Provincetown International Film Festival

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) is an annual film festival founded in 1999 and held on Cape Cod in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The festival presents American and international narrative features, documentaries and short films for five days in June of each year.[1]

The festival is a program of the Provincetown Film Society, the non-profit parent organization which also operates the year-round Waters Edge Cinema (formerly known as Whaler's Wharf Cinema), a year-round Provincetown movie theater presenting what it considers the best in current independent and international cinema.[2]

The festival hosts panel discussions[3] and special programs such as Youth and Diversity[4] and Portuguese film sidebars, the festival incorporates the cultural, historic, and artistic character of Provincetown: with its thriving art colony, its large gay and lesbian population,[5] its original Native American and Portuguese heritage, and its congenial scenic setting. In keeping with its mission, the festival often presents films about countercultural figures, such as John Lennon, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and writer William S. Burroughs.[6]


Founded in 1999, the first opening night film was Run Lola Run.[7]

Other notable premieres have included A Master Builder, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Splendor, Whale Rider, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Cameraperson, Howl, The Innocents, Britany Runs a Marathon, Vita & Virginia, and Coffee & Cigarettes. Retrospective screenings have included Some Like It Hot, Grey Gardens, Clerks, Showgirls, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and the 50th anniversary of Psycho.[4]

Notable attendees include Lily Tomlin, Ted Kennedy, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, Tilda Swinton, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Ira Kaplan, Al Maysles, Faith Hubley, Parker Posey, Mira Nair, Christine Vachon, Alan Cumming, Chloe Sevigny, Michael Musto, Patricia Clarkson, David Cronenberg, Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant, Jillian Bell, Tab Hunter, Ang Lee, Barney Frank and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.[8][9][10][11][12]

Cult filmmaker John Waters hosts events or presents awards at PIFF every year.[7]

In January 2020, the festival hired a new CEO but was forced to lay her and eight other staff members off in May due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.[13] The festival was delayed a month and was presented primarily through streaming and drive-in screenings.[14]


In its ongoing mission to honor the work of both established and emerging directors, PIFF has established a number of awards.

2010 awards

The 2010 awards were given to the following films:[15][16]

2012 awards

The 2012 awards were given to the following films:[17]

  • Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine: HBO Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
  • The Invisible War, directed by Kirby Dick: HBO Audience Award Best Documentary Feature
  • Dik, directed by Christopher Stollery: HBO Audience Award Best Short Film
  • How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France: The John Schlesinger Award (given to a first time documentary or narrative feature filmmaker)
  • Shoot the Moon, directed by Alexander Gaeta: Jury Award / Student Short Film
  • Who Lasts Longer, directed by Gregorio Muro: Jury Award / Animated Short Film
  • Tsuyako, directed by Mitsuyo Miyazaki: Jury Award / Live Action Short Film

In addition to the usual "best film" types of awards, each year PIFF presents a unique and prestigious award, the Filmmaker on the Edge Award, to honor visionary filmmakers who have expanded the boundaries of the art.[1][18] Since 2007 PIFF has also presented an Excellence in Acting Award.

Career AchievementEdit

This award is sponsored by Cape Air.[21]

Faith Hubley Memorial AwardEdit

Next Wave AwardEdit


  1. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (27 April 2010). "Provincetown fetes A-listers". Variety. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "PROVINCETOWN FILM SOCIETY'S MISSION". Provincetown Film Society. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  3. ^ Marion (13 June 2011). "13th Annual Provincetown International Film Festival Opening Night Party". Archived from the original on 10 Aug 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Oscar Winners Kudos at P-Town Film Fest". Outtake. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Ptown Film Fest Honors Gay Filmmakers". The Advocate. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Keough, Peter (16 June 2010). "Cinema paradisos". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b McKee, Natalie (12 June 2016). "Connie White to step down as fest's artistic director". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  8. ^ Thompson, Anne (2018-06-14). "Provincetown Festival Indie Icons by Photographer Henny Garfunkel". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  9. ^ McGreevy, Nora (18 June 2019). "Comic actress Jillian Bell gets serious for a change - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  10. ^ Robinson, Charlotte (2017-06-23). "Celebrities, Filmmakers & Activists Talk Movies, Resistance & More (AUDIO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  11. ^ Robinson, Charlotte (2016-06-02). "Actor Tab Hunter Talks Provincetown Film Fest Launch Weekend and More (AUDIO)". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  12. ^ "Provincetown Film Festival Announces Lineup: John Cameron Mitchell named "Filmmaker On The Edge," Jillian Bell to Receive "Next Wave Award"". Provincetown Film Festival. 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  13. ^ Driscoll, Kathi Scrizzi (28 May 2020). "CEO, staff of Provincetown Film Society laid off". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  14. ^ "Provincetown Film Festival Reboots With Virtual And Drive-In Screenings". Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  15. ^ Miller, Tim (21 June 2010). "Festival winners". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Karren, Howard (23 June 2010). "Winners aplenty at Provincetown International Film Festival". Wicked Local. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Brooks, Brian (18 June 2012). "Invisible War, Any Day Now Win at Provincetown Film Festival". Movieline. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Keough, Peter (14 June 2010). "There was a film fest from Nantucket . . . and P'town". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "FILMMAKER ON THE EDGE". Archived from the original on 2017-03-28.
  20. ^ Rooney, David (17 June 2018). "Sean Baker and Molly Shannon Honored at Provincetown Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "CAREER ACHIEVEMENT". Retrieved 14 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Kleinman, Rebecca (25 June 2014). "John Waters Hosts 16th Annual Provincetown International Film Festival | Hollywood Reporter". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  23. ^ "John Cameron Mitchell Receives Provincetown's Filmmaker on the Edge Award". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-04-13.

External linksEdit