Brian Ditchfield is the Managing Director of The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival, but your family may recognize him as the Ring Master for the
Brian grew up on the Vineyard before going to university in Boston and then on to Chicago, where he wore many hats including screenwriter, arts festival producer, and theater director.
He returned to his native island five year’s ago where he has used his theatre and the dramatic arts training and his managerial experience to help run one of the Island’s great cultural institutions.
We caught up with Ditchfield to hear about how he keeps calm amid the fun of the Cinema Circus and how he finds the inspiration that is needed to produce this beloved Island event every week.
How long have you lived on the Island?
I grew up here. I left for college and then worked in New York and Chicago before coming back here with my wife 5 years ago.
What do you do when you get stressed?
Have a cup of tea. My dad is British and it seemed to work for him.
What do you love the most about your job?
The people at MVFF are imaginative and inspired. It’s awesome to be part of such a vibrant creative community. I also get to share the best movies in the world with my home Island, hang out with world-renowned filmmakers, teach kids how to make movies, and be a ringmaster at Cinema Circus, all in the same job.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Finding the money to make it all possible. We rely on donations to make what we do possible. We are always brainstorming creative ways to bring in funds. This year for instance we are working with Chris Fischer to do five benefit dinners at the greenhouse at .
What is your favorite movie?
My new favorite movie is "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I feel privileged that we get to play it this week. It was the first movie I saw at Sundance this year. I immediately bought tickets for closing night because I needed it to be the last movie I saw before I left.
What is your favorite movie snack?
I’m not a movie snacker, but I am a movie drinker. I think a beer or glass of wine and a movie go very well together.
What's your Martha's Vineyard vice (food, place, etc.)?
I have seasonal vices. This past year they have been: burgers at Atria (last fall), breakfast sandwich at Scottish Bakehouse (winter), asparagus at Morning Glory (spring) which transitioned nicely to their strawberries (earlier this summer).
What is your biggest fear about living on an Island?
I guess all my fears have to do with money. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. My biggest fear about living here is being priced out. Right now, I’m very lucky because I’m living in my grandmother’s old house, which makes it possible for my wife and I to be here and do what we love.
Who do you want to meet that lives/comes to Martha's Vineyard?
I feel privileged to meet the people I do at my work - this week I got to hang with, Lucy Alibar, the screenwriter of my new favorite movie “Beasts of The Southern Wild,” next week I get to rub shoulders with Richard Houghton, Senior Scientist Woods Hole Research Center who is doing the Q&A for the feature film “Chasing Ice.” That’s pretty awesome. All that said, I wouldn’t mind having a beer with either of the presidents who have come here.
The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival Summer Film Series and Cinema Circus happen every Wednesday at the . The feature films also screen select Thursday's at the Harborview Hotel in Edgartown. Visit us at www.tmvff.org or Facebook for daily updates. Rain or shine.