lots of other movies, I am particularly interested in this one.  Perhaps some of you 70’s music buffs will be know about the artist this is about, folk singer Rodriguez. Unfamiliar with him and his music?  Well, I’ll give you a little background.

Rodriguez was discovered in Detroit, MI in the 60’s, and was believed to be the next Bob Dylan.  Sadly, that was not the case.  His album was a huge flop and Rodriguez disappeared into obscurity.  It was believed that he had killed himself after his failure as a musician.  However, fate would not let this talented man just disappear.  A bootleg copy of his album made it’s way to South Africa during apartheid.  Rodriguez’s music became an inspiration for those fighting to end apartheid.  His music was a integral part of the fight, and two South African fans made it their mission to find out what happened to their hero, Rodriguez.

The documentary Searching for Sugar Man shares the story of finding this amazing artist who unknowingly had such an impact in South Africa.  The journey is unbelievable, and when they find him…. well you’ll just have to see for yourself on Thursday night, 8pm at the Film Center.  It’s the kick-off film of the MVIFF.  I will tell you this, good things are happening for Rodriguez now.  Also noteworthy, this film won a couple of awards at Sundance, including the Audience Award, and the film has just recently been released nationally.  Here’s the link to the trailer if you’d like a little tease.

Thinking that Searching for Sugar Man is not for you?  How about the novel now movie from renowned author and MV resident, Judy Blume, Tiger Eyes.   Her son, Lawrence Blume, directed the film based on this 1981 young adult classic book.  Tiger Eyes was released in April at the Sonoma International Film Festival, has won awards at the Boston Film Festival, and now its here on MV.  After the screening on Saturday, 7pm at the Film Center, Judy and Lawrence will hold a Q & A to discuss this book turned film, and share stories of this mother/son venture.  This is a great opportunity for all us 80’s kids to meet an icon from our generation, and how wonderful that her stories are still being shared with today’s youth!

Food, Parties, Music, and More

Now onto the parties!  Thursday opening night festivities will kick off at Saltwater Restaurant, under a fabulous tent overlooking the lagoon, 5:30-7:30pm.  In addition to the delicious food by Chef Joe daSilva, reason enough to go, there will be live music from Jonathan Auerbach, a powerhouse performer of international note.  For the opening night reception, Jonathan will play an all-original “acoustic experience”.  He’ll be joined by Carole Charlin on vocals and light percussion. This duet will be sure to delight under the MV starry sky.

On Friday night, the MVIFF will host Reel Food at Saltwater which includes dinner and a VIP screening of short films.  This event, in its 5th year, is always a festival favorite.  You have the opportunity to meet and mingle with film directors and film notables.  Maybe Judy Blume will be here too?  Could be a great way for me to meet her!  An added bonus is that there is a three course dinner from Chef Joe daSilva and libations from Biosset Family Estates (think delicious bubbles and wine).

Now on to Friday’s after-hour party.  For the first time since the fire in 2008, Cafe Moxie will be opening its doors to host the MVIFF’s Late Night Party.  How exciting to be able to visit the new building and have the opportunity to check out the space.  We’ve all been waiting for this for four years! Cafe Moxie is not open officially yet, but is providing the space for the party.  Stay tuned for a blog with more  info on that.

Aside from the excitement of being at Cafe Moxie, this is one of my favorite MVIFF events.  Each year there’s a super fun theme – this year it’s Middle Eastern.  Herring Run Kitchens and Provisions is going to be providing themed snacks, including moutabel, beet tzaziki, lamb kibitz and more!  Island fav DJ Di will be spinning Moroccan world-tronic.  It sounds like an evening that is going to be a delight for all your senses!

On Saturday night, 9:30pm, another fun theme party, All Things Scandinavian, a reception at Stina Sayre Design & Studio in Vineyard Haven.  It will be a cocktail reception to welcome Norway’s acclaimed film export, Headhunters.  A celebration of this film and Norway, be prepared to indulge in a little Scandinavian culture and cuisine.

The fun continues on Sunday.  There will be live music at the Film Center from Good Night Louise from 3:30-4:30.  Get your finger-pickin, groove on to this MV favorite American Blues Band.  Then grab the closing film of the MVIFF, Robot & Frank.  All great film festivals have to wrap up sometime, and this is a feel-good film and a nice way to do it.  It was a reel (haha) crowd favorite at Sundance, and who doesn’t love Frank Langella?

Then head on over to the closing party, which will be held on the water at the Vineyard Haven Marina.   Good Night Louise will be performing and causing a little dancing and there will be libations and passed hors d’oeuvres.

Whew after all those parties, don’t forget about the movies.  Though I only mentioned two, there are lots more to see.  Many of these films are just hitting the movie circuit and have only been seen by a small number of people.  With so many to choose from, there really is something for everyone from all around the world.

One more thing, another fun addition to this year’s event aside from a new film center, is an app!  Want to know which movie’s showing when and where?  There’s an app for that! Scan all the details on the MVIFF on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, using the app Festival Genius, free at the iTunes app store!  How cool and very 2012!  Also, tickets are available at and those that are not sold out, at the venue.

Well movie fans, I hope that you have a great time at this years Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival and thank you Martha’s Vineyard Film Society for making this great event possible.  See you at the movies.

Thanks for reading On Point – I hope you enjoyed it.  You can find MVIFF on Facebook.  And speaking of social media, don’t forget to  “Like” us on Facebook, on follow us on TwitterLinked InPinterest and YouTube.

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