Woods Hole is perhaps best known as the point of departure for vacationers heading to Martha’s Vineyard, not to mention scientists heading out to do research at sea. But each summer, the community becomes a major destination for filmmakers and film lovers alike during the Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest film festival on the Cape and Islands and one of the longest running festivals in New England. This year, from Saturday, July 26 to Saturday, August 2, the sidewalks, restaurants, and auditoriums transform into a place where films, music, science and summer meet.
Now in its 23rd year, WHFF continues its proud tradition, promoting the work of independent, emerging filmmakers, particularly those with connections to the region. Over the course of eight days, the festival will showcase more than 30 narrative and documentary feature-length films, nearly 70 short films. The festival also includes several workshops, panel discussions and master classes with filmmakers-in-residence.
Besides screening films and holding discussions with filmmakers, Woods Hole Film Festival spotlights local music as well, with inclusion of live music at special screening events and festival parties held almost every night at local restaurants The Captain Kidd Restaurant and Bar, Quicks Hole Tavern, Phusion Grille, and The Landfall. Audiences mingle with filmmakers while listening to some of the Cape’s best live bands, such as The Spampinato Brothers, featuring NRBQ founder Joey Spampinato and his brother/bandmate Johnny. The lineup also includes the Woods Hole- based Itai Isenberg Trio and 6 East, a roots-rock band from Barnstable.
With over 100 films in the program, the Woods Hole Film Festival features something for everyone – including children. Each year, the festival includes a special Kids Day program, which will be held this year on Sunday, July 27. Starting at 2 PM, Kids Day features a sneak preview of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, an animated feature film based on the best-selling children’s book by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The filmmakers will answer questions and provide interactive books and puzzles based on the film to children at the screening.
In a nod to Woods Hole’s scientific heritage, science also plays an important role in the Festival. As part of the “Bringing Science to the Screen,” series, funded in part by grants from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Falmouth Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation, the festival will screen 5 films as part of the new program. One film is a special preview screening of a new documentary film ANTARCTICA BEYOND THE ICE, followed by a panel discussion organized in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The compelling science story, directed by Rutgers University professor Dena Seidel, follows researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research project on the West Antarctic Peninsula. Weaving personal portraits of scientists with awe of the icy oceanscape, the documentary follows the researcher’s quest to understand the impact of climate change on the region.
Screenings sell out, so get your tickets early either online at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org or in person at the Box Office at the Old Woods Hole Fire Station, 72 Water Street, Woods Hole. For more information, email email@example.com or call (508) 495-3456.