Pecker’s Point: November 2019


November marks the launch of our eleventh annual fifteen-part film arts series co-presented with PAAM and curated by Provincetown’s resident cinephile extraordinaire Howard Karren. We honored Howard with our Persistence of Vision Award a few years ago, but this year’s extraordinary line-up of jewels is a reminder of his well-deserved distinction. Howard’s curatorial vision combines scholarship, fandom, and a devotion to the idea that film is meant to be screened in a dark insulated room with good sound quality and projection! Please join Howard on select Wednesdays thru May for great film and lively conversations.

Programs like these are made possible with the support of our good friends at PAAM and from all the proceeds of our annual auction, starting on Black Friday. If you’re in town, please stop by our kick-off party on Friday, November 29th at CUSP Gallery, hosted by Curtis Speers. See details below.

November also marks the second anniversary of the passing of our friend Judy Cicero, who rarely, if ever, missed a film art series screening. In fact, among the qualities I admired most about Judy was the fact that she always showed up for the things she cared about most.

She showed up at our community forum to voice her concern about closing our art house cinema in the winter. She showed up at our first annual Women’s Media Summit to combat gender inequity in the industry. She showed up at Town Hall to vocalize her support of our new marquee. She showed up time and time again and her only expectation was that we do our best (and boy, did she let you know it when you didn’t).

Judy was one of the first person’s I met when I started my tenure as CEO at the film society. As my term is nearing its end in January, I am thinking of those angels, like Judy, who showed up and in turn have held me up over the years with invisible hands.

This Thanksgiving season, I and the staff of the film society wish to thank all of our angels, on earth and in other dimensions, for bolstering our work, our efforts, and our spirits. May you all experience the same great fortune!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO

Member in the News: Cheryl Eagan-Donovan

Cheryl Eagan-Donovan

We are delighted to hear the news that PFS volunteer, supporter, and member, Cheryl Eagan-Donovan was awarded Oxfordian of the Year for her film, Nothing is Truer than Truth, a documentary about Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, as Shakespeare. She is the first filmmaker to win this award dedicated to the study of Shakespeare. Former award winners include Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, Mark Rylance.

Cheryl’s film focuses on the possible true identity of William Shakespeare. In particular, she focuses on the year and a half de Vere spent in Italy that just happen to coincide with the writing of Shakespeare’s early Italian plays.

“What makes my film different from other films about de Vere and Shakespeare is that I believe the primary reason for his pseudonym was that he was bisexual and had an affair with the Earl of Southampton and sexuality was a particularly taboo subject at that time. It was one of the reasons his daughters continued to use the pseudonym after his death. Harold Bloom, the famous Shakespeare scholar said that Shakespeare invented the ‘Human’ through his understanding of psychology. He also said that it is clear through his writings that Shakespeare world view was that everyone is bisexual. I wanted to integrate that integral aspect into my film,” said Eagan-Donovan.

Cheryl’s devotion to Provincetown and the film festival is long-standing, “I’ve been going to Provincetown forever. I picked up John Waters hitchhiking one Fourth of July and he said ‘I’ve been coming here for 38 years’ and I said, well I’m right behind you. I’ve always said that John Waters is America’s Fellini – his work with Divine is definitely on a par with Fellini’s work with his wife Giulietta Masina and I love Fellini’s statement which pertains especially to Shakespeare:
“All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”
John is such an amazing Renaissance man – writer, director, artist, performer, sage…and I love his new book Mr. Know-It-All.

“I adore the Provincetown Film Festival. I volunteered early on and got to meet Mary Harron who made I Shot Andy Warhol and I met Gus Van Sant who’s film My Own Private Idaho is featured in my documentary. For me, it’s the kind of festival that you don’t get any place else. There’s something about the intimacy and lack of pretension. Everybody is there because they love film. That makes it one of the best festivals around.”

Nothing Truer Than Truth can be viewed on Hulu and Amazon Prime. In addition to filmmaking and teaching screenwriting, she is at work on the following books: Master Mistress: Shakespeare’s Discovery of Sexuality in Late Sixteenth Century Literary London, with co-author John Hamill, and Shakespeare Auteur: A Guide to Creating Authentic Characters for the Screen.

Call to Artists

Dedicated to artists in all mediums, Provincetown Film Society’s Annual Black Friday Auction is inviting all artists to contribute their work (up to 5 pieces) at consignment, to benefit Waters Edge Cinema.

In addition to support of Provincetown’s only art-house cinema, contributing artists will:

  • The opportunity to submit up to five works and select your preferred consignment amount from 50%, 25% or 0% of the valued price
  • A dedicated social media post highlighting your work
  • Promotions to our database of 10,000 patrons
  • Promotions via our auction site
  • On-screen advertising in the Waters Edge Cinema
  • A year-round membership to the Waters Edge cinema


  • November 1st – Early deadline for best promotion of work online and
  • across social media
  • November 22nd – Deadline for art to be submitted for inclusion
  • November 29th – Auction Kick-Off at CUSP Gallery, 115 Bradford Street,
  • Provincetown, 4 – 6 pm cocktails, snacks, and bidding

For more information on submissions, email

Click link above to be directed to the Auction website!


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


Pecker’s Point: October 2019


Women’s Week, Billy Hough and Sue Goldberg interpret silent film, The Provincetown Film Arts Series and Ivy Meeropol in Provincetown with her movie about Roy Cohn

(L-R) CEO Christine K Walker with Board Member Kim McFarland

Despite a promising uptick in the number of female directors in Hollywood, up to 12% in 2019 from 3.6 in 2018, for the LGBT filmmakers whose work is showcased at our upcoming annual Women’s Film Festival October 14-20th, the road to inclusion remains an uphill battle. In fact, based on a recent report from Women’s Media Summit Keynote Speaker Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the one area that has remained resistant to change is the number of LGBT females on screen. ‘Of 4,387 speaking characters in the top 100 film-, for instance, only 17 were Lesbian.’

This fact alone distinguishes our line-up of films directed for, by, and about lesbians. Combatting lesbian invisibility is at the center of Megan Rossman’s inspiring documentary THE ARCHIVETTES which documents the lasting impact of the Lesbian Herstory Archives founded by Deborah Edel and Joan Nestle more than 40 years ago. Janice Engel’s RAISE HELL: THE MOLLY IVINS STORY champions the audacity of LGBT activist and political pundit Molly Ivins who brandished her mighty pen against misogyny and power unchecked.

Judith Light at PIFF 2019, starring in BEFORE YOU KNOW IT directed by Hannah Pearl Utt

For those who missed PIFF 2019, we provide another chance to screen Hannah Pearl Utt’s charming BEFORE YOU KNOW IT starring Excellence in Acting Award recipient Judith Light; and Chanya Button’s romantic VITA AND VIRGINIA, depicting the enduring love affair between authors Vita Sackville West and Virginia Wolfe.

We’re also thrilled to welcome back director Madeleine Olnek, whose WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY opened 2018 PIFF to sold out audiences. The week will also feature an outstanding queer shorts program, thoughtfully programmed by Valérie Déus, which will include Sini Anderson’s award-winning short CATHERINE OPIE b 1961. Finally, our women’s week program would not be complete without Andrea Meyerson’s CLAMBAKE, the story that takes us back more than 30-years to the grassroots beginnings of Provincetown’s women’s week which would eventually become one of the most popular lesbian events in the world. See the full line up here.

You can show your support for these fine filmmakers and many of the women who participate in our women’s initiatives at our annual WOMEN FILMMAKER’S RESIDENCY BARBECUE BRUNCH held on Saturday, October 19 @ 3 pm. Generously hosted by Monique Yingling and John Yingling, the event promises music by the delightful Zoë Lewis and a fantastic Octoberfest menu at one of Truro’s most picturesque homes.

Different From the Others screening at PIFF 2019

Later this month, on October 24th, we invite you to join us at the Provincetown Theater for a special encore screening of the recently restored silent film DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS with an original accompaniment composed and arranged by the ‘Scream Along with Billy’ duo Billy Hough and Sue Goldberg.

Once feared lost, the film was believed to be the only gay-themed movie from Germany’s progressive Weimar era that survived destruction after Hitler took power. Most of the estimated 40 prints of the film were believed to have been destroyed by the Nazis, however a surviving copy was located during the collapse of the Soviet Union and was later restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Hough and Goldberg’s moving accompaniment evokes the period and time of post WWI Germany while creating a sense of timeless relevance by focusing on the story’s emotional underpinnings. For more information, please click here.

Ushering in the month of November is the opening kick-off to Howard Karren’s popular Film Art Series co-presented by PAAM with a special screening of the dazzling and empathy-filled Yi Yi lovingly directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang. Screening on November 1st.

That same night, our Halloween presentation focuses on real-life monsters with a one-time presentation of Ivy Meeropol’s BULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHN, a revelatory portrait of the man who not only played a key role in the execution of Meeropol’s grandparents Ethen and Julius Rosenberg, but whose early influences on our current President seem to have had an impact on the current political crisis.

Meeropol, with family ties to Truro, will be in town to present the film which focuses on key periods in Cohn’s life including, what I consider to be the most fascinating part of the film, his time spent in Provincetown. Featuring interviews from Peter Manso, a controversial figure in his own right, and other Provincetown part-time residents including John Waters, Tony Kushner, Ryan Landry, and Ann Packard, among others, the film is not to be missed!

In view of all of these incredible offerings, we hope to see each and every one of you at the cinema this month. And of course, if you appreciate what you see, we appreciate your support.


Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO

MEMBER IN THE NEWS: Stan and Eva Sikorski

From R-L: Stan and Eva Sikorski with Filmmaker on the Edge John Cameron Mitchell and daughter, Natalie.

“Provincetown is simply a magical place, we love the spirit, freedom and the expressiveness of the people who both live and visit here, ” says Eva Sikorski, who with her husband Stan, owns the Land’s End Inn and are one of the town’s foremost supporters of the Provincetown International Film Festival. (PIFF)

Freedom to simply be who you are has rather singular meaning for this well-known Provincetown couple whose childhood in Poland was marked by a repressive government. “My family was displaced by the Communist regime,” says Stan, “but we managed to leave Poland in 1965 and came off the ship in New York Harbor with four suitcases and less then 200 dollars to our name.” Stan’s career path of science, math and engineering took a curve when he met his future wife. “Eva awakened me to the arts. In addition to being a musician she is a passionate lover of all types of art.

Eva says, “As a member of the University choir in Poland I performed around Europe and it was those stamps in my passport that allowed me to travel freely and on one vacation I simply never returned.”
After purchasing the Land’s End in 2012, the couple made their mark as ardent PIFF supporters by hosting one of the most popular events of the Festival, the annual garden party.

“We love the energy of the town during the Festival,” says Stan. “There is just so much variety and we enjoy the opportunity to meet one one-on-one with the filmmakers and talk to them about their work.” Eva adds Provincetown also plays a major party in their passion for the festival. “It is so important to be a part of this community and we feel the solidarity with the other inns in town, the restaurants and other business owners. The festival brings a number of people together for a wonderful cause.”

The duo share a passion for films and say their tastes run the gamut from musicals to documentaries. One of their favorites is “Stand by Me” whose title song they used for their wedding. “Movies have always been an important part of our lives,” says Eva,”and we are so proud to be a part of the festival.”

Women’s Week 2019

Get the All-Access Pass for our annual Women’s Week Film Festival! Passes include entry to all film screenings, filmmaker Q&As, our panel discussion with Women’s Week Filmmakers, and the annual Women Filmmakers Residency Brunch!



Julie Rockett

Aline Brosh McKenna

A few years ago, I went to a seminar on media in New England. People on the dais were asked to give advice on what to do to succeed in film. One person said, “Volunteer to do everything! The crew needs food at three a.m.? You leave your bed and you go get it. It’s the only way.”

The ‘only way’? Success was dependent on pre-dawn cruller runs to Dunks? Sounds easy enough! Except I had these two beautiful Charlie Brown-headed babies that I was legally and emotionally devoted to raising and an equally devoted husband whose work sometimes took him out of town. I couldn’t imagine my court-assigned social worker would be moved by my carbo-loaded dedication defense to give me back my gorgeous macrocephalic sons after leaving home one too many times in the middle of the night.

Good fortune shined upon me five years ago when I met Provincetown Film Society’s Director Christine Kunewa Walker. Being a parent herself, she was fully aware that one could be dedicated and hardworking, without being essentially hazed into proving just that. I signed on to be her intern just a few months before the 2015 Provincetown Film Festival and it’s been a pleasure to see her blossom with her development of our Women’s Filmmaking Residency, Women’s Media Summit, and Film Financing Forum. My son calls her, ‘Mommy’s owner’ but I think of her more as a sister. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your ohana and best of luck on your future endeavors, Christine. And one more thing: please don’t go!

Last year, I listened to a podcast, Slate’s “Women in Charge”. Julia Turner interviewed Aline Brosh McKenna and asked her about the atmosphere she created in the writer’s room of her show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She said that most TV writing rooms are notorious for starting and ending very late in the day. Her room started at ten a.m. and ended by six p.m. And while some have said that working with mothers is an inconvenience <cough>Trump<cough>, Aline said that mothers are great to work with because they extremely efficient with their time and added, “I like to hire mothers.” And right there, she had me. Quicker than I could spell ‘Gabbana’, I became a huge of fan of hers.

It’s exciting to speak with someone in Hollywood that is creating the change that Christine and the rest of Provincetown Film Society hope for. Not only that, she’s one of the best comedy writers out there. If you haven’t heard her work in The Devil Wears Prada then please let me congratulate you on extricating yourself from the enormous boulder you’ve resided under. There’s also 27 Dresses, We Bought a Zoo, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The list goes on and will continue to grow; therefore, I’m delighted she could spend some precious time to speak with me about her favorite films.


Julie Rockett: So I like to start by asking, what was your first favorite film?

Aline Brosh McKenna: It’s probably Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It’s the first film that I remember being obsessed with and trying to figure out when it came on television. They would re-run it and the challenge was not to miss it. I’m always trying to explain to my kids that we had to actually wait for things to be on somewhere.

JR: Is there a film that you introduced your kids to that you love?

ABM: I re-watched a lot of movies with my kids as they were growing up and some from my childhood really did not hold up at all. I will say that Back to the Future holds up wonderfully. It’s really fun and they really enjoyed it and there was no scoffing about how slow it was.

JR: Was there film or a personality that your parents introduced you to?

ABM: My Dad loved Don Rickles and the whole vibe of insult comedians was always really funny to me. At some point I realized that that’s what Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada is, an insult comedian. Different kind of insults, but that’s what she is, an insult comedian.

JR: I always find that the nicest people play the best jerks.

ABM: Yes, Don Rickles was the nicest person ever. And I love Succession. I love shows with great insults in them.

JR: Is there a film that you wish had been seen by a wider audience?

ABM: I haven’t seen it in many years, but the movie Dogfight with Lili Taylor is one that I really love. It’s one of the first times I remember raving about a movie that people hadn’t heard about. I think it also made a big impression on me because it was done by a female director. I also love the Soderbergh film, King of the Hill. It’s a beautiful movie from 1993. I don’t hear people citing that as one of Soderbergh’s films often, but that’s a movie that I really, really love.

JR: Is there a type of film out there that people would be surprised to hear that you like?

ABM: I love thrillers. I love a good Fatal Attraction or a good political thriller. I wish they made more movies like that. I’m a sucker for anything to do with the press like The Post or All the President’s Men. I just saw (PIFF2019 Award Winner) Official Secrets. I really enjoyed it. And I love seeing the inside of a newspaper, always.

JR: In addition to The Devil Wears Prada is there a book adaptation that you feel was done well?

ABM: Again, it’d be All the President’s Men. It sets the bar in so many ways.

JR: Is there a person that you would love to work with?

ABM: Oh gosh. There’s so many. Well, I love Succession and Matthew MacFayden is wonderful in it. He was also in this brilliant adaptation of Howard’s End.

JR: I didn’t realize until you said that, that he’s the same person.

ABM: Yes, he’s so good! So I’ll say Matthew MacFayden.

JR: Supporting women is clearly a commitment of yours and in the effort to be positive, are there changes that you’ve seen in the industry that are encouraging in terms of gender parity?

ABM: We’re talking about it and we’ve never really talked about it quite this way before. You don’t have to get people up to speed every time about the fact that it’s happening. I think we can all agree that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with and that’s a good first step.

JR: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share?

ABM: I’m doing a movie for Netflix. I’m working on the script right now. I have a new TV series and I’m waiting to figure out where exactly I’m doing that and I’ve started a production company called LeanMachine. We’re developing a bunch of things that I’m writing, things that other people are writing and we’re developing for TV and movies. I’ve hired a bunch of really great folks so far.

JR: Thank you for time and please come visit us in Provincetown soon!


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

Pecker’s Point: Special Edition


As many of you know, our CEO and Executive Director, Christine Walker, will be shifting her role within the Provincetown Film Society to focus her attention on our Women’s initiatives including our annual Women’s Media Summit.

Christine has done a truly outstanding job growing the programs and initiatives of the film society over the past 6 years with her enthusiasm, passion and vision. We are thankful for everything Christine brings to the organization and we are excited for this next chapter as we further our commitment to supporting the diverse voices in front of and behind the camera.

As such, PFS is pleased to announce we are beginning a search for a new CEO / Executive Director to lead and manage the organization. PFS is committed to being a year-round arts organization in Provincetown through our three divisions, The annual Provincetown International Film Festival, The Water’s Edge Cinema and the Gabrielle A. Hanna Film Institute. We are looking for candidates that share our vision to help build a more equitable and inclusive society that sustains and enriches all within our community.

Interested candidates can see the job posting here.

Anthony Lawson, Board President

Pecker’s Point: August (Celebrating One Year!)


Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in Dayton and El Paso and for the incomprehensible loss of life and innocence. We also mourn the passing of the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, whose words and actions give voice to the voiceless while inspiring others to do the same. One favorite line underscores the message we strive to impart: “If there is a (film) that you want to (see), but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”

This past week, we communicated that message to 400 youth with their own unique stories to tell at our fourth annual HBO Summer Kids Camp for LGBTQ-led families co-sponsored by Sesame Street and Family Equality. Back in 2015 when we first launched the program, we did not expect that we would be struggling to meet the demand for this popular program. In fact, with the marriage equality act having just passed weeks earlier, we wondered if the need to carve out this one special place where LGBTQ-led families could revel in community and support would not be taken up by countless communities across the country. However, in a world that is fraught with divisiveness and confusion, overwhelming appreciation for the welcoming and safe haven that Provincetown and Family Week affords has only deepened.

For our part, we were able to screen quality kids programs from HBO and Sesame Street, provide educational activities led by the Cape Code Children’s Place; and entertain with our favorite celebrities including The Voice singer Esera Tuaolo, former MN Vikings player and a gay father of two, and Sesame Street’s very own Abby Cadabby, stopping in from her world tour celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Sesame Street. Thanks to the hardworking team at Family Equality, HBO, Cape Cod Children’s Place, and Sesame Street, we served many wonderful families on the Cape and beyond.

August is whale month in Provincetown, a popular migration spot in the spring and summer for one of the most magnificent mammals on the planet. Yet, we know that they are also the most endangered. Throughout the month of August, we will present daily screenings of Nadine Licostie’s powerful short documentary Spinnaker, about a humpback whale who succumbed to the torture of four entanglements over the course of a decade. The film also focuses on the individuals who have committed their lives to saving Whales like Spinnaker that struggle to exist in our oceans. Spinnaker’s skeleton is on permanent display at the Center for Coastal Studies, whose fine work is also highlighted in the film. For more information, go to Daily screenings are at 4 & 7 pm at the Waters Edge Cinema and are free and open to the public. To reserve a spot, visit

Between the inspiration for Spinnaker, remembering the words of Toni Morrison, interacting with the future storytellers of tomorrow, and experiencing the collective grief of communities under attack, I am once again reminded of the role that film can serve in our lives and the importance of continuing the work at PFS. As entertainment, the experience of watching a film allows us to escape if not cope with the inexplicable. Taken to greater heights, stories on film can help us make sense of and even help us heal from our pain. Beyond showcasing these fine works, our mission is to ensure that diverse voices are equally represented.

In the word of Ms. Morrison, ‘…remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”


Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


It’s not often that Pecker’s Point “Member in the News” profiles a television personality, a former superior court judge in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a local of Provincetown all in one feature.

Cuban-American with a BA in Government from Smith College and a JD from Boston University, Judge Maria Lopez made legal history as the first Latina appointed to the bench in Massachusetts when she was selected as a District Court Judge by Governor Michael Dukakis. She continued to mark history when she was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1993 and an assistant attorney general in civil rights division of the office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.

Last year, Maria Lopez, Honorary Host on the Committee for the Provincetown Film Society’s 20th Anniversary Gala, accepted the Founders Award posthumously on behalf of Stephen Mindich—Maria’s husband, owner of the Boston Phoenix, and inaugural Media Sponsor for the Film Festival in 1998. A woman of initiative and firsts, this past June, Maria further provided her support to kick-off the inaugural year of the PFS Democracy Series featuring a conversation with Former FBI Acting Director, Andrew McCabe.

Diplomatically active, Maria has made more than three dozen visits to Cuba in an effort to lift and illuminate its art community, its people, and its culture to the rest of the world. We are so grateful to Maria for her continued support and contributions to the diverse voice.

Women’s Week 2019

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of Women’s Week in Provincetown! Join PFS for our annual Women’s Week Film Festival at Waters Edge Cinema, featuring special screenings of CLAMBAKE with award-winning director Andrea Meyerson.

Visit our website for more Women’s Week updates and screenings. Follow @ptownfilm on Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content.

October 14–20, 2019

Watch the CLAMBAKE Trailer, directed by Andrea Meyerson


Watch the PIFF 2019 Trailer now on Youtube!

Check out this year’s Festival Trailer, now on Youtube for your viewing pleasure!

The 2019 trailer was animated by Provincetown Film Institute Women’s Resident, Emily Hubley. Hubley has been making animated shorts for almost forty years. Her films are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film and she is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her feature, The Toe Tactic, was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters’ and Filmmakers’ Labs. She was in the first class of Annenberg Film Fellows named by the Sundance Institute.


Deanna Cheng

Happy Anniversary to us! We started the Launch last year and in that short time we’ve seen Launch interviewees come to Provincetown as headline performers (AB Cassidy, Danny Franzese), become the breakout star of Pose (Angelica Ross), finish their next projects (Paul Harding, Drew Droege) and begin new ones (Matt Brown, Norah Shapiro).

My dear brother Sean says that I’m always one step ahead of finding the next big personality and trend. Luckily Sean forgot about the time I moaned that I wanted that caterwauling performer to get off stage so I could see the far superior headlining act, Crash Test Dummies. That caterwauler was Sheryl Crow. So, yeah, music isn’t my forte but, I think comedy and film are.

With Sean’s compliments in mind (and with tremendous apologies to Ms. Crow), I’d like to rewind to a year ago. The Launch’s first subject was Kiley Fitzgerald because she was on the precipice of being recognized for her great talent. True to form, she’s now performing with Second City and The Annoyance Theater in Chicago (I called it!).

I’m returning to this theme for this month’s Launch. I’ve got the feeling that if you haven’t yet heard of the talented actor and writer, Deanna Cheng, then you’re about to. She was one of the stars and writers of the re-boot of Heathers. She can also be seen on the shows, Black Monday and GLOW. Deanna and I got to spend the afternoon dissecting the ending of season 2 of Big Little Liars, and discussing her next projects, and, of course, her favorite films.

Julie Rockett: What was your first favorite film?

Deanna Cheng: What comes to mind first is our neighbors had Grease 2 on VHS. My sisters and I would go over their house and I don’t think there’s a number you could put on how many times we saw that movie.

JR: I like that it’s specifically Grease 2 and not Grease that you loved.

DC: Yeah, they actually had Grease 1 but we weren’t interested… I think that the Michelle Pfeiffer character was so cool and bad ass with her bangs and the way she chewed gum. She was pushing away the nerdy guy, who was actually not nerdy but gorgeous, around. She was just way cooler than Olivia Newton-John.

JR: Like she was your feminist icon?

DC: Kind of! Yeah! She worked at an auto shop and set boundaries with the T-Birds. She was amazing.

JR: Have you binged any shows lately?

DC: I binged When They See Us all in one sitting. Have you seen it?

JR: I haven’t. I know this sounds awful but I have two young sons and I get really triggered by injustice and racial inequality and I get really down. So I know that I’m not in a place where I can watch it and not be devastated at the present time. But maybe later.

DC: I understand. I feel the same way about The Handmaid’s Tale. But I have to say what Ava DuVarnay did was spectacular. You can see that she made it her job to see that so many angles of this story were told. She dug in. To be able to create something so completely and with so much heart and passion… that’s the goal. And she did it. She crushed it!

JR: Is there a dream subject that you want to work?

DC: It’s funny. My reason for wanting to become an actor and my favorite films were Woody Allen films. I loved the pacing, the dialogue, the acting…

JR: Was there a favorite Woody Allen film?

DC: Sweet and Lowdown was it for a long time… it’s hard because I can’t support his films…I don’t have my parents anymore and I have these wonderful memories of them laughing so hard at his films and that’s something special to me that now takes on a different meaning.

JR: Is there someone else you would love to work with?

DC: Lemme take from Woody Allen and move her somewhere else, I just saw Dianne Wiest in a play and she was phenomenal. I would love to work with her on something.

JR: Is there a hidden gem that you feel you discovered?

DC: I remember I used to watch this movie that my Grandpa loved, The In-Laws with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk. That movie is a comedy all-timer for me. There’s one scene where they’ve just been dropped off in a foreign country and Peter Falk is this CIA agent. They’re being shot at and he yells at Alan Arkin, “Serpentine!” so they don’t get hit. That scene gets me laughing so hard and if I think I’m ever in an active shooter situation, I know to run serpentine, just in case.

JR: What are you working on now?

DC: I’m writing a comedy with my longtime friend, Brandon Keener, about an old man who accidentally becomes an Instagram influencer. We’re finalizing the pilot now and hope to shoot it soon.

JR: Does it have a title?

DC: The working title right now is ‘For The Gram’.

JR: I love that!

DC: And the show I created with Matt McConkey and Paul Scheer is living on It’s called UNSEND. Hosted by comedians Patti Harrison and Joel Kim Booster.

JR: I can’t wait to do a deep dive on that. Thank you so much for your time Deanna!


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

Pecker’s Point: July


(L-R) CEO Christine Walker, Filmmaker on the Edge John Cameron Mitchell, Excellence in Acting Judith Light, and Artistic Director Lisa Viola (Photo by Nicholas Pfosi)

The fourth of July weekend in Provincetown is the official start of its busy season. For the festival team though, thankfully we’re winding down. After the months leading-up-to along with the five jam packed days of 150 screenings, panel discussions, parties and events, we allow ourselves a month or so to wrap up final details and reflect on the lessons learned. 

Having made it through our 21st year, it feels as if we’ve crossed a threshold into something akin to maturity. Between our consistently stellar programming; a staff that has hit its stride; an ever-enthusiastic volunteer-base; remarkably loyal sponsors; filmmakers, press and industry friends who dedicate their time and talents to edifying the festival and our lives; and our thoughtful and appreciative audience, I think it’s safe to say that ours is a festival ‘like no other.’  

The festival also marked a maturation of some of the priorities and initiatives that we have been working on in the last few years. Two year-round scholarship programs for LGBTQ students provided travel, accommodations, stipends and an immersive experience with our festival offerings. An expanded Next Wave program furthered our goal of supporting emerging talent including those delving into other art mediums. At our sixth annual Evan Lawson brunch, we launched a two-year democracy series with an important discussion about speaking truth to power between former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe and THE FINEST HOURS author Casey Sherman. New collaborations with Twenty Summers, Phillips Andover Academy, Kino Lorber and the Outfest Legacy program made it possible for us to screen films that had been previously banned from exhibition: the 1919 film DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS was practically destroyed by the Nazi’s for its pro-gay stance and the Jamaican reggae film BABYLON was blackballed by U.S. distributors in 1980 for its honest depiction of racial tensions in the London reggae scene and the purported racial violence that might ensue. Presenting the film BABYLON also underscored a long tradition of acknowledging the diverse make-up of Provincetown’s denizens, including it’s fastest growing community of Jamaican’s. 

In all, the global destination for creative exploration in film that we set out to cultivate and nurture has flourished in no small part to those who recognize the unique perspective that America’s oldest arts colony can bestow upon matters of art, freedom and inclusivity and those who command the tools of one of the most impact artforms on the planet. The 2020 Festival dates are June 17-21. Mark your calendars now! 

One last note: If there is one person who is denied a full reprieve following an exhausting festival, that person is Heidi Bolinder, our Director of Program Operations and Festival Co-Manager. Heidi is the engine that keeps the film society running day in and day out. Right after the festival, Heidi was working to line up films for the Waters Edge Cinema, Marie Kondo-ing the office, preparing a 60-day application for a year-round liquor license, and working on the upcoming program for Family Week. 

Heidi, you are a true diva. To quote everyone’s idol Beyonce, ‘a true diva is graceful, and talented, and strong and fearless and brave and someone with humility.” Heidi is also the cinema diva who is making sure that there will be something for everyone at the Waters Edge Cinema this summer. Check out our schedule at

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


Since 2003, Fanizzi’s Restaurant by the Sea has been a household name in the outer cape. The man behind the marquee grew up in Brockton working in his family’s Thai restaurants busing tables and later promoted to waiter.

Today, Paul Fanizzi is more than a restaurant and business owner in Provincetown. He is a builder, a town partner, lover of the arts, charitable and a leader. More comfortable behind the scenes, Paul has contributed goods, services and funds to nearly every nonprofit on the cape – a “community friend in stealth mode”. Still Paul’s preferred low profile didn’t shield him from the limelight last month as he was awarded the ‘Betty Villari Community Service” award from HOW (Helping Our Women). At the local event held at Seamen’s Bank in Provincetown, several commented that “it was not only well-deserved, but long overdue.”

Paul’s degree from Roger Williams University in Business Management set the stage for his future as a restaurateur and community leader. Not yet 50, Paul has honed his management and operations skills in a competitive market in notable Boston area restaurants with titles of Manager, Director and General Manager. Although he bought Pucci’s, an existing but seasonal business that at the time was closed for the winter and made Fanizzi’s what it is today, he has built restaurants from concept to completion that are thriving to this day.

Located just west of the “Welcome to Provincetown” sign, Paul’s restaurant embodies his love for community welcoming locals and visitors as they arrive in the last town on the outer cape. For starters, his dream to provide a space for the area that is open year round has been a reality. His dining room has been a venue for monthly Chamber dinners, rehearsal dinners and weddings, committee meetings, business dinners, community events, palm readings, charitable fundraisers, Easter brunch and a host of holiday family gatherings to name a few.

In early 2018, after a winter storm took out power in most of the town, Paul’s emergency generator kept the dining room open for drop ins to stay warm, log in to email, commune and of course share a delicious hot meal. Our CEO, Christine Walker profusely thanked Paul for his “rent-free remote office services” as she worked to meet critical deadlines the whole afternoon in a corner of the dining room. You can’t get more from an ordinary business committed to customer service. Although clearly evident, you can from a friend. It gives us great pleasure to spotlight this month’s “Member in The News” and to publicly thank him for his ongoing support and love.

Gearing up for Womens Week

Just a few short months until WOMEN’S WEEK 2019! As the week becomes finalized and we program our annual Women’s Week Film Festival, visit the Women’s Week website for more info on last year and keep checking back for updates on the 2019 schedule! We can’t wait to see you there!

October 14–20, 2019

Last year’s Filmmaker Residency Brunch with Special Guest comedian, filmmaker, and actor AB CASSIDY


Thanks for 21 Years…and Counting!

Thank you to all who enjoyed the delight of another Provincetown Film Festival. We are looking forward to many more years of fest-ing, and can’t wait to seeing you all in 2020!

June 17–21, 2020


Matt Kane and Marc Underhill at the 21st Annual Provincetown Film Festival (Photo by Mae Gammino)

If you were at this year’s Provincetown Film Festival, you most likely had the good fortune to meet Marc Underhill and Matt Kane. They were recipients of the PIFF Next Wave Program and enthusiastic ambassadors of the film festival. Their most recent film, AUGGIE, starring Richard Kind played to packed houses in both Provincetown and Wellfleet during PIFF 2019.

They spoke with me about creating Auggie, their mutual love for Robin Williams, and what makes Provincetown Film Festival different from other festivals.

JR: I want to thank you for being such enthusiastic supporters of Provincetown Film Festival. You have been to many film festivals. Is there anything that makes PIFF different from the others?

Matt Kane: I think it’s the intimacy. People have their guard down and you’re welcome in any space. There’s so many events and you get to see people over and over again so that you get to know each other and discuss your work. And there isn’t the pressure to be ‘on’, to have to sell something. It’s more about connecting with other artists… There isn’t the competition you feel at other fests, this one feels more like vacation. It’s just so supportive.

JR: Can you tell me about the process of making Auggie?

MK: I co-wrote it with Marc and this is the first feature that I directed. We crowdfunded the film and got our friends involved. It’s a big deal to ask your friends for support so you want to be sure that you really believe in your project. It was a 12-day shoot and we tried to be very conscious of people’s time. Luckily, we worked with such a high caliber cast and crew that they made the process run smoothly. Our goal was to create an environment of gratitude and recognition for everyone involved in Auggie. This was a project they didn’t have to do, they were doing it because they were willing and they believed in how special this project could be. It was very much a collaborative experience.

JR: So I’d like to ask you both some questions about films. What was your first favorite film?

Marc Underhill: Peter Pan – knew every line and would watch every day and recite along with the characters.

MK: I think it’s Jumanji. I absolutely loved Robin Williams in it.

JR: Do you have a favorite documentary?

MU: Icarus – love how the filmmaker thought he was making one thing and then it turned out to be something else.

MK: I recently saw Mind The Gap. It is just brilliant. It’s about teenage skateboarders and what they do to survive.

JR: What was the first R-rated film you saw?

MU: I Know What You Did Last Summer. Had nightmares for a long time.

MK: Mine was Scream. I was five-years-old and my older cousins showed it to me. It was horrifying! I couldn’t sleep.

JR: Is there a dream subject, living or dead, that you would like to work with?

MU: Robin Williams – such a talent!

MK: It would also be Robin Williams. That was one of the first things we found that we had in common.

JR: What film do you feel was underappreciated?

MU: Booksmart – it was appreciated, but not by enough people for how good a film it is.

MK: Fighting With My Family. It’s about wrestling but it’s not. It’s about jealousy, love, support, and acceptance. It’s a great family drama and it’s so grounded and funny. And it’s by Stephen Merchant, who is a comedic genius.

JR: Is there a film from your youth that you find holds up?

MU: Good Will Hunting definitely is one of my favorite films that I enjoy revisiting and I think holds up pretty well.

JR: What movie made you fall in love with filmmaking?

MU: I initially was solely interested in acting, but Birdman in 2014 was a film that made me want to start making films instead of just act in them. The following year Matt and I made our first short film.

MK: Trainspotting. It was so intense and vibrant. There’s a magic realism to it. I admire Danny Boyle so much.

JR: Was there a moment when you thought the project might never see the light of day, and if so, what turned things around?

MU: We always had the intention of making the film in a small way, so when production companies didn’t come running to help us, we decided to crowdfund. While it was intimidating to imagine doing it on our own with whatever money we could scrape together, the choice to take things into our own hands and do it ourselves empowered us to seeing the project through.

JR: Is there a recent film that moved or inspired you? One from PIFF 2019?

MU: Andrew Ahn’s Driveways. Intimate story that unfolds slowly and thoughtfully.

MK: Dolly Wells’ Good Posture. I really, really like the movie. I like how imperfect things are for this young woman and how she spends so much time and energy controlling things. It’s very human, especially when you’re young, to think you have control but eventually you discover acceptance. She also made her film in 12 days and it was great to meet her while we were in Provincetown.

JR: What are you working on now?

MU: We have a feature film we’d like to make next – it’s a psychological thriller that explores gaslighting and what happens when you project past trauma onto your partner.

MK: I’m also starting to write about my own story. My mother who was an accomplished opera singer from the US passed away when I was 13 and my brother died when I was 15. It’s at the beginning stages and I’m just trying to get the story out and see where it goes.

JR: I have to say you have such a bright presence and I would never have predicted that you had gone through so much at your age. I imagine part of you thinks, ‘I’ve gotten through the hard part, it’s only up from here.’

MK: Thank you. I think so. It’s made me see what’s really important in life and take advantage of the time at hand.

JR: Thank you both so much for your time. I wish you every success and look forward to seeing you at #PIFF2020!


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

Pecker’s Point: April


(L-R) Javier Morgado and Christine Walker with David Emanuel and Matt Kugelman

‘Well, who doesn’t want the sun after the long winter?
— Mary Oliver

Spring and we’re off to a running start beginning with our Women’s Media Summit retreat in March, followed by two Spring Soirees, an upcoming WMS film financing forum (May 3 -5), two filmmaker residencies, two youth mentorship programs, our ongoing Film Arts Series with PAAM, and our first ever Jamaican Film Festival. Mark your calendars to meet Mutabaruka, Jamaica’s renowed actor, dub poet, educator (May 17 – 19th) along with countless other Jamaican filmmakers.

Next weekend, May 3 – 5 is our 2nd Annual Film Financing forum supporting diverse voices in filmmaking. The event is organized by PFS and Advisory Board member Ash Christian, a talented and crazy busy producer. We met Ash fifteen years ago when he premiered his directorial debut FAT GIRLS at the festival. Since then, he’s returned to the festival with dozens of other films he’s directed and produced. Last year, we screened his moving AIDS film titled 1985 directed by Yen Tan. Ash has assembled an exciting line-up of decision-makers who have financed or secured financing for films distributed by all the major studios. Speaking from my own experience as a producer, the fact that the forum takes place in a more intimate setting in Provincetown where everyone is removed from the distractions of the industry is perhaps the greatest benefit to those who participate. Register for one or all three days. Spots for the May 3 – 5th forum are still available.

Emily Hubley

We’re excited to welcome Rani Crowe to Provincetown in a few weeks to participate in the women filmmaker’s residency program. When I asked how she wanted to spend her time beyond working on her screenplay, she replied, “I want to visit with the whales.” Judging from the twenty whales we saw yesterday off the coast, I believe that we will be able to deliver. Emily Hubley, who completed her residency a few weeks ago, has been to Provincetown dozens of times, but she had never been to the dune shacks. Jay Critchley from the Provincetown Compact kindly treated us to a lovely afternoon in one of the shacks where we built a fire and ate sandwiches that somehow taste more delicious when imagining all the creative endeavors that found their inspiration in that very space. Emily is this year’s animator for our PIFF trailer and her work will be featured at the Schoolhouse Gallery throughout the festival.

This year, the Women’s Media Summit, a think tank addressing gender inequity in U.S., turned its powerful intelligence on the summit itself focusing on the ways in which the summit can support the initiatives that came out of the original summit. One of which focused on diversity incentives in film tax credit programs offered in states across the country, including in Massachusetts. Focusing less on the political implications, representative Sarah Peake spoke to the group about the ways in which the summit could work with state and house representatives to design and propose new legislation. To join in on the conversation, please contact and you will be added to the summit mailing list.

Heartfelt gratitude goes out to Christine Barker, Ken Fulk, and Javier Morgado for hosting our spring soiree in New York and to Javier Echinique for a lovely dinner during Fashion Week in Palm Springs. We dined at the stunning home of Ted Chapin and Torrence Boone where the very talented Frank Helmer spoke about his successful career as a costume designer.
With so much going on, I must say that the encouragement and appreciation felt at these dinners in particular serves as a gentle boost to me and our staff that our work is valued and supported.

Summer is around the corner, but for now, we revel in the glories of Spring.

by Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring
down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring
I think of her…


Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO

Join the Women’s Media Summit and Provincetown Film Society at the 2nd Annual Film Financing Forum on May 3–5 at the newly renovated Provincetown Commons!

The forum is designed for narrative and documentary filmmakers, producers, investors, and developers who are interested in learning the nuts and bolts of film financing from industry professionals who specialize in getting projects made.

Unique to other conferences, the Film Financing forum will also address the ways in which diversity and inclusion can be leveraged as a positive business strategy in today’s changing marketplace.

Three-day Forum includes:

  • Panel discussions about the three-legged stool of film financing: pre-sales, equity, and soft money
  • Breakout sessions on delving more deeply into tax credits, gap financing, foreign sales, and angel investing
  • Learning how to structure a business plan (with sample business plans), building a team, and packaging projects
    Sessions on how to develop strategies for marketing and securing distribution
  • Networking and meeting one-on-one with producers and financiers who are actively seeking projects

PFS Members receive 10% off when they use the code “FFFMember10” at checkout!

Film Financing Forum Scholarship

Looking for some financial assistance to attend the Forum this year? Now announcing our Film Financing Forum Scholarship! The application is simple and accessible for any level of filmmaker, so click here to apply today!


To see all the panelists attending the Film Financing Forum, click here.

Jamaica On Film

Provincetown Film Society is pleased to present Jamaica on Film, Provincetown’s first annual three-day festival dedicated to Jamaican style, culture, and cinema.
Join PFS May 16th-19th with honored guest, Mutabaruka for a weekend of screenings, panel discussions, and parties.
Highlights of the program include SPRINTER directed by Storm Saulter and executive produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, with Saulter and actor Shontol Jackson in attendance; LIFE AND DEBT introduced by director Stephanie Black; GHETT’A LIFE, featuring a panel discussion with director Chris Browne; and a weekend of incredible parties!


Last summer I watched each episode of the hit series, Pose. I was immediately transfixed by the character of Candy. Her comedic timing was so good when trading insults with Billy Porter’s character, Pray Tell, and when dealing with the after effects of a cheap derrière enhancement. I thought that she must have a background in comedy or improv. I quickly found out she is much more than a comedic actress. A whole lot more. Angelica Ross is the CEO of her own tech company, TransTech Social Enterprises, a tireless advocate for trans rights, a singer, producer… that’s just scratching the surface. Multiple times during our interview, I found myself thinking, ‘You do that too?!’ Read on to find out more about her outstanding work and why she’ll always make time to watch Coming to America.

Julie Rockett: I just wanted to start by saying I love your show, Pose, so much. As soon as I saw you on the screen, I thought, ‘I’ve got to interview her!’ And when doing my research for today, I became and even bigger fan. I’d love for you to share some information about the company you founded, TransTech.

Angelica Ross: TransTech has always been a passion project. It came out of my own pursuit for survival and then going from surviving to thriving. As my celebrity grows, my access and influence to expand my network grows and we are able to raise funds for my company. We’re in the midst of a finance campaign so that we can roll out all of the things that I envisioned for TransTech but didn’t have funding for. My hope is that we can get the word out and, at the very least, hire more trans people. We created this platform with the LGBTQ Task Force. Companies hire our TransTech employees who work remotely. They clock in and our program takes screenshots every 10 minutes and the employers can add notes to the work. Instead of a company training someone on their own, they can hire one of our experts. They can get work done quicker and it’s better for the company’s bottom line. We’re basically trying to make these training tech hub spaces across the country where I can make sure that our Trans members have a safe space to learn and work.

JR: You were self-trained in coding?

AR: Correct.

JR: So does your company train these employees or do they come already knowing how to code?

AR: Basically, our thing is that we don’t focus on coding. TransTech is a conversation about the intersections of your passions and technology. How can technology help you step your game up to the next level? For some folks, that’s creating their own music channels. For others, it’s software development and finding the right boot camp and mentors. For instance, the essence of what I’m doing here is like the movie Avatar. These folks were going after what they thought was the most valuable resource, when in reality the most valuable resource was the people. And when they’re connected as a network, they become the infrastructure of the planet. With TransTech and our community, we have, historically, looked outside our community and outside ourselves for support that has been flailing. What I’m trying to do is have us look inside and take an inventory of our talent, resources and skills that we already have and, ‘each one, teach one’. So the purpose of the TransTech Summit that we host is to show that the trans and non-binary community has authorities in these lanes, so let’s utilize them.

JR: I mean this as the highest compliment, my Mother is a sort of pioneer in her field. I remember someone coming up to her and saying, “Because of you, my daughter knows that someone that looks like her can be a surgeon.” My mother’s reaction was and she is, “You shouldn’t limit your daughter like that. If she loves something and is good at it, encourage her. Don’t seek permission. She doesn’t need someone that looks like me to have already done it.” I see you as having done that. You don’t need anyone to pave your way, you’ve paved your own.

AR: Absolutely! We have a new partnership agreement with Medys, which is a data management group, where we’ll host TransTech Talks at their locations throughout the country. These talks will help us reach out to trans and non-binary folks… with people of color, and trans people and trans people of color, we have always had this feel of doing a lot with very little. With our ancestors like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera doing sex work to keep the Star House alive and help our brothers and sisters. It’s the same situation where I keep being invited and awarded and people congratulate me and say we are doing wonderful things, which we are, but there’s still a lot of lip service. There’s not that same level of support that you see with Marriage Equality. So hopefully, we will be recognized as an organization that puts money in people’s pockets and helps build their portfolios and we can get some of those grants out there.

JR: I hope so, too. On a different note, have you visited Provincetown?

AR: I have. I performed a few songs with my guitar at the Crown & Anchor.

JR: You sing, too?

AR: I do. I’ve had a career that’s varied. This is an idea that I’ve tried to impart at TransTech. Whatever you want to pursue, you have to be willing to start at Step 1. Meaning you have to educate yourself. Education for me was doing community theatre, choir, being a liquor spokesperson at bars… I have done it all, commercial, runway, an extra on CSI, so to be here right now is an accumulation of a lot of hard work and staying the course and not giving up.

JR: Can you tell me what your first favorite film was?

AR: I think it was Beauty & The Beast. I just remember it bringing the queen out of me. The musical theatre and the animation really spoke to me. I remember buying it on DVD and singing along to all of the songs. I believe I saw myself as a smart, pretty Belle under the surface. Of course, this was way before my transition.

JR: Was there a show or movie that you saw that made you say, “That’s what I want to do!”

AR: For me it was live theatre that was something that initially called me and then seeing Brandy’s acting and singing career unfold was inspiring. I’m huge fan of action films. That’s what I’d love to do next because I feel like I have the body for action. (Laughs) Something like The Matrix or Blade.

JR: I saw that Patti Lupone is joining the Pose cast. To that end, I’m wondering if you’ve ever been star struck?

AR: It does not happen often but I attended a Netflix party and saw Angela Bassett. I was talking in a corner to friends and she walked up and said, “So this is Angelica!” I turned around and froze. As she walked towards me I thought she was a goddess. I was speechless. I had the same reaction when I met President Obama. I just lost my words! I might have managed a hello. I definitely didn’t get to say all of the things I wanted to say.

JR: I was star struck watching the Oscars and seeing Billy Porter (Pose’s Pray Tell)’s outfit and seeing Glenn Close’s reaction.

AR: Oh yes!

JR: I imagine his feet haven’t touched the ground yet.

AR: He broke the internet. Now I know I have to step my game up. (Laughs) It’s Billy’s time. He’s been around for awhile. He has more talent in his pinky finger than most folks have. He deserves all the love that he’s finally getting.

JR: Is there a film you saw recently that moved you?

AR: I saw If Beale Street Could Talk in the theatre and it was sad and beautiful and heartbreaking. The difficult thing with Black movies is that they’re about slavery or injustice and we don’t usually have the opportunity to tell a simple love story. It’s tough to see love and joy in Beale Street and know that it’s fleeting. I also would love to hopefully see movies that aren’t seen through a white person’s experience like The Help. I’d love to see more films like Jordan Peele’s Get Out. That movie could not have been made by anybody else! We all miss out on so much when we don’t create space for black and brown filmmakers.

JR: Is there a dream person that you would love to work with?

AR: I would love a Cicely Tyson moment like the one that Viola Davis got with Cicely on How to Get Away With Murder. Or Angela Bassett or Denzel Washington. I would absolutely love to work with them. I used to study their scenes when I was studying acting in college.

JR: Where did you go to college?

AR: I originally started at The University of Wisconsin at Parkside when I was 17. I left college for the military and took a life detour. I eventually was discharged from the military. They hung me out of a 3-story window trying to get me to admit I was gay. I got out of there by the skin of my teeth. At 24, I went back to school at Florida Atlantic University and I studied theatre there.

JR: I could talk about your history for hours but I know you have to get back to filming, so getting back to movies… what’s a movie that you can happily watch over and over again?

AR: Coming to America comes to mind right away. All of the Friday films. Those are classic comedies that I will watch from top to bottom.

JR: I just want to preface that it’s not stalking. It’s research. (Laughs) I saw that your parents accompanied you to the HRC Visibility Awards and recently you posted a sweet text from your mother on Instagram. It looks like you have some wonderful parents. Is there anything they introduced you to in the creative arts space?

AR: My Mom and I watched a lot of TV and movies together and one of those films was Harlem Nights. It was an adult movie but my Mom would cackle laughing so hard at it. We all did and we all enjoyed it together. We always supported black films as a family.

JR: Do you have any upcoming projects besides Pose?

AR: I do. I have a web series that I produced and I make an appearance in called King Esther. We are premiering at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. It stars a black trans woman and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Janet Hubert is in it. It takes place in New Orleans seven days before Hurricane Katrina. We had a great time making it. I’m really looking forward to going on the festival circuit with it.

JR: Thank you so much for your time! I hope you and your guitar make it back to Provincetown again very soon!

AR: Thank you so much!


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



This past month, PFS was in Minneapolis. Full disclosure, Minneapolis is my hometown and that of our director of programming Andrew Peterson and our new shorts programmer Valerie Deus, whom we’re excited to welcome to the team. While March is not the ideal time weather-wise to visit Minneapolis (East Coast reporters visited the state in the fall of 1885 and wrote, “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation”), it was a great time to catch-up with a group of filmmakers whose films had screened in Provincetown. Norah Shapiro’s documentary TIME FOR ILHAN won the PIFF 2018 audience award, Melody Gilbert screened her film THE SUMMER HELP about seasonal workers from Bulgaria at the Waters Edge Cinema, STAY THEN GO director Shelli Ainsworth participated in our women’s residency program, and emerging director Shelby Dillon revealed that PIFF was her first festival. Speaking to an intimate group of fifty about their work and the challenges that they face working outside of the industry—the filmmakers provided an inspiring reminder about the resilience and stamina of these talented artists.

Fortunately, each and every one of these filmmakers embraces the power that they have as artists to effect positive change. They do their part by opening up a window into the lives and worlds of those whom we are not accustomed to seeing (the foreign worker, the female muslim politician, the mother whose son has autism.) Ainsworth said, “The best way I can contribute is to tell the stories that matter to me and hopefully in the process, cultivate a more empathetic world.”

Later this month, we’ll be in Palm Springs during Fashion Week to interview Costume Designer Frank Elmer talking about the craft of designing for the screen. On April 6th, board members Christine Barker along with advisory board member Javier Morgado and a great champion Ken Fulk are hosting a soiree to benefit all of our efforts.

Closer to home, in Provincetown, on March 23rd, we hope that all who can join will participate in our Women’s Media Summit retreat where we will strategize about the most effective ways in which we can contribute to a national conversation around equity that continues to advance the cause forward. The good news, since the first summit, the numbers are changing. In a recent USC Annenberg Initiative study, conducted by 2018 WMS keynote speaker Stacy Smith, the number of women directing in Hollywood has increased from 1.9% to 4% and the number of black directors has climbed from six to sixteen in the past year. Importantly, among the several conclusions drawn from the study are that we need to support non-profit organizations that provide training to new filmmakers. Whether you’re a filmmaker or not, you are encouraged to attend! Your voice and input is vital to this important conversation.

In the meantime, here’s sending warmth and gratitude to our friends in Minneapolis and those throughout the world who are building empathy in the world. We’re working hard to ensure your success.

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO

Welcoming Our Festival Staff!

Valérie Déus is a poet and film curator. Her work has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Midway, aforemention productions, the St. Paul Almanac and most recently in The BeZine. Her chapbook, Skull-Filled Sun, is available on Amazon.

When she’s not writing, she hosts Project 35, a local low-fi radio show featuring music from all over the diaspora and poetry. She curates Film North’s Cinema Lounge and is the Shorts Programmer for the Provincetown International Film Festival.

This is Chris’s first official year with PIFF as festival co-manager. He was previously engaged for the production of PIFF’s 2018 – 20th anniversary gala. Combining his admiration for Ptown and movies, this is a perfect match and he feels privileged to work on this year’s festival. Chris has been working in production for most of his career on a range of projects, having 20+ years of experience in media/video/event production. When he is not working on PIFF he is an independent events and media producer and director. Last year and currently he worked with DKR Films on the “Our History Project” Plymouth 400 video series, Ptown TEDx, and most recently he worked for Columbia Pictures on Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig.

Most of Chris’s career has been working as a senior producer, program manager, and director at creative branding agencies. He worked on events, brand campaigns, and digital media productions at Cramer for a wide range of corporate and nonprofit clients on projects acknowledged with multiple Telly awards. A longtime Boston resident transplanted from upstate New York, Chris is a three-time participant in the 48 Hour Film Project as well as a three-time Boston marathon runner. He lives in Dorchester and has no pets.


Writer and Director Matt Brown hails from my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts. When I interviewed him he said, “Growing up there, nobody’s parents worked in the film industry. Hearing about someone that was in show business was akin to hearing that someone worked on the moon. It didn’t even register to me as a possible career until I was 20.” I know exactly what he means by that. At that time, maybe an episode of Spenser For Hire or exterior shots of Cheers were filmed in Boston, but for the most part, Hollywood seemed to exist on another planet. In view of that, it is amazing that Matt forged his own path into filmmaking with little to no experience or connections.

Last year, his labor of love, The Man Who Knew Infinity, was released. He read the book many years ago and even though he describes himself as, “definitely not a math whiz,” he was attracted the human relationship at the core of this story and dedicated years into getting this film made. Matt will be directing another film soon and is developing a television project. Despite that busy schedule, he made time to speak to me about his favorite films.

JR: I always like to start with this question: What was your first favorite film?

MB: My first favorite film was kind of a toss up between Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Arc, but I was only six or seven years old with Star Wars, so I will probably say Raiders made the bigger impression. I remember the opening sequence so well with the giant boulder rolling towards Indy and all the poison darts being shot at him. I saw it in the theatre which was so jammed packed with people, long lines and cars parked illegally on the roadside. It was a real event that lived up to the hype, the likes of which I don’t think we will see again for movies. I have lots of favorite films from different periods in my life, but Raiders was really the first where I was like, ‘Wow! Movies are the greatest thing in the world!’

JR: Do you have a favorite documentary?

MB: When We Were Kings is hands down my favorite documentary of all time. When I rented it I think I watched it three times in a row, literally. I just didn’t know! Ali bomaye! Ali is the real G.O.A.T. and all this talk of Lebron or Brady is absurd in comparison. As for the documentary itself, I was so blown away by how the film captured the time, the politics, the music and culture. It’s the first time I truly understood the emotional impact a documentary could make. Granted having a Ali as the subject is kind of cheating…

I also remember Hearts of Darkness making a strong impression on me when I first got into film. And I have lived on a steady diet of Ken Burns, I’m watching Jazz now. Fog of War was pretty enlightening and I remember seeing Roger and Me in the theatre, packed at the time, ahh the good old days…

JR: What was your first R rated film?

MB: The first R rated film… this is a tough one… I remember as kids we snuck into Alien, back when you could finish seeing one film and then sneak into another theatre at the multiplex. And yeah, that’s one where I wish we hadn’t. It was traumatizing, with the guy’s belly exploding!
Also I remember seeing Deer Hunter and the Russian roulette scene at too young an age! And, of course, there was Stripes with the shower scene and mud wrestling! It’s interesting how film was such an integral part of growing up for our generation. It was a far more innocent approach than how it must be for kids with searching the internet today! I feel like much of what we learned through movies helped form our emotional intelligence. Or, perhaps, lack there of, depending on the films.

JR: Do you have a dream subject or person you would like to work with?

MB: Is there a dream subject?…. Not so much for me, but more a dream approach to filmmaking. I am a student of history and many of the stories I gravitate towards are set in other times and often remote locations. I love to recreate worlds to help tell these stories. Part of that is probably my love of adventure, but I’m a bit old school in that I would far prefer to find a great location and fill it with real props and real people rather than CGI everything. But there are costs to this, and at the end of the day whatever serves the film best is what is most important. But when I see a film like There Will Be Blood, I become inspired.

JR: What film do you feel is under-appreciated?

MB: Hmm, again, tough question. The landscape has changed so much recently. So many more films are getting made because of new technology, but so few films actually getting any support on release. So I feel that most films being made now are probably under-appreciated. We don’t even know they exist unless we trip over them by dumb luck. It is easier to point out about past films, as recently as five years ago, that had big P and A expenditures and still did poorly because of critical response or timing that might have caused them to be overlooked. But today, it’s very very difficult to get noticed. So I wouldn’t have just one film to suggest, although I did write one called London Town that had little to no support from the distributor, but slowly is finding its own audience in the kids it was written for.

JR: Is there a film from your youth that you find holds up? Is there one that doesn’t hold up?

MB: I can report that It’s a Wonderful Life and Sound of Music hold up brilliantly. I watched The Shining a little while ago, one of my all time favorites, and it too was great until the blood scene in the elevator. Not so sure the 70’s style VFX held up there. We also watched A Star is Born from the 70’s the other night. The performances were great, especially Streisand, but boy maybe the 70’s should just stay in the 70’s. (laughs)

JR: What is that made you fall in love with filmmaking?

MB: I fell in love with filmmaking through mostly Independent and European films. I always loved characters and stories, but I discovered it more as an art form when I finally realized that subtitles were not a four-letter word and there were so many wonderful films outside of Hollywood. I remember loving Europa Europa and, of course, Cinema Paradiso, but Kieslowski’s Blue is probably the film that really caught my attention and inspired me to want to make films myself.

JR: I read that your film,  The Man Who Knew Infinity,  took 12 years to make. Was there a moment when you thought the project might never see the light of day,  and if so, what turned things around? 

MB: Infinity was very difficult to get made. A film about math, starring an Indian and a closeted British Don with an unknown writer-director was not exactly screaming “fund me!” to Hollywood. But when Dev Patel signed on things began to turn around, and then Jeremy Irons said yes. I suppose we just needed to wait for Dev to get old enough for the role and then we were lucky enough to have him take a chance on me! He was so good that it was worth the wait.

JR: It has been soo great to speak with you! Best of luck on your upcoming projects!

MB: Thank you!

Says WIFVNE President Alecia Orsini: “The Women’s Media Summit is an important event that continues the conversation around changing the landscape for women in film. Not to mention a great day of sisterhood.”





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


Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin embark on a historic trip to the moon. (Rated G, 93 min)


Laura and her two children travel from Argentina to Spain to attend her sister’s wedding. The joyful reunion soon turns tragic when her older daughter gets kidnapped — revealing a dark web of hidden secrets. Starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. (Rated R, 133 min)

Playing this month in The Provincetown Film Art Series
Curated and hosted by Howard Karren, Arts Editor of the Provincetown Banner

LATE SPRING (1949)—It may not translate directly to American experience, but in Ozu’s tender masterpiece, 27-year-old Noriko (a radiant Setsuko Hara) passionately believes that staying home to look after her aging father and not getting married is an expression of her independence and freedom. Co-written and directed by Yasujiro Ozu, with Setsuko Hara and Chishu Ryu, in Japanese with English subtitles. (108 minutes)

Playing Wednesday, March 20 @ 7pm



Dare I write that winter rivals spring for my favorite time of year in Provincetown. One can stroll the streets or walk along the ocean without spying nary a soul. And yet, we know that we’re not alone. We congregate at the cinema or at a PAAM opening or at a reading at the library or at a play at the theater or at the Tuesday community potlucks, where creativity abounds as evidenced by the dozens of variations on the crockpot dish witnessed at Seashore Point the other night.

We welcome the quiet moments, shared or otherwise though, as January launches the film society into full-time planning and prep mode for our spring and summer programs. This past month, half of our team took a few days to head to Utah for the annual conference of art film exhibitors to pool intelligence about art house sustainability, sharpen our programming philosophies, and improve upon our operating structures. Board members Anthony Lawson and Christine Barker and I attended (what I refer to as) strategic planning boot camp in New York City hosted by Manish Thakur of Option3Ventures and led by Fabienne Gimenez EVP at Cardworks. To the rest who generously shared their time and their brilliance, we are truly grateful. Thank you Mike Syers, Jason Drucker, Alexandra Foucard, Nadine Licostie, Annetta Marion, and Tracy Passerella.

Among the concepts that we grappled with was how to build community while preserving a space for the ‘diverse voice.’ One participant revealed to us that as a gay, non-Christian, man of color, in his experience, ‘community’ has never been a welcoming term. I am hoping to explore this concept further at our Women’s Media Summit retreat next month on March 23rd where we will also reevaluate the goals and purpose of the summit. Three years after starting the summit, so much has changed. Our goal at this upcoming retreat is to determine how the Women’s Media Summit can support change while coming up with ways to acknowledge and ground the differences among us. Please, please join us for this important conversation!!!

In our ongoing effort to promote diversity and inclusion, we are excited to announce two new mentorship programs named after two individuals who have had an important impact on the arts in Provincetown and in their work with students. The Anthony Lawson LGBTQ Mentorshp Program and the Tim McCarthy LGTBQ International Student of Color Scholarship program will enable us to empower the next generation of LGBTQ filmmakers to create and tell their stories. These programs are made possible by the Conte Family of Andover, MA and Paul Breen and Bo Harris of Provincetown. For more information, go to

Valentine’s Day is upon us and we urge one and all to take a cherished person in their lives to their favorite arthouse cinema to see Pawel Pawlikowski’s romantic Oscar-nominated film COLD WAR or for a different kind of love story, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Oscar-nominated short END GAME. Keeping our fingers crossed for Rob and Jeff, who serve on the advisory board to the film society. This is academy award number three for them! These films are the kind of work that motivates and inspires us to do what we do and you are the folks who help us make it happen. So here’s sending you all a Valentine’s gift in the form of a Mary Oliver poem, the beloved Provincetown poet who sadly passed away this month.


Not anyone who says, “I’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “I’m going to choose slowly,”
but only those lovers who didn’t choose at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible and powerful and uncontrollable
and beautiful and possibly even
unsuitable —
only those know what I’m talking about
in this talking about love.

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


Berta Walker

Berta Walker curator, gallery owner (in Wellfleet & Provincetown), artist, philanthropist and Ptown local is February’s Member in The News.

With deep and personal ties in the lower and outer cape, Berta is a humanitarian and philanthropist for the arts recognizing film as medium and art form. She is somewhat of a cinephile, and very known by PFS staff to weigh in on her festival favorites year after year.

Berta’s reach does not just expand the east coast, her connections and grasp has been national and global in scope. In her career, Berta’s art form has been to curate exhibitions with finesse showcasing works from the likes of artisan greats Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Ross Moffett, Agnes Weinrich, Dorothy Lake Gregory, Varujan Boghosian and Blanche Lazzell to name a few.

Artists Gloria Nardin and Peter Watts were trusted friends. Last year Berta curated an exhibition to honor Nardin after her death. She said, “I wanted to treat myself to her energy and the energy of her special friends. As I write this, I feel Gloria’s light and twinkle, smiling humbly and happily”.[1]

In 2015 Berta showcased a brilliant exhibition called “Trio of Friends” with works of artist Varujan Boghosian, Paul Resika and the late Sidney Simon. This event presented a rare opportunity to see Simon’s works.

In 2016 an exhibition marking the centennial of Provincetown as an art colony was a highpoint of the season. The exhibition “Bound East for Provincetown,” showcased the work of 29 artists who were in town. Her gallery motto is “Presenting the history of American Art as seen through the eyes of Provincetown.” One needs not look far to see that she is accomplishing that goal with every exhibition.

Berta opened her first gallery in Provincetown in 1989 which resides today at 208 Bradford Street. Her sensitivity and discretion complements her wonderful instincts and artistry for the varied exhibitions that bedazzle the outer cape.

[1] Gloria in Excelsis – Entertainment – Wicked Local Provincetown – Provincetown, Ma. – June 15, 2018

Do you have news you’d like to share in our newsletter? Send us a message!


We’d like to welcome our newest member of the Provincetown Film Society team—Ellen Birmingham! Ellen is a Cape Cod native who grew up in Harwich and currently resides in Chatham. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Arts Management, with additional studies in Theater Arts. Ellen got her start in the non-profit arts world six years ago as the Director of Marketing & Communications and Box Office Manager for The Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans, along with being an actor, singer, stage manager, and designer for countless performances and events with a number of Cape theaters. A lover of music, Ellen plays violin and serves on the Board of Directors for the Cape Community Orchestra, and is a member of the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women.

Let’s all go to PIFF 2019!

Submissions for the 2019 Provincetown Film Festival are NOW OPEN!
Join us for this 5-day film festival, from June 12—16. Each year, we showcase independent film in America’s first art colony and celebrate the power of artists who continue to operate outside the mainstream.

Now in its 21st successful year, PIFF has permanently established itself as the largest cultural event in lower Cape Cod and Provincetown’s premier cultural event, attracting 10,000 plus film-goers, movie buffs, and arts patrons. This festival showcases over 100 American and international independent narrative, documentary and animated features and shorts as well as panel discussions and special events.




Join us May 16th–19th for Jamaica On Film, a three day celebration of all things Jamaica – its films, its filmmakers and its culture. Replete with a vibrant history, Jamaica has long captivated the imagination of filmmakers and audiences alike.

Our three day festival will feature just some of the great films that have their roots in Jamaica, kicking off with an opening night screening and reception of Idris Elba’s directorial debut, YARDIE, and culminating in a special 45th anniversary presentation of THE HARDER THEY COME, Jamaica’s most celebrated film.



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


This 2019 Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film enthralls you with an impossible love story in impossible times. A tantalizing period piece set against 1950s Europe, COLD WAR tells the story of a music director who falls deeply in love with a singer and then tries to persuade her to flee communist Poland for France. Inspired by a real Polish folk dance troupe and the story of his parents, writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski was the only Director to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director without having his film in the best picture category.

Playing this month in The Provincetown Film Art Series
Curated and hosted by Howard Karren, Arts Editor of the Provincetown Banner

OBIT (2016)—Death may not be proud, but it produces some of the best journalism in The New York Times, or so it would seem in Vanessa Gould’s crisp and engaging documentary about how obituaries are written in the paper of record. Directed by Vanessa Gould, with Bruce Weber, William McDonald, and Margalit Fox. (93 minutes)

Playing Wednesday, February 20 @ 7pm


Join us this year for one of our many events celebrating 100 year of cinema in Provincetown! Stay tuned all year as we announce parties, special screenings, and exciting guests that remind us of the joy the movies have brought to our community for a century!


Julie Rockett

Drew Droege

I can’t remember why I was sad at the time but I do remember sitting on a porch with my friend Joe who handed me a drink and his iPhone and had me watch a video titled, “Chloë Sevigny: Toast”. I heard the words “Ironic coin skort by Obesity & Speed” and quickly forgot my troubles. That night and some trying days since, I have relied on Drew Droege’s hysterical videos to be my anthropomorphized shot of Prozac.

One can imagine my excitement when Drew responded that he would love to discuss films with me. He graciously took time from his hella busy schedule to discuss his upcoming projects, his belief that comedy doesn’t have to be safe, and his wonderfully quirky and dark sense of humor.

JR: First of all, I would like to say that I am so bummed that your TV series, Heathers, was barely shown.

DD: Oh thanks, we are too. It was a dream gig to do. Growing up I watched Heathers all the time. It changed my life. Then when I saw that Jason Micallef had brilliantly reimagined it and asked me to be a part of it, I was ecstatic. And on top of that Matt McConkey and other friends were writing for it… then across-the-board, it became the most amazing experience creatively and emotionally for me.

Sadly, we’re at a real strange time in our world with comedy. What we can and can’t do is so limited. It’s a hard, literal space were stuck in. For anything funny to have edge or be biting without people being triggered is rare.

JR: ‘Triggered’ is exactly the word. Like we have to be safe with comedy these days and historically comedy was never safe.

DD: It’s a difficult spot. Heathers was such a queer show and so was the film. It was also about outsiders retaliating against the mean girls. And we reimagined it with plus-size and queer Heathers and Heathers of color, but people still seemed to have a hard time understanding the messages like, ‘people are human’ and ‘power corrupts’. No matter who it is that is put in power, in this case teenagers, things get turned on their ears.

Then there was all the gun violence on the show… Comedy is a social corrective. We were making the point that this is wrong and should not happen. There was nothing glorifying violence about the show at all.

Ultimately, the people that saw Heathers loved it and it was a dream to be part of it.

JR: Moving on to film, let’s discuss your first favorite film.

DD: It was ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. I was a huge horror fan, even as a small kid. I loved Freddy Krueger. I thought Robert Englund was brilliant. Ronee Blakely gives that great performance as a drunk mother. It’s a movie that to this day I feel is incredibly well-made. Nancy is a ‘final girl’ that fights back and I think that was a first. And it’s a movie about children paying for the sins of their parents. That’s something that resonates with me. It’s still one of my favorite films.

JR: My own parents would never have let me see a movie like that when I was kid, probably because they knew I would never fall asleep again, but it sounds like your parents were much more flexible when it came to movie viewing.

DD: Anything that was sexual was something they made me wait longer to see because we live in America and sex is taboo. I’m not sure why they were okay with it. Maybe Freddy Krueger was such a monster that he was separate from reality? I also loved the Thriller video and KISS when I was a kid. I didn’t know a KISS song, I just liked the way they looked. The old Batman show was a favorite. It was drag in its own way and I loved that stuff.

JR: Do you remember seeing any cult classics when you were young?

DD: Heathers, of course. That was something that I completely fell in love with. It started my love for dark comedy and that feeling of: should I laugh or be shocked? On top of that it was really offensive and so funny.

Another thing that came up during that time that had a profound effect on me was Married With Children. It was that same feeling of making fun of that perfect pop culture idea of what a family was.

JR: It sounds like you developed a very iconoclastic sense of humor early on.

DD: Definitely. And it makes me so happy to see my nephews, who are eleven and seven, develop such a wicked sense of humor. I get a kick out of seeing that passed down through the family. My brother is so excited to tell me that the kids watched Clue and loved it. I was like, ‘Thank god your kids are so cool and that they already love cool things!’

When they were younger, we watched Annie and they just perked up any time Carol Burnett appeared onscreen. Carol Burnett is the reason I’m an entertainer. As a three-year-old, I wasn’t into cartoons, my Mom tells me that I loved watching Carol Burnett Show reruns. My mom told me that I always got the jokes. But I wasn’t a genius – Carol Burnett was. She is pure comedy. It wasn’t intellectual but yet, it was brilliant.

JR: What documentaries do you recommend?

DD: There are so many. The most recent documentary that I saw was Shirkers. It’s a must-see for any filmmaker and any fan of 90s new wave filmmaking. It starts out as a young woman in Singapore who tries to make a film with no money and it’s about her crazy filmmaking teacher who inspired her. It’s mind blowing!

I was obsessed with Wild Wild Country. Grey Gardens, of course, remains a favorite.

JR: Did you see Bright Lights with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds? It’s like Grey Gardens without the squalor.

DD: Oh yes! It was so good! They definitely had the same dynamic, they needed each other. It was a comfort, actually. It made me feel okay about them dying a day apart. That’s how it should have been because they were such a team. I didn’t realize that they couldn’t exist without the other until saw the documentary. I don’t think anybody, except those that were really close to them, knew that.

JR: Right now in Massachusetts it is cold and rainy and all I want to do is get under a blanket and watch a movie. Are there any comforting movies that you recommend?

DD: There’s something really sick about me. <laughs> Maybe it’s because I do comedy a lot. I’m writing or performing or teaching it, so I don’t really wind down by watching a comedy. But once a year, when I’m in a certain mood, I watch Magnolia.

JR: What a great movie!

DD: I don’t know what it is. Maybe being in LA? I’m not sure. I do know that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. There’s something about the characters in that movie and its pace and the depth and the sadness. There so much comedy in it, too. It’s three hours that I really need once a year.

JR: I mean Tom Cruise, who knew?

DD: Oh my god, brilliant. He deserved an Oscar for that film. And Julianne Moore in the drugstore and the Aimee Mann soundtrack…

JR: And what’s your favorite film of all time?

DD: Nashville. I love those big ensemble, character-driven meandering stories where you have to decide what is the big picture. Every time you watch it you think, ‘oh it’s about this character’ or ‘this aspect’. It always changes and I love it so much.

JR: Is there a person or subject that you would love to work with?

DD: Yes, John Waters. I know he’s not really doing films and he’s so busy but that would be a dream come true. This industry is stupid and we have the MPAA who sees John Waters’ name on a movie and they slap a NC-17 rating on it so it’s impossible to get those movies made. He’s still such an icon despite that.

JR: What are you working on next?

DD: I’m writing for a show with RuPaul. It’s so cool because I’ve loved him all my life and now I get to create with him. It’s a new show for Netflix called AJ & The Queen. It should come out later this year. Ru’s an actor on this show and he’s really good in it. People will be blown away by him in this role. They’re filming my episode right now so we’ve been up until 3am filming, so I’m a bit of a vampire right now.

I’m also doing a play in LA this spring called Born To Win. We open in late February. It’s by Matt Wilkas from Gayby and it stars him, me, Daiva Dupree and Julanne Chidi Hill. It’s about Texas child pageants. So I’m learning lines right now. It’s crazy but it’s all good!



Five years ago, shortly after I assumed the role of CEO to the film society, we made the difficult decision to suspend daily programming at the Waters Edge Cinema during the winter months. Theater attendance in this largely seasonal town was simply not enough to support the cost of staff, heating, and exhibition fees necessary to run the theater and our debt was mounting. Needless to say, the public outcry was palpable, but it led to a greater awareness and appreciation on the communities and our part about the extent to which we take for granted the local arthouse cinema and the value that we place in these institutions of cultural engagement.

Thanks to a number of folks who rallied to come up with a variety of solutions and the resources to execute, the cinema has not shuttered its door for any extended period of time since. In fact, by building a marquee, boosting our visibility, working on new sources of revenue and increasing our summer programming, we were able to increase attendance and buck a national trend of cinema closures. Since 1995, the number of cinema sites in the U.S. has declined from 7719 to 5700, a reduction of 26%. Many of these theaters were dedicated solely to independent film.

The fact that we’re not only still here, but have been able to show a profit, gives cause for celebration. 2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of independent cinema in Provincetown. The Provincetown Theater, a 600-seat venue was built at our current location in 1919. To commemorate this incredible milestone, Cinema 100 will include a series of special programs, events, and activities throughout the year, celebrating not just the brick and mortar structure that we currently call the Waters Edge Cinema, but the dedicated space to arthouse cinema and what it represents to our community and to communities around the world.

Jay Critchley, Mike Syers, and Kenny Lonergan at Waters Edge Cinema

In his Golden Globes acceptance speech for his film “Roma”, Alessandro Cuaron said, “Cinema at its best…builds bridges to another culture. As we grow these bridges, we begin to realize that while they may be strange, they are not unfamiliar. We begin to understand exactly how much we have in common.” Without the curated experience of the arthouse cinema, thousands of brilliant films like these would not make it into our local communities let alone the public consciousness. Yet, perhaps and even more importantly, local arthouse cinemas have the opportunity to reflect back the tapestry of its local denizens. Over the holidays prior to the feature film programs, we screened a short gem of a film BECAUSE YOU’RE HERE about local town fixture Kenny Lonergan, directed by Mike Syers, a part-time resident and first time filmmaker who is actually a successful executive in the financial industry. While Mike may not be a celebrated director like Cuaron, he shares a common bond, a desire to reflect back the stories of the people in their lives who inspire and move them. We have the chance to share those stories—more than 1,000 times per year, in fact.

At the 2016 PFS Persistence of Vision award dinner, former film writer with Premiere Magazine and The Provincetown Banner Arts Editor Howard Karren also spoke of the opportunity that a darkened theater affords the audience to engage one-on-one with the filmmakers in the exact same environment in which the author envisioned. Ask anyone who loves film where they discovered their love of film and they will tell you – at the movies!!!

Cinema 100 at the Provincetown Film Society will reflect the local and far-reaching relevance of the arthouse cinema. In addition to special filmmaker screenings, among other activities will be a May Jamaica On Film festival celebrating the films, music, and food of one of the fastest growing communities in Provincetown. During the 2019 film festival, we’re excited about collaborating with Twenty Summers to present a restored version of the 1919 film DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS, the first pro-gay film ever produced at the historic Hawthorne Barn; a screening and lecture series on Democracy with a special superstar guest to be announced; a cinema wine dinner hosted by the famed renegade chef Barbara Lynch, an out-of-control crazy fun gala, and a Go Fund Me Campaign with lots of fun incentives to upgrade our cinema and ensure a quality screening experience in Provincetown for the next 100 years!

Finally, let me start the New Year sharing Golden Globe emcee Sandra Oh’s excitement for this moment of change that in my mind will only get brighter. Ms. Oh, “We see you! We see you!

Happy New Year!

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


Geode (2016) by Bailey Bob Bailey

The first new member of the Provincetown Film Society for 2019 is Bailey Bob Bailey. If one were to Google this month’s Member-in-the-News, you’d find that he is incredibly accomplished having received awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has been a fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown twice; he received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in sculpture and studied furniture design and woodworking at the Wendell Castle School, in Scottsville, NY.

He has exhibited internationally in Australia, at the Melbourne Art Fair; in Japan; in New York City at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn; in Hudson, NY at the Carrie Haddad Gallery; at Art Basel in Miami Beach; at the Farside Gallery; and the Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco. Bailey had exhibitions at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum; the Higgins Art Gallery of the Cape Cod Community College and at String Gallery, Wells College in Aurora, NY and he was a founding member/owner of artSTRAND, a gallery in Provincetown, MA. He lives with his wife Breon Dunigan, a sculptor, in Truro.

When we asked Steve Roderick, PFS CFO for a quote on one of his favorite artists, he said, “my art collection has more pieces from Bob Bailey than any other artist; not only is he an amazing artist and spectacular person, but he has a true gift for exhibition; he is a puzzle-master of sorts and can curate a show like no other person I have seen”.

We’re honored to add Bob to our growing list of members.

Do you have news you’d like to share in our newsletter? Send us a message!

Let’s all go to PIFF 2019!

Submissions for the 2019 Provincetown Film Festival are NOW OPEN!
Join us for this 5-day film festival, from June 12—16. Each year, we showcase independent film in America’s first art colony and celebrate the power of artists who continue to operate outside the mainstream.

Now in its 21st successful year, PIFF has permanently established itself as the largest cultural event in lower Cape Cod and Provincetown’s premier cultural event, attracting 10,000 plus film-goers, movie buffs, and arts patrons. This festival showcases over 100 American and international independent narrative, documentary and animated features and shorts as well as panel discussions and special events.




Last month, we were lucky enough to welcome Mike Syers and Kenny Lonergan, director and subject of Because You’re Here—winner of Best New England Short Film at the 2018 Provincetown Film Festival—back to Waters Edge Cinema for a special run of screenings prior to the new year.

Thanks to independent, art-house theaters like Waters Edge Cinema, stories like Because You’re Here can tell a story about the community in a space where they can enjoy it together. The cinema becomes a social center for sharing traditions, engaging in discourse, and learning empathy.

Special thanks to Mike and Kenny for joining us for a special Q&A screening, and many thanks to all the filmmakers who have joined us at Waters Edge this past year!


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


From the mind of Adam McKay (writer/director of The Big Short) comes VICE, the story of Dick Cheney during his tenure as the power-wielding Vice President of the United States, who was often described as one of the most seemly unassuming men in Washington. Christian Bale gives a powerhouse performance as Cheney, becoming almost unrecognizable as he succeeds in disappearing into the character. True to his reputation, Bale does not disappoint, and gives one of his most memorable performances to date.

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS is the feature directorial debut of Josie Rouke, who is most notable for her work as the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. Her productions have transferred to Broadway, the West-End and won Olivier Awards. Along with all this, she is the first woman director to run a major London theatre. Frequently, it is her character work that is most eye-catching for audiences, and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS is no exception. Margo Robbie and Saoirse Ronan star in this historical epic of feminism, independence and power, and are the definite not-to-be-missed rivalry of this year.

Playing this month in The Provincetown Film Art Series
Curated and hosted by Howard Karren, Arts Editor of the Provincetown Banner

A FLASH OF GREEN (1984)—A tonic fable for the Trump era: a small-town reporter on the rural Florida coast resists manipulation by corporate polluters and sides with an environmental activist. Victor Nunez (Ulee’s Gold), a quietly brilliant regional Florida filmmaker, once again heralds the extraordinary bravery of ordinary people. Written and directed by Victor Nunez, based on John D. MacDonald’s novel, with Ed Harris and Blair Brown. (131 minutes)

Playing Wednesday, January 9 @ 7pm

SALT OF THE EARTH (2014)—Wim Wenders fashions a documentary portrait of the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado—a man who has captured the plight of the world’s poor with apocalyptic beauty—with the help of Salgado’s son. Co-written and directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, With Sebastião Salgado, in French and Portuguese with English subtitles. (110 minutes)

Playing Wednesday, January 23 @ 7pm


Join us this year for one of our many events celebrating 100 year of cinema in Provincetown! Stay tuned all year as we announce parties, special screenings, and exciting guests that remind us of the joy the movies have brought to our community for a century!


Julie Rockett

Danny Franzese

You probably know Danny Franzese best from his iconic role as Damian from Mean Girls or Eddie in HBO’s Looking. In just a few years, he’s gone from open mic to headliner with his stand-up comedy. He’s also managed to be a vocal advocate for HIV education and treatment in his role as an ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

We were fortunate enough to speak with him about how he got his first film role, his adventures in Hollywood, and why Gremlins 2 is a political commentary designed for our times.

Danny was discovered in a gay club in Ft. Lauderdale called, ‘The Copa.’ He said, “There’s a legendary radio ad from the 80s that says Madonna’s coming one weekend and Divine’s coming the following weekend. The Copa was dingy by the time it got to me but there were still great acts and different people coming through there. I was doing musical theatre at the time.

“At the time, I hadn’t come out and had never been to a gay club. I was performing as Harry in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and one of my castmate’s partners was a famous drag queen. I went to see him at the Copa that night and there was a talent show. After that, I would perform each weekend after that and some months that would pay my rent.

“One weekend, filmmakers were scouting locations for the film Bully. I got up the courage to speak to the filmmakers who asked if I had seen the film, Kids. I just started quoting the film for them. Long story, short, Bully was a true crime story and I looked exactly like the real guy. I ended up getting cast a week later.”

He worked on the film Stateside with Penny Marshall and Carrie Fisher. He tells me that Carrie and he became close and she invited him to her birthday party, which he describes as, “The most Hollywood, bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“I invited my friend, actress Nicole Bilderback, and just told her that we were going to my friend Carrie’s party. Michael Keaton walked with her from the valet spot escorted her to the party. Carrie answered the door for us with Shirley MacLaine on one arm and George Lucas on the other arm. Let me just say this is the most name dropping story I have. I was surrounded by these huge stars who were just sitting around, eating fried chicken, and being low key. Like Tracey Ullman, Meg Ryan, and Rita Wilson were running around the party like 14-year-old girls.

“I was so nervous and didn’t know what to do or say. Carrie pulled me aside and said to me, ‘I know you feel out of place here but I invited you because you belong.’ Carrie was very loved and very fun.”

Danny played an HIV+ character on HBO’s Looking and stated that at the same time, a friend of his was diagnosed with HIV and he decided to not treat it. He reached out to my friend, Quinn Tivey, who is Elizabeth Taylor’s grandson, who in turn invited him to meet the new Director of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Danny said, “The Director ended getting my friend treatment and got him better. I confided in him that I was going to play an HIV+ character and he worked closely with me and HBO to get the correct information out there for my character.

Since then, I have become an ETF Ambassador and each year I go to Washington, D.C. to AIDS Watch and lobby Congress on behalf of people with HIV and AIDS.

“I found out that we have the tools to eradicate the disease by 96% but we don’t use them. There isn’t the awareness that there once was. When I was on Looking, my character was the first HIV+ series regular character on TV since Gloria Reuben in ER. In that time, GLAAD had discovered that the rise in new infections has grown every year since there wasn’t a story being told on television. There’s a direct relationship to these stories being told and people getting information. We recommitted Hollywood to tell more stories about HIV and now I think there are 5 or 6 regular characters out there.

“I’m proud of this and it’s become a passion of mine, knowing how close we are to actually ending HIV and realizing Elizabeth Taylor Foundation’s goals.”

Danny’s move to stand-up and his coming out story are intertwined. He states that in 2014, “I officially came out as gay and I know it wasn’t a shock to most people, but still I felt like there was something to be said for not saying something and saying something publicly.

“I always wanted to try stand-up but I felt so inauthentic or uncomfortable not speaking about my life. I then had the opportunity to go to some open mic nights. I also took a course at Second City Toronto. By the time I got back to LA, I hit the ground running. Now I’m performing an hour show about three times a week.”

JR: Do you recall your first favorite film?
DF: I was obsessed with Annie and then I got a little older and was obsessed with Ghostbusters and then it was Serial Mom. And I think my favorite comedies of all time are still Serial Mom and Soapdish. My favorite movies of all time are It’s a Mad Mad Mad World and Casino. I understand fandom because of Serial Mom and Friday. I know those films by heart so when people come and quote Mean Girls to me, I get it, because I, too, was a fan girl.

JR: Is there a film that you rediscovered?
DF: Yes, Roger Altman’s Popeye. I think it was really done well for its time.

JR: Are there any films out there that you wish more people had seen?
DF: I wish more people had seen some of my horror movies. There’s one called, Kill Theory, which is really fun movie and there’s another sort of cheesy Grindhouse film called Cruel World, which I think is fun late night watch. I Spit On Your Grave is a terrific revenge fantasy film. But those are all hard films to get out there and promote.

JR: What’s your favorite sequel?
DF: Gremlins 2! That movie is fantastic! First of all, one of the gremlins is trans so there’s that and the whole thing is basically about Donald Trump. Instead of Trump Tower, it’s another tower they’re all working at. There’s all these jokes about greed and capitalism. Then we get Tony Randall voicing the bad gremlin that tells us everything he’s thinking from an intellectual standpoint. What more could we ask for?

Gremlins was a horror story but kids loved it so much that they made Part II a comedy. It’s not very scary, it’s just funny. The saddest part of Part I is the old couple that gets bulldozed. In Part II they inexplicably bring the couple back. I love that movie so much.

JR: Do you have a favorite musical?
DF: Yes, it’s a deep cut: My Favorite Year. It was originally a movie with Peter O’Toole. They did it with Tim Curry on Broadway. It was amazing but it was short-lived.

JR: Is there a musical that you would like to see made into a movie?
DF: I’d love to see some of the old Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals updated. It would be great to see Carousel. Or Sideshow¸it’s the story of conjoined twins. It’s such a fascinating story.

JR: Is there a person, living or dead, that you would love to work with?
DF: Carol Burnett! I would love to meet her. I wrote her a letter in high school and she sent me back a signed picture.

JR: What are you working on?
DF: I’ll be directing a feature soon. I’m still touring. My website handle is @whatsupdanny. You can follow me there.

JR: Thank you for your time and for all the great film recommendations!

Pecker’s Point: December


One of the privileges of working in the non-profit sector is that we get a chance to work with and be inspired by passionate individuals who genuinely want to improve the common good of society. One of those prized individuals is Rick McCarthy, with whom I have had the privilege of working both as a fellow board member and as a true partner, in his capacity as chair of the board of the film society. After more than eight years of service, December marks Rick’s final month on the board. During those years, Rick served as a sounding board, mentor, role model and friend to me and his fellow board members demonstrating in deed and action that above all, service of any kind should be a joyful and uplifting endeavor. While Rick will remain on our Emeritus Board, I have no doubt that Rick will continue to pursue new ways to serve the causes that he cares about so deeply. Because of Rick, PFS and the world is indeed a better place.

L – R, PIFF Director of Development Sarah Nitsch, Emeritus Board President Rick McCarthy, Terrence Meck (from The Palette Fund)

Fortunately, there are others who share the same passion and enthusiasm for doing good in the world and we’re pleased to welcome new board member Christine Barker and advisory board members Javier Morgado and Wynn Salisch to the team.

Board Member Christine Barker

Wynn Salisch

Christine is one of those super women who pretty much excel at everything they do and make it seem effortless in the process. As founder and principal at Ecotekture Development and Design and a real estate investor and developer, Barker is helping us to advance the spirit of social entrepreneurship and innovation that are the hallmarks of a thriving organization.

Javi Morgado

In his role as Executive Producer of CNN’s New Day Show and former positions at NBC and Latina Magazine, advisory board member Javier Morgado combines his strong business and marketing skills with his passion for truth telling in the media and supporting LGBTQ rights and serving communities of color. Fortunately for us, Javier also has a passion for John Waters and the Provincetown Film Festival which will be greatly enriched with his involvement. Wynn Salisch brings more than 50 years of experience of directing more than 1,000 motion picture exhibition operations worldwide, but his passion for preserving the integrity and social function of the art house theater in all communities is what makes Salisch’s willingness to serve as a mentor to our key cinema staff so meaningful and impactful. While all these new board members bring a diverse set of skills and talents to the organization, they share a common attribute– a desire to make the world a better place.

L – R: Advisory Board member Ash Christian, Christine Walker, Javier Morgado

Christine, Javier and Wynn join an illustrious group of board and advisory board members, all of whom are doing extraordinary work, but I need to acknowledge the work of advisory board member and Sundance Festival Director John Cooper who along with Sundance Director of Programming Kim Yutani (a former programmer at PIFF) recently announced important institutional changes in their staffing, programming and tracking that I strongly believe will have a significant and meaningful impact on the number of films directed by women and people of color. Given their stature on the world stage, John and Kim are making bold moves that actually validate and further enables the work that we are doing at PFS.

2019 holds tremendous promise. We are excited to announce a whole slew of new programs in the New Year. Prior to that, you will receive our annual appeal letter or email requesting your much needed support. Until then, from the board, advisory board and staff at PFS, we wish for you the better world that we continue to work and strive for.

Happy Holidays,

Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


Film Society members since 2013, these two go hand-in-hand, everywhere, all the time. It’s impossible for us to choose to highlight just one of them without the other. Ilene Mitnick and Alli Baldwin, owners of Roux Provincetown, have been loyal members of the film society since they came to town 5 years ago. In fact you’ll find they are loyal to several charities on The Cape that they support including hosting the country’s largest annual lesbian wedding event – Bride Pride.

Like the Pilgrims before them, Alli and Ilene quickly became fixtures of Ptown from the moment they landed. Lucky for us they are avid lovers of all-things-film and have been known to sponsor everything at PFS from the annual honoree dinner for the film festival, to the Women’s Residency Program at the Provincetown Institute and the only annual Women’s Media Summit in the country.

On any given Sunday, one can see these two in the audience of the Waters Edge Cinema with popcorn awaiting the scheduled screening – or better yet smell them donned in their fragrant healing & essential oils from doTERRA – Ilene in her cloche hat and Alli most likely in a captain’s cap. It saddens us to say that these sightings will soon be coming to an end as they embark on a new journey to Sarasota Florida. Always in our hearts, their spirit will continue to fill the seats and we look forward to annual returns at Film Festival time. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Alli & Ilene for your loyalty and everlasting support.

Do you have news you’d like to share in our newsletter? Send us a message!

Let’s all go to PIFF 2019!

Submissions for the 2019 Provincetown Film Festival are NOW OPEN!
Join us for this 5-day film festival, from June 12—16. Each year, we showcase independent film in America’s first art colony and celebrate the power of artists who continue to operate outside the mainstream.

Now in its 21st successful year, PIFF has permanently established itself as the largest cultural event in lower Cape Cod and Provincetown’s premier cultural event, attracting 10,000 plus film-goers, movie buffs, and arts patrons. This festival showcases over 100 American and international independent narrative, documentary and animated features and shorts as well as panel discussions and special events.



Last month, Thomas Bena, Executive Director of Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival and documentary filmmaker, screened his ground-breaking film, One Big Home, at Waters Edge Cinema. Over ten years in the making, Bena’s film touches on the critical implications of building “mega-mansions” on already limited coastal lands, unnecessarily taxing resources and infrastructure in the townships throughout the cape and islands.

You may wonder, ‘what impact can be made with one person and an independent film?’ But thanks to filmmakers like Bena and the vision of OBH, in 2017 Truro passed a bylaw limiting house size in the National Seashore District; a bylaw now implemented town-wide.

PFS thanks Thomas and OBH for coming to Waters Edge Cinema to provide diverse and engaging dialogue around engaging, independent cinema for the community of Provincetown.

Upcoming screenings:

December 11, 2018 – 6:30 p.m. Barrington Public Library, Barrington, RI
January 17, 2019 – 7:00 p.m. Chelsea Theater Chapel Hill, NC



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


Director and American artist, Julian Schnabel, has this to say about his biographic drama on Van Gogh’s life as a painter: “This is a film about painting and a painter and their relationship to infinity. It is told by a painter. It contains what I felt were essential moments in his life; this is not the official history – it’s my version. One that I hope could make you closer to him.”

Based on the novel Boy Erased: A Memoir, this film stars Lucas Hedges as Jared Eamons, who was based roughly on the memoir’s author—Garrard Conley. Director-screenwriter-actor Joel Edgerton skillfully adapts Conley’s struggle in this inspired, empathetic and complex film of family, ignorance, and the hope for reconciliation.

Playing this month in The Provincetown Film Art Series
Curated and hosted by Howard Karren, Arts Editor of the Provincetown Banner

Louis Malle’s first fiction feature gives American noir an early New Wave twist. It’s about two young lovers, Florence and Julien, who have planned the murder of the Florence’s husband, who is Julien’s boss. Totally atmospheric, with its Miles Davis score, the movie helped to turn Moreau into a screen icon. Co-written and directed by Louis Malle, with Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet, in French with English subtitles.

Playing Wednesday, December 12 @ 7pm


We’re so excited to share that we reached our goal for the Cinema 100 Auction! We are so grateful to those who bid, those who donated items, and everyone who supported our efforts. A big shout out to Curtis Speer of CUSP Gallery who hosted our Auction Kick-off Cocktail Party on Black Friday—not only were we able to view his fine art photography (including the beautiful piece he donated to our auction “Tangerine”), but he displayed the full range of this year’s auction items throughout the gallery; he had warm cider at the ready; and to top it all off, we shared snacks from Angel Foods.
If you missed our auction, don’t worry, there’s still time! A few of our amazing auction items are available for purchase for a limited time only. Visit to view our items, which happen to be perfect holiday gifts! Attending PIFF 2019 from June 12 – 16? Buy your passes now at our special discounted price! Get yours before time runs out, Film Festival Passes and Waters Edge Cinema memberships are only available for a short time, at the lowest price of the season!


Julie Rockett

Norah Shapiro

This month’s Launch subject is documentary filmmaker, Nora Shapiro. I hope you were able to see Shapiro’s documentary TIME FOR ILHAN during PIFF 2018. If so, you were most likely delighted by the story of former refugee Ilhan Omar’s successful run for Minnesota State Representative.

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Norah attended Tufts University (Go Jumbos!) and became a lawyer, working for years as a public defender. We discussed how her unique background gives her an advantage in filmmaking. We also discussed the importance of saving binge-worthy entertainment for the darkest of winter days.

JR: Your documentary TIME FOR ILHAN won our Audience Award for Best Documentary and I believe this was one of some of the awards you’ve accrued this year.
NS: Yes, we won the audience award at Duluth Superior Film Festival and Best US Feature Documentary at The Hot Springs Film Festival.

JR: Working in social media for PIFF, I saw that your film was so popular whenever we posted about it.
NS: And that was before her latest political development. Now she has so many more followers and it’s been amazing to see Ilhan’s profile grow.

JR: How was your experience at Provincetown Film Festival?
NS: I loved it! It was one of the highlights of this year’s festival run for us. It was an enchanting experience and I feel that the festival does everything right.

JR: — I am definitely going to quote you on that!
NS: I mean it. We loved it. They had the right balance… the audience, the way things were staffed, the way filmmakers were treated. It was just really enchanting. And I loved the bikes! We biked everywhere! The whole thing was just a fabulous experience.

JR: In picking your subject, Ilhan Omar, it seems to be a case of divine timing. She’s a former refugee, a Muslim, a mother, a feminist… all things that have been vilified recently. It’s not really a question, but I want to thank you for shining a light on this dynamic person who is so many of the things that some people mistakenly fear.
NS: Well, thank you, first of all. People joke, ‘Do you know how to predict the future?’ or ‘Do you have a crystal ball?’ I picked Ilhan for the reasons you cited. Not because I knew or had a strong feeling that she was going to win. I knew it was going to be a lens for looking at all those things that you identified. I also knew that she was a rising star, whether she won the election or not.

She was a complete underdog when we started to work with her and we couldn’t predict if she’d win, but we hoped she would. I chose to make this film because she was a refugee, and Muslim, and a woman, but her winning became this wonderful bonus to an already extraordinary story.

We had discussed about her pursuing a spot in US Congress someday. Our time line for that was far longer than we thought it would be. And that was a surprise for all of us, but hey, everything that has happened politically in the past few years has been a surprise. I just feel very grateful that it worked out and we were able to capture this moment and illuminate something that turned out to be much bigger.

JR: You’re also a lawyer. Has being a lawyer helped you as a filmmaker?
NS: Yes, I was a public defender and that is a particular type of lawyering and a particular skill set. Those skills are helpful in getting you to ask tough questions or in dealing with conflict and stress. It allows me to synthesize and utilize information quickly and negotiate when resources are less than ideal. Certainly, not being daunted by hearing the word ‘no’ was a major plus that I learned during my time as a public defender.

JR: Was there a documentary that inspired you?
NS: Barbara Kopple’s work HARLAN COUNTY, U.S.A. was a documentary that really highlighted the intersection between my previous work as a public defender and with social justice work and what was possible in the film world. I also loved her Dixie Chick’s movie SHUT UP & SING.

I also loved HOOP DREAMS. Another major influence on TIME FOR ILHAN was STREET FIGHT by Marshall Curry about Cory Booker’s mayoral campaign.

JR: Is there someone that you would love to work with?
NS: If I could follow Barbara Kopple around that would be great. I just saw her most recent documentary and it was so lovely. It was about a camp in Canada for refugee children. It reminded me how much I love her filmmaking.

JR: Have you binged any podcasts lately?
NS: I like the podcasts that are in the crime realm like SERIAL and IN THE DARK. It’s an area that I’m considering for a future project. I’m producing a film about Jacob Wetterling case. When we started the project, it was a 26-year-old unsolved case about a missing boy. In the course of making the film, the case was solved. It’s directed by TIME FOR ILHAN’s Director of Photography. And we focus on Jacob’s remarkable, resilient mother throughout it.

JR: And what about TV binges?
NS: I’m a big fan of THE NEW YORKER’s Emily Nussbaum and I usually like anything she recommends. I read her review of an Australian series called PLEASE LIKE ME. And now I’m nuts about it. I’m also loving MY BRILLIANT FRIEND. I’m saving the second season of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. I’m waiting for the dark days of a Minnesota winter to watch those episodes.

JR: Lastly, are there any other projects you’re working on?
NS: Yes! I’ve got something to announce. I’m gonna say it out loud and make it real! It doesn’t have a name yet, but it is beyond the glimmer in my eye. It is going to be a short documentary. It is the story of the first-in-the-nation physical memorial to survivors of sexual violence. It is being developed here in Minneapolis. I’ll work with the woman heading up this memorial project. It’ll be an investigation into what is being memorialized and why, and for whom the memorial is for and what the significance of this memorial is for the community.

JR: I can’t wait to see it. I hope you return to Ptown and show it.
NS: That would be great!