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This year’s 15th edition of Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival will run September 8-13th, 2020. Due to COVID, the festival will be a hybrid affair, with socially distanced seating (of 25 or less) at the Film Center’s screenings, virtual interviews, and all festival films available online for viewing.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival 2020 opens with the “Spotlight” screenings at the Film Center, located in the Tisbury Marketplace. These two pre-festival films, showing on September 8th and 9th at 7:30 pm, respectively, are MY DOG STUPID (France) and THE PERFECT CANDIDATE (Saudi Arabia).

The official opening night, September 10th, will feature the documentary THE DONUT KING (United States) playing at the Film Center. The closing night film is the heartfelt drama from Italy, DAUGHTER OF MINE.

15th Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Lineup


Henri is going through a mid-life crisis. Who is responsible for his failures, lack of libido, and backache? His wife and four children, of course! At a moment when he takes a critical look at his life, at all the women he’ll know longer know and the cars he’ll no longer drive, an enormous and badly trained and obsessive dog decides to settle in the family home, much to his delight but to the great displeasure of the rest of the family, especially Cécile, his wife, whose unfailing love begins to falter. (France)


A revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al-Mansour (WADJDA), THE PERFECT CANDIDATE follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community’s struggle to accept her as their town’s first female candidate, Maryam’s creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement. (Saudi Arabia)



Ted’s story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donutTed Sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls. (United States)


Masato, a young ramen chef, leaves his hometown in Japan to embark on a culinary journey to Singapore to find out the truth about his past. He uncovers a lot more than family secrets and delicious recipes. (Japan/Singapore)


Jim (David Thewlis) and his daughter Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira), a high school music teacher, attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets in the latest film from Academy Award nominee Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), which weaves through time exploring perception and penance, memory and forgiveness. A hoax instigated by an aggressive school bus driver (Rossif Sutherland) goes very wrong. Accused of abusing her position of authority with 17-year-old Clive (Alexandre Bourgeois) and another student, Veronica is imprisoned. Convinced that she deserves to be punished for crimes she committed at an earlier age, Veronica rebuffs her father’s attempts to secure her early release. Confused and frustrated by her intransigence, Jim’s anguish begins to impinge on his job. As a food inspector, he wields great power over small, family-owned restaurants. It’s a power he doesn’t hesitate to use. While preparing Jim’s funeral, Veronica confides the secrets of her past to Father Greg (Luke Wilson), who may hold the final piece of this father-daughter puzzle. (Canada)


An elderly art dealer Olavi is about to retire. A man who has always put business and art before everything–even his family–cannot imagine life without work. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. Olavi’s instincts kick in. He decides to make one last deal in order to earn some proper pension money. At the same time, Olavi’s daughter Lea–whom he hasn’t seen for years–asks him to help her with his teenage grandson Otto. Together with Otto, Olavi starts to investigate the background of the painting. They find out that the painting is called Christ and was painted by Ilya Repin. Olavi manages to buy the painting, but when the auction house realizes that there has been a mistake with the original pricing, they turn against him. To fulfill his dream, the old dealer must face both the auction house and his own past mistakes. (Finland)


TOPRAK is the dramatic story of a simple family in rural Turkey dealing with poverty, family traditions, and religious heritage. Since the death of his parents, the teenage Burak has lived with his uncle Cemil and grandmother in a remote Turkish village. The small family unit has been trying to make a living by selling fruits. While the religious Cemil is satisfied to live his life in poverty, Burak struggles to leave for the city and attend university. When grandmother falls sick, both Burak and Cemil have to make tough decisions that will change their lives forever. (Turkey)


Set against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, a lonely 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. Deprived of attention from her family, she roams the neighborhood with her best friend, attempts romantic relationships with both girls and boys alike and is sent to the hospital with an unclear diagnosis. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her. (South Korea)

DAYS OF THE WHALE (Los Días de la Ballena)

Cristina and Simon are two young graffiti artists who paint the city that they live in. Their restless spirit leads them to defy a criminal gang when they decide to paint the mural of a whale over a threat written in a wall. The love that unites them, their friendship with other artists at La selva–an old house they use as a refuge–and familiar tensions, come together to tell a story where the powerful strength of youth faces fear, violence and the difficulties of growing up. (Colombia)



10-year-old Vittoria’s summer will be one of two mothers to challenge, to hate, to love and to forgive. Shy Vittoria has a close relationship with her loving good mother Tina. But their quiet Sardinian life will be upset when the young girl discovers that local party girl Angelica is her birth mother. When Angelica is forced to move away because of financial troubles, she asks to become acquainted with Vittoria. Tina agrees, comforted by the idea that the woman will soon be leaving town. Searching for something deep and inexplicable, Vittoria and Angelica spend more and more time together against Tina’s will… DAUGHTER OF MINE is the story of a young girl torn between two mothers. A story of imperfect motherhood and inextricable bonds, struggling with overwhelming feelings and dealing with wounds. (Italy)


Available ONLINE only

From the producers of Hyde Park on Hudson and BBC Films, DENMARK is a timely story of heart and humor about one man’s decision to leave behind his dreary life and start anew. Rafe Spall (The Big Short, Jurassic World) stars as Herb, a down on his luck Welshman with no job, bad neighbors and even worse prospects. Upon discovering Danish convicts live a luxurious life he could only dream of, Herb finally has something to aspire to: a life in Denmark… in prison. (United Kingdom)

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