Letter from the Executive Director
“No doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.”– Stanley Kunitz
April and the world is finally starting to wake up and shake the winter from its hold. The hope and energetic buzz of Spring is upon us!
Community has kept us together, and now PFS wants to expand and deepen our community through our Membership Drive. In this moment of transformation, as we strive to recover from the global pandemic, we are recommitting ourselves to our member base, to bringing our local and global community together, in robust and exciting ways.
This month we will be launching new member categories and benefits, as we build out on-going virtual series, screenings, conversations, educational opportunities and integrations with the industry and filmmakers. Our goal is to not only bring people together, but to engage them in a dynamic way that ultimately has impact. We want to hear from you, we want to grow with you, and we want to create with you.
Wishing everyone a bright and beautiful unfolding of Spring, so much more to come!
Become a Member
Looking for your film-loving flock? Become a Provincetown Film Society Member today! NEW EXPANDED BENEFITS include exclusive programming from local filmmakers, merch with custom artwork by local artists, and discounts on virtual cinema and Provincetown Film Festival passes. Join at any level and reap all the cinema-tastic rewards!
Member In The News | Alexandra Foucard
By Tracy Pease
As the world is seeing a dim light at the end of the tunnel of a global pandemic, PFS has seen a surge in love and support from a flurry of new board members committed to diversity and our little organization at the very end of these United States in Provincetown. This month’s member in the news, Alexandra Foucard, is the latest PFS board member. She is a feminist firecracker full of compassion, creativity & talent with a penchant for activism on behalf of the underserved voice. For PFS, it’s a match made in heaven.
Alexandra is a collaborator. A member of NYWIFT, The FilmmakeHers and Filmshop, she’s known as a renaissance actor of the twenty-first century who believes in setting her own boundaries. Born in Haiti to French/Spaniard, Dominican/Haitian parents, the actor considers herself a spicy mix of cultures and ethnicities with a big dollop of spirituality. One of her passions is empowering artists, especially women, to create their own work.
When asked what brought her to the film society Alexandra said, “I love Provincetown; I love the Provincetown Film Society and what it stands for. Patricia [her partner] and I first came to Provincetown 19 years ago and have been attending the film festival for almost as many years but only randomly selecting various titles to attend with a love for the international films. It wasn’t until I met Christine Walker [executive director in 2018] and heard her vision for the organization, that my passion grew. My experiences with her in the community unity and her vision for where this organization can go, is well beyond our borders”.
Alexandra is a risk-taker. She was one of 5 black women to play the role of Fantine in the 40-year history of Les Misérables on Broadway. Identifying Alexandra as a maverick, the resident director of Les Misérables approached her hoping she might encourage her friends in their sister company of Miss Saigon to audition. It was rumored that many talents didn’t bother because they didn’t think the production Misérables would cast as people of color.
Alexandra is a collaborator who adds a fresh view and perspective to development at PFS. “There is a difference between raising money and development. Getting our organization to be in conversations with other organizations, networking, exchanging ideas and talents only magnifies all of us and adds bandwidth to our resources. It’s a good thing to have many influences that blend outsiders like talent and creatives with the locals without being exclusive to a single skill set. It’s not about changing what we’re doing right as much as it is to build on it.”
Alexandra is a sponge. She is a talented and multifaceted individual who’s talked about expanding the inclusion for the PFS Jamaica on Film Festival to the entire Caribbean islands. “Each island has its own flavor, rich with culture and films that reflect that. Why not?”
Alexandra is a mother. Her 27-year-old son Philippe-Henry Siclait is an artist and creative who loves films. He often gives his mother spot-on feedback when prepping for auditions. A tenured member of our community, he’s been attending family week every July since he was nine years old. Today he has a management / graphic design business called the AP Collective managing artists and apparel design. Like many, he’s hunkered down in Ptown during the pandemic.
Alexandra is passionate about people. “That’s why I’m a filmmaker. I’m interested in relationships and how they affect and reverberate through society and the world. Anything I can do to ignite that spark in other people who have the desire to tell stories, gives me pleasure.”
Alexandra is tireless. “During this pandemic, I finished a trailer and the proof of concept to shop my 10 episode dramedy, PARK SLOPE MOMS. Park Slope Moms is a dramedy that I wrote, produced and acted in and explores the dark underbelly of affluent, progressive Brooklyn moms. A BIPOC mom/closeted conservative/high powered attorney now stay at home mom tries to win over the “everyone’s-a-winner” moms. She faces antagonists at every corner from the organic, non-GMO moms’ patrol to an undercover lesbian spy, and of course the Momfia of Park Slope. There are only women in this world. The men and children are heard but never seen. It is a gift to work with so many talented people. The outcome is so much better than what I ever imagined. To be able to have a spark of an idea and see this almost four-year journey actually manifest is so fulfilling. My takeaway: No woman is an island. There is nothing women cannot do when we work together.”
Alexandra is multifaceted. “I have a whole musical theater side to my life. By far my two favorite roles to play were Fantine on Broadway. It was always my dream to be in Les Miz. And to play the role of Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS and given the reign to create my own Adelaide by the Frank Loesser’s estate. Working with Maurice Hines, theater royalty, taught me so much.”
Alexandra is balanced. “I love Yoga, being in Provincetown walking on the beach and meditating. Patricia and I both love the ocean. I watch a lot of films to unwind and lately a lot more TV series since I am in the process of writing. To me it’s all work and play. We’re hoping to get a dog. It’s been two years since Samson (the last of our two dogs) passed and so I look forward to the time when we are holding a new puppy.”
On her viewpoint to lean into energy she attended a virtual conference at the Center of Self Awareness in Milan, Italy. The facilitator said, ‘You have to be selfish with yourself and love yourself first before the world loves you. In loving oneself, you are saying that I can love others. I want the world around me to be good, powerful, healthy, energetic, and full of opportunity. We invest so that the world around us is better. It’s a matter of honoring the passion that is inside of you.”
And the bow that makes this package complete is Patricia Miller, Alexandra’s partner, a trial attorney in NYC federal courts. Patricia reads and collects books about gay women who lived in Paris between the two world wars. One day, when she has had enough of trial practice, she plans to write a Paris guide to the many homes and haunts of these often forgotten women who played such an enormous role in shaping our current culture.
The 23rd Annual Provincetown Film Festival
The 23rd Annual Provincetown Film Festival Ten Days of Unflinching Cinema
June 16 – 25, 2021
This year will be a multi-dimensional festival, with dozens of program offerings, virtual screenings, PFFtalks, outdoor screenings, and VIP experiences exclusive to pass holders. In May we will announce our annual festival honorees: Filmmaker on the Edge, Excellence in Acting, and Next Wave Awards. Choose from live outdoor screenings if you’re in town, or stay in the comfort of your home and enjoy films virtually. All films and events will be reserved in advance with e-tickets and limited seating for a safe and environmentally responsible festival.
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ON FESTIVAL PASSES!
GET an ALL-ACCESS STREAMING FESTIVAL PASS for $125 ($100 for PFS Members)
- Streaming access to all virtual film screenings throughout the festival from Wednesday, June 16 – Friday, June 25, 2021 (U.S. Only)
- Enjoy feature-length narrative and documentary films, our shorts programs, and Q&A with filmmakers after select films.
- Films can be streamed once throughout the festival.
- Includes access to Conversations with Award Honorees
NEW MERCH FOR SALE!
We are delighted to announce our collaboration with the multi-talented Ryan Landry! Ryan is the inaugural artist of our local Provincetown Artist Series
Proceeds from the sales of Landry-designed merchandise will go to support his theatre company, The Gold Dust Orphans. “I was honored to be asked to design a logo for the Provincetown Film Festival,” said Landry. “I loved brainstorming with PFS’s Julie Rockett. We spoke the same language when it came to design and we came up with an idea that wasn’t nostalgic, it was just vibrant and exciting. It’s going to look amazing on a ringer tee.”
Over the years, many PIFF honorees have attended Ryan Landry’s Showgirls, “I’ve met many dear friends through the festival like Jennifer Coolidge and Parker Posey. I met Darren Aronofsky just before a show and told him he was going to be my co-host. He was initially pretty reserved but he quickly became a master of savage burns.”
Ryan adds, “The thing I love about the film festival is that it is celebrating artists and their works. Over the years, I’ve watched it go from an intense, micromanaged event to a more laid back, convivial group of people meeting and sharing ideas. I hope it continues to grow in that direction.”
Member Discount Codes Now Available at Waters Edge Virtual Cinema!
Sign up to become a member and receive exclusive discount codes in your welcome packet. Waters Edge Virtual Cinema delivers a wide variety of new exclusive art house films every week from the comfort of your home.
Our Popular Summer Film Series at the Mary Heaton Vorse House Returns! Tickets on Sale May 1st!
CELEBRATE DIVERSITY MONTH WITH FILM WATCH PARTIES that coincide with perhaps annual observances that celebrate our diverse cultures and global communities. (All recommended films are streaming online.)
DINA directed by Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles. Dina is an eccentric and outspoken woman who invites her fiance, Scott, to move in with her. The couple face many challenges as Dina copes with a mental disability, and Scott lives with Asperger’s syndrome.
THE LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WHALES directed by Gerado Olivares A mother travels from Spain to Argentina searching for solutions to help her autistic child.
OCEAN HEAVEN directed by Xiao Lu Xue A terminally ill man (Jet Li) tries to prepare his autistic son for life without him.
THE RIDER directed by Chloé Zhao After a riding accident leaves him unable to compete on the rodeo circuit, a young cowboy searches for a new purpose. Directed by Golden Globe winning director of Nomadland.
STAY THEN GO directed by Shelli Ainsworth In a hospital waiting room, a mother reviews her experiences with her autistic son. Directed by PFS Women’s Film Residency Fellow Shelli Ainsworth, STAY THEN GO screened at the 2014 PIFF.
ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH We turned to the Arab Film & Media Institute to find out their recommendations for National Arab American Heritage Month.
AMREEKA directed by Cherien Dabis A vivacious Palestinian woman (Nisreen Faour) and her teenage son (Melkar Muallem) cope with culture clash and more as they try to build a new life in rural Illinois. This film is a great way to better understand the experience of Arab immigrants and the struggles they may face in America, especially since 9/11.
A THOUSAND AND ONE JOURNEYS: THE ARAB-AMERICANS Directed By Abe Kasbo The immigration experience of Arab-Americans and the contributions they have made to the American way of life.
The Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program
Submissions for the Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program are now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted scripts and treatments. We spoke to a range of students and educators across the country who will be participating in the inaugural year of what we intend to be a new tradition for the Provincetown Film Institute.
A feature unique to this program is that, though only a few projects will be selected to premier at the Provincetown Film Festival, everyone who applied is invited to participate in workshops designed by our growing list of mentors. The participants who engage in this program will not only be building their ideal mentorship experience, but will be helping to develop a program for years to come. To donate to the Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program, click the button below.
The Launch | Mo Rocca
By Julie Rockett
I was twelve years old when I first saw a then 19-year-old Mo Rocca perform. He initially wore an enormous fat suit and then miraculously turned into a diva in a red dress with the tiniest waist in the role of Diane Foratwinkie. I was mesmerized. I remember looking at the playbill and thinking that his name couldn’t be real (who am I to judge?). But his name and performance stuck with me so it was no surprise to see him on The Daily Show and CBS Sunday Morning, although based on his earlier performances, I would have predicted that he would be in a live-action Godspell TV revival rather than the ‘news’.
My father and I have a wonderful ritual of listening to Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me and Mo’s own podcast Mobituaries. His quick wit and historical references are never lost on my Dad and listening to him laugh at Mo’s bon mots is a joy. I am so grateful for the opportunity to express this to the gracious Mo Rocca and discuss great films with him.
Julie Rockett: What films were you obsessed with as a kid?
Mo Rocca: There were three: The Wizard of Oz, the original King Kong from 1931, and Hitchcock’s The Birds. I remember The Birds being on Channel 5 a lot when I was a kid and it made a real impact upon me. I think all three were thrilling and also terrifying. I think the Wicked Witch of the West was so unbelievably scary, like pure evil on the level of Iago or Hitler, which is what I think really makes it work. I think there’s something dream-like quality to them. They all are things that could happen in a screwed up dream, like going to an island with a giant ape and dinosaurs.
JR: How did you end up seeing King Kong at such a young age?
MR: I feel like it was always on TV on Sundays. King Kong is one of those movies that if it’s on, to this day, I’m going to watch it. Its dialogue is spare, which I love, and it tells you the story through pictures.
JR: What documentaries do you love?
MR: I really liked The Mayor of Castro Street which was about Harvey Milk. I also loved the recording of the album of Sondheim’s Company.
JR: I love that one! Have you seen the Documentary Now! Satire of it? Paula Pell is amazing as Elaine Stritch!
MR: I need to see that. There’s another documentary, 51 Birch Street, that I found devastating. It’s about a marriage and a son discovering what was really happening in that marriage. It’s simply devastating.
JR: Did it just take a left turn?
MR: Basically, there were clues all along, and the documentary maker started by recording events around his parents 50th anniversary, which I think were intended just for personal use. He discovers the sacrifices his parents made to keep the family intact. It does take twists and turns and makes anyone reflect on their own parents’ marriage.
JR: When you were at the Hasty Pudding Club, did you have memorable moments with any of your honorees?
MR: My freshman year, we honored Lucille Ball and Steve Martin. Steve Martin was really hot at the time. He had just completed Roxanne and he had successfully transitioned from successful stand up to leading man. One of my cast mates asked him why he agreed to be Man of the Year and he replied, “I did it because I heard I would be honored alongside Lucille Ball.” I remember thinking in my 19-year-old mind that, “Lucille Ball is of my grandmother’s generation but Steve Martin is cool.” It was a realization for me that true talent transcends generations and honors each other. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense because Lucille Ball was a genius. But at the time it surprised that someone as cool as he would bow down to her. Nevertheless, it’s still really cool.
JR: What have you binged during quarantine?
MR: I thought It’s a Sin on HBO Max was so good. There are things you like that don’t stay with you and there are things you like that do stay with you. It’s hard to predict what stays with you. I think It’s a Sin is more likely to stay with a gay man so it’s not a shocker that it stayed with me. It’s also like, ‘Damn! That British acting training is something.’ There are performances that are so good that in a couple of cases, it’s hard for you to believe that they are not the actual people they are portraying. You have to remind yourself that they’re actors. I also found that Ted Lasso is a real tonic for the time. It’s hard to pull off something hopeful and buoyant without it turning saccharine, and it doesn’t do that. It’s really good.
JR: Is there something about It’s a Sin that keeps it on your mind and resonates with you?
MR: Part of what I found so compelling is that I came of age at a time when AIDS was known and terrifying. I think that for a lot of people around my age, you can’t help but contemplate the math and think, ‘if I had been born five years earlier, would I still be alive?’ I turned twelve in 1981, when the series starts and when people didn’t know much about it, but were terrified of it. The characters in the series are roughly only five years older than me and it is such a starkly different situation for them.
JR: We honored Larry Kramer a few years ago and he was so frail but he was such a force of nature and lately I’ve really loved hearing about his friendship with Fauci. That people could hear each other. That Fauci could get past the insults and still say, ‘you know you got a point there. Your evidence is solid.’ And Kramer could say, ‘You’re a son of a bitch but you’re my friend.’ It’s a discourse that’s sorely lacking in these times…
JR: If you were to program a series of musicals in Provincetown, what would you pick?
MR: That’s a tough question, because you don’t want to pick something that everyone’s seen.
JR: Yes, but you want to make sure you have sing-a-long moments from the popular ones like The Muppet Movie.
MR: I once did a story on the A Christmas Carol and went to the Dickens’ Christmas Carol Museum in London for it. They said that they think that the best version is the Muppet Christmas Carol and they didn’t say that ironically. Let’s see… I like The Harvey Girls. When Doris Day died, I looked at Calamity Jane again and that has a bunch of great numbers, although that might be more suited for Women’s Week. Little Shop of Horrors is also a great one. Rick Moranis and Steve Martin are outstanding.
JR: Finally, are there any movies you love that are not necessarily well-known or well-regarded?
MR: I loved the film Earthquake. I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than it and its all-star cast of Ava Gardener and Charlton Heston. I looked at TV Guide as a teenager and saw that it had only 2.5 stars and I felt wounded. The other one that was terribly reviewed was The Champ with Ricky Schroeder and John Voight. I think it’s considered dreck but I cried my eyes out watching it… along with Black Stallion.
JR: Thank you for your time. I hope you get to program some musicals here in the future!
Provincetown Film Society