Not only was Liz White’s 1980 Othello an early film version of Shakespeare’s tragedy to star an African American man, it is the only Shakespearean film directed by an African American woman — and the only of its kind to feature an entirely African American cast and crew.

More than 40 years after it was filmed in Oak Bluffs between 1962 and 1966 and premiered at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, the film returns to the Island, this time screening at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center on August 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Originally sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP, the film adapts the play to tell a story set in the 1960s, using it as a springboard to discuss themes of colorism and Black Power.

Ms. White, an Oak Bluffs resident, gathered eight Island residents and summer visitors to act in her film. Most had never acted professionally before and many never acted again, with the exception of Yaphet Kotto. Making his professional debut as the titular character in Ms. White’s film at age 19, Mr. Kotto went on to a successful career in television and film.

The return screening was spearheaded by Douglas Stuart Gray, whose father played Roderigo in the play. Mr. Gray is also Ms. White’s nephew, and the godson of another actor in the play, Benjamin Ashburn, who became the longtime manager of American funk and soul band the Commodores, who often performed in Oak Bluffs in the 60s.

Mr. Gray will lead a discussion after the screening.

“I’m totally amazed at how this is panning out,” Mr. Gray said. “This is kind of full circle, like the waters have parted here.”

Mr. Gray said he hopes to make the Island screening an annual event, cementing the film’s legacy as a crucial part of Island and African American history.

“This is a historic piece of art,” he said. “My hope is that film and theatre students will come and that it will show during Legacy Week, when all the HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] come to the Island.”