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

Letter from the Board President

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

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

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

~ Anthony Lawson, PFS Board President

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

Member in the News by Tracy Pease

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

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

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

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

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

Gabby Hanna and Blythe Robertson

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

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

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

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

Women’s Media Summit 2021

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

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

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

January 18/Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

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

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

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

January 27/Holocaust Remembrance Day

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

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

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

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

Exclusive Films at Waters Edge Virtual Cinema!

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

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

Check out the Banner article about Waters Edge Cinema!

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

Provincetown Film Festival 2021

Save the date! PIFF June 16-25, 2021

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

The Launch with Julie Rockett

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

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

John Butler

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

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

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

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

JB: <laughs>

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

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

JR: Have you found anything inspiring recently?

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

JR: Do you recall your first favorite film?

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

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

JB: That certainly broadens the selection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JB:  I don’t believe in them.

JR: I love that!

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

JR: I hate the term ‘girl crush’.

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

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

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


Ever wonder what movies the staff of the Film Society are watching when we aren’t planning festivals or running our cinema? Join us each month as the Provincetown Film Society lets you know WHAT WE’RE WATCHING!

December’s theme: Holiday movies!

Andrew Peterson
Festival Programmer

BABETTE’S FEAST: The setting is very Olde Timey Christmas—a small Norwegian village in December 1883. Babette, a French refugee, repays the generosity of her pious hosts by cooking a spectacular feast worthy of any Christmas table. An Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Babette’s Feast is about giving and receiving love, with no expectation of anything in return, and stars the sublime Stéphane Audran. The last lines of the film, which speak to the appreciation every artist desperately yearns for but rarely receives, slay me every time.

RARE EXPORTS: A Christmas Tale. On Christmas Eve in Finland, the real Santa Claus is unearthed in an archaeological dig. But unlike most depictions of Jolly Old Saint Nick, this Santa Claus is a malevolent supernatural entity based on real Scandinavian lore. A thoroughly unique spin on the dark origins of Santa Claus for anyone who wants a decidedly different Christmas movie. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Tracy Pease (left)
Director of Development

Two of my holiday cinema favorites are steeped in tradition.  From the time my children were young (my youngest wasn’t born when the movie came out) we watched and loved HOME ALONE.  My kids can readily recite every line of the movie in heavy competition with their dad.  We still have it on VHS.  Not the VHS player but I can’t part with it – as if our family might fall apart if I did.  Last year I ordered it on Netflix and watched it with my grandson for the first time.  He’s watched it half a dozen times since then. Still a hit since 1990!

LOVE ACTUALLY, another favorite, is not quite appropriate for my 7-year-old grandson and may never be a favorite, especially to watch with his grandmother, but my daughter and I have watched it together every holiday for the last 10 years including Thanksgiving 2020.  Gotta love the Prime Minister’s moves and who doesn’t love the primarily English all-star cast.  God Save the Queen!

Patricia Doon – CFO
My holiday favorites are AUNTIE MAME with Rosalind Russell. One of my favorite holiday songs is “We Need a Little Christmas”. Other must sees – CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, SCROOGED, ELF, and LOVE ACTUALLY. I’ll also be tuning in to Boston Ballet’s 2019 Urban Nutcracker being streamed in 2020 on a donation basis. 

Heidi Bolinder
Director of Program Operations

My 2 favorite Christmas movies have always been and will always be:
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, starring Ethan Embry and Thora Birch. They play the kids of an upper class Manhattanite and her ex-husband who runs a diner. When the sister asks a mall Santa (Leslie Nielsen) to get her parents back together, her older brother comes up with a crazy scheme to try and make it happen. My favorite part of the movie is when Hallie (Thora Birch) sings a duet of BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE with her grandmother, played by Lauren Becall. 

CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY: It’s exactly like GROUNDHOG DAY, except instead of Bill Murray, it stars my #1 favorite 90’s heartthrob Erik Von Detten. He keeps waking up to relive his shitty Christmas over and over again until he “gets it right”. (Fun fact: Erik Von Detten is one of the choir boys in the opening scene of ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS too) Erik Von Detten is my Christmas angel.

Julie Rockett (left)
Social Media Manager

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Runner Katherine Switzer said, “If you find yourself losing faith in human nature, go watch a marathon.” It’s too cold for that so this movie is a great substitute. I smile and lose control over my eyeholes every time I watch it. 

TRADING PLACES: I love a great comedy and this is one of my favorites and it occurs during the holidays so it counts, right? Seeing Winthorpe on a Philly bus eating a smoke salmon from his mangy Santa beard kills me.

Lisa Viola
Festival Programmer

My 2 holiday picks are IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and BAD SANTA: the angel and devil of Christmas films!

My mother was named after Donna Reed from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE so it has been a longstanding tradition in our family to watch it every holiday season without fail. Jimmy Stewart chews the scenery in the very best way possible and I’m pretty sure we’re all currently living in ‘Pottersville.’ 
BAD SANTA is just good plain fun. Directed by Terry Zwigoff (director of CRUMB—another must see) and starring Billy Bob Thornton (nominated for a Golden Globe), the film was a surprising box office and critical hit when it was released in 2003. 

Both of them love MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET and LOVE ACTUALLY during the holiday season!

Ellen Birmingham (left)
Communications & Event Operations Manager

My undisputed #1 choice for best version of “A Christmas Carol” goes to none-other than A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL. This was the first major Muppet production after Jim Henson’s passing, and you can feel the love that went into making this movie. The classic Muppet humor and whimsical puppets fit the ghostly story well. I am particularly fond of Gonzo and Rizzo’s bromance as they narrate the story.

My other favorite is ELF – its quick pacing makes it rewatchable year after year. The “Pennies from Heaven” scene is one of my favorites, and is made all the better knowing that many people in it were not actors, but everyday New Yorkers genuinely reacting to Will Ferrell’s shenanigans. And remember everyone, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

Erica Giokas
Website & Box Office Manager

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES. I love the poem by Dylan Thomas and all the details about the different aunts and uncles, neighbors and other grownups. How kids make their own little worlds to pass the time while adults are visiting. And the magic of how music and light brings generations of family together in the cold dark of winter.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (the original animated of course!). Its classic Dr Seuss illustration and a secular way to show the celebration of family, community, and the spirit of giving. The first winter I moved to Ptown from NYC and went to the lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree, I felt like a little Who singing in Whoville and knew I was home.

Sarah Nitsch – Sponsorship & Donor Events
DIE HARD (1988) for us is a Christmas eve tradition, usually while enjoying some tequila and present wrapping. When we lived in West LA you could see “Nakatomi Plaza” from our apartment, it was always fun to see it around the holidays. We pick up all sorts of new things each time we watch it. The 80’s hair and fashion is just classic, the color of John Maclean’s tank-top  (wife beater) gets really dark at some points, and Alan Rickman is just the most amazing villain (always) and really the Christmas party is such an HR nightmare!! “Come out the the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs.”

Having grown up with my family into the original Vacation film and a love of Chevy Chase, I gotta say NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989) is a classic. We watch it each year and we still laugh, my boys have started to watch it and appreciate the humor – just enough cousin Eddie for them. Look at the cast too! The usual suspects, but Juliette Lewis as the daughter, Johnny Galecki – pre Big Bang Theory, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Margo the quintessential yuppie next door neighbor. It’s got a little something for everyone, written by John Hughes, his love for Chicago continues in the film and it was based on his short story Christmas ’59 which was published in National Lampoon (1980). Originally it was set to be directed bu Chris Columbus, but he and Chevy Chase did not get along – so later Hughes went to Columbus to do Home Alone together. Which is another classic holiday film for the whole family, it makes me miss John Candy! 

We hope you saw a new film to add to your holiday line-up, or was reminded of one of your tried and true favorites! From all of us at the Provincetown Film Society, we hope you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!



Letter From the Board President

By April of this year, the non-profit sector in Massachusetts had lost $8 billion and 15,000 jobs. Cultural non-profits were hit particularly hard, and many have since closed for good. Thanks to the dedication of our staff, board, and community, the Provincetown Film Society is not among them. You stuck by us in what were, with no exaggeration, the darkest days of our organization.

In July, largely through volunteer efforts, PFS was able to present a re-imagined virtual film festival which, in characteristic P-town fashion, charted a new path for other film festivals across the country. PFS was the first to offer an outdoor drive-in experience, including a double feature selected by renowned director John Waters, as well as a robust program of in-depth conversations with artists and directors, complementing a stellar array of films. Mischa Richter’s film, I AM A TOWN, played to a sold-out audience and was a true highlight in an historic year, speaking to our love of Provincetown, the resilience of our community, and the power of artistic expression.

Mischa Ritcher at The Wellfleet Drive-In, PIFF Reimagined, 2020.
Photo by Mae Gammino.

We were then able to continue raising money throughout the summer with weekly outdoor screenings at the Mary Heaton Vorse House, in partnership with the Provincetown Arts Society, as well as a mini-film festival honoring our former executive director, Christine Walker, who now leads our diversity initiatives. Although I am happy to report we were able to re-hire our staff in October, we are not yet out of the woods. We still need your support to continue championing diverse voices, speaking truth to power, and making P-town a global destination for creative exploration in film. 

Our team is hard at work on PIFF 2021, which promises to be a rich and rewarding experience, full of surprises and innovative ways to meet the occasion. We also look forward to resuming our work promoting gender and race equity in the film industry. With your continued support, I have no doubt we will return as strong as ever to bring Provincetown to the world, at a time when our vision of a just and equitable society can serve as an inspiration. 

In fact, one of the most surprising twists of the year, for me, was seeing our virtual festival reach places far and wide, including Wyoming, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah, amongst many others. We have uncommon resources and with them a responsibility to be there for people across the nation and around the world. Our virtual platform has the power to provide people with access to artists like never before, and we will continue to use that platform to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Representation in film matters. It has the power to humanize the “other,” change how people see one another, and redraw the boundaries of inclusion within the human heart. With one of the most divisive presidential elections in our nation’s history now behind us, the urgency of our mission has never been greater, as we believe film is uniquely suited to promote the empathy required for sustaining one of the most pluralistic, complex democracies in the world. Thank you again for your support. I invite you to continue joining us in our work; we cannot do it without you.

Anthony Lawson

Member In The News

By Tracy Pease

A person sitting at a table and smiling at the camera

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Blythe Robertson

Checking all the boxes, this month’s member in the news is a narrative and documentary film producer, a decades-long Massachusetts convert, and uniquely the newest member of the Provincetown Film Society Board of Directors, Blythe Robertson.  Blythe said, “I’m excited to join the PFS board to help further their advocacy of diversity in film and look forward to bringing new ideas to expand this vision.”

You’ve seen her on the streets of Provincetown, at the Waters Edge Cinema taking in a movie, at the annual June film festivals, at the Women’s Media Summits and Film Financing Forum.  She’s rolled up her sleeves to fundraise at PFS’ recent production of DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester and now PFS is pleased to add her name to the board roster. 

Originally from Huntsville Alabama, Blythe is a graduate of the University of Alabama.  With her wife Mary & dog Maisy, this fall, they moved east from Provincetown to Truro to renovate a fixer-upper that will have all the flair and style uniquely them!

Blythe has been making films for 15+ years. During COVID, she has been in development with South African director Bruce Donnelly on the feature documentary, THE ELEPHANT CORRIDOR about human-elephant conflict in southern Africa and how scientists, rural communities and park wardens are coming together to solve the crisis by using, of all things, honeybees.

Blythe executive produced Ira Sachs’ LITTLE MEN, starring Greg Kinnear and Paulina Garcia, which premiered at Sundance 2016. Previously, she EP’d Sachs’ critically acclaimed LOVE IS STRANGE, starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei, which was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards. She produced ABOUT SUNNY, starring Lauren Ambrose and was nominated for another Independent Spirit Award.   Closer to home, Blythe was a line producer on the American Experience/Frontline doc series, GOD IN AMERICA. Other projects include The History Channel’s Emmy-nominated, DESPERATE CROSSING: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE MAYFLOWER.  Blythe also co-produced the revival of Broadway’s revival of SIDE SHOW.

I’ve always been drawn to stories of social inequality and I’d like to think my films reflect that. My goal is that the projects I’m involved with create awareness around the unjust issues they highlight” said Robertson. PFS is thrilled to be part of this Legacy Member in The News’ next chapter.

Institute News

During this time of unprecedented global crisis and economic and racial upheaval, the lessons from previous crises tells us that a commitment to diversity and inclusion could easily take a back seat to other priorities. Yet, even during these trying times, we maintain that diversity and inclusion are in fact critical to recovery, resilience and reimagination. As we look towards and plan for a brighter and healthier future, among our priorities is to continue to amplify the diverse voice, particularly the least represented and to step up our efforts to hold ourselves and others accountable for supporting and incentivizing storytellers that represent the full breadth of human understanding and experience. Heading up our diversity initiatives will be former PFS CEO Christine Walker. Over the course of her tenure, she oversaw the development of the Women Filmmakers Residency Program, the Women’s Week Film Festival, the First Annual PFS Jamaican Film Festival, the PFS Film Financing Forum for Diverse Projects, the Celebration of Transgender Filmmakers and the Transgender Filmmaker’s Community Forum, among other programs.

Ash Christian Courtesy of Lon Haber & Co.
Ash Christian Photo Courtesy of Lon Haber & Co.

Soon we will launch the Ash Christian Shorts Filmmaking Program for LGBTQ Youth, named after a prolific filmmaker and dear friend who served on the PFS advisory board and tragically passed this past Fall at the young age of 35. Ash is credited for jump-starting the careers of several first-time filmmakers and he produced our PFS Annual Film Financing Forum. At the forum, Ash encouraged all aspiring filmmakers to above all, ‘go out and make a short film.’ Through this program, Ash’s legacy will ensure that select applicants will work with industry professionals to develop and create a short film that will serve as a calling-card for future opportunities. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

In January, we will also announce new guidelines for our Sixth Annual Women Filmmaker’s Residency Program which will take place at the newly redesigned Mary Heaton Vorse House, the historical home of the late Provincetown author, journalist, and activist. 

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Save the Date!!!
Provincetown Film Festival 2021
June 16-25, 2021

Calling all filmmakers! Submissions for the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival are now open–early bird deadline is December 4. Submit your narrative, documentary or short films here

THE LAUNCH with Julie Rockett

I’m delighted to be relaunching The Launch and who better to do it with than Provincetown’s own Fermin Rojas? You probably know Fermin as being a champion of Provincetown Film Society. We are in his debt for his inspired idea of taking Provincetown Film Society on the road and having fundraising dinners in New York, Houston, San Francisco and other great cities (we hope to add more cities to this vibrant list when all this mishugas is over and we can travel freely again.). 

Fermin Rojas

He and his husband, Jay Kubesch, are partners in DKR Films. Their documentary, BLACK MAMBAS, was a PIFF2019 award winner. His past documentaries include REVOLUTIONS which chronicled Fermin’s return to Cuba after 50 years to create a Cuban Gay Men’s Chorus. You also definitely don’t recognize him from directing a comedy short I wrote about Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He did an impeccable job of making me look so very much like her that I’d resent him for that if I didn’t adore him.

Julie Rockett: Were you able to see any films during this past summer’s PIFF Reimagined?

Fermin Rojas: I was able to watch THE CAPOTE TAPES. It was wonderful. Truman Capote is one of my favorite authors. In my formative years, I read every bit of his writing including ANSWERED PRAYERS which was nothing more than a collection of gossip columns. My favorite Capote book is a collection of short stories called MUSIC FOR CHAMELEONS and it has one of my favorite stories, “Spin Dazzle Dazzle”. It’s a great example of how Capote’s writing incorporates all five senses. It’s basically about him being told for the first time that he was gay by a fortune teller. At the end of the story he meets a prostitute and writes, “She spoke the way bananas taste.”

JR: What films do you wish had a bigger following?

FR:  Lately I’ve been watching many silent films. I think they get this bad rap for having silly storylines with over the top acting but some of them are very sophisticated and have very talented directors at the helm. I rediscovered them last year. I was part of a live play reading at The Provincetown Theatre about a murder that occurred at LA’s Silent Movie Theatre back in 1997. The film they were showing that night was PANDORA’S BOX (1929). I watched the film and found the lighting to be beautiful and the acting was sublime. I highly recommend it.

JR: What are you working on now?

FR: I’m Executive Producer for a documentary called, ELEPHANT CORRIDOR. It’s about an organization of Southern African countries that is trying to control the migration of elephants through “bee fences” which are bee hormones placed in trees. They redirect the elephants’ migration and help protect trees from being trampled by the elephants. They’re also planting gardens that repel elephants like sunflowers or chili peppers and these provide food and economic resources for the communities. It’s mostly all women who are leading this program.

I’m also quite proud of the short films that we did with the Wampanoags that can be seen at the Provincetown Monument Museum. It’s a very complicated story of the interaction between the Colonists and the Native population. I think when people talk about the bravery and heroism of the Colonists it’s important to recognize that it was done at a great cost to the civilization that already lived here. 

JR: Do you remember your first favorite film?

FR: It was from when I still lived in Cuba. It translates to THE FESTIVAL OF THE DOVE. It was a musical about two sisters, Chastity and Suzanne. My brother and sister and I would reenact this film over and over.

JR: Were you Chastity or Suzanne?

FR: I was the director! I directed the whole thing and in retrospect, I’m so lucky that it was a foreign film that was my first favorite film. Then when I moved to the States I got to see THE WIZARD OF OZ and absolutely loved and devoured Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films.

JR: And finally, what’s a Holiday film that you love?

FR: I’m so easy. It’s THE GRINCH. It packs everything. I know very little about animation but the fact that a director could take that book and get an army of artists to make such a emotionally expressive film is amazing. The way he pokes at Max the dog who’s sporting these wonderful fake antlers. It touches on all of the important themes. I just love it. 

JR: I hope you and yours remain safe and healthy this Holiday Season!

FR: Thank you! 

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

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.