This weekend the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society will host an environmental film festival. It could also be called a Jacques Perrin film festival as all of the movies are by the Oscar-winning producer. The acclaimed actor and director, and member of France’s Legion of Honor, will travel from France to attend the festival, leading conversations after the screenings and during the receptions.

The festival is called Nature as Inspiration and includes Winged Migration, perhaps Mr. Perrin’s best known film, which will be screened on Friday evening. The documentary, which tracks bird migrations, was directly inspired by the work of Bill Lishman, a Canadian inventor and aircraft enthusiast. In the 1990s, Mr. Lishman began experimenting with teaching waterfowl new migration patterns by having them follow an ultralight aircraft. Winged Migration’s inception can be traced back to Mr. Perrin encountering Mr. Lishman’s work, according to the director.

“I immediately wanted to make a feature length movie that visited the world from the point of view of birds,” said Mr. Perrin in a phone interview from France. “I always dream of making movies about freedom,” he added.

Mr. Perrin used ground-breaking cinematographic technology to film birds in flight for the movie Winged Migration.

To Mr. Perrin, birds symbolize freedom. “I like birds a lot because they fly without difficulty, and there are no boundaries for them. The only boundary is the earth and its natural barriers like mountains and the sea. Birds are the best expression of liberties.”

For Winged Migration, Mr. Perrin’s production company, Galatée Films, developed ground-breaking cinematographic technology to photograph birds in flight. In order to remain close enough to different flocks of birds to track their migratory behavior and capture them in continuous flight, Mr. Perrin brought together a team of filmmakers who acted as surrogate or adoptive parents to the birds, beginning at birth. Mr. Perrin’s team raised the birds themselves, and introduced camera equipment and associated noises into their environment early on so that they wouldn’t be frightened by it later in life. This allowed Mr. Perrin and his team to fly alongside the birds in motion, capturing them behaving as they normally would, as if there was no camera presence at all.

Collaborations with scientists have been essential to the making of all Mr. Perrin’s documentary films. Jesse Ausubel, an environmental scientist and the director of the Program for the Human Environment at the Rockefeller University, represented the scientific community to support the making of Oceans, Mr. Perrin’s 2009 documentary on marine life and the underwater world. The two men have since become friends, and Mr. Ausubel led the initiative to bring Mr. Perrin and his films to the Island.

“Jacques and his team collected 480 hours of footage about life in the oceans from dozens of sites around the world and it was a privilege for me to participate in the making of the film,” said Mr. Ausubel. Galatée Films developed torpedoes with built-in cameras, along with other technologies, to film alongside whales, great white sharks and schools of tuna.

The pair also worked together on The Seasons, an as yet unreleased film that looks at how humanity has interacted with wildlife over the past 10,000 years. Vineyard audiences will be the first to watch clips of the film that show the return of near extinct wildlife across the United States and the world. “I think people are very happy to have seals come back, for example,” said Mr. Ausubel. “But this means that white sharks have also come closer to the shore, because a seal is a hamburger to a white shark.” Mr. Ausubel also felt The Seasons could help contribute to the discussion of the heath hen, which became extinct in the 1930s when the last member of the species, Booming Ben, died on the Island. Because the species has been well preserved in natural history museums, and because it became extinct so recently, scientists have concluded that it might be possible to reproduce and reintroduce the heath hen into the Island environment. “Whatever happens, I think it’s a very healthy discussion to be having around the Island,” said Mr. Ausubel.

This weekend’s film festival will also mark the North American premier of Mr. Perrin’s Night on Earth, a film for which Mr. Perrin and his team developed a new, proprietary technology that allowed the filmmakers to film African wildlife at night and in color. “This is the first time we have ever been able to film animals at night in full color,” said Mr. Perrin. “We developed a system that allows us to use the stars and other light sources to light up the landscape. It’s an extraordinary process that we are the sole proprietors of.”

The festival officially begins on Thursday, May 21 and runs through Sunday, May 24. On Wednesday evening, the film center will screen Cinema Paradiso, which Mr. Perrin starred in as an actor. Mr. Perrin will be on hand throughout the festival.

“Of course I am happy to visit Martha’s Vineyard because I will get to reconnect with Jesse and visit friends who live on Martha’s Vineyard who I’ve worked with in the past,” he said. “It will be a joy to see them all.”

Editor’s note: Commentary from Jacques Perrin has been translated from French to English.