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Martha s Vineyard International Film Festival


Combining the laidback beach style of the island of Martha’s Vineyard with the buzz and excitement of a festival celebrating films from across the globe - The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is an amazing experience not to be missed.

Four days filled with the best feature and short films from top-notch festivals such as Sundance, Berlin and Cannes (with a few undiscovered gems thrown in!), great evening events, provocative forums and live world music - all within the ‘Walking Festival District’. And don’t forget – Martha’s Vineyard has some of the most beautiful beaches in America.

The recurring theme of the annual Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival is "Other Places"; the festival's purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly (about how huge the world of film is) and deeply (about the universal concerns and desires that unite all people). About 90% of all film selections are non-US productions, helping to fulfill the festival mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through film.

The International Film Festival is produced by the Martha's Vineyard Film Society, a 501 c3 non-profit corporation. Our festival is completely run by volunteers and greatly appreciates your support.Combining the laidback beach style of the island of Martha’s Vineyard with the buzz and excitement of a festival celebrating films from across the globe - The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is an amazing experience not to be missed.

Four days filled with the best feature and short films from top-notch festivals such as Sundance, Berlin and Cannes (with a few undiscovered gems thrown in!), great evening events, provocative forums and live world music - all within the ‘Walking Festival District’. And don’t forget – Martha’s Vineyard has some of the most beautiful beaches in America.

The recurring theme of the annual Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival is "Other Places"; the festival's purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly (about how huge the world of film is) and deeply (about the universal concerns and desires that unite all people). About 90% of all film selections are non-US productions, helping to fulfill the festival mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through film.

The International Film Festival is produced by the Martha's Vineyard Film Society, a 501 c3 non-profit corporation. Our festival is completely run by volunteers and greatly appreciates your support.Combining the laidback beach style of the island of Martha’s Vineyard with the buzz and excitement of a festival celebrating films from across the globe - The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is an amazing experience not to be missed.

Four days filled with the best feature and short films from top-notch festivals such as Sundance, Berlin and Cannes (with a few undiscovered gems thrown in!), great evening events, provocative forums and live world music - all within the ‘Walking Festival District’. And don’t forget – Martha’s Vineyard has some of the most beautiful beaches in America.

The recurring theme of the annual Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival is "Other Places"; the festival's purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly (about how huge the world of film is) and deeply (about the universal concerns and desires that unite all people). About 90% of all film selections are non-US productions, helping to fulfill the festival mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through film.

The International Film Festival is produced by the Martha's Vineyard Film Society, a 501 c3 non-profit corporation. Our festival is completely run by volunteers and greatly appreciates your support.


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Film In Profile: Iron Island

Saturday, September 16---For several decades, the American government has successfully demonized the country of Iran, referring to it as an "evil empire" as a member of the "axis of evil". The rhetoric has ratcheted up in recent months, as Iran attempts to take hold of its own destiny by producing nuclear power, and possibly nuclear weapons.

But what do we really know about this ancient culture that is one of the most influential nations in the Middle East? What more can we know without travelling to the country itself? Well, one of the great values of films, and of a film festival, is the ability to bring us into the heart of another country, without ever having to leave the comfort of our own. That is one of the things that will happen today, during the late afternoon screening of the new Iranian film, IRON ISLAND, directed by Mohammad Rasoulof.


Those familiar with the flowering of Iranian cinema since the Islamic revolution of 1979 know a different Iran....a place of mysterious beauty, a country of gentle people and family loyalties. In the great films of such film artists as Abbas Kiorastami and Jafar Panahi, the humanistic values that are at the core of the Persian people are beautifully expressed. What they and other Iranian filmmakers have also portrayed at the seminal conflicts that are central to the evolution of Iranian society....the new values of commerce versus the traditional values of community, the religious versus the secular, the new versus the old.

These very conflicts, which are not so far removed from the tensions in our own culture, are marvelously explored in this entertaining yet provocative film, that has been a big hit on the Festival circuit. In the film, dozens of homeless families have taken refuge and formed a community on a huge rusting tanker off the Iranian coast. The head of the ship, Captain Nemat, is an absolute despot, but one who provides the residents with all their food, clothing, oil and jobs.


His absolute authority is eventually challenged, both by two young lovers who represent a new generation not so willing to just blindly follow the rules set up by others, and business interests who seek to seize the ship and evict the residents.

Aside from its metaphoric themes of a society in transition, the main delight in IRON ISLAND, is the attention to detail that the filmmakers have paid to its physical setting. There is a whole teeming city on this derelict boat, and watching everyone doing their jobs (many of which involve taking the ship apart and selling the pieces as scrap metal) is quite involving.

The film's visual centerpiece is the captain's scheme to extract and sell the oil that remains in the tanker. As shot by cinematographer Reza Jalali, the sequence of bright yellow drums being pushed overboard and joined by young men who will push them to shore is haunting, exhilarating and quietly disturbing.


The notion couldn't be clearer that this derelict tanker, a place where, in the filmmaker's words, "life goes on despite the problems," represents Iran, a country buffetted by conflicting forces within its society that is still in the very process of its own post-revolutionary evolution. Even in its unusual setting, the film does give us a sense of what living in a country like that might be like.

Opening our eyes to this is perhaps the film's greatest aspiration and reward. So, the next time you hear the name Iran mentioned on the nightly news, your thoughts may wander to the humanism of Iranian cinema rather than the Bush administration's picture of a fearsome people whose sole obsession is pointing nuclear weapons at us. Something to think about....


Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor

Comments (1)

Captain

Well if he was the captain ...he did not do a very good job running the ship and the beneficial association

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About Martha s Vineyard International Film Festival

Paradise Richard
(Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival)

Online Dailies of the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival

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