Festivities got into full swing for the festival on Friday, with a solid schedule of films during the day and into the evening. The film “Bag It” was the first film of the day I decided to check out. Diana Barrett, president of the Fledgling Fund, introduced me to the film. The Fledgling Found, a financer the film and a sponsor the MVIFF, “seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities by supporting innovative media projects that target entrenched social programs.” The film explores the damage caused by non-biodegradable plastic products, and the devastation these products do to the earth and our health.
Jeb Berrier is the subject in this film who tracks in detail what happens to all these products after we throw them away without thinking twice about it. For us San Francisco hippies, living green is standard operating procedure, but when we had a baby about a year and a half ago, we looked at things in an even more serious light, especially about removing toxic stuff from our house. And this is also what happened to Jeb in the film. As Jeb and his partner await the arrival of a child, he tries to figure out the maze of toxicity that is in our everyday homes, to make it safe for his baby. The film was really well executed and educational.
Next up on the festival itinerary was the annual Reel Food MV, which pairs a delicious full meal, a meet and greet with filmmakers, and a screening of short films. What the hell more could you possibly want?
Both the dinner and the opening night party were held at the beautiful Saltwater restaurant where Chef Joe Da Silva provided some amazing edibles for attendees. The night began with Katama Bay oysters, paired with champagne and wine, followed with Caesar salads, crab cakes, grilled local swordfish, wood fired beef sirloin, and finished off with a bunch of tasty sweets. Perfect.
The short films after the meal were an ideal ending, and it was nice to sit at your table and not have to travel anywhere to watch films. My favorite short of the night was “Morning Copy” - A funny and poignant black and white film about two old dudes racing everyday to get the first print of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette- by Dan Martino, an island local. Shot in a gorgeous area of Oak Bluffs sometimes referred to as “Cottage City,” due to its’ rows of gingerbread houses, the crowd roared with laughter throughout.
The night wrapped up with a Latin themed party in a cute little alley way off of main street in Vineyard Haven where the DJ cranked Jazz, Salsa, and Cumbia beats, as a pumped up crowd talked films and gossiped about the vineyard. Although it was going on midnight when we all headed to the after-after party, the weather was still a perfect 70 degrees or so. I think that that temperature might actually be proved by scientists and weatherman to be the most perfect temp for drinking copious amounts of alcohol, judging from our mirthful late night crowd.
It was a long day, and very late night on the Vineyard.