Pecker’s Point: October


The Women in Leadership Conference for the Alturas Institute Pictured from left to right: [TOP] Carole Geitner (Author of IF ONLY), Jeanette Schneider (Financial Analyst, Activist and Author of LORE), Caroline Heldman (Professor, Activist, Lead Researcher of the Geena Davis Institute, Co-Chair of the Women’s Media Summit), Laurie Sammis (Publisher), Gina Bennett (Senior Counter Terrorism Analyst for the CIA) // [BOTTOM] Elizabeth Gutting (Program Director of the Pen/Faulkner Foundation), Christine Walker (Executive Director of PFS), Jody Williams (Nobel Peace Laureate), Joanne Freeman (Yale Professor and Hamilton Scholar)
It’s a widely-held secret that October in Provincetown is the best time of year. The streets are still bustling with part-time residents and tourists. All the shops, restaurants and galleries are still open. We continue to enjoy great performances at our music and theater venues in town, and at the cinema, its that time when awards season kicks into high gear and the race to program the top awards contenders is underway.

The heavy-weight champion in this arena is our long-time former artistic director Connie White of Balcony Booking who enters the ring of high stakes film buying on behalf of ours and dozens of other theaters across the country. Securing the top titles in independent cinema at a small theater when distributors are aiming for the greatest worldwide exposure is not easy, but Connie, who is a bit of a legend in the field for her work at the highly regarded Brattle Theater and preeminent Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, and for founding the Art House Convergence, has the leverage, talent and respect from her peers that allows her to deliver a quality program week-after-week.

This month, in addition to our stellar new release programming, we are excited about our upcoming Women’s Week Series held October 8 – 14th during one of the largest annual events for lesbian women in the country. Following our June festival, programming for this week is a reinvigorating activity as we search for fun but impactful material. With fewer titles than the June festival, we get a chance to spend more time with the visiting filmmakers more often than not leading to conversations throughout the week and beyond. Come and meet our visiting artists on Thursday, October 11 at 7 p.m. followed by a staged reading of Shelli Ainsworth’s scripted series AUNT PHYL. Shelli is a 2015 Women’s Residency Fellow.

Another not-to-be missed conversation will be held on Wednesday, October 10 at 2 p.m. with former Banner Editor and author of BOLT RISK Ann Wood, Fine Arts Work Center poet Sophie Starmack, award-winning playwright and activist Myra Slotnick, and stand-up comic and LEZ BOMB actor AB Cassidy. All will talk about the profound and revolutionary impact of Hannah Gadsby’s NANETTE and the ways in which the program has become a cultural touchstone for a current generation of artists.

Another cultural touchstone was The Laramie Project, a play about the horrific 1988 murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. Now in its 20th year, the play and subsequent emmy-award winning film raised the conversation about LGBTQ equality and justice to a national level. This month, the play will be performed at The Provincetown Theater with several ‘Talk Back’ forums that are aimed at continuing to raise awareness and prevention of hate crimes for our communities on the Cape and perhaps the entire northeast. On October 14th, I am honored to lead one of the forums with writer director and Provincetown Theater Artistic Director David Drake.
(Click here to purchase tickets.)

It’s astounding and sad that a 20-year old play about hate and injustice is as relevant today as ever. Luckily, Provincetown endures as a haven for artists fighting on the front lines of injustice in America, communicating empathy and compassion through art and culture.

Here’s hoping to see you all at the movies,
Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


As we pondered the ideas and creations that have provided substance to our community, the Women’s Media Summit soon in its third year has been an indubitable success. It was the first annual women’s summit pertaining to entertainment media in the country launching a year prior to TimesUp and the #MeToo Movement. The white paper (written by summit organizers) that crowned the event has subsequently been used by organizations around the country as a template to move these important initiatives forward.

Ahead of her time, Judy Cicero, raised a family and a legacy; she was a woman from a past generation that challenged convention of the male dominated conventions of career, activism and education. She refused to settle for less and set the example for women everywhere that everything we can do matters. She christened the inaugural Women’s Media Summit with her leadership, feminism and wisdom. With gratitude and humility we honor Judy…we shall remember her by carrying this great initiative forward.

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Each year, our Honoree conversations begin with our Honoree Reels—video compilations of the year’s Filmmaker on the Edge, Excellence in Acting Recipient, or Next Wave Award’s best work throughout their career. Through these reels, we hope to exemplify why we honor these artists, how they continue to be on the edge of creation and innovation, and the exciting things we can expect from them in the future. Now you can enjoy this year’s Honoree Reels over and over on our YouTube channel!


Rep your favorite film festival year round with our 20th Anniversary festival gear! Buy now for 20% off on all hats, t-shirts, and bags!  [BUY NOW]

In 2015, PFS launched the first Women Filmmaker’s Residency Program in the country in response to the alarming lack of gender parity in U.S. Entertainment Media. Since then, awareness surrounding the issue has been bolstered by the #MeToo and Times Up movements. Still, as Frances McDormand put it so eloquently, “we all have stories to tell and projects need financed.” Come get inspired by the great work that our past and present residents are doing and let’s figure out ways to provide continued support. Join some of our visiting Residents and the Women’s Week Filmmakers in conversation, education, and film appreciation.

Cocktails and appetizers will be served.
Suggested Donation: $50
Sponsored by Inn at Cook Street



AUNT PHYL shares the story of a smart, independent young woman from a mid-century factory town, where the most common ambition among her class -of-’49 high school peers is an engagement ring upon graduation. Through the support of a few like-minded friends, she defies the social, sexual mores of the time, all the while seeking – and finding – her own dazzling and often fraught version of The American Dream.

An episodic series visually inspired by early television, AUNT PHYL was conceived during the inaugural Women’s Residency in 2015. The first two episodes will undergo a dramatic reading during this years’ Women’s Week.

Shelli Ainsworth is an award winning writer/director whose narrative feature STAY THEN GO was featured at the 2014 Provincetown Film Festival.

THURS, OCT 11 @ 7:30 PM


“NANETTE should be required viewing if you’re a human being” wrote comedian Tig Notaro to New York Times writer Melena Ryzik and we agree! “Join us for a shared screening and what promises to be a lively and engaging discussion about what Ryzik goes on to describe as “a Netflix special that is the most talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years, exquisitely timed to the #MeToo era.” Together, let’s explore the reasons why!

Moderator: Ann Wood
Panelists: Myra Slotnick, AB Cassidy, and Sophia Starmack

Ann Wood Ann is a freelance editor and writer, the former award-winning editor of the Provincetown Banner and the author of the novel ‘Bolt Risk.’ She lives in Provincetown year-round.
Myra Slotnick Myra is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild, an award winning playwright and activist. Her plays The Weight of Water, The Shadow Child and The Beachcomber Boys (Book & Lyrics) have enjoyed productions and workshops in Provincetown, NYC and LA. Myra was also a stand-up comic from 1990-’95 and was a regular at Catch a Rising Star, The Laugh Factory and appeared on television in Comedy On The Road with John Byner…ah, those were the days.
AB Cassidy AB is a stand up comedian, writer, actor, and professional lesbian originally hailing from the South Shore of Massachusetts. Now based in Los Angeles, AB performs all over the country with major comics like Carlos Mencia and Tig Notaro. She recently won both the juror and audience award at the San Gabriel Valley Pride Comedy Festival. Catch AB alongside Cloris Leachman and Bruce Dern in her latest feature, LEZ BOMB which is currently sweeping up accolades in the festival circuit.
Sophia Starmack Sophia was a 2014-15 Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she currently serves as Writing Fellowship Coordinator. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Barrow Street, Best New Poets, The Threepenny Review, and other publications. Her poetry chapbook, The Wild Rabbit, was published in 2015.



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.

Award-winning comedy by the director of the smash-hit short film GIRL NIGHT STAND, LEZ BOMB is a multigenerational comedy of errors featuring a young woman (Lauren) who comes home for the holidays with some life changing news. Little does Lauren know, the eccentric cast of characters have their own stirring surprises as well. The result is a hilarious turn of events forcing the family to come together in a ceremonious series of coincidences. As it turns out, there is no good time to drop the Lez Bomb. Filmmakers scheduled to appear.

A candid documentary that features nine, engaging women who share their stories about being in heterosexual marriages, discovering their feelings for women, coming out, and changing their lives. It is an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs of their journey. Filmmaker scheduled to appear at all screenings.
CLAMBAKE charts the growth of Women’s Week in Provincetown, now celebrating it’s 35th Anniversary, from its inception to the thriving lesbian mecca it is today. Documenting its 30-year journey through archival footage, photos and interviews with celebrities and organizers, the film casts a historical and hysterical look at what a few innovative women can accomplish. Filmmaker scheduled to appear at all screenings.

PIFF 2017 excellence in acting award recipient and Academy Award (R) nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry, “Big Love”) stars as Lizzie Borden, the notorious woman at the heart of one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. After a lifetime of loneliness, Lizzie finds a kindred spirit in housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) and their secret intimacy sparks an unthinkable act. Director Craig William Macneill (The Boy (2015), “Channel Zero: Candle Cove”) explores the days leading up to the savage crimes in a dark tale of repression, exploitation and thwarted dreams.

Led by a standout performance from Ana Brun, The Heiresses takes a thoroughly compelling look at lives little explored by mainstream cinema. Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently their financial situation has worsened and they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to Chiquita being imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela is forced to face a new reality. Driving for the first time in years, she begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. As Chela settles into her new life, she encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. Chela finally begins to break out of her shell and engage with the world, embarking on her own personal, intimate revolution.

Lovers of film and filmmakers wanting to connect, come enjoy snacks and meet the filmmakers of this year’s 2018 Women’s Week Film Festival and so many other talented filmmakers/heroes in our midst. Learn about upcoming projects and enjoy snacks and delicious beverages.

Thur, October 11 @ 7 PM
Waters Edge Cinema
(237 Commercial St, 2nd Fl)


Julie Rockett
Dawn Smith

Dawn Smith is a freelance political ad producer, which she affectionately refers to as her, “personal form of resistance.” She took time from her very busy Midterm election schedule to discuss films with us.

In addition to making political advertisements she is a writer and filmmaker. She has developed a web series called PAID FOR BY, an episode of which was an official selection for the 2018 Provincetown Film Festival.

She’s is also working on a pilot with Boston-based Comic Kelly McFarland about a comic dealing with OCD and anxiety and how she uses humor to help open herself up to new experiences and to not having to control everything.
Dawn’s love of movies is entwined were her fascinating ‘origin story’. Dawn was raised in an evangelical cult founded by her Grandfather called The Assembly. She said, “I feel like my Grandfather did so much damage that helping people to get out the vote and making people laugh is my way of counteracting that.” This past year she spoke about her childhood and her defection in a TED Talk and during The Moth Radio Hour.


JR: I don’t think you can say how you became interested in films without discussing your own background.

DS: Exactly. I was raised in a hyper-conservative evangelical cult. So movies and television were not allowed. I grew up without a TV. We could listen a very limited amount of religious music, but Amy Grant was considered too secular and worldly to listen to.
We were supposed to behave a certain way because my father was a church elder and ‘uphold our family’s testimony.’ Which essentially means don’t screw up your reputation.

JR: It sounds a little ‘Gilead’ [City from Handmaid’s Tale].

DS: Absolutely. Watching Handmaid’s Tale evokes so many memories. It’s such a good show but at the same time it stresses me out. That said, my parents were actually pretty good about sneaking us out to good movies.
From a young age they really, albeit secretly, taught me to love film. I remember leaving the house at what I thought was really late, it was probably 7 pm, and they took us to see E.T. I think I fell asleep during it but what really excited me was the event of it all. But then, we weren’t allowed to discuss it with anyone, which was rough.

JR: Was your mother supportive as well?

DS: We went to a special school and my mother was the principal. My Mother had a Masters Degree from Cal State Fullerton, which was unheard of in our group. She was an amazing educator and she would occasionally borrow a film projector from the local library and we’d have Film Fridays. The local library only had three films and we watched them over and over.

JR: Do you remember the films?

DS: Yes. There was a short named Bambi Meets Godzilla.

JR: I love that one! But it’s really dark. I can’t believe little religious kids were watching it.

DS: It is totally dark and we loved it so much! We also watched Laurel and Hardy’s Music Box about piano movers, which I also thought was hilarious. And finally there was this weird Appaloosa horse movie which I don’t remember much about.

JR: And nobody objected?

DS: Strangely enough, no… but those movies were such an escape. That’s when I fell in love with film. Later, I was allowed to go to a public high school and I had a British literature teacher who was a great mentor to me. He loved my writing and fostered it. But writing short stories and writing about non-religious subjects was verboten and I had to keep that under wraps. He showed us a few scenes from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I had never seen that film or heard of Monty Python but I laughed so hard that I was convulsing with tears. Everyone stopped watching the film and started watching me. It was so fun and so irreverent that I thought I was going straight to hell for watching it.

JR: When did you start seeing films regularly?

DS: During the summers my parents would take us on mission trips. They would let us watch TV and movies. They actually loved TV and they would rent films for us all summer. They actually had good taste in films. Like I saw, The Birds, and we saw some classic Westerns. And even though, they were super conservative, I distinctly remember them watching MASH every night after they thought we were asleep.

JR: So you finally left The Assembly for good after college.

DS: Yes, it was then that I started to really binge films. The tough thing about being in a cult is that when you are out on your own, you have to figure out what the world is actually like for yourself. You can no longer rely on parents or others for advice. So I started reading Nora Ephron’s books and saw ‘When Harry Met Sally.’ I loved her voice. She was a strong woman who had gone through a lot and had retained a sense of humor about her.

JR: What filmmakers influence you now?

DS: Yes, they’re a bunch of women filmmakers that I love right now. I saw Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post at the Ptown Film Fest. Vera Fermiga’s Higher Ground… I wish Lake Bell would write and direct more because I loved In A World. I loved A Fine Line and I was so happy to be featured with them during PIFF.
Cinematographers Reed Morano and Rachel Morrison…Loved Morano’s work directing The Handmaid’s Tale, can’t wait to see I Think We’re Alone Now, she’s an amazing cinematographer. If I ever meet Rachel Morrison I will explode. Loved her work on Mudbound. Dee Rees is a writer/director that keeps me inspired, and excited to see what she does next.

Last but not least, Gillian Robespierre. She wrote/directed Obvious Child and Landline, and has also directed television. I thought she did a marvelous job directing an episode of Crashing on HBO, and I’m keeping my eye on her. I get so excited seeing so many talented, hard working, funny women getting work.

To find out more about Dawn and her upcoming projects visit her website or see her 2018 TED Talk.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


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

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

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

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Now available on Youtube, our festival trailers from 2014 through 2018!


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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Screening: Special Pre-Release of THE GUILTY

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

Screening: FAHRENHEIT 11/9 

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




Julie Rockett
AB Cassidy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JR: Is there a recent film that moved you?

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

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

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

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




Welcome to our new and improved monthly newsletter!

As part of our 20th Anniversary celebration we took Provincetown Film on the road from New York to Palm Springs and Houston to Minneapolis, and engaged with those who have an affinity for America’s oldest arts colony, and who want to support our vision of Provincetown as a global destination for creative exploration in film. This newsletter is our way of continuing the conversation with friends near and far.

At the 20th annual Provincetown Film Festival, our magnificent line-up of films and programs demonstrated that’ Provincetown IS the global destination for creative exploration in film, as well as a premier vacation destination. All of our festival honorees this year chose to extend their visits, a highlight of which was Molly Shannon’s joyful appearance at Showgirls, performed at the infamous ‘A-house’, the oldest gay bar in the country.

For my part, by the time the fourth of July week rolls around, I typically take a much-needed break to my other home-town of Minneapolis, but this year, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to help organize the first pride concert ever at the Provincetown Pilgrim Monument. The HBO-sponsored event was my first meaningful collaboration with Executive Director Dr. David Weidner and Board Trustee John Jay Wooldridge, the monument staff, as well as the wildly creative marketing firm The Gathery. What a pleasure and a blast!

The concert marked the start of the busy summer season in Provincetown, including a series of theme weeks and a revolving door of thousands of visitors from around the world. In addition to great people watching, the different weeks lend themselves to fun and creative opportunities in film programming.

Among my favorite is Family Week when Provincetown turns into a sea of baby strollers and our Waters Edge Cinema becomes the home to HBO’s popular Kids Camp so-sponsored by the Family Equality Council. This year, the program was such a hit that we had to add another. For parents, the camp provides a couple of hours of alone time, but I relish the opportunity to introduce three and four year olds to the experience of screening their favorite content in the dark on a big screen, often for the first time. The reaction is close to wondrous.

A few days later, in that very same theater, a packed audience had the privilege to screen HUMAN FLOW and meet its director Ai Weiwei, one of the most important living Chinese artists and a world-renowned symbol for human rights. The juxtaposition of content and experiences is a fluid reminder of the ways in which art house cinemas afford us the opportunity to express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring people together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age.

Through our various programs, one of our top priorities is to level the playing field for diverse storytellers in U.S. Entertainment Media. Unfortunately, we cannot always know the ways in which others are measuring our impact or if intersectional changes are lacking from unconscious bias. In her edifying commentary on this year’s Provincetown Film festival, Heather Kapplow of The Arts Fuse puts our commitment to diversity to the test. Please check out her findings and my comments here.

As much as we appreciate and welcome scrutiny from the media, we are even more eager to hear from you, our patrons. Let us know if there is a particular topic that you’d like us to cover in our newsletter. Should you choose to eliminate the need for yet another email in your inbox, you may unsubscribe by clicking ‘Unsubscribe’ at the bottom of our e-blast.

Meanwhile, even if you can’t make it to Provincetown this August to attend our Friday night John Water’s Films screening series, buy the Special Criterion Collection Edition of Female Trouble, dress up like Divine and host your own screening party. This new version is gorgeous and the extras are tons of fun.

Enjoy the Rest of Carnival Week. Look who’s one of the Grand Marshals this year!!!


Christine Kunewa Walker, CEO


Steps from the beach, and a short walk from town, Harbor Hotel is the largest hotel in Provincetown with 113 spacious rooms. Beach access, amazing views, a pool and Cabana Bar that offers lunch, the Whaler’s Lounge & Restaurant which serves breakfast and dinner, and outdoor fire pit are just a few amenities at this Charlestown Hotels managed property known for innovative hospitality. A new complimentary golf-cart shuttles guests into town, and as part of a collaboration with Coast Provincetown, Harbor Hotel offers URB-E electric bike and Beach Cruiser bike rentals, too, just outside the door to the hotel! Harbor serves as a Platinum Partner during the film festival, housing many attending filmmakers, guests, and staff, and host the Fireside with Filmmakers party.

With the ample parking, Harbor Hotel also serves as the launching pad for the annual Carnival Parade. Floats line up throughout the parking lot, and down snail road in anticipation of the three o’clock start time. The Provincetown Business Guild and Harbor Hotel work together ensuring all goes off without a hitch. During this year’s Parade, guests were treated to a bar stocked with spirits thanks to Harbor Hotel’s partnerships with Fireball Whiskey, Lord Hobo Craft Beer, and Tito’s Vodka.

Harbor Hotel continues to grow in many ways each year, and General Manager Sean Archer hopes to do more within the community. “People of Provincetown have been amazing, eager to assist a person or business in need – which is a huge strength of living here,” said Archer. “With so much history, local pride, inclusion for all and things to see and do, Provincetown is the perfect destination for anyone and everyone.”
Open until November 1st, stop by Harbor and enjoy a cocktail, a meal and the unparalleled view of the sunset. Be sure to check out Harbor Hotel at their website:

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Modern Love: The Podcast transforms the popular reader-submitted New York Times Modern Love essays into an immersive weekly podcast experience that takes listeners on an audio journey, bringing the poignant, honest and hopeful stories to life. Each episode features a reading performed by actors, combined with music and an intricately produced soundscape. Episodes conclude with an update and follow-up conversation with the story’s original author, provoking deeper conversation about love and relationships.

Catfishing Strangers To Find Myself | With Cory Michael Smith

As a teenager in Finland, Kalle Oskari Mattila was trying to figure out who he was. For help, he turned to catfishing — and Pamela Anderson. Cory Michael Smith (“1985,” “Gotham”) performed his story live at the Provincetown Film Festival. [LISTEN HERE]

My Back-Seat View Of A Great Romance | With Chloë Grace Moretz

“What did it mean that the most romantic thing I’d ever been a part of hadn’t even happened to me?” Chloë Grace Moretz (“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”) reads Rachel Monroe’s essay about watching a love story unfold from the sidelines—live from the Provincetown Film Festival. [LISTEN HERE]


Provincetown Film Festival has made MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World for 2018! [SEE THE LIST]


Rep your favorite film festival year round with our 20th Anniversary festival gear! Buy now for 20% off on all hats, t-shirts, and bags!  [BUY NOW]


If you attended this year’s 20th Anniversary Provincetown Film Festival, take this 5-minute survey about your experience! [TAKE THE SURVEY]


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

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


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.

Rating: R, 128 minutes

BLACKkKLANSMAN tells the story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, who successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate. John David Washington stars as Stallworth in a performance that’s both compelling and indelible. When asked, director Spike Lee said, “I offered him the part. He didn’t have to audition. No meeting, no nothing. I sent him the book and said, ‘See you in September.’ I knew he could do it.” Lauded by critics as potentially Lee’s greatest film, BLACKkKALNSMAN holds a mirror up to today’s America by using one of the most powerful tools of all: our own history.

Rating: R, 94 minutes
Back by popular demand, EIGHTH GRADE was a selection at the 20th Anniversary of the Provincetown Film Festival. After being asked how the 27 year-old, childless, writer and first-time director Bo Burnham was able to just “get” what’s going on in eighth grade, Burnham said he watched hundreds of videos of kids talking about themselves online. He adds that “the boys tended to talk about Fortnite [and] the girls tended to talk about their souls, so I was like, ‘okay this is probably going to be a story about a girl.’ […] I just tried to listen and defer to the kids, and sort of let them author the story as much as possible.” In addition to having eighth graders tell the story, Burnham knew he wanted them to see it too. So, on August 8th, with the help of A24, theaters (like Waters Edge Cinema!) showed free screenings of EIGHTH GRADE, so eighth graders across the U.S. could see the film despite the R-rating. The commonality is that if you’ve been to eighth grade, then EIGHTH GRADE is for you.



Julie Rockett
Kiley Fitzgerald

Since this is the first issue of Pecker’s Point and first of a series called ‘The Launch’, I thought I would interview a comedian that’s about to launch a huge career. Her name is Kiley Fitzgerald and presently you can see her performing with Second City in Chicago. You may have seen her work at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that was hosted by her friend and former roommate, SNL’s Cecily Strong or seen her one-woman show about growing up in Southie called I Am My Mother’s Daughter.

I initially met Kiley when she was working at the Circle Cinema in Brookline, MA. It was New Year’s Eve, which was also my 20th birthday, and my friends, inexplicably, took me to see Schindler’s List. I remember going to the lobby and seeing Kiley counting down to the New Year. Since then I’ve laughed hysterically at her many shows at Improv Asylum, where she was a cast member, instructor, and director.

–Julie Rockett

Julie: Do you remember the first movie you ever saw?

Kiley: My parents took me to see Jaws when I was an infant but the first movie I remember seeing was Rocky.

Julie: What was the first movie you became obsessed with?

Kiley: Oh yes! I was obsessed with Rocky.

Julie: How did that obsession manifest itself?

Kiley: In so many ways. I ended up in a psychiatrist’s office over my Rocky obsession. I loved Rocky so much that I… I come from a long line of scrappy folks, so I think it’s just in my blood to like that film but right after I saw it I became truly obsessed. So much so that I had these little golden boxing gloves that were signed by Sugar Ray Leonard and I used to put them on. Then I would yell, ‘Ding! Ding!’ and then I would punch my grandmother in the butt. Her butt was right at my punching level and I would just punch her soft big butt. She would never get mad. She’d fake swear something like, ‘Oh cripes!’.

Julie: So how did you end up at a therapist’s office?

Kiley: I started to call myself, Rocky, and I insisted on everyone else calling me that, too. I used to take my shirt off and wouldn’t respond to anything else, to the point where at my own birthday party, my Mother gave me a piece of cake and then I wanted another piece of cake later. My mother said, “That piece of cake was for Rocky. But this piece of cake is for Kiley, not for Rocky.” I lost my mind. I wanted that cake so bad, but I refused to take it. My Mom, to her credit, just let me be. Until I insisted on being called ‘Bowzer’ from Sha-Na-Na.

Julie: If you could program Waters Edge Cinema with a bunch of films that you love, but you feel are underappreciated, what would you pick?

Kiley: (laughs) I feel like everything I like is underappreciated. Maybe my taste is crappy? But, I would say I love the comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous. That comedy goes for the jugular. The scene where the dying girl is getting pushed around in a wheelchair while singing ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ kills me every time. And Kristen Dunst is so good in it. I feel like nobody but me likes her.
Julie: Oh, that’s not true. Our theatre manager, Heidi Bolinder, is a Dunst super fan.

Kiley: Thank God! There are others out there! There’s these two other scary movies that I love, See No Evil with Mia Farrow and The Boys From Brazil. Put the boys to sleep, watch them, and see if you can ever fall asleep again.

Julie: When I think of you, I think of comedy. What’s been your experience since leaving Boston and heading to Chicago?

Kiley: We are moving in the right direction, finally. For so long, we saw these beautiful women in comedic roles that were not comedians. That’s a waste of time for everyone. It’s my hope that with the Me Too and Time’s Up movement, that we as women having a controlling voice in how things are getting made and who gets to make them.

I think of Girl’s Trip which was an international phenomenon and I think that two or three years ago, that would have been a direct-to-video film. Its success lets those in charge know that there’s a huge, diverse audience out there. That there’s more to the world than super hero tropes.

I mean women are so good at comedy. We’re the ones that win the Oscars for it. Look at Whoopi, Marisa Tomei, and Mira Sorvino. Those were all comedic Oscar-winning roles.

At Second City, so much has changed in a short period of time. For example, non-binary people are taking on the ‘dad roles’ in sketches, just because they’re so good that you can’t overlook that they’re the best person for the role. Recently, we had a role of an unmarried, slutty mom. My African-American castmate spoke up and said she didn’t want to be cast in that role because she didn’t want to perpetuate this negative stereotype. I know that we didn’t feel like we could object at one point, but that’s not the case anymore… Of course, I volunteered for that role (laughs).

As an organization, we are working toward greater inclusion and transparency. I think that this will only make comedy better. When we’re not trying to make comedy pretty, when it’s just about who’s showing a different point of view and who’s putting out the best work, and when we don’t feel like we have someone’s foot on our neck, that’s when you’re going to see the best work out there. I think that’s the next wave. I can’t wait to see comedy flourish.

Julie: Thank you so much Kiley! I can’t wait to have you come back and visit us in Provincetown.

Kiley: Thank you! Yes, I can’t wait to get back there!


Chloë Grace Moretz on Why She Had to Have The Miseducation of Cameron Post

It’s hard to believe that Chloë Grace Moretz is just 21. Besides her poise, sophistication and groundedness, the Georgia native has amassed a diverse body of work, ranging from genre fare like Kick-Ass and Let Me In to acclaimed indies with renowned directors. She played Isabelle in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo when she was 14, and faced off with Juliette Binoche, as one actress manipulating another on- and offscreen, in Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria. READ MORE ON MPAA

Sean Baker and Molly Shannon Honored at Provincetown Film Festival

Also among special guests at the Cape Cod event’s 20th-anniversary edition was Chloe Grace Moretz, recipient of the Next Wave Award, while audience prizes went to Icelandic feature ‘And Breathe Normally’ and political doc ‘Time for Ilhan.’
It’s not surprising that John Waters — the unofficial godfather of the Provincetown Film Festival and independent filmmaking’s patron saint of outsiders — would feel an affinity for the work of director Sean Baker, who received the 2018 Filmmaker on the Edge Award during the festival’s 20th edition.

Baker’s last three features have steadily broadened his exposure by examining — with compassion, humor, honesty and humanity — characters on the invisible margins of American life. READ MORE ON THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

‘Mapplethorpe’ and the art of life in death

Robert Mapplethorpe wanted the world to view what it considered “obscene” — leather-clad men with exposed genitals, real skulls and crossbones, still lifes of flowers with daggers — as beautiful. And there was no way he was going to accept that his photographs of those subjects didn’t belong alongside a Rodin.

“Mapplethorpe,” the first narrative film written, directed and produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner (“Dig!”; “We Live in Public”), chronicles the life of the controversial art photographer and stars Matt Smith, aka Doctor Who, as the man himself. It’s the Closing Night Film at the Provincetown International Film Festival, and Timoner will be there on Sunday when it screens at Town Hall. READ MORE ON WICKED LOCAL PROVINCETOWN.

This is What Democracy Looks Like

“Tell me what democracy looks like? This is what democracy looks like!”

That call and response chant has long been a hallmark of progressive rallies and protests. And while it is often true, it’s not all that democracy is about. While marching in the streets can be an important rallying point in organizing a movement and helping it grow, it needs to result in action—real action—in order to be ultimately effective. People need to not only show up for energizing and affirming marches, but also for the grinding work that doesn’t come with live television coverage and the powerful feeling of being surrounded with like-minded people. It requires reaching out to those different than yourself, considering where you might be wrong, and being open-minded enough to change your own mind in hope others might change theirs. It’s tough, tough work, and if the same numbers that show up to those enormous events also turned our for a voter registration drive or strategy session, real change would come much faster. READ MORE ON PROVINCETOWN MAGAZINE.

Sean Baker’s rainbow connection

It’s not often that a relatively obscure, very-low-budget indie director makes three pictures in a row with the same co-screenwriter (Chris Bergoch), and they break out in popularity, one film getting national recognition for telling a tale of transgender hookers and being shot with an iPhone (“Tangerine”), and the most recent release, the poignant tale of summer among the invisible homeless families of Central Florida, earning critics’ awards and an Oscar nomination (“The Florida Project”). And now, said director, Sean Baker, has been made 2018 Filmmaker on the Edge at this week’s Provincetown International Film Festival, where he’ll sit down on Saturday at Town Hall and chat with John Waters.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Baker says by phone, especially considering “who had received [the award] in the past, even people I’ve worked with, like Ted Hope.” READ MORE ON WICKED LOCAL PROVINCETOWN