PECKER’S POINT AUGUST 2021

JUMP TO

[Letter from the E.D.] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

Letter from the Executive Director

August 2021,

Dear Uncommon Birds,

As we pass the middle of summer, we are celebrating some new beginnings.  

Our cinema, Waters Edge, has opened for business after 15 long months of closure.  We are continuing to mandate mask wearing, and have medical grade HEPA filters running at all times in both Cinema 1 and Cinema 2, and we are reducing capacities to allow for social distancing, offering the safest experience for our patrons.  Going forward, we are also requiring patrons show proof of vaccination, and we can confirm that our staff is fully vaccinated.  We know the Delta variant and the uptick of covid cases in July has been concerning and we are making sure your visit to Water’s Edge is as safe as it can possibly be.

PFS is also changing things up at the board level, after many years of incredible dedication as the President of the PFS Board, Anthony Lawson, son of longtime advocate and former PFS board president, Evan Lawson, is stepping down from his role to focus on his family and work as an architect. Former PFS Executive Director Gabrielle A. Hanna will be the new board president.


“I am honored to be stepping in as President of the Board of PFS. The organization has continued to grow since my departure in 2013, and I am looking forward to working with Blythe Frank, the staff and board to continue to develop new programs and give a voice to underrepresented storytellers from around the world.”

Gabrielle A. Hanna, President of the Board of PFS

We celebrated Family Week July 25-30th, with outdoor screenings in Motta Field, sponsored by WarnerMedia and Family Equality. Families were thrilled to be outside, and we offered food from Spiritus Pizza, John’s Footlong, Box Lunch and Ben & Jerry’s.  When it got dark and the movie began, everyone settled in for a magical night under the stars and screen.  A huge thank you to the Motta family for use of the field, the support of Provincetown by granting us a special entertainment license, our fabulous food vendors, our staff, the volunteers, and to WarnerMedia and Family Equality. We hope to do more of these in the years to come.

Stay safe, embrace joy where you discover it, and please remember that we are stronger together.

— Blythe Frank, PFS Executive Director

THE SUMMER DAY 

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

-- Mary Oliver

MEMBER IN THE NEWS:  Ilona Royce-Smithkin

By Tracy Pease

Ilona Royce-Smithkin Photo by Curtis Speer

Undeniably, Provincetown Film Society’s grandest patron and member is Ilona Royce-Smithkin.  Passing just days ago, Ilona’s involvement and support will live on in the hearts and minds of our staff at the Provincetown Film Society forever.  

It has been a privilege to know her and have intimate conversations with her over the past 6 years.  With humble trepidation even reverence, it is an honor to write this love letter celebrating a master…………a powerhouse packed in a four-foot-nine-inch canvas, pioneer, artist, philosopher, inn keeper, performer, teacher, style guru, business professional, feminist, influencer, swimmer, dancer, TV & Radio personality, author, conversationalist, documentarian, writer, bibliophile, trendsetter, storyteller, model, confidant, lady, and friend. 

Of Polish descent, Ilona moved to Germany with her parents at the young age of 5. As a result, her distinguishable accent was classic German.  The German language and my own German roots became the basis for our initial conversations blossoming like a garden of wildflowers.

Ilona studied art at the Reiman Schule in Berlin, the Académie Royal des Beaux Arts in Antwerp, the Art Students League in New York, and the Cape School of Art in Provincetown.  Having heard few but troubling accounts of a strict and disciplined upbringing amidst a war-ravaged Europe, I have little doubt that those fearful experiences influenced her life choices and the woman she became – from her personality, whimsical style and fashion to her artistic choice to illustrate her subjects in passionate Impressionistic bravura – the worries of a 5-year-old, set the path for Ilona to live life on her terms. 

Ilona is particularly known for her discerning portraits of celebrated personalities the likes of friend Tennessee Williams, Ayn Rand, Ethel Merman, the children of Edward Kennedy and many more.   She once told me that she is the only artist commissioned by Eugene O’Neill himself to paint him. That very portrait has graced arts organizations in town including the Provincetown Theater and the Provincetown Arts Association and Museum. 

Generously, Ilona has sponsored the film society for years, providing lodging for filmmakers and film society staff for the annual film festival, women’s week, staff planning meetings and retreats.  She has donated her works enabling PFS to raise funds annually for the auction.  Each year when the film festival concluded, I delivered a festival catalog, and we’d discuss the successes of the week. 

A pioneer in television, ILONA’S PALETTE and PAINTING WITH ILONA – two television series produced in 1975 & 1982 respectively, aired 41 episodes.  Television history was made through live instruction by a female artist.  I watched Ilona-the-younger from VHS tapes with the added benefit of the later Ilona narrating to me in real-time. 

Ilona’s will to refuse advice on fashion trends, certainly didn’t deter her from setting them.    With color, scissors, a little thread, baubles, and embellishments she personified color, and texture.  On several occasions she generously offered wardrobe pieces and advice on how I might supplement my own heavily black wardrobe with ‘flair’.  “A little color or a scarf would spruce up your blouse, my dear.  Try this.” she would smile. 

Ilona’s celebrated red hair and magnificent custom eyelashes framing her face for over 50 years, were the conversation of many, and the basis for the song EYELASHES by Zoë Lewis.  Concerts on the Cape with Zoë at piano provided the name for their performance appropriately branded “Eyelash Cabaret”.  

During one of our visits, she told me that it is a tradition of hers to gift to people she cares for, a sketch of their eye.  “Why the eye?” I asked.  “Because you can see to a person’s soul through the eye” she replied.  “I’d like to sketch your eye if you’d let me.”  At first, I wanted to ask if I could return another day to have my eye sketched.  It worried me that I wasn’t prepared or worthy.  What would she see through my eye?  Were they things I didn’t want her to see.  I hesitated.  Fortunately, the conversation in my head flashed quickly and I merely replied, “I would be honored, Ilona”.    

Ten years ago, during Women’s Week, the subject of a documentary called ADVANCED STYLE, Ilona graced the Waters Edge Cinema at a theatrical debut.  In conversation with moderator and filmmakers, with her classic flair, she regaled the audience with stories, poetry, and philosophies – the hallmark of her approach to life.   Although she lived to be 101, at 90 years young, she declared a pride in her age “because it took me a long time to get here” she laughed.  In an interview she said “I have very limited time. I can’t buy green bananas anymore”.

On March 27th, 2020, her one hundredth birthday, the views and comments to her Instagram post thanking friends and loved ones for kind wishes, rivaled the Kardashians.  Amidst a global pandemic, now experiencing the implications of two pandemics in her lifetime, she warmly sashayed across the deck of her studio home on Commercial Street with words of love and gratitude for the host of well-wishers on the beach below.  

One day at low tide picking seashells, I was on the beach staring back at her building.   My gaze roamed from the top floor to the bottom and back to the 2nd when I noticed a round window midway up, that when viewed from the dock below was blocked by a railing. I realized I’d never seen the building from 90 – 100 feet away.  I stared at the portal style window trying to adjust my focus for a better viewpoint.  There seemed to be something around the window that I couldn’t quite catch.  When my eyes wouldn’t adjust, I took a photo from my phone to enlarge the image for a better view.  A smile spread across my face, when I could see that surrounding the top of the portal were long black lashes framing outward replicating an eye……………..an undeniable facsimile of Ilona’s unforgettable lashes.  

In the years of our friendship, she was prolific in watercolor, painting views of the ocean from the 3rd floor studio in a small postcard-sized book of Strathmore paper.  Colors of the sea changed from page to page and day to day as the light and colors changed in Provincetown.  She captured what she saw…… and felt.  She loved the solitude of those hours spent painting.  She would often remark that her body was growing tired.  It took such effort just to be.  I knew I should be grateful for the opportunity to be in her presence and in fact, I was. A prolific writer, Ilona offered me the opportunity to read several of her writings and letters even reading them back to her aloud.   As I read, I would remark on her life’s viewpoints and we would discuss many that found their way to the pages of her final book entitled NINETY NINE: Straight Up, No Chaser.  Months later, I was lost for words to express my pleasure when she presented me with an autographed version signed on the page of acknowledgements, next to my name.  There are thousands of people in the world that can genuinely call Ilona friend. I’m glad to be one of them.

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 Waters Edge Cinema. Join at any level and reap all the cinema-tastic rewards!

BACK TO TOP >>


SAVE THE DATES

WOMEN’S WEEK FILM FESTIVAL OCTOBER 8-17

JAMAICAN FILM FESTIVAL OCTOBER 19-21

LET’S GO BACK TO THE MOVIES!

Waters Edge Cinema is OPEN again and we can’t wait to see you at 237 Commercial Street, Whalers’ Wharf 3rd Floor. Due to the recent uptick in positive COVID19 cases in fully-vaccinated individuals, and based on the health advisory issued by the Provincetown Board of Health, we have decided to reinstate mandatory face coverings while inside the Water’s Edge cinemas. If you do not have a face covering, we will happily give you one. Masks must be worn at all times unless actively enjoying food or drink in your seat. Multiple HEPA air purifiers have been installed throughout each auditorium to improve air circulation and filtration. We are currently operating at 50% capacity. All guests are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and maintain social distancing when possible. Thank you for helping us to keep everyone healthy.

The Launch

With Julie Rockett

Lisa Viola, PIFF Artistic Director

When you started a new school, do you remember that person who helped you find your locker? Was your lab partner when everyone had paired off? Or just smiled and said hello when you didn’t know another person? The grown-up version of this person for me is  Provincetown Film Festival Artistic Director Lisa Viola. She is too cool for school but she never makes you feel that way. She’s very busy, but never too busy to greet you like a VIP, even when I was a lowly intern.  

Maybe all this friendliness and compassion stems from the fact that she does what she loves and is really good at it? Lisa’s favorite films and suggestions are unlike any that I’ve heard. So  please take her film recommendations and go to a theatre, preferably Waters Edge Cinema,  wear a mask and have a great night!  

Julie Rockett: So, yesterday we lost Ilona Royce-Smithkin.  

Lisa Viola: She had an incredible life as an artist. I was a fan of hers. Her longevity, her work,  her presence in Provincetown. She was impressive. Did you know her?  

JR: I only really got to know her through Melissa Hammel’s short from PIFF2017, ILONA,  UPSTAIRS. I loved watching her hoofing upstairs and around town.  

LV: It’s what kept her mentally sharp. 

JR: How did you get involved with Provincetown Film Festival?  

LV: I had just moved back to Boston and I met Connie White who was running the Boston  International Women’s Film Festival when she was hosting that festival at the Brattle Theatre. I  had just come from working at Sundance and Connie asked if I could help out with programming. She then kicked off the Provincetown Film Festival and dragged me along  <laughs>. I did a bunch of things that first year… some writing, some talent wrangling, and some hosting. I remember watching John Waters receive the first Filmmaker On The Edge  award and thinking, ‘I’m sticking around here!’. 

JR: Was there ever a crisis at PIFF that you’ve turned around?

LV: There’s never been a crisis at the film fest. 

JR: Never. <laughs>  

LV: It’s all seamless! <laughs> There was one time where it was raining sideways. I’m supposed to do an introduction at the Art House and the first two rows are under water. I had to leap over this enormous puddle to get to the stage. We were determined to hold the screening and the Q&A because, you know, the show must go on. And luckily no one got electrocuted!  

JR: One of the films that I think you programmed was TICKLED. I love that film and I remember watching it and assuming it was going one way and then it just made my jaw drop. Is there a film that has made your jaw drop?  

LV: There’s so many but the first one that comes to mind is HONEYLAND. Have you seen it?  

JR: No. Not yet. 

LV: You don’t know what to expect. It takes place so far away from Cape Cod and it is just so different. You’re immersed a place with these two women. You have no idea how old they are or what their stories are. You just drop in on them and are transported. It’s so unusual and it is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. I recommend this film to a lot of people and I always say, ‘You just have to sit with it.’ People usually ask what is about and I say, ‘It’s not about anything I can tell you that will make you want to watch it.’  

JR: To that end, is there a film that you wish more people had seen?  

LV: Yes, WETLANDS. It’s this wild film from PIFF2014. It’s a coming-of-age film that is, uh,  pretty daring. The lead character pushes the envelope in every way. It’s very interesting. I sent people at the festival to go and see it and they afterward they said, ‘What did we just watch?’  It’s not for everybody, but I’m sure John Waters loved it.  

JR: Is there a film that people would be surprised to know you like, something like a guilty pleasure?  

LV: For me it’s not a guilty pleasure because I think it’s one of the most brilliant films ever made–GREY GARDENS. It’s the film that I’ve seen more than any other film and I can never get sick of. I always find time to watch it and each time I see something new. The Maysles were Brookline High graduates, maybe there’s something in the water? <note: Lisa and I grew up in the same Brookline neighborhood. Yet another cool fact about Lisa.>  

JR: Does any part of the film disturb you? I have an issue with the cats and the squalor.  

LV: It’s challenging, for sure. Now that we’re becoming more attuned to mental illness, we realize that these women were suffering. They were women of means at some point. They were left to their own devices and no one was around to care for them. I mean, I do think the Maysles cared about them and I think that in some ways they even lost their objectivity as filmmakers. But I think that great documentarians like them go along on the adventure.  

JR: Do you have a favorite PIFF memory?  

LV: I think when people get to Provincetown they just become easier going then you’d even expect. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all at sea level, no airs about them. Kathleen Turner was so cool and laid back. Kevin Smith was a sweet teddy bear. Aubrey Plaza was so genuinely excited to see John Waters. Cynthia Nixon was so gracious and truly honored to have her body of work and her activism recognized. A highlight for me was the year we honored Jane Lynch and Gael Garcia Bernal. They both really embraced the spirit of Provincetown.  

JR: What was your first favorite film?  

LV: I loved FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. I had the record and would sing and dance around to it over and over. My father was a cinephile and he would take me to all of these inappropriate  films.  

JR: You know, I hear that over and over again from filmmakers, and my family is guilty of it too,  that they saw age inappropriate films when they were young. And I think that it really is a gift. 

LV: Yes, I credit my Dad with giving me an education in off-beat films like THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and ERASERHEAD. He took me to the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW on my thirteenth birthday. He told us that people dress up for it so my friend and I wore these crazy costumes that weren’t anywhere on brand for the show. But we loved it. He also took me  out of school when I was nine to see STAR WARS on opening day.  

JR: Is there a film that you watch to get you out of a funk?

LV: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.

JR: I love that you have answers that nobody else does!  

LV: I saw it with my Dad, in the theatre, and I’ve seen it many times since then. It just puts me  in a happy place even though it’s a melancholy movie. It’s not a comedy, but there’s something about that sweet, small and slightly twisted small town that pulls me in. 

JR: And finally, what are you looking forward to in upcoming PIFFs?  

LV: I get really excited about the next crop of films. I love that every year there’s a real sense of  discovery and we have a chance to share those films with an audience!

PECKER’S POINT JULY 2021

JUMP TO

[Letter from the E.D.] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

Letter from the Executive Director

July 2021


Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival – both in person and virtually. We had max capacity at all of our venues and events, with a joyous and warm energy where everyone felt welcome and part of our festival community! 

I want to take this opportunity to recognize all the filmmakers, sponsors, donors, our staff,  board of directors, and the volunteers who made this festival possible.  Your selfless dedication reaches far beyond the screen and keeps this organization and our special community going and growing!!  I am so proud to play a role in this with you!

The screenings have just begun….our Water’s Edge Cinema has finally opened after 15 months of closure, we will be having special screenings throughout the summer both at Water’s Edge and the Mary Heaton Vorse house,  in Motta Field during Family Week, and be on the lookout for special outdoor screenings on MacMillan Pier.  It is time for some joy in our lives and it’s finally time to go back to the movies!
— Blythe Frank

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate.
Give in to it.
There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be.
We are not wise, and not very often kind.
And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left.
Perhaps this is its way of fighting back,
that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world.
It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins.
Anyway, that’s often the case.
Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.
Joy is not made to be a crumb.

~ Mary Oliver


Let’s Go Back to the Movies!

Waters Edge Cinema is OPEN again and we can’t wait to see you at 237 Commercial Street, Whalers’ Wharf 3rd Floor


MEMBER IN THE NEWS: MIKE WRIGHT

By Tracy Pease

Mike Wright (photo by Ed Christie)

This month’s member in the news has called Provincetown home for almost 40 years.  A graphic artist turned sculptor from Baltimore, Mike Wright and her partner Sheila have been gracing Provincetown cinema and the festival for decades. Her favorite: the Film Art Series – a member favorite and collaboration with the Provincetown Arts Association and Museum (PAAM) programmed at Waters Edge Cinema by Howard Karren.    Maybe it’s not a coincidence that she came from the same town as our most famous and edgy icon – John Waters.  

Mike started her life in Ptown as an innkeeper – who became a card-carrying member of the Provincetown Women Innkeepers.  In 1984 Mike opened Plums Bed & Breakfast.  

Plums was a large Dutch Gambrel on the corner of Pearl and Bradford Streets, built by a Whaling Captain in 1860.  Mike & Sheila worked tirelessly to completely renovate the interior and sold the inn in 1999.  

“In 1995” Mike recounts, “Sheila took over full time management of the inn so I could dedicate myself full-time to my art.  Looking back over my art career, I now realize how each particular creative development shaped my artistic success.”

Mike recalls, “as a kid in Maryland, I was always drawing or making something in our house, much to the dismay of my perfectionist Mother! I remember the time I used her kitchen mixer to whip up hot wax to sculpt.  My education started in Catholic Elementary school, the Nuns saw I was artistic and would always ask me to draw something for their bulletin boards. With little to no art classes offered in school, I took classes in an after-school program”.Mike doesn’t just enjoy the movies, in 2015 she was in a movie.  “Filmmaker Andrea Meyerson put me in CLAMBAKE [a documentary about 30 years of women inn keepers in Provincetown].  She’s reached out a lot in the past year and asked me to be on Zoom viewings for the Q&A.  Each time she had about 80-90 gals watching it… she is great!” beams Mike.

Mike graduated from Towson University in Baltimore County, MD working in a variety of media, from traditional painting and printmaking, to experimental sculpture. “I graduated with honors and a BS in art education.  I taught K-6 art in Baltimore County instructing kids to create all art forms from painting and block printing to huge paper mâché sculptures that were exhibited at the local library, to outdoor snow sculptures colored with paint in squirt bottles, to stop animation videos entered into a competition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Watching these kids, I learned a lot about the value of “playing” when making art.

Later Mike joined a design firm to become a full-time graphic designer and went on to learn newspaper advertising, ad design, as well as building structure and space.  She taught design and illustration night classes at Catonsville Community College in Maryland. Later joining KBH Graphics, one of the oldest design firms in Baltimore City and assigned clients, perfecting a sense of design, color and space definitely boosted my creative confidence.   

Mike also recounts, “In 1984, I decided to start a Bed & Breakfast in Provincetown, MA, where I could also take workshops in printmaking, oil painting and watercolor at PAAM  (Provincetown Art Association and Museum) and be around other artists. In 1993, I took a workshop at PAAM with sculptor Paul Bowen (a previous Adolph Gottlieb Foundation Grant winner) and discovered that working with found materials in 3-dimensions was the perfect fit for me.”

“This was my AHA moment” said Mike.  “I loved all of the process, from searching for materials (particularly old previously painted wood) and dragging it to the studio, to organizing the wood by color, pulling old nails, hammering and cutting to create sculptural forms.”

Mike says, “All these years later, making sculpture from found previously painted wood is still irresistible. As debris, it seems unpromising, but that lack is also its appeal. The peeling paint, the color—scrubbed by salt waves, sand, or human use—allows the viewer to recognize in the wood, evidence of a previous life as boat, floorboard, shelf or container. I search beaches, streets and dumpsters for it. My principal parameter is not to paint that wood, whose patina is impossible to duplicate. I like best the moment I place pieces of old painted wood together and see relationships of color and form begin to take shape, achieving the object through building up and by modifying its form with minimal carpentry—cutting, curving, sandwiching and joining.”

“In 2002, I decided to make art more of a priority and went to work at PAAM  (Provincetown Art Association and Museum) full time and also volunteered on the artist-led PAAM Exhibition Committee. For 10 years, I enjoyed an intimate relationship with the historical artwork of the Provincetown Art Colony. I was in charge of the PAAM facility but had time to curate historical exhibitions from the PAAM permanent art collection, as well as, contemporary exhibitions. I was able to assimilate the forms and palettes of early Modernist painters, particularly Blanche Lazzell and the Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell and even interpret their 2-dimensional paintings into 3-dimensions sculptures. This affinity was the subject of the 2009 Provincetown Arts Magazine article Mike Wright and the Modernist Continuum.”

I retired from PAAM in 2012 and have worked seasonally at Alden Gallery in Provincetown, ever since. I also exhibit my art at Alden Gallery and have been surprised by the recognition of my work from a variety of folks. I collaborated with the short documentary filmmaker Marnie Crawford Samuelson to provide a unique opportunity for the Provincetown Film Festival and the Online New England Film Festival (newenglandfilm.com) audiences to witness my creative process. That 2014 short doc, Inside Motherwell’s Dumpster, shows me retrieving wood from the demolition of Robert Motherwell’s Provincetown studio, which he called Sea Barn, and creating a sculpture I called Deconstructed Sea Barn.”

Continuing to advance her career, Wright applied for grants and as a result, in 2014, won a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. This allowed her to create a website and gain a wider audience for her sculpture. She began to see how “success breeds success.” With the prestige of winning the Pollock Krasner, more invitations to exhibit were extended: a solo show at the St. Botolph Club in Boston; a solo show at the Cape Cod Museum of Art; an invitation, in 2017, to show in Wood As Muse at the Art Museum Complex Duxbury, where she was interviewed about her art by PBS/WGBH Senior Arts Editor Jared Bowen and this aired on “Open Studio”. 

In 2017, Mike was chosen by the JFK Hyannis Museum to participate in Art Inspired by a Presidential Home and asked to create art with materials salvaged from the renovation of JFK and Jackie Kennedy’s home on the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, MA. In 2019, she was asked by the Edward Gorey Museum to create art from material that Gorey collected, for an exhibition and auction. 

Since 1993, she has had 30 solo exhibitions and her work has been included in 38 invitational, 62 juried and 98 group exhibitions. Besides being the Artist in Residence at Cape Cod Community College in 2009, she won the Michael E. Deluty Outstanding Sculpture Prize at the Cambridge Art Association’s 9th National Prize Show, in 2004 she was awarded the Berkshire Taconic A.R.T. Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, in 1998 the PAAM (Provincetown Art Association and Museum) National Competition resulting in a solo Museum exhibition in 1999. 

Mike has exhibited in private and university galleries in Japan, New York City, East Hampton, Maryland, Montana, Florida, Louisiana, Boston, Cape Cod and Provincetown. My sculptures are in the private collections of American sculptor Grace Knowlton, playwright Edward Albee and fashion designer Philip Lim, among others, and in the permanent collections of PAAM and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. 


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 Waters Edge Cinema. Join at any level and reap all the cinema-tastic rewards!

Women Filmmaker’s Residency Program

Christine K Walker (Producer, ACSFP Advisory Board Member), Sam Kann (Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program Fellow), Lí Buzzard (Actor, MIA & LUCY), Glyne M Pease (ACSFP Coordinator, Women Filmmaker’s Residency Producer)

This year, Provincetown Film Society was fortunate enough to welcome three residents to town during PIFF 2021: Actor and star of DAVID’S FRIEND, Nora Burns; Director of WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR, Jane Schoenbrun; and Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program fellow, Sam Kann. While several Women Filmmaker’s Residency Program recipients have joined the Film Society in Provincetown, this is the inaugural year of The Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program, and the first time welcoming a young filmmaker to stay and engage with the other artists. 

For one week during the festival, residents stayed at the historic Mary Heaton Vorse House and celebrated their accomplishments as filmmakers in the nation’s oldest art colony. The program fostered a safe artistic space for the filmmakers, who sat down every morning with mentors from varying positions within the industry. In addition to being in the festival space, the filmmakers were able to screen their films and discuss future projects, without competition or agenda, as artists of the Provincetown Film Festival. As the Provincetown Film Institute moves forward, the organization hopes to host more residents in its residency programs, and help more marginalized filmmakers tell their stories. To donate, visit provincetownfilm.org/institute.

Adrienne Truscott (Director, DAVID’S FRIEND) and Nora Burns (Women Filmmaker’s Resident, Actor/Writer, DAVID’S FRIEND)
Glyne M Pease (ACSFP Coordinator, Women Filmmaker’s Residency Producer), Jane Schoenbrun (Director, WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR), Melissa Ader

THANK YOU from PIFF 2021!

Lisa Viola, Artistic Director

Sending an enormously heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the filmmakers, special guests, panelists, moderators, distributors, press, sponsors, patrons, staff, volunteers, AND festival goers that helped make the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival one to remember! We set out to create a festival that would allow those able to attend in person feel welcome and aimed to bring a little bit of Provincetown to everyone who participated from home. From our enchanted screenings under the stars at the Wellfleet Drive-In, to our triumphant return to Waters Edge Cinema and the elegant Mary Heaton Vorse House, and a very special community night at Herring Cove, we felt the love and excitement of watching films together again as a flock! Thank you so much for joining us and we’re already looking forward to 2022!

PIFF 2021 Filmmaker Celebration Photo By Mae Gammino

THE LAUNCH

by Julie Rockett

I got my Fauci ouchies and I was more than ready to see people in real life again. It’s been so long. I got to do this thing called hugging people. It’s awesome. You should try it. The photo above by Mae Gammino from the Filmmakers’ Celebration at Baxter’s Landing captures the ebullience that beamed from all of us now that we’re finally emerging from quarantine. I can’t wait to see what our upcoming events like the Jamaican Film Festival, Family Week, and Women’s Week will look like. 

Below is my yearbook from #PIFF2021. Thank you to everyone that follows us on social media @ptownfilm and likes and shares our posts. If I see you in person you have a high five coming your way. Until then, I send you my gratitude and best wishes. May you find excellent parking spaces whenever you travel to Provincetown. 

Thank you also to the following:

The filmmakers that attended the Provincetown Film Festival. It was wonderful to meet you and enjoy your hard work. 

The great food sponsors like Box Lunch and Spiritus Pizza. Without your food, I would have spent June 16-25 subsisting solely on popcorn and gin and tonics. 

The Crown & Anchor for hosting our closing night party with the team from BEING BEBE.

James, my firehouse volunteer, for playing tunes and selling the hell out of our Ryan Landry-designed merchandise.

To Ryan Landry and his grandson, Luca, for creating and selling the coolest merchandise for Provincetown Film Society. 

Penny Champagne/Scott Martino, nobody is lovelier in a life preserver and Calvins than you! Thank you for hosting our Back to the Future Community Event.

Harrison and Bob from Wake Up in Provincetown! For having me on your show. Your infectious energy turned me into a morning person for a brief time.

My co-workers, for just being there. It meant the world to me.

My family for taking such good care of yourself while I got to run around Provincetown meeting talented people. 

And finally to my wonderful Mom who passed away just before the start of the film festival. When I called home after the opening night party at my first festival seven years ago, she said, “How was it being surrounded by all those handsome men? Were they terribly respectful?” During the festival I often heard her saying to me the same thing she always said to me (true or not) when I was going through tough times, “Dahlin’, people are just jealous because you’re gorgeous and amazing.” My love you, Ma.



PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2021 WINNERS

June 28, 2021 (Provincetown, MA) – The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) announced today the winners of this year’s Warner Media Audience Awards, the John Schlesinger Awards, the NY Women in Film and TV Filmmaker Awards and Short Film Prizes. 

“It was so incredible to have the opportunity to welcome filmmakers back to Provincetown at this precise moment of reopening and to have an eager audience able to view films both in person and online,” said PIFF Artistic Director Lisa Viola. “We are grateful that we could provide a space for artists and festival goers to participate in this shared experience of reconnecting.”

Warner Media Audience Awards

The Warner Media Audience Awards are voted on by festival attendees both virtually and in-person. 

Warner Media Audience Award / Best Narrative Feature: LANGUAGE LESSONS

Warner Media Audience Award / Best Documentary Feature: BEING BEBE and PLAYING WITH SHARKS (tie)

John Schlesinger Awards

These juried awards are presented to a first-time narrative and documentary feature filmmaker. The awards include a cash prize of $1,000 to each filmmaker.

The Narrative Schlesinger Award: Bassam Tariq (MOGUL MOWGLI)

Filmmaker Andrew Ahn (DRIVEWAYSSPA NIGHT), Narrative Schlesinger Juror, said: “MOGUL MOWGLI is a film that explores cultural, physical, and artistic identity with passion and insight. Anchored by Riz Ahmed’s beautiful performance, the film’s bold use of sound, cinematography, and editing all come together to tell us such a personal story of an artist.”

The Documentary Schlesinger Award: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (SUMMER OF SOUL)

Producer Maureen Ryan (DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, MAN ON WIRE), Documentary Schlesinger Juror, said: “SUMMER OF SOUL is a spectacular cinematic and musical resurrection that restores a long-lost and essential moment of black culture to its rightful place in history. Like WHEN WE WERE KINGSthe film places the spotlight where it belongs – on the Black men, women and children – so they are finally fully seen and heard in their fullest majesty. The musical performances alone are a triumph but first-time director Questlove includes important interviews with those who were there – on and off the stage – to bring light to a magical time when ordinary people got to experience the extraordinary in their own public park in Harlem.” 

NY Women in Film & Television Filmmaker Awards

The NYWIFT Awards are awarded to a female filmmaker for Excellence in Producing or Directing for Narrative and Documentary Filmmaking and include a cash prize of $1,000 to each filmmaker.

Narrative Film: BEANS, directed by Tracey Deer

Documentary Film: STORM LAKE, directed and produced by Beth Levison

Juried Short Awards

The 2021 shorts jury consisted of: Chloe Gbai, Emmy-nominated producer and a Manager on the Original Documentaries team at Netflix; Jake Yuzna, filmmaker and founder of the Cinema program at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; and Priya Sircar, arts advocate who most recently served as director for arts at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Best Queer Short (presented by Here Media): HEAVEN REACHES DOWN TO EARTH, directed by Tebogo Malebogo

For its poetic cinematic language that expands the cannon of queer cinema in form and subject

Best Documentary Short (presented by Warner Media): ELEVEN WEEKS, directed by Anna Kuperberg, Julie Caskey 

For its heart wrenching, tender, and unflinching glimpse into the intimate experience of love and end of life

Best Narrative Short: FIRST LOVE, directed by Florent Gouelou

For its fresh take on a familiar setting and story–a finely crafted and achingly relatable portrait of love in decline

Special Jury Prize: MELTDOWN IN DIXIE, directed by Emily Harrold

For its candid and nuanced look at race, commerce and politics through a real small town story

Best New England Short: SENIOR PROM, directed by Luisa Conlon

For its lovely casting and focus on queer love and aging

Best Animated Short: NUDE TRIUMPHANT, directed by Leo Crane

For its original animation that takes the viewer on a revealing adventure with robust characters

As previously announced, Richard Linklater was presented with the 2021 Filmmaker on the Edge Award in conversation with filmmaker John Waters; Riz Ahmed was presented with the Excellence in Acting Award in conversation with film critic Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair); and Natalie Morales received the Next Wave Award for her work as an actor/filmmaker on LANGUAGE LESSONS. The festival opened with Jon M. Chu’s IN THE HEIGHTS at the Wellfleet Drive-In and closed with Emily Branham’s BeBe Zahara Benet documentary, BEING BEBE. The hybrid festival ran June 16-25 virtually and in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 

Major sponsors of PIFF 2021 include: Warner Media, Anchor Inn Beach House, Dr. Anthony Tannous, Boston Harbor Cruises, Bubala’s By the Bay, Cape Air, Curaleaf, Fanizzi’s, Gabby Hanna & Marcy Feller, Jeanne Leszczynski & Diane DiCarlo, Lands End Inn, Mallrd Foundation, Poor Richard’s Landing, Red Thread Productions, Roderick’s Payroll, Seaglass Inn and Spa, Seamen’s Bank, The Palette Fund, Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod, and Christine & Bryan Walker. 

Press Materials: https://tinyurl.com/piff2021

*please do not post this link

About The Provincetown Film Society

The Provincetown Film Society (PFS) is an advocate for diverse representation in film, providing year-round programming and platforms that allow voices of all kinds to be heard via film. Locally, PFS’ work positively impacts the cultural and economic vitality of Provincetown. Nationally, its work helps shape industry discussions around parity in film. Through PFS’ work, we have an ability to better understand and appreciate human struggles and triumphs, showcasing our similarities and differences in today’s diverse culture. www.ptownfilmfest.org

Facebook: facebook.com/PtownFilm 

Twitter: @PtownFilm 

Instagram: @PtownFilm

Press Contacts

RJ Millard / Kory Mello

212.620.0727

rj@obscuredpictures.comkory@obscuredpictures.com

2021 Provincetown Film Festival Press Release

PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO HONOR 

RICHARD LINKLATER WITH “FILMMAKER ON THE EDGE” AWARD,

NATALIE MORALES WITH “NEXT WAVE” AWARD

 – Festival reveals film lineup, including Opening Night Selection “In the Heights,” 

“Language Lessons,” “CODA” and Closing Night Selection “Being BeBe”

May 5, 2021 (Provincetown, MA) – The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) announced today it will bestow its top honor, The Filmmaker on the Edge Award, to five-time Academy Award nominee and prolific writer/director Richard Linklater. Linklater, whose illustrious filmmaking career spans decades with cherished films like BOYHOOD, BEFORE SUNSET and DAZED AND CONFUSED, will accept the award in a virtual conversation with John Waters. 

The festival also announced that actor/filmmaker Natalie Morales (PLAN B, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, DEAD TO ME) will receive the Next Wave Award, which celebrates those who have exciting, new, and distinctive voices. Her directorial debut, LANGUAGE LESSONS, which premiered in Berlin and won the Audience Award at SXSW, will screen during the festival. PIFF revealed its full slate of narrative and documentary films, including Jon M. Chu’s summer musical IN THE HEIGHTS, presented as the Opening Night selection at the Wellfleet Drive-In on June 16. The festival will close with Emily Branham’s BeBe Zahara Benet documentary, BEING BEBE. The hybrid festival runs June 16-25 virtually and in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 

“We are thrilled to present a robust slate of bold, new films from incredibly talented filmmakers – many of whom faced significant challenges in having their work be seen. We are eager to introduce these passionate stories as we continue to support emerging artists, and, with our signature awards, we are proud to honor the accomplishments of universally acclaimed filmmakers Richard Linklater and Natalie Morales,” said Lisa Viola, PIFF’s Artistic Director. 

This year’s festival will be a hybrid of virtual screenings in conjunction with safely-distanced indoor spaces and outdoor venues, including the Wellfleet Drive-In. Festival goers will also have the choice of attending limited-capacity screenings at Waters Edge Cinema or renting out the cinema for private screenings. 

“We’re excited to be welcoming filmmakers and audiences back together after the disruption of the COVID pandemic. This year, as we build back, we’re able to offer both in-person events under the guidance of a COVID compliance expert and a rich virtual experience spanning 10 days,” said Blythe Frank, PIFF’s Executive Director. 

The full film lineup is below.

OPENING NIGHT AT THE WELLFLEET DRIVE-IN (Wednesday, June 16)

IN THE HEIGHTS – directed by Jon M. Chu

CLOSING NIGHT

BEING BEBE – directed by Emily Branham

NARRATIVE FEATURES

BEANS – directed by Tracey Deer

BOY MEETS BOY – directed by Daniel Sánchez López

THE CATCH – directed by Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer

CODA – directed by Siân Heder

CRYPTOZOO – directed by Dash Shaw

HOW IT ENDS – directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, Daryl Wein

LANGUAGE LESSONS – directed by Natalie Morales

LUZZU – directed by Alex Camilleri

MA BELLE, MA BEAUTY – directed by Marion Hill

MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE – directed by Kate Tsang

MOGUL MOWGLI – directed by Bassam Tariq

POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA – directed by Wes Hurley

RED RIVER ROAD – directed by Paul Schuyler

SHIT & CHAMPAGNE – directed by D’Arcy Drollinger

SUBLET – directed by Eytan Fox

SUMMER OF 85 – directed by François Ozon

SWAN SONG – directed by Todd Stephens

TOVE – directed by Zaida Bergroth

WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR – directed by Jane Schoenbrun

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

AILEY – directed by Jamila Wignot

BREUER’S BOHEMIA – directed by James Crump

DEAR MR. BRODY – directed by Keith Maitland

IN THE SAME BREATH – directed by Nanfu Wang

KENNY SCHARF: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE – directed by Max Basch, Malia Scharf

LITTLE GIRL – directed by Sébastien Lifshitz

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD – directed by Kristina Lindström

MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY – directed by Betsy West, Julie Cohen

NOT GOING QUIETLY – directed by Nicholas Bruckman

PLAYING WITH SHARKS – directed by Sally Aitkin

RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT – directed by Mariem Pérez Riera

SEARCHERS – directed by Pacho Velez

STORM LAKE – directed by Jerry Risius, Beth Levison

SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) — directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

TRY HARDER! – directed by Debbie Lum

YES I AM: THE RIC WEILAND STORY – directed by Aaron Bear

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

DAVID’S FRIEND – directed by P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes

DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD – directed by Kirsten Johnson

FARGO – directed by Joel Coen

GIVE OR TAKE – directed by Paul Riccio

NARRATIVE SHORTS

A DAY WITHOUT YOU – directed by Oscar Arce Naranjo

ALL THOSE SENSATIONS IN MY BELLY – directed by Marko Dješka 

BEAUTY MARKS – directed by Gina Hackett

BEFORE THE ERUPTION – directed by Roberto Pérez Toledo

BODIES OF DESIRE – directed by Varsha Panikar

BREAK IN – directed by Alyssa Lerner

COSMOPOLITAN – directed by Moran Nakar

DAVID – directed by Zachary Woods

DOLÁPÒ IS FINE – directed by Ethosheia Hylton

FIRST LOVE – directed by Florent Gouelou

FISH – directed by Eli Powers

HEAVEN REACHES DOWN TO EARTH – directed by Tebogo Malebogo

LEAP – directed by Juan Baio, Eino Antonio 

LET’S MEET AGAIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD – directed by Todd Flaherty

NOOR & LAYLA –  directed by Fawzia Mirza 

NUDE TRIUMPHANT – directed by Leo Crane

ON MY WAY – directed by Sonam Larcin

OUTSIDE – directed by Rio Contrada

PAP’S MANIFESTO – directed by Chris Danuser, Casey Clark

PROVINCETOWN 2020 – 36 SOLAR LIGHTS – directed by Jay Critchley 

PURE – directed by Natalie Harris

READY TO DIE – directed by Peter Horgan

ROADKILL – directed by Aliza Lorraine Brugger

SIREN’S TAIL – directed by Alba Barbé i Serra

THE TAILOR – directed by Nathalie Therriault

VICTORIA – directed by Daniel Toledo

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

A STORY OF FAITH AND RESOLVE: BOSTON’S BLACK NATIVITY – directed by Karen Mckeen

THE DISASTER DREAMS – directed by Lianne Becker

ELEVEN WEEKS – directed by Anna Kuperberg, Julie Caskey 

GIRLBOYSMIX – directed by Lara Aerts, Els van Driel

GOLDEN AGE KARATE – directed by Rachel Barth 

JUNIOR – directed by AJ Wilhelm 

KIND OF – directed by Noah Schamus

KING PHILIP’S BELT – directed by Fermin Rojas

MELTDOWN IN DIXIE – directed by Emily Harrold 

MI ARMA – directed by Jesús Pascual

NAOMI REPLANSKY AT 100 – directed by Megan Rossman

SAY HIS NAME: FIVE DAYS FOR GEORGE FLOYD – directed by Cy Dodson

SENIOR PROM – directed by Luisa Conlon 

SOMERVILLE FOR ALL – directed by Andrew Eldridge

THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE – directed by Ciara Lacy

THROUGH OUR EYES: APART – directed by Geeta Gandbhir, Rudy Valdez 

TO BE RECONCILED – directed by James Christenson 

TRADE CENTER – directed by Adam Baran 

WHITE SPACE – directed by Michael Cestaro 

Major sponsors of PIFF 2021 include: WarnerMedia, Anchor Inn Beach House, Dr. Anthony Tannous, Boston Harbor Cruises, Bubala’s By the Bay, Cape Air, Curaleaf, Fanizzi’s, Gabby Hanna & Marcy Feller, Jeanne Leszczynski & Diane DiCarlo, Lands End Inn, Mallrd Foundation, Poor Richard’s Landing, Red Thread Productions, Roderick’s Payroll, Seaglass Inn and Spa, Seamen’s Bank, The Palette Fund, Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod, and Christine & Bryan Walker. 

Please visit www.ptownfilmfest.org for more information on the lineup and for purchasing tickets and passes. 

About The Provincetown Film Society

The Provincetown Film Society (PFS) is an advocate for diverse representation in film, providing year-round programming and platforms that allow voices of all kinds to be heard via film. Locally, PFS’ work positively impacts the cultural and economic vitality of Provincetown. Nationally, its work helps shape industry discussions around parity in film. Through PFS’ work, we have an ability to better understand and appreciate human struggles and triumphs, showcasing our similarities and differences in today’s diverse culture. 

About Filmmaker on the Edge Award

PIFF’s “Filmmaker on the Edge” Award is the festival’s premier filmmaking award, presented to

celebrated filmmakers who push the boundaries of their craft. Previous recipients of the award include Greg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Sean Baker, John Cameron Mitchell, Sofia Coppola, David Cronenberg, Mary Harron, Todd Haynes, Jim Jarmusch, Harmony Korine, Ang Lee, Guy Maddin, Todd Solondz, Quentin Tarantino, Christine Vachon, Gus Van Sant, and John Waters. The award’s polysemic title is an ode to Provincetown’s location at the outermost point of Cape Cod.

About Next Wave Award

The Next Wave Award recognizes those who have exciting and distinctive voices, take artistic risks, and have a passionate commitment to independent film. Past recipients include Mya Taylor, Jillian Bell and Aubrey Plaza. 

Facebook: facebook.com/PtownFilm

Twitter: @PtownFilm

Instagram: @PtownFilm

Press Contacts

RJ Millard / Kory Mello

Obscured Pictures

212.620.0727

rj@obscuredpictures.com

kory@obscuredpictures.com 

#  #  #

Pecker’s Point April 2021

JUMP TO:

[Letter from the E.D.] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

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. 

Blythe Frank, PFS Executive Director

Wishing everyone a bright and beautiful unfolding of Spring, so much more to come!


~ Blythe


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

Alexandra Foucard

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!

Design by Ryan Landry

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

Mo Rocca, Photo CR: John Paul Filo/CBS

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…

MR: Agreed.

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!

Julie Rockett

Provincetown Film Society



PECKER’S POINT MARCH 2021

JUMP TO:

[Letter from the E.D.] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

Letter from the Executive Director

Provincetown has been snowy and cold, but PFS has been bringing the heat! In February, we closed out our most successful auction in PFS’ 23-year history, raising over $76,000. We could not have done it without all the generously donated items (and experiences!) and for all the bidders that took our auction raise higher than we could have imagined. We are so very grateful to everyone that participated and for all your support.  This event was the culmination of creativity and countless hours put in by our board and staff, the incredible marketing campaign spearheaded by our own Ellen Birmingham, and a social media tour de force by Julie Rockett.  We have set the stage for sustainability having launched 2021 in this way. 

We now look to put our efforts into launching a robust Membership Drive, to expand our family of Uncommon Birds both far and wide.  Our team is building out our Virtual Cinema through our Water’s Edge Plus programming, and we will be launching a variety of new membership benefits over the coming months. Please stay tuned and we hope you will all consider either becoming a member if you are not currently one, or gifting a membership if you are. 

Planning and programming for the 2021 PIFF Hybrid Film Festival is also underway, and will take place June 16-25th. In order to create a safe and robust hybrid film festival for 2021, the Provincetown Film Festival will offer expanded dates, expanded audience participation and greater opportunity for engagement, in accordance with State and Town Covid-19 guidelines. In our 23rd year, the Festival will highlight our long-standing tradition of showcasing top-tier new films from around the world while continuing to prioritize supporting first-time filmmakers, women filmmakers, and diverse filmmakers from underrepresented communities. There will be nights at the drive-in, outdoor screenings at the Mary Heaton Vorse house and other outdoor venues.  More details will follow in the coming months. 

In the meantime, stay warm and stay uncommon.

Sending gratitude,

Blythe


Member in the News

by Tracy Pease

Mike Syers at the Wellfleet Drive-In, Opening Night 2020 PIFF Reimagined

We are proud to welcome Mike Syers to the board of the  Provincetown Film Society (PFS). 

Mike is a documentary filmmaker & photographer and has been a PFS supporter and an attendee of the Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) since its inception.   Mike’s first film BECAUSE YOU’RE HERE, a documentary short about Kenneth Lonergan the Provincetown Town Crier, received the 2018 PIFF Best New England Short Award.     

Mike recently retired as a Partner at Ernst & Young after leading their NY & Boston commercial real estate & hospitality advisory practice.  He currently serves on the Board of Governors & the Executive Committee of CREFC, the trade association for the  commercial real estate finance industry in the US.  

As a PFS card carrying member, Mike has attended the Women’s Media Summit, participated in a PFS strategic session in New York with a team of professionals to move the development process forward, and has supported many important PFS initiatives around developing diverse voices in film.   During Mike’s career he lead many initiatives and helped form several organizations that focus on Corporate Americas role in creating a more inclusive LGBTQ+ workplace.  He co-founded EY’s LGBTQ+ group in the Americas and worked on LGBTQ+ rights projects with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Out Leadership, the Obama administration, Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations.    

Mike is known by some as the Provincetown Swim4Life photographer and also serves on the board of The Provincetown Community Compact which is a community building & philanthropic organization supporting the cultural well being of Provincetown, its people, and the natural environment of the Lower Cape. 


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!


Institute Updates

ASH CHRISTIAN SHORTS FILMMAKING PROGRAMDEADLINE EXTENDED

The deadline to apply for The Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program has been extended! The program offers new and emerging LGBTQ filmmakers aged 16-20 the chance to work with a team of mentors and professionals to make a short film of their own. To apply, simply submit a short film script or script treatment that addresses the themes of “not fitting in, standing out, being yourself”. The shorts will screen at the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival. Application fee waivers are available to those facing financial burden. For any further inquiries, please contact glyne@ptownfilm.org.

BUNDLE UP AND HOST A BUNCH OF WATCH PARTIES THIS MONTH

Women’s History Month Watch Party: A sampling of noteworthy films that highlight the changemakers in modern political history. 

ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés (2020)

An impressive examination of the long history of voter suppression in the US produced in part by Stacy Abrams, a powerful force in current American politics. The film interweaves personal experiences with activism and historical insight to provide a compelling look into the barriers to voting while debunking the myth of pervasive voter fraud. 

CHISOLM: 72: UNBOUGHT & UNBOSSED directed by Shola Lynch (2016)

Pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm is the subject of this lauded documentary. The nation’s first African-American congresswoman, the passionate Chisholm launches a campaign for the United States presidency in the 1972 election, and wins an impressive amount of support, given the era and the still-prevailing prejudices of many voters. The film takes a close look at her presidential run, providing interviews with Chisholm and the dedicated individuals who worked on her groundbreaking campaign.

HILLARY directed by Nanette Burstein (2020)

If you think you know everything about the First Lady Hillary Clinton, this four-part documentary series is an insightful and powerful exploration of Clinton’s life and legacy. A divisive political figure, a successful lawyer in her own right, and possibly the world’s most famous wronged wife, Clinton gives her own account of how she got to where she is today.

KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE  directed by Rachel Lears (2018)

A young bartender in the Bronx (the unstoppable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia (Paula Jean Swearengin), Amy Vilela, a single mother from Las Vegas, and Cori Bush, a registered nurse in Missouri build a movement of insurgent candidates to challenge powerful incumbents in Congress. While three of the young heroes lost their races, Ocasio-Cortez’s race went on to become the most shocking political upsets in recent American history. 

POLITICAL ANIMALS directed by Jonah Markowitz (2016)

Political Animals is a powerful, award winning documentary about four openly gay California lawmakers — all women — who took the fight for equality from the streets into the halls of government laying the groundwork for marriage equality and social justice. 

RBG  directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen (2018)

An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.

This month, in honor of Deaf History Month, we also recommend the excellent THE SOUND OF METAL directed by Darius Marder (2020). An evocative look at the experiences of the deaf community brought to life by Riz Ahmed’s passionate performance. 

March 31 is also International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people. A few films worth revisiting are PFS’s Fellow Filmmaker Jennie Livingston’s PARIS IS BURNING (1990), a documentary about ball culture in the 80’s and the inspiration to the fabulous series POSE; BOYS DON’T CRY directed by Kimberly Peirce in 1993. A devastating and unflinching account based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a trans man who was tragically murdered by acquaintances who discovered his gender identity, the film is also a beautiful love story, underscoring the power of love in even the darkest times. Naturally, we can’t omit PIFF 2018 Filmmaker on the Edge Honoree Sean Baker’s film TANGERINE (2015), the story of a transgender sex worker who learns that her pimp/boyfriend has been cheating on her.


Waters Edge Cinema

Waters Virtual Cinema delivers a wide variety of exclusive new films every week. Enjoy art house movies at home with your flock.

Member Discounts now available at Waters Edge Virtual Cinema!

Make our home your own and rent Waters Edge Cinema with your flock. Add a custom marquee message for that special someone!

For more information, please contact the Provincetown Film Society office at 508-487-3456 (FILM) or email heidi@ptownfilm.org

Please allow 7 days advanced notice for reservation dates. Waters Edge Cinema COVID-19 policies must be adhered to at all times.


Provincetown Film Festival 2021

Save the Date for the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival!!
Ten days of unflinching cinema, June 16-25, 2021.

Submissions have now closed for this year. Thank you to all who entered!

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT! Buy a 2021 PIFF All Access Streaming Pass for just $125 or $100 for PFS Members!

  • A Streaming Pass provides 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

An email will immediately follow the purchase of your PASS, providing details about how to log in to browse and stream as many films as you like starting at 6:00pm June 16 until 11:59pm June 25,  2021.


The Launch | Mo Rocca

By Julie Rockett

Mo Rocca, Photo CR: John Paul Filo/CBS

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…

MR: Agreed.

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!

Julie Rockett

Provincetown Film Society

The Launch

With Julie Rockett

As we plan #PIFF2021, my hopes and plans for this summer change weekly. Sometimes, I feel like normality is around the corner and sometimes I feel like it’s a world away. When the latter feeling takes over, I found a couple of shows that have lifted that heavy mood. One is Desus & Mero, a show that literally has me laughing out loud. I miss listening to funny friends banter and this is a wonderful substitute for the real thing. 

My other recommendation is WandaVision. Let me first state that I’m not a huge fan of live action superhero productions, but I love this show. It’s like Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking with a cape. Don’t let a paucity of Marvel movie knowledge stop you from watching this. I’ve found there’s always a kind helpful nerd around to fill in the details.

When my niece was about six years old, she told me that when she’s feeling down she types the word ‘puppies’ into YouTube to feel better. My recommendation to you if you’re feeling isolated and blue is to type ‘Jamie Denbo’ into YouTube. As soon as you do, you’ll realize that this is the woman that has repeatedly had you in stitches in The Heat, Orange is the New Black, Spy, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She created the iconic character Beverly Ginsburg, a character who’s as familiar as she is nuts, and hosted the hysterical Ronna & Beverly podcast and show for many years. Last year her own series American Princess (based on her experience working at Renaissance Fairs) debuted on Lifetime. She is now hard at work on two upcoming series. Despite that, she had me hysterically laughing over how much better the North Shore is than the South Shore and she introduced me to my new favorite drinking game, “Drink every time an r gets dropped in a Boston movie.”

Julie Rockett: What are you working on now?

Jamie Denbo: I am a recurring guest star on the new Annie Murphy (of Schitt’s Creek) series, Kevin Can F*#k Himself. Annie is amazing. The show is so cool and weird and bold and freaky. I hope people love it. I play a real Boston garbage bag.

I’m writing and producing on a show called Rebel starring Katey Sagal, Andy Garcia, and John Corbett. It was created by Krista Vernoff who runs Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a one-hour legal dramedy that’s inspired by present-day Erin Brockovich. So I’m busy, which is great, especially during a fucking pandemic. 

I’ve transitioned more into writing and producing instead of performing which is awesome because it’s nice to be able to age gracefully off camera and not continually be told that I’m too old or too fat or too middle-aged.

JR: They say these things to your face?

JD: Yes. Yes. I was told that I was too old at age 43 to play the wife of a 57-year-old. Soooo, that was fun. But when you’re a writer/producer people don’t talk to you like you’re stupid. You usually get better parking. Because when you’re an actor and you’re not 1 through 5 on the call sheet, people underestimate your intelligence. Sometimes that’s deserved and sometimes it’s really not. So I’m happy to be in a better position now. 

JR: You know I loved your scene on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

JD: That was such a life highlight for me. When Rachel Bloom tweeted that American Princess was the sister show to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s like I could’ve been done, just packed it all in because it warmed me from the inside. I was the biggest Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fan. I try not to be such a dork about it but it was everything I loved in one place. It came at a time when we were trying to get the kids to watch TV with us. It became something we all bonded around.

JR: I bet the kids loved the song “Period Sex”.

JD: Guess what? My children learned about menstruation, abortion, UTIs, feminism, mental illness… and I know this sounds ridiculous but it opened up real conversations in our house and I feel like our kids have such a healthy relationship with these topics because they were presented with humor and authenticity. And through the lens of those characters, it was all accessible. It was an amazing experience for us as a family. We still listen to the music. The show’s casting was amazing, too. I’m forever grateful to the creators of it.

JR: Speaking of the creators, last year I spoke with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s co-creator, Aline Brosh McKenna. She said that she really liked working with mothers because they know how to use time efficiently.

JD: Oh, absolutely! The only people that should be running shows are women for that reason. Mothers are inherently better at effectively using time.

JR: What movie was formative for you?

JD: Private Benjamin. My series American Princess  was described as Private Benjamin at the Renaissance Festival because, to me, there was nothing funnier or more relatable than a Jewish-American princess being yanked out of her comfort zone. This woman who had a very specific life laid out for her and a path she was supposed to follow and things did not turn out that way and then she makes a choice to end up in the army. 

Another great thing that I learned about that film was how involved Goldie Hawn was as a producer. Here’s this slight, sexy blonde who I’m sure could have been underestimated many times and was just the dancer from Laugh-In but she was a total fucking powerhouse. This was a woman driving this story and it was her journey and it was super empowering and hilarious. It’s an amazing film!

JR: Do you have a favorite Boston film?

JD: Obviously, The Heat cuz I’m in it. Look, I am not made of stone. I root for any Boston movie where they get the accents right. People will be happy with Kevin Can F*#! Himself. They did a really good job and it wasn’t easy to do an entire series with the Boston twang… It’s hard because Boston is its own character in movies and it’s a special and unique thing. I often feel very protective of it. And I have great pride in seeing it up there.

JR: I couldn’t bring myself to see Manchester-By-The-Sea…

JD: Okay, as you get older, by virtue of being on this planet longer, you start to experience tragedy. Your friends and your circle… It’s inevitable and I find myself a lot less interested in the entertainment industry’s reflection of tragedy. That movie was very well done but I found it to be a two hour long test of emotional endurance.

One of the things I love about working on the show Rebel is that Erin Brockovich is someone who has made a career out of supporting the little guy to fight injustice. It is such a pleasure to work on. We’re fictionalizing a bit and making it really fucking fun. We have Katey Sagal in hot leather pants telling off horrible people. 

JR: Is there anything you’re bingeing right now?

JD: Right now, all the British baking shows and I just binged I May Destroy You which I fucking loved. Michaela Coel is maybe the most watchable being I’ve ever seen. I want to stare at her face because every thought she has is so surprising but you realize it’s what you would have thought if you were in her soul at that moment. It is incredibly relatable. It’s a hopeful show and you feel her optimism and strength throughout the series. You somehow know that whatever happens, whatever she discovers about the sexual assault that she revisits throughout the series, you know she’s going to be okay. She displays a level of confidence and joy in her life that we should all aspire to. I found it to be such a healthy representation of moving through trauma and living your life while facing it and moving forward. What a graceful, beautiful message presented in a unique way. 

JR: I imagine Michaela Coel would be a dream to collaborate with. 

JD: She’s too cool. She would never talk to me. 

JR: Oh please.

JD: Are you kidding? I wouldn’t talk to me if I was her. Please. But I would love to work with Sarah Silverman because it has been amazing to watch her evolution. From someone who relied on a tomboy, accessible sexuality to somebody who is much more soulful and aware that comedy is not evergreen. We don’t have to cancel comedy but we can keep looking at it and studying it and evolving it. 

I would love to work with Patton Oswalt in any capacity. I think he’s a philosopher and one of the smartest living human beings on the planet. He’s someone else that isn’t afraid to evolve. He did certain bits from 10 years ago that are, honestly, offensive now. He shows that you can fix, morph, and grow and still put out an incredible amount of material. 

JR: This reminds me of your amazing character, Beverly Ginsburg. I listened to your farewell show and was sad because I adored her and but I heard what you said about her racism and ignorance no longer being punchlines. It reminded me though of Sarah Silverman saying that she had befriended a former neo-nazi who as a 14-year-old was rejected by his family and friends but was embraced by this group of hateful people. Sarah said, ‘here’s the problem with cancel culture: we’re driving people into the arms of danger.’

JD: Yes, it’s taking the guy who writes, ‘All Lives Matter’ and instead of firing him, it’s talking to him and explaining to him what’s problematic and then welcoming him back. It’s not about driving him away. I agree with you 100% but with Beverly, one thing that I don’t think I made as clear as I wanted to in that last episode was that one of the tropes of the whole ‘white savior’ concept is that there’s a crazy, crazy racist. The white person that’s put there to be an absolute terror so the audience can sigh and say, ‘Oh thank god, I’m not that bad!’

One of the things that Archie Bunker and, if I can compare, one of the things about Bev is that she often makes people feel comfortable about their small amount of racism or assures them that they couldn’t possibly be racist because look at Bev, she’s insane. And I don’t want to do it right now or maybe ever. I said everything I needed to say. I had a lot of fun. I’m good saying goodbye.

JR: I just want to add that during the past administration, I had real difficulty with loving the sinner and hating the sin when it came to Trump supporters in my life. Beverly made me laugh and recognize that there’s still humor and heart there and that they weren’t worth writing off… that I still love those people that I absolutely disagree with. I guess I’m saying that she helped me and I appreciate it.

JD: Aww, that’s sweet. But it’s time to move forward. I still love Bev and I’ll always be grateful to her.

JR: I wanted to ask you about working with Paul Feig. First of all, I love the way he dresses…

JD: Ohh, just the best!

JR: He just seems like a great collaborator. I used to work with the Women In Comedy Festival and we gave him an honorary funny woman award.

JD: You know what it is about Paul? He’s the world’s greatest fan. He is just never afraid to fan out. If it’s funny, he loves it. There’s no female or male funny, there’s just funny with him. If Paul’s your fan, he’s your #1 fan. He’s a lovely human being who runs around in gorgeous suits and makes you feel good. I would love to work with him again. He’s a bubble of light.

JR: Like you!

JD: Oh my god. You’re so sweet! I’m so sorry but I have to go kayak. Don’t ask.

JR: Jamie, thank you so much for your time. Come visit us in Provincetown soon!

BACK TO TOP

PECKER’S POINT FEBRUARY 2021

Jump To:

[Letter from the E.D.] [Member in the News] [Institute Updates]
[Cinema Updates] [Festival Updates] [The Launch]

LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Blythe Frank, PFS Interim Executive Director

Dear PFS Community

I am excited to announce that I have joined PFS as the Interim Executive Director. I am full of hope as 2021 unfolds, and recognize this as a moment of reinvention and renewal. Even through crisis, we continue to discover who we are, and in alignment with PFS’s core mission, celebrate new, diverse voices that boldly lift and lead us forward.

Voices like Amanda Gorman in, ‘The Hill We Climb”:

“When day comes, we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if we’re only brave enough to see it
If we’re only brave enough to be it”

I have been a lifelong part-time resident of Provincetown and Truro with deep ties to the community, a working producer, and professor of film for a combined twenty years.  I bring experience in fundraising, creative development, marketing, and management, as well as strong ties to the industry, non-profit board experience, and a love of storytelling in all its forms.  I am a problem-solver, a bridge builder, and though seasoned at the day to day, I anchor all the work I do with an eye toward thought of where we can go, and where we can grow. 

I join an incredibly talented and devoted staff and board, who have tirelessly helped weather the storm of 2020, and we find ourselves at a moment where we have much to look forward to.  As ED, my immediate goals are to continue finding ways to bring sustainability to the organization, while also developing new sources of funding for PFS, including new programs and initiatives that support the organization’s mission and create new opportunities for our members and filmmakers. 

I look forward to the journey ahead, and the new voices we will discover together. 

With gratitude,
Blythe


Known for its unique culture, world-class dining, and artful experiences and performances, Provincetown has established itself as a hub for creative personal expression. Provincetown Film Society’s Winter Auction captures all the things that make Provincetown the wonderful place that it is. Browse through our listings and bid on one-of-a-kind experiences, delicious dining, and hidden treasures; all featuring the people and places that call Provincetown home.


BLACK HISTORY MONTH WATCH PARTY RECOMMENDATIONS

Celebrate Black History Month by screening new release films, reacquainting yourself with films from past PIFF festivals, or revisiting classics that you may have missed. All of these titles are available on various streaming platforms – many are directorial debuts. Here are some suggestions:

13TH directed by Ava DuVernay (2016) Explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. A timely film that highlights the issues behind the recent executive order signed by President Biden to not renew any federal contracts with private prisons. (Netflix)

BAMBOOZLED directed by Spike Lee (2000) A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit. A blisteringly funny, unapologetically confrontational satire, Bamboozled is a stinging indictment of mass entertainment at the turn of the century. (Amazon Prime)

BOYZ IN THE HOOD directed by John Singleton (1991) It’s hard to believe that this classic coming-age-‘hood’ drama was the late John Singleton’s fresh out of college feature film debut starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr. Laurence Fishburne and recent first-time director herself, Regina King (One Night in Miami). Following the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, the story contemplates future prospects in the face of social and economic turmoil.  

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST directed by Julie Dash, (1991) Julie Dash’s rapturous vision of Black womanhood and vanishing ways of life in the turn-of-the-century South was the first film directed by an African American woman to receive a wide release. Addressing weighty themes with lovely visuals and a light, poetic touch, offering an original, absorbing look at a largely unexplored corner of American culture.

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON directed by David France (2017) Chronicles the life and mysterious death of celebrated LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River. Originally ruled a suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered. Paying tribute to Johnson’s important role in the LGBTQ movement, the film also laments the loss of a beloved figure who was a mother of sorts to many transgendered people in the city.   

EVE’S BAYOU directed by Kasi Lemmons (1997) Over the course of a long, hot Louisiana summer, a 10-year-old black girl, Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett), discovers that her family’s affluent existence is merely a facade. A striking feature debut for director Kasi Lemmons, the film layers terrific performances and Southern mysticism into a measured meditation on disillusionment and forgiveness.

FRUITVALE STATION directed by Ryan Coogler (2013) Based on the true story of Oscar Grant III, the film takes place in the hours before his murder by a police officer on New Year’s Day in 2008 at the Bay Area Rapid Transit station of the title. Featuring the debut performance of Michael B. Jordan, the film, in its restraint, delivers a sobering portrayal of the consequences of unconscious bias and racism.  

JUST ANOTHER GIRL ON THE I.R.T. directed by Leslie Harris. (1992) A teen girl struggles to reconcile her desire for self-improvement with her rebellious nature and her lack of maturity in this coming-of-age drama, which won first-time director Leslie Harris a special jury prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO directed by Joe Talbot. (2019) A moving wistful odyssey of a young man searching for home in a gentrified Bay Area community. Populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights and other locals on the margins who attempt to lay claim to the community that has left them behind. 

PRECIOUS directed by Lee Daniels (2009) Director Lee Daniels poured his own experiences of domestic volatility into this searing adaptation of Sapphire’s novel Push, about a Harlem girl whose journey to literacy may just set her free. Mo’Nique won an Oscar for her supporting role as Precious’ mother and launched the career of Gabourey Sidibe, playing the traumatized and then triumphant title character.

SLAM directed by Marc Levin (1998) Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young poet trapped in a war-zone housing project in Washington, D.C. One day he is arrested on petty drug charges and ends up jail, where he meets two people who can redirect his life: a prison gang leader or a beautiful female poet teaching a self-expression class for inmates. 

SPRINTER directed by Storm Saulter (2019) Tells the story of a Jamaican teen who is burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother, who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade. Screened at Provincetown Jamaican Film Festival in 2019. 

SAVE THE DATE! State of the Media Summit May 20, 2021

4th Annual The State of Media Summit (aka the Women’s Media Summit) presented by the Provincetown Film Society, The Geena Davis Institute, and The Representation Project will take place on Thursday, May 20th. Find more details in our upcoming March Newsletter. 

ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

The Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program is seeking submissions from emerging LBGTQ Filmmakers, ages 16-20 years old. The program is a three-month online initiative for emerging LGBTQ creatives who submit a short film or treatment that addresses the themes of ‘fitting in, standing out, being yourself,’ and who demonstrate an ability to work with a team of experienced mentors and professionals dedicated to helping them complete a quality short film. Deadline for submissions is March 3. Youth educators, please send inquiries to: christine@ptownfilm.com

WORTH CHECKING OUT

LGBTQ+ TV Representation Falls for First Time in 5 Years

An annual report found that 9.1 percent of characters scheduled to appear on prime-time broadcast series identified as L.G.B.T.Q. in the 2020-21 season, down from 10.2 percent.

For the first time in five years, LGBTQ representation on television decreased, an annual report by the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has found.

The findings were published recently in a report called “Where We Are on TV,” available at Glaad.org. It assessed representation in the 2020-21 season, defined as broadcast, cable and streaming shows expected to premiere new seasons between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.

Normalizing Injustice: The Dangerous Misrepresentations that define Televisions Scripted Crime Genre.

A report put out by Color of Change Hollywood is a first of its kind on how scripted crime shows represent the criminal justice system. Normalizing injustice found that the crime TV genre—the main way that tens of millions of people learn to think about the criminal justice system—advanced debunked ideas about crime, a false hero narrative about law enforcement, and distorted representations about Black people, other people of color and women. These shows rendered racism invisible and dismissed any need for police accountability. They made illegal, destructive and racist practices within the criminal justice system seem acceptable, justifiable and necessary—even heroic. The study found that the genre is also incredibly undiverse in terms of creators, writers and showrunners: nearly all white.


MEMBER IN THE NEWS

By Tracy Pease

From left to right:Adam LaFrance, John Lee, Anthony Tannous, Andrea Sawyer, Anthony Lawson & Jay Critchley.

The first time I met this member in the news she was volunteering at the little red fire station on Commercial Street for the Provincetown International Film Festival.  Soon I would learn how much time she really spends in the firehouse (and other locales) throughout the year volunteering, donating her art to raise money for various causes, and serving others – literally as she does each week at SKIP – Soup Kitchen in Provincetown.  Andrea Sawyer not only has a love of film, she is an artist and an activist for democracy, for inclusion and for people.  PFS refers to the rare and precious humans that possess Andrea’s amalgam of aptitude as “artivists”.

Andrea, originally from Falmouth, Maine is what we call in our family “the first pancake” – the oldest child in her family.  She has three sons (Charlie, Andrew & Ian), Sarah who she lovingly refers to as her “favorite daughter”, and nine grandchildren.  

‘Andi’, first came to Ptown on vacation in 1995 with her husband Larry, when their youngest child left the nest.  Having seen herself as an artist since she was five years old, she’d also had a successful career in real estate from 1992 until December 2014 when she dedicated her career full time to painting, primarily oil on linen and canvas.

“The first time I came here, we were driving down Route 6 in July.  The sun was low bouncing off of the dunes.  I had an epiphany and knew there was something about this place that gave me a distinct impression that I would someday live in the town that I had yet to see.  I have that feeling every time I look at those dunes.  We increased our visits more and more extending to 2 to 3 months each year. On our returns to Maine, I would sob all the way to Sagamore Bridge.”

When asked what inspired her to take her talent more seriously, she said “We were raising 4 children and had full-time careers.  Until then, I only had enough time to dabble.  But as empty nesters, I didn’t have any excuse not to.  I’d wandered into the Kiley Court Gallery on my first visit here and fell in love with Bobby Cardinal’s work.  I couldn’t wait to get home to paint, and paint I did.  About five years later I took a week-long class from him to hone my skills.  Although our styles are vastly different, that experience taught me to fight for my own style while making improvements that exist in my work today.  I thank him for the artist I have become.”

In January of 2014 Andrea lost her husband of thirty years, Lawrence Sawyer.  She describes him as a gentle and beautiful man of wise counsel who opened his life to her, her four children and eventually 8 grandchildren – (their ninth, Sadie was born after his death).  “He was intelligent, my knight in shining armor; a man who loved his family.”  

It will come as no surprise that Andrea craves the light in Provincetown.  An avid world traveler she says “The light is so different from anywhere I’ve been.  It’s the quality of light bouncing off the water around us.  Everything is filled with that light.”  She acknowledged that some similarities of light exist in Italy especially as one travels north and then declared about her beloved Provincetown, “the skin of the universe is thin here.”

Erudite, Andrea goes to bed most nights with a good book.  Her devotion beyond art proffers to music, listening to the likes of The Three Tenors, Duke Ellington, Leonard Cohen, and this season a lot of Christmas music while she bakes or cooks large vats of yummy soup from scratch.  Her daily living is a collection of encounters that broaden her perspectives of the world.  

Andrea knits, which I refer to as her guilty pleasure, as she feels the need to steal time in the day to do so.  After seeing her work online, I’m convinced that Jen Ellis of Vermont (currently under siege with requests for mittens similar to the ones she made for Bernie Sanders worn at the 2021 inauguration) would gladly accept Andrea’s help.

Ironically, in 2017, Andrea voraciously knitted “little kitty” hats for every member of her travel party, knitting even as they drove to Washington D.C. to join the Women’s March.  There were nine hats in all, including one for her infant granddaughter.  “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”  For people of all ages, genders and ethnicities to amass together declaring that women’s rights are human rights resonating a familiar strain over centuries in our nation.   Somehow the synchronicities of this particular talent and political events line up for Andrea like the light in Provincetown.   Two words amply describe Andrea’s sense of indisputable hope regarding the new administration on Pennsylvania Avenue: “Looking forward”.

Andrea lives in-the-now, every minute with pursuits ranging from redecorating, service to others, nesting, taking walks, listening to a friend in need, self-study, self-improvement, indulging in ‘framily’ and making time for an eclectic selection of movie classics the likes of Harold & Maude, Casablanca, The Godfather, and Forrest Gump “for the sweetness” and Miracle on 34th Street “because it’s Christmas”.

When I was young my father was a projectionist in the fabulous old theaters in Portland, and as I was the oldest he would often take me to work with him on weekends.  One of my earliest memories is watching The Wizard of Oz all by myself in the front row of the balcony of the State Theater, drinking orange soda and eating popcorn, while Daddy kept an eye on me from the projection booth.

A recent pursuit is learning to sail with ‘B’ (for Brian O’Malley), love of her life. “Brian had been my doctor.  Both of us were widowed, and I became his ‘theater buddy’, he also had concert buddies and hiking buddies. At 71 (we’re two months apart) each of us assumed we were just too old and opinionated to find love again, but one night after he walked me home from the Provincetown Theatre he kissed me, and it was all she wrote.  Oh, the boat, she’s a small Beetle Cat named ‘Granny.’  B is well-spoken, engaged, thoughtful, caring and loving. I enlisted him to serve at SKIP where we now work on Fridays.  We work our asses off preparing 125 regular meals and 40 vegan meals every week. We’re a good pair and we complement one another.”

When I asked about their future, she said, “We have 28 ½ years left on our contract with an option to renew”.

On any given day, one can log onto Facebook and view Andrea’s gratitude journal.  Daily she describes what she’s thankful for, what she’s looking forward to and an awareness, new or revisited.  Inside those entries one will identify a pattern of attributes that circumscribe the remarkable woman within.  


Exclusive Films at Waters Edge Virtual Cinema!

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

Closed Cinema offers private parties, starry auction — Cape Cod Times


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


Save the Date!!!

Provincetown Film Festival 2021

June 16-25, 2021
Now accepting submissions! 
Late Deadline: February 8


THE LAUNCH with Julie Rockett

The famous psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Michelle Boyaner

If these are our standards for beauty, then let us crown Michelle Boyaner our new Miss America! Was it close? No, not really, especially when she and her wife Barbara Green clinched the talent competition back in 2015 with their documentary, Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson. It was this #PIFF Award-winning documentary that first brought Michelle to Provincetown. We’ve been fortunate to have her return as a resident of our Women’s Filmmaking Institute and as a leader during the Women’s Media Summits.

She has spent the last five years bringing her upcoming documentary, It’s Not a Burden: The Humor and Heartache of Raising Elderly Parents, to fruition. While we eagerly await its release, I caught up with Michelle and found out about her ‘lowbrow and proud’ appreciation of films, a plan to remake Urban Cowboy, and the role Provincetown has played in shaping her films.

Julie Rockett: Your early narrative short, You’re Still Young, is about a young gay woman who is visited by her older self who warns her to hang in there and reassures her that she’ll be okay. If you could visit your younger filmmaking self, what advice would you give?

Michelle Boyaner: Don’t put anything on your credit card. [laughs] I’d tell myself, ‘it’s sacrifice, no matter what.” I would do everything the same but I would make more of them. And I will, I will continue to make more films.

JR: How did you find the story of Edith Lake Wilkinson?

MB: These subjects find us. That’s been true throughout all of our filmmaking. Our friends, Jane (Edith’s grand-niece) and Tess, approached us with the story of Edith. And I am forever grateful because that story brought us to Provincetown. We discovered the town through its history and Edith’s history. Jane became like ‘Dorothy’ in The Wizard of Oz meeting all these wonderful characters along the way and the town embraced us. 

JR: Were you introduced to film by your parents?

MB: No, not at all. The first time I remember being impacted by a film was from the rainy day schedule in middle school. If there was rain, out came the projector and their one film, Brian’s Song. I saw this depressing film about a dying college student like three times in one year. But I didn’t get movies at home. It was all TV and variety shows like Donny and Marie and Helen Reddy and Carol Burnett. That helped make me into a not-fancy-film person. My early influences were Bugsy Malone and Ice Castles. I am the least pretentious film lover.

JR: Do you recall the first movie you saw in a theatre?

MB: It would have been in a drive-in. Probably the Highway 39 Drive-In with me in footie pajamas. Hmm… I remember in 1982, my good friend, DeDee’s sister Michelle was in a movie and I remember standing in front of that film poster for Grease 2. 

JR: Wait, DeDee’s sister is Michelle Pfieffer?!

MB: Yes! We were friends in high school. And there we all were seeing a movie with someone we knew which was memorable. As for other movies, I always liked things that were relatable. Like, I went to camp so there’s Little Darlings… But I have to say that one film that profoundly effected me was Defending Your Life because it showed what you could do in terms of suspending disbelief in storytelling. Because I had always tried to make up in my mind what had happened to my baby brother who died when I was three. Defending Your Life clearly imagined what the afterlife looked like and incorporated one’s real life into. It’s impact on me was huge.

JR: So I had a friend whose younger sister wanted to get a tattoo and her advice to her was, “Keep in mind, at one point my favorite film was La Bamba.” Is there a movie that you look back on and don’t find as profound now?

MB: That would probably be Bugsy Malone because these were kids in adult situations, drinking in a night club, smoking, driving cars and it was a musical. It was glorious!

JR: So do you regret your Bugsy Malone tattoo? But seriously, why did they cast it with kids?

MB: Because it was the take. It’s like my desire to remake Urban Cowboy with all women. 

JR: Really?

MB: Oh yes! I would love to do that!

JR: What’s your favorite documentary?

MB: For sure, Grey Gardens. The Maysles just followed them like flies on the wall and that’s the type of documentary I love the most. Harlan County, USA and Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell. It’s the story of Sarah’s family and a family secret. She didn’t have access to b-roll so she cast actors and created this incredible b-roll to go along with certain parts of the storytelling. I haven’t seen anything like that before and I just love her work in general. 

JR: Finally, what makes Provincetown special to you.

MB: Oh god…. I literally tear up. I have been poked with a fork several times and Provincetown seeped in. It’s on a soul level. There is something about its soul that speaks to me and I can’t articulate what it is other than a feeling of peacefulness and freedom. Knowing that someone like Edith Lake Wilkinson went there and could live and create her art and many years later we came back and got to spend days writing and walking its beautiful empty streets…. it was like patchouli to me. It skunked me but I didn’t want to take a tomato juice bath. And it’s there, there forever. It’s so special and hopefully it can continue to be that. It’s a sickness and a love. I hope that a Starbucks never opens there.



PROVINCETOWN FILM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES WINTER AUCTION

PROVINCETOWN FILM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES WINTER AUCTION
FEATURING A SCANDALOUS TOUR WITH JOHN WATERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 21, 2021


Provincetown, MA – Provincetown Film Society (PFS) is excited to share details of their upcoming 2021 winter auction. “Having weathered the financial hardship of 2020, PFS is eager to return to their mission-based work to lift diverse voices and promote gender and race equity through film. PFS is pleased to announce their first ever Winter Auction, which will not only celebrate all things Provincetown but will also enable PFS to resume programming and community outreach.” says Anthony Lawson, PFS Board President.

The success of this auction will enable PFS to move forward with the 23rd Provincetown International Film Festival (June 16 – 25th), fund the cinemas and continue their year-round programming including the annual Women’s Media Summit, Film Financing Forum, Jamaica on Film Festival, and the LGBTQIA2+ Young Film-Maker Mentorships.

Get ready to chase the winter blues away with all the things that make Provincetown unique and memorable! The centerpiece is a tour of Provincetown’s past and public sex spots. Hear the stories and visit the sites and then join John for drinks and dinner at Bubala’s By the Bay.

The Winter Auction is full of truly unforgettable experiences and quintessentially Provincetown-centric items. The response and generosity from the Provincetown community and supporters has been overwhelming with over 100 items. There is something for everyone! From incredible vacation stays, one-of-a-kind masterpieces, to gift cards for sumptuous dining encounters. This auction gives bidders a chance to support the Provincetown Film Society after a challenging year due to Covid-19 and celebrate Provincetown itself. Additional items include:

  • A literary tour of Provincetown concluding with lunch at the Norman Mailer House with East End Books owner Jeff Peters
  • A virtual Provincetown architectural tour with David Dunlap
  • A 2-night stay for 4 with dinner at the Mary Heaton Vorse House
  • A writing salon with Michael Cunningham
  • A literary salon and lunch with writer and Grub Street artistic director Christopher Castellani
  • A personalized voicemail greeting recorded by Kathleen Turner
  • A PIFF workshop with film festival programmers
  • A history tour of Provincetown restaurants with Spiritus and Bubala’s owner John Yingling
  • Exclusive and unique luxury Provincetown rentals

What: PFS 2021Virtual Winter Auction
Who: Open to all, virtually through Bidding For Good
When: Early registration and preview of items begins January 18th. Auction begins January 29th, 12:01 AM – February 7th,11:59 PM
Where: Auction link: http://bit.ly/PFSWinterAuction

If interested in sponsorship opportunities, donating an item or questions regarding the event, please contact Sarah Macaulay Nitsch, (310) 463-1508 or email sarah@ptownfilm.org

About PFS
Provincetown Film Society (PFS) which began as the Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) in 1999, is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to showcasing new achievements in independent film and honoring the work of emerging as well as acclaimed directors, producers and actors. Our mission is articulated through three primary activities: the annual Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF); a year-round theater operation, Water’s Edge Cinema; and the Gabrielle A. Hanna Provincetown Film Institute for film and media artist residencies and conferences. A substantial contributor to the economic and creative vitality of America’s oldest art colony, PFS is dedicated to becoming a sustainable, year-round cultural organization that brings film education, genre-specific festivals, and cultural partnerships to outer Cape Cod.

CONTACT: Sarah Macaulay Nitsch, Development & Media Relations,
Provincetown Film Society
PO Box 605 | Provincetown, MA 02657
Phone # (310) 463-1508