The 13th annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival kicks off this weekend with a flock of local films and events for film junkees and industry insiders to enjoy.
The event commences Friday March 15th at the Chilmark Community Center and lasts till Sunday. Crash Reel, the film that opens the festival, is from two-time Academy Award nominated director Lucy Walker. The dynamic picture follows the story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce, and will include a discussion with members of Kevin’s family immediately following the film.
Other scheduled screenings and special guests include Ken Burns’s Central Park Five, with Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer with directors Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, filmmakers Lyda Kuth and Erin Trahan from Love and Other Anxieties, May I Be Frank with film subject Frank Ferrante, and Safety Not Guaranteed, with director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Derek Connolly.
All of the films will be shown in “community living room” style comfort at the center, with couch seating and state-of-the-art projection and sound.
“We’re always trying to push the conversation forward,” adds Founder and Executive Director Thomas Bena. “We work hard to create an atmosphere that inspires people to dig a little deeper into the issues presented.”
To round out the festival chef Chris Fischer of Chilmark’s Beetlebung Farm, will be cooking up locally inspired meals daily. The Hay Café will also be hosting musical performances, in addition to offering local snacks.
Tickets are $7 members / $15 general public. Couch seating is an additional $5. Weekend passes are available $150 for general seating and $250 for couch seating. Passes are only available to members. Memberships can be bought online or at the door.
Sunday marked the first day of PBS’s broadcast of the most recent documentary by Ken Burns, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The documentary, which has been broadcasted throughout the week, is a six-episode series directed by Burns that showcases the grandeur of American nation parks such as Acadia, Yosemite, Arches, the Grand Canyon, the Everglades and the Gates of the Arctic. In addition spellbinding panoramas of the magnificence of nature, the film explores the human ties to the land, focusing on the people that are connected to these locations in a myriad of different ways.
Burns, who was born in New York but earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and currently resides in Walpole, NH, is most well known for his three documentaries The War, Baseball, and The Civil War, which earned over 40 major film and television awards including two Emmys, two Grammys, the Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild of America, the People’s Choice Award and the Peabody Award, among many others. Until today, many critics consider The Civil War Burns’ masterpiece.
Burns got his start on PBS with The Brooklyn Bridge, which he produced in 1981. The film detailed the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, formerly called the Great East River Bridge, and its effects on American culture past and present. It was nominated for an Academy Award a year later. Since then at least 19 films by Burns have been featured on PBS and he has produced and directed many others.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is broadcasting on PBS throughout this week. Check your local listings for show times or visit the PBS website for a complete schedule of all the episodes within the series.
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