The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival Is Making Summer On Martha’s Vineyard Even More Fun For Families

For 14 years, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival has been bringing movies that matter to the “big” screen. This year, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival become a much larger, island-wide event, with even more fun for us movie fans of all ages.The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival  - Photo By Eli Dagostino - MVFF

Fun in Five Towns

Why take The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival beyond the Chilmark borders? Well, the festival has and will always be for Islanders and for basically everyone, everywhere.

It just happened that the Chilmark Community Center was a great venue for this event when it started.

However, this year, something interesting happened. The organizers did not get a Cape Cod 5 grant, which they were seeking to help underwrite Cinema Circus, which is a big part of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.

Cinema Circus The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival Chilmark

Four out of five Island residents that were asked about the event said it was an up-Island event, geared towards wealthy Chimark people.

I can understand how people might have that perception, but that’s far from what the event is meant to be.

So, what was festival founder Thomas Bena and his MVFF team to do? Well, something even better than the grant ended up happening.

Because of the lack of funding, there was a question of what to do with Cinema Circus. It’s a lot of work for a then two hour event.

Popcorn at Cinema Circus Summer On Martha's Vineyard Family Events

A supporter heard of the dilemma, and had an idea. If they gave money and underwrote all of Cinema Circus, would the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival take the show on the road? Bring Cinema Circus to other parts of the Island.

If you’re not familiar with Cinema Circus, check out Everybody Loves the Circus, Especially Cinema Circus.

Of course, Thomas and his team said yes. And just like that, the decision was made. With that new direction, the organization thought, why not bring other aspects of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival to other towns as well?

With 22 screenings and over 25 special guests including Katie Couric, Dakota Fanning and Barney Franks, just to name a few, there is something for everyone up or down Island! for more about the films and guests.

Under the Big Top

Cinema Circus Martha's Vineyard Film Festival - Photo By Eli Dagastino

If you’ve not been to Cinema Circus yet, this is the year. It’s such a fun event, and before, it did cost a bit of money to go, but now the event is free.

Free face painting, animation stations, Ellie the Elephant, Rory the Lion, movies and more. It’s a wonderful time and something fun for the whole family.

Rory the Lion

The first Cinema Circus: Kickin off in Chilmark, is on Sunday July 13th at the Chilmark Community Center from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Be prepared for the kiddos to not want to leave. Between crafts and dress up and more, it’s quite the adventure.

On Sunday, August 3rd, it’s Cinema Circus: Among the Statues in West Tisbury. Join the circus crowd at the Field Gallery. By the way, what a fun setting in West Tisbury from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cottagers CornerAnd catch the last one, Cinema Circus: Wrappin Up in OB on Sunday, August 17th at Cottager’s Corner and Hartford Park in Oak Bluffs, same time 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

How excited am I as an Oak Bluffs resident to have this literally in my backyard. I can’t wait to see how Cinema Circus is set up in Hartford Park (across the street from Bangkok Thai restaurant), and I can’t wait for so many down-Island people to experience the fun, for free no less.

Hartford Park

Because of one generous person, the Cinema Circus experience will be available to people in two other island towns. Though the event and activities are free, there will be food available for purchase from Quitsa Catering.

Outdoor Movies

Something else new for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival is the addition of outdoor screenings on Fridays. Whoohoo!

Frozen at Owen Park For three Fridays, The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will be hosting outside family-friendly movies at Owen Park in Vineyard Haven. The movies they’re featuring are Frozen, E.T., and The Wizard of OZ.

Yes, we’ll be able to see these on the big screen outdoors this summer, with the setting sun and the ferries sailing across the harbor. Does it get any better?

Think back to those old drive-in movie days — some of my favorite childhood summer memories with my parents and friends. But now, even better, with a Vineyard twist.

I’m a seventies baby, so the idea of seeing E.T. and OZ with my little ones in the park makes me almost want to cry,  because it’s what childhood memories are made of.

Of course Frozen is a must — it is the hottest kids movie around, and I bet we’ll all be singing “Let It Go” under the stars.

E.T. at Owen ParkYou can watch Frozen in Owen Park on July 18th, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial on August 1st, and The Wizard of Oz on August 16th, all starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival website, might be good idea to buy them beforehand in case they sell out.

Outdoor screenings are $5 per person or $20 for a family. Grab your beach chairs or a big blanket, pack your cooler (though popcorn and lemonade are provided), and watch three amazing classics under the Vineyard Sky.

I am so excited for these screenings, and the chance to watch movies on the big screen at Owen Park.

Test screen at Owen Park

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival purchased a new, large portable screen for the event. Before they got it though, Brian, Programming/Managing Director/ringmaster tested out the Owen Park location with a smaller screen and indeed it was perfect.

To find out more about this year’s Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, check out The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival – Life Changing, Thought Provoking, Fun, And Celebrities Too and for up to date info you can go to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival on Facebook.

The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival

And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Also, a big thanks to Eli Dagostino for a couple of the great Cinema Circus pics!

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