“One Big Home” Documentary Screening at TPAC June 2

The first Washington Island screening of the documentary film ONE BIG HOME will be held at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center, 870 Main Road, Washington Island, on June 2 at 7:30 pm.

The film is the creation of Thomas Bena, a contractor-turned-filmmaker who decided to trade his tool belt for a camera in an attempt to understand the motivation behind the proliferation of over-sized “trophy homes” being built on Martha’s Vineyard. Bena, along with many other local residents, felt that the giant homes were destroying the island’s unique character, ecosystem, and traditional way of life.

I decided I had to dig deeper than anger to have any meaningful effect on my local community,” Bena said. “If a community doesn’t take an active role in deciding its own destiny then the market will decide for them.” So Bena helped lead a local effort in the town of Chilmark to pass a bylaw limiting house size. “I didn’t know how to change local regulation,” Bena said. “So I filmed the process of someone with no experience (me) trying to do so.”

Local architect Rick Toyne hopes that the questions and issues raised by the film will promote thoughtful discussions on what local towns and villages might do to encourage more responsible development practices. “The parallels between Martha’s Vineyard and Door County are apparent,” Toyne said. “Anyone concerned with preserving Washington Island and Door County’s unique sense of place should see this film.”

A trailer for the film can be viewed at The screening is free and open to the public. For more information call 920.847.2528 or visit


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