Press Release: Woods Hole Film Festival - Best of the Fest 2018 at Cotuit Center for the Arts

Sep. 19, 2018

Cotuit Center for the Arts presents “The Best of the Woods Hole Film Festival 2018” on three consecutive Sundays, October 7, 14, and 21, all at 7 PM in the main performance space. Each of the three films was an award winner at the Woods Hole Film Festival, which was held during the summer of 2018.

Best of the Fest Shorts will be screened on October 7. This 110-minute program is a selection of the best short comedy, drama, documentary, and animation films of the festival. Two local films are included. “Keeper” by Marnae Crawford Samuelson is a documentary about Woods Hole’s Eel Pond Bridge. It won a runner up Audience Award for Best Short Documentary.

“Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free,” by Falmouth residents Salley Mavor, Rob Goldborough, and Mattias Bossi, is a stop-motion animation satirical take-off of the traditional Hansel and Gretel folk tale re-imagined as a journey through the current political landscape. All the sets and puppets were hand-sewn and constructed specifically for the film. The film was the winner of the Audience Award for the Best Short Animation.

“Afghan Cycles,” by Sarah Menzies and Shannon Galpin will be shown October 14. This 90-minute film documents a new generation of young Afghan women, using the bicycle to tell a story of women’s rights—human rights—and the struggles faced by Afghan women on a daily basis, from discrimination to abuse, to the oppressive silencing of their voices in all aspects of contemporary society. These women ride despite cultural barriers, inadequate infrastructure, and death threats, embracing the power and freedom that comes with the sport.

The film follows members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul and young riders in the Bamiyan region who use mountain bikes to commute to school and run errands. For all of them, the bicycle is a symbol of freedom. But sometimes the danger and obstacles can prove too much, as we learn when one of the main characters flees to France to secure a better situation and future for herself and her family. “Afghan Cycles” won the Fortitude in Filmmaking award.

“Keepers of the Light,” a 61-minute documentary by Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth, screens on October 21. Built over 200 years ago in a small Wampanoag community at the tip of Martha’s Vineyard, the Gay Head Lighthouse is one of America's most famous beacons. From whaling days to electrification, “Keepers of the Light” tells the story of evolving technology, heroism and shipwrecks, and those who kept the light.

Before highways, the waterways off the East Coast were a vital means of transporting goods and commodities up and down the coast and beyond. At the height of nautical traffic, Martha’s Vineyard Sound was second only to the English Channel in number of vessels per day. Whale oil trade and the industrial revolution made the Gay Head Lighthouse one of the most important lighthouses on the East Coast.

In 2013, the lighthouse was declared one of America’s 11 most endangered places, and the island’s residents began to rally to save the iconic lighthouse. The story quickly spread and journalists came to Aquinnah from around the world to report on the story. The film weaves the modern narrative arc of community efforts to save the light with the history of the lighthouse.

“Keepers of the Light” won the Directors Choice Award and the Emerging New England Filmmaker 2018 award sponsored by Talamas. The filmmakers will attend the screening and participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Tickets are $14 for each screening. For more information, and to purchase tickets in advance, visit, or call 508-428-0669. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28 in Cotuit.

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Woods Hole Film Festival Best of the Fest 2018


Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Route 28, Cotuit


“Best of the Fest Shorts,” Sunday, October 7, 7 PM

“Afghan Cycles,” Sunday, October 14, 7 PM

“Keepers of the Light,” Sunday, October 21, 7 PM


$14 each, $12 for CCftA Members