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Commercial Street, Provicetown Photograph by
Katie O'Sullivan

Provincetown Film Festival ad

The 12th Annual Provincetown International Film Festival

June 16 through June 20th

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) was first produced in 1999 as the town celebrated its 100th anniversary of being America's oldest artist colony.

PIFF considers itself one of the country's preeminent film festivals, presenting diverse programming with over 50 films, reflecting the town's unique place in American history.

The five-day festival presents a wide array of American and international features, documentaries and short films, and makes a particular point to honor and preserve Provincetown's rich and diverse history as an arts colony, Portuguese fishing village, and gay and lesbian haven, while never forgetting the area's original Native American inhabitants.

The opening night film will be Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl. The festival will close with Cyrus, directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass. The Friday Spotlight Selection is Mao's Last Dancer, directed by Bruce Beresford and the Saturday Spotlight Selection is Kings Of Pastry, directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker.

A crucial part of the Festival's mission is to contribute to the creative and economic vitality of Provincetown.

In February, PIFF launched a capital campaign with plans to purchase Whaler's Wharf Cinema on Commercial Street in Provincetown. PIFF plans to operate the complex on a year round basis: expanding its film programming, broadening its Film Society base and housing its executive offices.

The defining honor of the Festival is its "Filmmaker on the Edge" award, for "outstanding achievement, innovation, and vision in filmmaking and given to a film artist whose admirable body of work pushes the boundaries of the medium."

Recent honorees have included Quentin Tarrantino, Guy Maddin, and Todd Solondz. The 2010 Filmmaker on the Edge Award will be awarded to writer/director Kevin Smith--Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and the Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Clerks II, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, and most recently, Cop Out.

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The Cape and Islands: Film Festival Mecca

Did you realize there are four separate international film festivals taking place each year on Cape Cod and the Islands? Two take place on the islands and two on the mainland. All draw an international crowd of well-known names and rising stars of the film industry.

CapeWomenOnline has gathered the pertinent info to help you enjoy this bevy of international talent right on our doorsteps. The first two festivals are about to begin – so make your plans fast!

Nantucket Film Festival banner

The 15th Annual Nantucket Film Festival

June 17 through June 20th

The Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) is really a filmmakers' film festival. Integral to the festival are the screenwriters' tribute, morning coffee talks, staged readings and late-night storytelling.

The festival's stated mission is to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the art of screenwriting in the world of cinema.

Each June, screenwriters, filmmakers, actors, film lovers and industry veterans from around the world come together on the shores of one of America's most beautiful small-town islands. This is the opposite of Hollywood. This is New England.

The 2010 Nantucket festival features 21 full-length comedy, drama, and documentary films.

Some of this year's highlights include: the U.S. premier of Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 on the opening night of the festival, a visit by Harold Ramis for the 25th anniversary screening of Ghostbusters, and a screening of Hurt Locker, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, as well as a visit by Academy Award winner for best director, Kathryn Bigelow.

Two of this year's highly anticipated films are The Cove, a documentary film by director Louie Psihoyos which tells the amazing true story of a covert mission to penetrate the hidden world of dolphin slaughter in Japan, and Cold Souls, starring Paul Giamatti as himself in a film "born and bred" on Nantucket.

The film's script won the Nantucket Film Festival's 2006 Screenplay Competition, and writer/director Sophie Barthes worked on the script at the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony. The NFF is also where the close relationship between the film's lead actor and director began.

Wood's Hole Film Festival banner

The 19th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival

July 30 through August 7th

Unique among the Cape's festivals, part of the mission of the Woods Hole Film Festival is to emphasize the work of first-time and New England filmmakers; showcase the work of independent filmmakers who have a relationship to Cape Cod or whose films are relevant to or enhance the quality of life on Cape Cod and to develop and foster a creative independent film community within the Festival and on Cape Cod.

Martha Vineyard Film Festival

The 5th Annual Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival

September 9th through September 12th

The youngest of the area film festivals, Martha's Vineyard has made a name for themselves in a very short time.

The recurring theme of the annual festival is "Other Places"; the website states that "the festival's purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly (about how huge the world of film is) and deeply (about the universal concerns and desires that unite all people)."

Ninety percent of films selected tend to be non-US productions, helping to fulfill the festival mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through film.

Film submissions for the festival are accepted until August 1st, of which ten finalists will be chosen.

As this issue of CWO goes to press, the festival is also actively seeking volunteers to help with this year's festival, selling tickets, directing festival goers and dealing with international talent.

If you're interested, contact volunteer coordinator Mary Spencer at for more information.