News & Updates

Nancy Parrish

Nancy Parrish

The MVFF Welcomes Nancy Parrish and Mahsa Noble to Advisory Board

Along with adding Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to its board of directors, the MVFF has added two new members to its advisory board: human rights advocate Nancy Parrish and global child welfare advocate Mahsa Noble.

Mahsa Noble

Mahsa Noble

Nancy is an active leader in community and public affairs. In 2011, she founded Protect Our Defenders, an organization that works to educate the public and policymakers about the crisis of sexual violence in the military. She has also worked with others, such as President Carter, in support of the international humanitarian work at the Carter Center. Nancy’s work is driven by a fundamental commitment to defend and protect human rights worldwide. 

Iranian born, Mahsa Noble moved to the U.S. at age 14. She serves on several boards that work on child advocacy, welfare, personal health, and human rights. In August 2015, she wrote a controversial piece about the U.S.-Iran deal. Published in the Huffington Post, it got the attention of some prominent politicians in the White House. In addition to her activism, Mahsa worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade before founding her lifestyle company, Mahsa Rahmani LLC, in 2005.

The MVFF is thrilled to have the opportunity to join forces with these dedicated and hardworking activists.

Photo by Anthony Esposito

Photo by Anthony Esposito

The MVFF Welcomes Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as Newest Board Member

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) is thrilled to announce the addition of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to its board of directors. Professor Gates joins Thomas Bena, Steve Bernier, Joanna Cole, Anne Evasick, Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, Dawn Porter, and Mitch Rubin on the board of the festival that now enters its 16th year.

Continuing its mission to spark discussion, debate, and action, the MVFF produced its first “Race in America” series. Professor Gates had an influential hand in shaping the summer-long series that created a community dialogue about the African American experience. He moderated a discussion with director Stanley Nelson and former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver. He was also a guest speaker at the screening of the film James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket.

The MVFF’s “Race in America” series is not the first collaboration between the MVFF and Professor Gates. In 2014, he introduced the screening of Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Summer, with journalist and author Gwen Ifill moderating the event. In 2013, he helped produce the screening of Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, with guest speakers Angela Davis, Margaret Burnham, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. He is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, and cultural critic, and has authored or co-authored nineteen books and created fourteen documentary films. He has been named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” and was the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal.

“It’s an honor to have someone of the stature and intellect of Professor Gates join our already outstanding board,” says the MVFF’s Executive Director, Thomas Bena. “I know he will push our organization forward and help further our desire for social change and discourse with our community.”

The MVFF is the longest-running film festival on the Island. Its staff is currently teaching an investigative documentary course at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and gearing up for the 16th annual MVFF on March 17-20, 2016.


50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee

"Sick of hustling your film day in, day out? Grab a break at MVFF, where moviemakers get beach walks, yoga classes, reflexology appointments, and even daycare." Read the full article.

- MovieMaker Magazine, Alexandra Eide and Kelly Leow


Movie Nights on the Vineyard

"The 2014 festival, which ran from March 13 through 16 and drew more than 1,000 people to the Island, screened 20 feature films and several short films by local filmmakers...The films are the main course of the festival, but much of its pleasure comes from the distinctly Vineyard ambiance." Read the full article.

- BU Today, Taylor Toole

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That's a Wrap: Film Festival Finishes, Delights

"A Haitian voodoo priest, a notorious gangster, a motherless Cambodian child, a teenage sailor, and an eccentric beekeeper were just a few of the characters presented this weekend at the 14th annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival." Read the full article.

- The Vineyard Gazette, journalist Alison Mead

Fox 25 Boston Visits MVFF

Boston Fox News reporters visited the 14th Annual Martha's Vineyard Film Festival to chat with directors Brian Ditchfield and Thomas Bena, meet "Fading Gigolo" producer Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, and explore our free kids' events!
See the full story.

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Vineyard Festival Expands Winter Offerings

"Twenty films, three new venues, and free children's programming are all hallmarks this winter of an ever-expanding lineup for the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival, now in its 14th year." Read the full article.

- Cape Cod Online, journalist Kathi Driscoll

Programming Refinements and Expanded Venues Punctuate Martha's Vineyard Film Festival

"Those attending the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) this month...will find that the four-day event has been enhanced and expanded...with the overall aim of creating a connected atmosphere..."
Read the full article.

- The Martha's Vineyard Times, journalist Rich Saltzberg

Film Festival Special

"Screenings of more than 20 films, post-screening talks, live music, food, and children’s activities..." Read the full article.

- Boston.Com, correspondent Paul E. Kandarian

Film Festival Embraces Complex Heroes and Stories 

"During the weekend 20 films will be screened, including documentaries and features. There will also be free films for kids, and on Saturday a documentary filmmaking workshop for children." Read the full article.

- The Vineyard Gazette, journalist Remy Tumin

Film Festival Preview: Whitey Bulger's Attorney on Government Corruption

"In the days leading up to his speaking engagement at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Hank Brennan, a key participant in Bulger’s defense, talked with the MV Times...Some of the following information has never before been made public by Mr. Brennan." Read the full article.

- The Martha's Vineyard Times, journalist Rich Saltzberg