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We’re Going to Need a Bigger Island

This August, Martha’s Vineyard will once again become Amity Island when JAWSFEST: The Tribute returns August 9-12.  The 2012 celebration and tribute will explore how the making of JAWS has impacted the lives of those who came to the island in 1974 and how the blockbuster film they created continues to impact lives today. The tribute will concentrate on the men and women of JAWS who have passed, with special focus on Peter Benchley, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw.

Amity's Whaling Church Plays Host

Six Living Jaws sessions will be held at Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church, including “Producing a Blockbuster,” “How JAWS Changed Our Lives,” and “Antics From Amity” (Click here for full schedule. A special outdoors Living Jaws session, “The Making of JAWS,” will take place in Owen Park, Vineyard Haven, the first night of the event and feature screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, production director Joe Alves, and actor/producer Jeffrey Kramer. Attending VIPs include Wendy Benchley, Joanne Shaw Myers, Jeffrey Kramer, Carl Gottlieb, Joe Alves, Susan Backlinie, Dr. Greg Skomal, Greg Nicotero, Edith Blake, Susan and Lynn Murphy, Lee Fierro, Shark Savers, Shark Week’s Brooke Runnette, Brent Mills, and Rodney Fox.

VIP Opening Ceremony Planned
In addition to the Living Jaws presentations, the event includes a VIP-attended opening ceremony; Behind the Screams, an exhibit of collectibles and memorabilia with life-sized models of the movie’s three main characters; Shark in the Park, an afternoon of games, autograph signings, and family activities including a three-story shark slide; Shark After Dark party events; and a special tribute and “Jaws” screening in Ocean Park, Oak Bluffs.

Shark experts from the around the world will join the JAWSFEST team to help educate the public about sharks and the need for shark conservation. On Saturday August 11, Living Jaws session “Fish Stories: In the Water With Great Whites” will feature Wendy Benchley, Discovery Channel Shark Week experts, and other shark experts as they discuss the current state of shark conservation.

Keeping an Eye on the Future
Shark conservation is also at the forefront of a standalone exhibit in Oak Bluffs. Sharks, Arts, and Conservation includes displays from Shark Savers and Discovery Channel Shark Week along with exceptional artwork, short films, kids shark art, kids shark poetry, and a shark poem from Martha’s Vineyards’ first-ever Poet Laureate.

 2012 Declared the Summer for the Sharks on Martha's Vineyard

JAWSFEST has declared 2012 the Summer for the Sharks on Martha’s Vineyard with a season-long initiative to help raise awareness of and conservation funds for sharks that includes a text-to-donate option (text JAWS to 56512). Locally crafted Great White Shark donation receptacles have been placed in island businesses, with donated funds going to shark conservation efforts. Businesses will also be participating in a variety of promotions aimed at raising shark conservation funds, including “Eat the Locals,” “Sleep With For the Fishes,” and “Shop & Save (The Sharks).”

JAWSFEST: The Tribute is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Universal Studios and its August 14 release of a remastered, Blu-ray version of “JAWS” that includes the feature-length documentary “The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS,” two-hour documentary “The Making of JAWS,” and “JAWS: The Restoration.”

For more information  visit

Thanks to Edith Blake for the black & white photos and to Jim Beller for the color shot of Quint and Bruce.


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