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[Letter from the Board President] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

Letter from the Board President

With 2020 now behind us, the Provincetown Film Society would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy new year! Despite the many challenges that still lie ahead, there is reason to be hopeful and planning for 2021 is well underway. It promises to be an exciting year, with programs that celebrate the diverse voice and richness of the Provincetown community.

 We will be kicking off the year with a winter auction, and we hope that you will all help us make it as successful as possible. It is full of unique items that celebrate the history, culture, and idiosyncrasies of Provincetown that you won’t want to miss. In fact, many of the featured items are so unique, I suspect they will be talked about for years to come!  

As 2021 rolls on, we will be announcing some exciting new programs and, of course, our 23rd annual Provincetown International Film Festival in June – so stay tuned. You helped us get through 2020, and for that we are eternally grateful. Please join us in celebrating all the things you love about PFS and help us continue fighting for a more equitable and inclusive future. 

~ Anthony Lawson, PFS Board President

Support the Provincetown Film Society with our online Winter Auction January 29 – February 7. Bid on vacation stays, gift cards, art work, truly unforgettable Ptown experiences, and more! You won’t want to miss it! Details soon at

Member in the News by Tracy Pease

She’s back!  Gabby Hanna, Provincetown Film Society’s January’s Member in the News is the newest member of the board (didn’t I say that last month?).  After stepping down six years ago from her 10-year position as Executive Director, we’re happy to say, Gabby is back!

Although Gabby spent the majority of her career in the non-profit sector, she has worked for the last five years as a real estate agent in Provincetown, now with William Raveis Real Estate. 

A local luminary, Gabby has served as the Executive Director of the Provincetown Business Guild and on the Town of Provincetown’s Finance Committee, Animal Welfare Committee, and Economic Development Council.  She was previously President of GAH Consulting, a New York City-based fundraising and special events company specializing in fundraising programs, major gifts programs, board development, strategic planning, capital campaigns, and special events for not-for-profit organizations and documentary filmmakers. 

While living in New York, Gabby also served as Executive Director of the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Director of Development of Body Positive, a New York City HIV/AIDS service organization, Director of Institutional Advancement for The Hewitt School, and Barnard College’s Associate Director of Alumnae Affairs. Her career began as an Assistant Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, after working as a pianist following graduation from Barnard College. 

On Cape, Gabby has served on the Boards of WOMR Outermost Community Radio, Payomet Center for the Performing Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center.  Gabby has recently immersed herself in film and theater production. She was an Executive Producer of LOVE IS STRANGE, a film by Ira Sachs co-starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina; co-producer of the Broadway revival of Side Show, directed by Bill Condon; It Shoulda Been You, a new musical directed by David Hyde Pierce; a new musical Tuck Everlasting, directed by Casey Nicholaw; and most recently, The Cher Show

Gabby Hanna and Blythe Robertson

Gabby and her wife Marcy Feller have made a home in Provincetown with their Dobermans, Luna and Hero.  

Last month’s member in the news, Blythe Robertson (pictured right with Gabby at PIFF 2019) was the first new addition, in 2020, of the growing board line-up.  At a time in our country and the world when there is so much uncertainty, our board members are garnering faith and building a stronger foundation to sustain us through the chaos and the lineup is first class!

Not coincidentally, Gabby has partnered on past projects with Robertson.  The dynamic duo bring their experience and caché branded by this organization for years.  They say you can judge a woman by the company she keeps.  Red carpet here we come!

Looking for your film-loving flock? Become a member of the Provincetown Film Society! Join at any level and reap all the cinema-tastic rewards! Feature your news in our newsletter, discounts, and more!

Women’s Media Summit 2021

Planning is underway for our first online Women’s Media Summit 2021. Dates will be announced soon! If you would like to get involved, please contact

A heartfelt welcome to new advisory board members of the Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program: Anne Clements, Rich Delia, Silas Howard, Matt Kugelman, Coleman Lannun, Kimberly Montini, and Javier Morgado. Submission guidelines to the program will be posted in February.

Recommended Film Viewing for January Events
(All films are available via streaming)

January 18/Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

SELMA directed by Ava DuVernay. Based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers, including the late John Lewis, their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1985.

I AM MLK JR. directed by John Barbisan & Michael Hamilton. This documentary explores the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on civil rights through present day.

KING IN THE WILDERNESS chronicles the final chapters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, revealing a conflicted leader who faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Directed by Peter Kunhardt

January 27/Holocaust Remembrance Day

SON OF SAUL Directed by László Nemes During World War II, a Jewish worker (Géza Röhrig) at the Auschwitz concentration camp tries to find a rabbi to give a child a proper burial.

EUROPA EUROPA directed by Agnieszka Holland based on the 1989 autobiography of Solomon Perel, a German Jewish boy who escaped the Holocaust by masquerading as a “Nazi” German.IDA directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. In 1962, Anna is about to take vows as a nun when she learns from her only relative that she is Jewish. Both women embark on a journey to discover their family story and where they belong.

CONSPIRACY directed by Frank Pierson – In January 1942, as the United States enters World War II, a conference assembles near Berlin where a military officials meet to discuss the “evacuation” of Germany’s Jews and other undesirables, a code word for their extermination in concentration camps. To begin this Final Solution, they must change the mind of a small group of men opposed to the idea.

THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC directed by Donna Dietch – AN  American-born Jewish adolescent, is uninterested in the culture, faith and customs of her relatives; however, she begins to revaluate her heritage when she has a supernatural experience that transports her back to a Nazi death camp in 1941. There, she meets a young girl, a fellow captive in the camp. Together, they As struggle to survive in the face of daily atrocities.

Exclusive Films at Waters Edge Virtual Cinema!

Virtual Cinema delivers a wide variety of exclusive new  films every week. Enjoy art house movies@home. 

Waters Edge Cinema Marquee Photo Courtesy of Provincetown Banner, Mary Ann Bragg

Check out the Banner article about Waters Edge Cinema!

LET’S GO BACK TO THE MOVIES! Rent Waters Edge Cinema with your family or house mates to screen your favorite films! Choose from our selection of films, or bring your own film, home videos, and more to enjoy! Starting at $149

Provincetown Film Festival 2021

Save the date! PIFF June 16-25, 2021

Now accepting submissions for the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival! Regular deadline: January 15

The Launch with Julie Rockett

Recently, I posed this question to my Facebook friends: “When it’s finally safe to return to normal life, what’s one big thing and small thing you want to do?” I wrote “fly to Croatia” and “see a movie with friends in a theatre.” While others had kinder responses like, “Hug everyone!” I still really, really want to go back to Waters Edge Cinema and sit right next to my friends and co-workers to enjoy a film. 

I watched the film Papi Chulo which is one of those films that you want to watch with others and if that’s not possible, you want to recommend it to all of your friends right away. The movie reminds me about a friend who said that he’d rather see a small magic trick done really well rather than watch someone magically make the Statue of Liberty disappear. Papi Chulo is that perfect card trick. It speaks to all the things plaguing us at the moment like loneliness and isolation, and approaches it with an original story about humor and humanity. 

John Butler

One of the cast members of this film is the dreamy friend of Provincetown Film Society, Dave Holmes. I am indebted to Dave for introducing me to Papi Chulo’s writer and director, John Butler. John spoke to me from his home in Dublin and discussed being a proud Classics major and challenged the legitimacy of the notion of ‘guilty pleasures.’

Julie Rockett: Hi John, I first wanted to say that when I was doing some research, I found that we were both Classics majors. After watching your film, I feel like I saw your knowledge of Classics come through because Papi Chulo shows an example of an unconventional love. Unconventional by modern standards but in Ancient Greek there are twelve kinds of love which is much broader than the narrow view of just romantic love most people have. 

John Butler:  Thank you. Richard Yates has a collection of short stories called Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and I always thought that was a great title. Also, when I was writing this film, I thought a lot about whether there is a form of loneliness that is unique to the gay community. Brandon Taylor– who was short-listed for the Booker Prize, wrote probably the best book I read this year, Real Life— wrote a great piece a few years ago about queer love that inspired my writing of this film. It made me want to examine the unique aspects.

JR: I found it to be such a rich story. And you had the casting gods shining upon you with Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patino.

JB: <laughs>

JR: Have you been able to see films this year?

JB: The last film I saw in the cinema was Almodovar’s Pain & Glory which was February. I didn’t know at the time would be my last cinema experience. I’ve been watching films all the other ways though this year.

JR: Have you found anything inspiring recently?

JB: A couple of things. I finally got to see the show Dave. It starts out like a Woody Allen sort of thing and then it gets much deeper. I also loved the show Atlanta. UK-wise I found Industry to be very good.

JR: Do you recall your first favorite film?

JB: The Pink Panther films. I really fancied Peter Sellers, not just as the Pink Panther but in all of his films. I found his talent to be extraordinarily attractive. He’s a really interesting actor because there’s such darkness to him as well. You can feel that dark manic energy in his comedic performances.

JR: Is there a person that you dream of working with…. living or dead…

JB: That certainly broadens the selection.

JR: Hey, it’s your dream. I’m not interfering. 

JB: From these shores, Saoirse Ronan. Stanley Tucci is the other one.

JR: Is there a film of Tucci’s that you really enjoyed?

JB: I first became aware of him in Big Night and everything after… He’s an easy performer and he makes it appear effortless. I quite like that. Art is in the concealing and that’s what he does so well.

JR:  Is there a film you wish was wider known?

JB: Chris Kelly’s film, Other People. It is so moving and entertaining simultaneously. It’s just so beautiful. Jesse Plemmons and Molly Shannon are just superb in it. And another is Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War. It’s a Polish film based on his parent’s love story. There are these significant time jumps with no title on screen to tell you more. You start to realize through make-up and hair what time period you’re in. It’s stunning. I watched it in the cinema and it was filled with Polish immigrants. In the middle of the film, there were people smiling at each other recognizing the shared experiences.

JR: Is there a film that’s a guilty pleasure?

JB:  I don’t believe in them.

JR: I love that!

JB:  I don’t believe in the concept because you either enjoy something or you don’t. Denying that something’s enjoyable to you is a kind of deception. I watched Emily in Paris and I enjoyed it. That’s not to say that it wasn’t crap, but I enjoyed it. The Sex & The City movies are shit and I love them. I sometimes think there’s a cultural snobbery with that. I see it often with straight guys who begrudgingly say they like Pet Shop Boys or Kylie Minogue. What’s stopping you from saying it’s good?

JR: I hate the term ‘girl crush’.

JB: So true. Or like, ‘man date’. The other one that drives me mad is ‘man cave’. Stop infantilizing things. If you are into having a La-Z-Boy and a TV and a stack of porn, you don’t have to gender it as if there’s some implied butchness to having a spot in the house to yourself. Why we’re getting into this, I don’t know.

JR: I don’t know either but I love your take on things! 

Provincetown Film Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, We rely upon community financial support for continued year-round operation. Your generous support is appreciated!