PECKER’S POINT: September

LETTER FROM THE CEO

CEO Christine Walker with Executive Producer Alix Ritchie, Producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, Producer Laverne Berry, and director Anne de Mare from CAPTURING THE FLAG

Fall in Provincetown is a great time to visit the Waters Edge Cinema. This month, on September 23rd, we join hundreds of art house theaters nationwide in celebrating the brick and mortar monument to independent film that is art house cinema, and the cultural role it plays in our community. As part of our celebration, we have curated a program of screenings and events that represent the best of what art house cinemas provide—a platform for the most exciting and inspiring voices of our time; an opportunity to share stories that would otherwise go unseen, and an occasion to inspire, provoke, and galvanize discussion around the most compelling ideas of the day.

Among our several events is a special screening of CAPTURING THE FLAG, directed by Anne DeMare, produced by Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Laverne Berry and executive produced by local dignitary Alix Ritchie. When Laverne Berry asked me to provide a quote for the film, I was truly honored:

Capturing the Flag is one of the most important films of the year, exposing the threats to one of the most revered institutions in American politics. What starts out as a civic exercise by a team of colleagues to ensure that everyone’s vote is counted fairly and accurately unfolds into a fight against the subversive ways in which democracies are broken—slowly and in barely discernible steps. Because of the complex situations that arise, Laverne Berry and her team help us realize that the only way to ensure American democracy is for individuals to actively participate in its safeguarding.

The timely screening is preceded by a free REGISTER TO VOTE WITH THE FILMMAKERS RECEPTION, with cocktails, snacks, and the opportunity to actually register to vote. Following the screening, Board of Select Member Lise King, a fine filmmaker in her own right, will moderate a discussion with Alix and producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, who developed the project into fruition.

In October, check out the vast array of happenings in Provincetown during women’s week, October 8 – 14 (www.womensweekprovincetown.com) which includes our mini-film festival. Women’s Week is always a huge highlight for the Provincetown Film Society. The program schedule allows us more time to engage with our filmmakers and audiences.

We anticipate thought-provoking fare along with lively discussions. In fact, one of our free programs, LET’S TALK ABOUT HANNAH GADSBY’S NANETTE, promises to yield more than just a discussion, but further insight into the ways in which we can exact more equitable treatment of women and other intersectional communities in media.

Also during women’s week, hear from another rising star Jenna Laureno, whose short film GIRL NIGHT STAND, became an internet sensation garnering over 3M views on Youtube, and was translated into other languages by lesbian fans from around the world. Jenna will present her feature film debut LEZ BOMB.

Women filmmaker residency program alumni Shelli Ainsworth (2014 PIFF director of STAY THEN GO) will also join us to direct a dramatic reading of two episodes of her series AUNT PHYL, developed in Provincetown as part of her residency.

For women and female identifying filmmakers who have participated in the festival, PLEASE take the time to fill out our residency application. This is the simplest and shortest application you will ever encounter. Plus, it’s an opportunity to join the generations of great artists who lived and worked in Provincetown.

Finally, this week, an unexpected gift came in the form of a brief note from Shawn Nightingale of Shawn Nightingale Productions. The note began, ‘So here is what I have,’ followed by an accounting of proceeds from two of his summer productions that he had earmarked to benefit the film society. He has done the same for us in the past, but the work and effort that went into mounting these two recent productions struck me. I can’t begin to know the sacrifices, financial or otherwise, that people make on our behalf, but I do know that we cannot ever take those efforts for granted. Nor can I take the efforts of our staff and board for granted.

So thank you to our patrons, donors, staff and community. Without you, Provincetown would never be the same.

Cheers,

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


MEMBER IN THE NEWS

Michelle Boyaner is an award-winning storyteller, filmmaker, and Provincetown Film Institute’s Women’s Residency Alumnus. She first became acquainted with PFS after she was accepted into the 2015 Provincetown Film Festival with her film PACKED IN A TRUNK: THE LOST ART OF EDITH LAKE WILKINSON. After taking home the HBO Audience Award, she was awarded a slot in our annual women filmmakers residency and developed her current project, IT’S NOT A BURDEN.

After filming for over 2 and ½ years, IT’S NOT A BURDEN is now in post-production. Earlier this year, Boyaner and her team (Cinematographer/Editor Barbara Greene and Executive Producer Katie Ford) attended the 2nd Annual Women’s Media Summit to support fellow women filmmakers in the industry, and she introduced this unique documentary to a panel of film representatives invited to Provincetown during the Film Financing Forum.

This feature-length documentary provides an intimate look at the relationships between aging parents and the adult children who care for them. By examining 32 diverse stories of humor, love and compassion, viewers are able to explore the universality of the challenges these families face and the solutions they discover along the way. For more information on IT’S NOT A BURDEN and how to donate to the the films finishing funds, visit www.itsnotaburden.com.

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APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR THE WOMEN’S RESIDENCY PROGRAM

As part of the 100-year tradition of Provincetown as America’s oldest art colony, the Women’s Residency Program allows female filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to work in Provincetown during the off-season alongside other artists and writers who use the solitude of the outer Cape Cod area as inspiration for their work.

The Women’s Residency Program is open to any woman-identifying filmmaker who has had an accepted entry in the Provincetown Film Festival. [FIND OUT MORE.]


NOW PLAYING

A non-profit arthouse cinema, operating year-round, and contributing to Provincetown’s tradition as America’s oldest and most vital art colony. Located on the mezzanine between the 2nd and 3rd floor of Whalers Wharf.

The first Hollywood film to feature an all Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club, CRAZY RICH ASIANS is the ultimate romcom. Proving again that diversity sells, the film has topped the box office for the last three weeks, and it’s no question why. This universally relatable story, which passed up a major payday at Netflix so the film could be featured on the world stage, was released in theaters across the country — proving that taking seemingly big risks with racially diverse casts can help reshape the landscape of Hollywood.

Described as “subtle, easy-going, and warm” by Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson, JULIET, NAKED tells the story of bored curator of local history society, Annie (played by Rose Byrne), and her partner Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), who has an obsessive non-relationship with his favorite musician, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). Though the all-mighty power of the Internet, Crowe enters Annie and Duncan’s life, and the three find themselves contemplating the regrets one finds themselves living with, and the sadness that comes with this realization. Charming and honest, JULIET, NAKED is full of a tenderness you have to see to understand.

ART HOUSE THEATER DAY – SEPTEMBER 23, 2018

WHY ART HOUSE THEATER?

Each year, Art House Theater Day lauds the brick and mortar monument to independent film that is the art house cinema. These institutions provide a curated selection of films to educate and inspire local patrons. They are dedicated to film, providing a platform for artists ranging from Hollywood veterans to new voices on the fringes of the community. Independent movie theaters, like Waters Edge Cinema, are integral to their communities and the craft of filmmaking.

Art House Cinema has the power to share stories that otherwise would go unseen. Through art house film, we empathize with foreign communities and strangers whose struggles were once a mystery, inspire revolutions for equality, and expose tyranny in institutions of greed and dark influence.

Using Art House Theater Day as a platform for community engagement, Provincetown Film Society is demonstrating the incredible reach of film. By providing more opportunities to see powerful PIFF-selection dramas like THE GUILTY, we may expand our connection with other countries, and demonstrate new places to enjoy redoubtable cinema. By encouraging discussion around galvanizing documentaries like CAPTURING THE FLAG, we can influence positive change in the the turbulent nation exposed in FAHRENHEIT 11/9.

PROGRAM
Reception: REGISTER TO VOTE WITH THE FILMMAKERS

11:30 AM | Celebrate Art House Theater Day prior to our first screening of CAPTURING THE FLAG by joining us in the lobby of Waters Edge Cinema for a reception beginning at 11:30 AM. Enjoy snacks, a champagne cocktail, and engage with your fellow cinephiles as we celebrate this year’s picks of incredible indie films! During the reception, in honor of our first screening, we will be hosting a voter registration booth where volunteers can assist anyone with registering to vote in the state of Massachusetts! Come by to learn more about registering, and stay for the first screening to learn how you can do more for helping others!

Screening: CAPTURING THE FLAG

12 PM | PIFF 2018 Selection | A tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina — the 2016 poster child for voter suppression — intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be defended by small acts of individual citizens. What they find at the polls serves as both a warning and a call to action for anyone interested in protecting the “One Man, One Vote” fundamental of our democracy. Dealing with themes that are constantly sensationalized and manipulated by the media – Left vs. Right, North vs. South, Black vs. White – CAPTURING THE FLAG offers instead deeply personal, often surprising perspectives on the 2016 Presidential Election and its aftermath.

Post-Screening Q&A: Producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Executive Producer Alix Ritchie moderated by Provincetown Board of Select Lise King

1:20 PM | Producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Executive Producer Alix Ritchie join us for a thoughtful post-screening Q&A, providing background on how this film got made, the necessity of seemingly-ordinary volunteers like Laverne Berry, Steven Miller, and Claire Wright in our democratic system, and the future of fighting voter suppression in the United States.

Screening: Special Pre-Release of THE GUILTY

7 PM | PIFF 2018 Selection | Alarm dispatcher and former police officer, Asger Holm, answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought.

Screening: FAHRENHEIT 11/9 

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” is a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live. It will explore the two most important questions of the Trump Era: How the f**k did we get here, and how the f**k do we get out?

 

 


THE LAUNCH with JULIE ROCKETT

Julie Rockett
AB Cassidy

AB Cassidy is a stand up comic, a self-described “Professional Lesbian”, and she stars in Lez Bomb, a comedy from writer-director, Jenna Laurenzo. Lez Bomb is one of the featured films showing at Waters Edge Cinema during Women’s Week (October 8-14, 2018).

She is also a Massachusetts-native who counts Provincetown as one of her favorite places in the world and shares that enthusiasm with her friends in LA who have, unbelievably not heard of our amazing little town.

After leaving Massachusetts, AB attended the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at University of Redlands. There she designed her own major: The Art of Storytelling Through Comedy and Feminism. This in turn led her to co-teach a course called Women In Comedy where they invited luminaries like Wanda Sykes to speak.

“When I was a sophomore in college, my only brother died,” said AB. To deal with her grief she says, “I focused on comics who had turned their pain into comedy.” This inspired her to produce a comedy show at University of Redlands to benefit a charity in her brother’s name. She reached out directly to Tig Notaro who had recently performed her famous set at The Largo after being diagnosed with breast cancer and C. Diff following the unexpected death of her mother. Tig along with Bill Burr, Carlos Mencia, Bobby Lee, Jackie Flynn, and the Groundlings all came out to perform that night.

She had been a fan and scholar of comedy for years but it wasn’t until the day Joan Rivers died that she got the nerve to finally take the stage. Or maybe aisle? Her first gig wasn’t on a stage but in the back of a grocery store. Unfortunately, her act wilted in the produce section but soon after she met comedian Jeff Garcia, prior to one of his shows. She told him that she “did comedy” and he, amazingly, offered her a spot that night. She says that at that show all of the other comedians were Latino comics who did their sets in Spanish. “And here I was a 6’, 220 lb, diesel dyke. And I didn’t bomb! I did okay and then started touring with Jeff, who became my mentor.”

AB now headlines her own shows and recently performed at the L-PAC meeting at Town Hall in New York which honored Billie Jean King and featured Melissa Etheridge and Judy Gold. Her next project is Lez Bomb, which recently won Best Narrative Film at Bentonville Film Festival. She describes it as, “Lez Bomb is a movie for everybody. It’s relatable, funny, and has a lot of heart.” Co-stars Cloris Leachman and Bruce Dern, she says, were so entertaining in general that Jenna Laurenzo would just film them improvising. Cassidy marveled at how youthful, octogenarian Leachman is, “She would just start throwing turkeys around on set. It was hysterical!”

I recently spoke with AB and asked her about her favorite films.


JR: Is there an older movie you love that you think more people should see?

ABC: “Some Like It Hot” that’s an absolute must watch, it’s hands down one of the best comedies of all time. Also, this isn’t that old, but, “My Neighbor Totoro”…that movie is gold. Pure gold. Oh, and if you’re studying film, watch “Do the Right Thing”. Top five best movies ever made and an incredibly important one to watch.

JR: Is there a recent film that moved you?

ABC: Honestly, “Moana”. I think it’s one of Disney’s all time bests and I actually listen to one of the songs before I get on stage, no lie. I also really really love the documentary, “Becoming Bulletproof.” If you need to reaffirm your faith in humanity, watch this movie. It follows “Zeno Mountain Farm”, a non profit organization that produces film with people with disabilities, as they take on the challenge of shooting their first western. It’s hilarious and heartwarming and an absolute must watch.

JR: Is there an under-appreciated film that you love?

ABC: “Rabbit Proof Fence” (2002) is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and it didn’t even get an Oscar nom. Also, “Requiem For A Dream” and “North Country” are two films that got nom’s for acting but should’ve been much more recognized. The writing in “North Country” is incredible and the use of split screen edits in “Requiem For a Dream” is nothing short of brilliant.

Be sure to catch LEZ BOMB during Women’s Week and to find out more about AB Cassidy or to get information about her upcoming shows, visit www.abcassidy.com.

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