Provincetown, Mass., prides itself on several achievements, including being America’s oldest art colony and a destination of choice for gays and lesbians. Since 1999, it has also hosted the Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF). With a budget that sets it at the more extreme side of the arc that would have a behemoth such as the Cannes Film Festival at the other end, the PIFF is dedicated to independent film. Beside size, another difference with other festivals is that awards are announced before the festival. In 2011, Darren Aronovfsky will receive the Filmmaker on the Edge award (past awardees include, among others, Todd Solondz, Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch), Vera Fermiga the Excellence in Acting award, and Albert Maysles the Career Achievement one.
The one-of-a-kind venue and event have their enthusiastic fans. Here’s what Guy Maddin, recipient of a Filmmaker on the Edge award, told us:
“P-town has the best summer event dreamy cinephiles could ever desire. The film fest sits in a wondrous crescent of cottages, theaters, historic homes, restaurants and other more lurid joints, all of this huddled up behind a long beach from which at all hours sea birds and film fest attendees alike can be heard variously screeching, cawing, moaning, flapping their wings, ruffling their plumage, scrambling around on all fours and feigning cries for help! It’s the MOST! And worth it alone for the stupendously beautiful dune-and-forest grazing approach to the local airport.”
The PIFF will take place June 15-19 and showcases fifty films at various venues around town (full schedule going up May 23).