Martha’s Vineyard will happily serve itself up as a smorgasbord next week for JawsFest: The Tribute.
The Aug. 9-12 celebration of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 Universal blockbuster will jam-pack four days with guest appearances from the likes of screenwriter Carl Gott-lieb and actor Jeffrey Kramer, Shark After Dark after parties, and, of course, an outdoor screening of the film in all its Blu-ray remastered glory. (The remastered disc will be released Aug. 14.)
The festival was the brainchild of a U.K fan at a tourism conference who suggested that the Massachusetts island where “Jaws” was largely shot should celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2005. That event drew more than 2,000 people; organizers had expected about 500, says JawsFest producer Susan Sigel Goldsmith.
The second coming of JawsFest is completely fan-driven. “These ‘fin addicts’ know the movie end to end, word for word, scene for scene, perfectly,” said Goldsmith. “They come in character, in costume, they have enormous collections, and we’ve seen everything from ‘Jaws’ tattoos to ‘Jaws’ wedding cakes, to children named after characters.”
Attendees are expected from as far away as Australia.
One of the fest’s main features will be a number of “Living Jaws” sessions, informal gatherings of the cast and crew that Goldsmith says will be like a class reunion, bringing out the behind-the-scenes stories, including a tale of the midget stuntman who took the plunge into the ocean with a real 20-foot great white shark for the pic’s famous cage scene.
The festival is also promoting its “Summer for the Sharks” conservation initiative as a tribute the late “Jaws” author Peter Benchley and his dedication to shark protection causes.