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9 State Rd.
Chilmark, Ma
United States

(508) 645-9599

The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival is more than movies. They produce community events, educational programs, and films that spark discussion, debate, and action. They screen films year-round in Chilmark, Edgartown, Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs.

Staff

STAFF

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Thomas Bena  -  Founder, Executive/Creative Director

Thomas graduated with 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, Thomas discovered Martha’s Vineyard, and shortly after that he enlisted the help of his friends and founded the MVFF in 2001. For the past ten years he has been working on Home, his first documentary feature. He loves creative woodworking, surfing, playing music, singing, and spending time with his daughter, Emma, and his wife, Mollie Doyle. Thomas enjoys questioning his beliefs about everything and is a sucker for a good story. Contact

 

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Brian Ditchfield  -  Programming/Managing Director

Brian grew up on Martha's Vineyard, where he first became passionate about the creative arts. After studying at Boston University's College of Fine Art, Brian moved to Chicago and formed Shack Productions, with which he produced and wrote a nationally distributed feature film and award-winning shorts and documentaries. While in the Windy City he also was the program manager for the Chicago Loop Alliance with which he helped produce the first Looptopia, Chicago's all-night arts festival attended by 250,000 people each year. He moved back to the Vineyard in 2006, became the business manager for the Vineyard Playhouse, and assisted his wife in starting her own theater company, ArtFarm, before finding a happy home at MVFF. Contact

Cassie Dana  -  Production/Marketing Manager, Programming Assistant

Cassie was born and raised in Rhode Island, where her parents’ careers in television propelled her love of visual media. She attended the University of Colorado where, in addition to studying sociology and film, she produced a documentary on the U.S.-Mexican border community of San Ysidro. Shortly after graduating in 2013 Cassie moved to the Vineyard to join the MVFF team. She is very happy to be working with such a passionate and inspiring group of people! Contact

 

 

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Hilary Dreyer  -  Operations Manager, Education Coordinator

An Island girl, born and raised, Hilary grew up with a love for the ocean, her home community, and a passionate curiosity about the rest of the world. She explored this interest in cultural development through the examination of global film. In 2009 she enrolled at Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she not only studied cultural anthropology, Latin America, Spanish, and media and society, but also spent a year in Mendoza, Argentina, and Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she produced a documentary on the fermented corn drink "chicha" and its use in religious festivals. After graduating in 2013, Hilary spent the summer working for MVFF, and then continued on to Iceland, where she was a Guest Services Intern and Filmmaker Liaison at the Reykjavík International Film Festival. Hilary is thrilled to be back working with the incredible team at MVFF and is looking forward to a great summer filled with fantastic movies, exciting events, and lots of night-swimming. Contact

 

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Molly Purves  -  Ad Sales & Sponsorship

Molly has been handling the ad sales for MVFF since 2008 and every summer you can see her manning the box office at the Summer Film Series on Wednesday nights in Chilmark. She loves working with everyone on the MVFF team and one of the delights of the job has been watching the festival grow and blossom into a remarkable organization that really serves its community. Molly also writes the Aquinnah column for The Martha's VIneyard Times and performs with the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse when she has the opportunity. For fourteen years, she lived in New York City, where she attended NYU and received her B.F.A. in acting--which led to a long waitressing career in the city. She now lives in Aquinnah with her husband, Curtis, and her son, Rodeo. Contact

 

 

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Alexandra London-Thompson  -  Director of Children's Programs

Alexandra (a.k.a. Sasha) was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, and spent her summers in Chilmark, working everywhere from the CCC to almost every business in Menemsha. Alexandra’s love of film was ignited when she got to miss three months of sixth grade in order to star in a feature film, The Summer of The Colt, shot on location in Argentina. She then traveled to some of the world’s best children’s film festivals promoting the film and served as President of the Jury for the Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski. Alexandra studied English: Drama & Theatre and North American Studies at McGill University, before earning her master’s degree in Shakespearean Studies at the Globe Theatre and King’s College, London. Alexandra has been an acting, directing, or filmmaking teacher for fifteen years, including chairing the Dance & Drama Departments at both the Rye Country Day School and Holton Arms Schools. After enjoying being a patron at the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival since its inception, Alexandra is thrilled to be working with this talented group of people, and is looking forward to an exciting summer of taking Cinema Circus on the road!

 

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Chris Mara  -  Technical Manager, Projectionist

Chris has been doing film production for 30 years. After beginning in his native NYC with corporate and independent productions, Chris relocated to Martha's Vineyard in 1986 and was the original cameraperson, along with Steve McGuiggan, at Channel 58 in Vineyard Haven. Since 1991 he has been at Galen Films in Vineyard Haven, working on broadcast and various video projects. Chris started helping out the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival during its first year and in subsequent years became one of the principal projectionists. Contact

 

 

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Lilian Robinson  -  Copy Editor, Programmer

Lilian has been an editor since junior high, but didn't begin her professional editing career until after college. She has been editing for MVFF since 2007, and also helps program the March festival. She still lives on the Vineyard, where she was born and raised. When not editing, reading, or watching films, she is often on long-distance hikes across mountains, canyons, and deserts. Contact

 

 

 

 

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Dana Edelman  -  Music/Performance Director

Dana signed on as Music/Performance Director for MVFF in February 2013 and has embraced the role from day one. He is a singer-songwriter/performer best known for his recent music video with son Jaiden Edelman, "The Massachusetts Song (You Athol)," that gained widespread attention upon its release on YouTube. He is also a music composer for video, film, and television. Dana is a passionate family man with great love for the Island and is thrilled to be able to collaborate with the MVFF team. Contact

 

 

Anne Evasick  -  Programmer

Anne is the owner of Martha's Vineyard's best independent video and DVD rental store, Island Entertainment. She is a film projectionist and maven--familiar with essentially every film you've ever or never heard of. Beyond a passion for cinema, Anne walks dogs and is the proud mother of Peter. Contact

 

Jeremy Mayhew  -  Graphic Design

Jeremy makes films, illustrates, and animates things. He's been playing with moving images for over 20 years. His first opportunity to use a video camera came at age eleven when his father--a commercial harpoon swordfisherman--had him document their summer voyages, 200 miles offshore. Following a childhood of commercial fishing, coupled with an obsession with comic books, music, and fine art, Jeremy attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he primarily focused on traditional filmmaking and animation techniques, history, and theory (with 16mm cameras, reel-to-reel recorders, flatbed editing tables, and so on). This base cinematic language, and an ongoing interest in improvisational jazz, electronic, and minimalist music, led him into a playful relationship with music production, sound design, and more recently, motion graphics. Jeremy is currently working as a freelance motion designer and cinematographer. He continues to create films and music from his home on the Vineyard. Contact

Jeremy Gates  -  Graphic Design