How to Work the 2012 Woods Hole Film Festival

By Stacy Buchanan

July 15, 2012

Documentary feature, Detropia, courtesy of

Film festivals are probably the last thing that come to mind when you think about Cape Cod. Yet I bet it has more film festivals per resident than anywhere else in the U.S. They’re big business on the Cape and Islands, and one that always tops the “must-do this summer” list is the Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest independent festival in the area.

The Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF) is an eight day showcase of independent films featuring daily screenings (at Woods Hole’s notable locations), workshops, panel discussions, and parties galore! And this year marks the 21st anniversary of WHFF, which means there is a lot to do.

So how do you tackle all of WHFF in one short week? Organization and a schedule, my friend. A good place to start would be at the workshops. WHFF has some great ones this year, including “How to Watch a Film”, designed to teach viewers how to look a film from a cultural, ideological, and theoretical standpoint.

Put your new viewing skills to test afterwards and make a list of the films you’re most interested in watching. Pick a variety of features and shorts, and go off the beaten path to discover the hidden jewels of the festival. Some notable screenings to consider: Bay of All Saints, a portrait of three single mothers trying to survive in the slums of Brazil during a bad time personally and economically; Breakfast with Curtis, a summer story about a young boy joining a project with an eccentric local bookseller; and the documentary short 24 Hours At The South Street Diner, produced and directed by Boston locals Tom and Melissa Dowler.

You should also plan on attending all of the screenings and discussions by this year’s Filmmaker in Residence, Lauren Greenfield. Greenfield, best known for her ability to chronicle youth culture, gender and consumerism, will be showing Thin, her documentary about four women struggling with eating disorders, as well as her most recent documentary about a family attempting to build the biggest house in America, The Queen of Versailles, which received critical acclaim as this year’s Opening Night film at Sundance. It also won Best Director in the U.S. Documentary Competition.

And last, but not least, don’t forget to attend a few parties and panel discussions in between and mingle with some of the masterminds behind your favorite films. Festivities begin on Saturday, July 28th, running through Saturday, August 4th. Visit for more information and the calendar of events.


About the Author
Stacy Buchanan Stacy Buchanan
Stacy is California born and raised, and happily living in Boston.  By day, she’s a seasoned digital marketer, social media enthusiast and pop culture consumer. After studying special effects makeup and film for over 20 years, she is also full-time film buff and by night, produces content for horror publications, focusing on classic and contemporary horror films.


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