Retired Fisherman/Film Subject Chris Murphy and Director Thomas Bena will attend the screening and be on hand to answer questions afterwards.

Dir. Thomas Bena | Documentary | U.S.A. | 2016 | 82 min.

Trophy homes threaten the unique character of Martha’s Vineyard. Ten, fifteen, even twenty-thousand-square-foot houses are going up around the Island. Not only do these mansions stand in stark contrast to traditional cottages, most sit empty for ten months a year yet are heated year round. When he feels complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, carpenter and MVFF founder Thomas Bena takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Bumping up against tired clichés, angry homeowners, and builders who would rather look the other way, he works with his community and attempts to create a new bylaw that would limit house size.

ALSO SCREENING AUGUST 6 & 20 at Entertainment Cinemas in Edgartown
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Thomas Bena earned a degree in marketing from UMass Amherst in 1989, but working in the business world wasn’t for him, so after nine short months he grabbed a backpack and a surfboard and headed to Australia to “find himself.” Almost a decade later, he discovered Martha’s Vineyard. In 2001, he founded the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (now in its seventeenth season). His film directing, editing, and producing credits include Casa del Soul, a short surfing film, Jumpstart My Vega, a travelogue/surf film, and Capawock, a short film starring Wampanoag medicine man Luther Madison. One Big Home, which took twelve years to make, is his first feature-length documentary film.

Chris Murphy and his wife Barbara, a retired teacher, have been married for 48 years. They live on Martha's Vineyard, as do their two daughters and three grandchildrenChris worked as a fisherman/waterman for all of his adult life, ran a clambake business, was a builder, and served in the Peace Corps. He strongly believes that it is each citizen's responsibility to get involved—in some way—to contribute to their community. He has been a volunteer EMT, fireman, and member of several town boards. He was also chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, the Island's largest regulatory agency. He now sits on the board of the Martha's Vineyard Museum, and both the zoning board of appeals and conservation commission in the town of Chilmark.