“It’s a good time of year for movies,” says Provincetown Film Society Executive Director Anne Hubbell, who has curated a diverse lineup of film screenings and related conversations at the Waters Edge Cinema at Whalers Wharf from Oct. 10 through 16. The Women’s Week Film Festival will present more than 20 films about the experiences of female-identifying musicians, activists, journalists, race car drivers, and royal figures.
Hubbell, who started her job this year, says the festival is a natural outgrowth of her interests. She is co-founder of Tangerine Entertainment, a production company dedicated to working with women creators, and a former board member of New York Women in Film & Television. “A big focus of my career has been on women and their stories,” she says.
The festival will open on Indigenous People’s Day (Monday, Oct. 10) with Bring Her Home, a documentary that follows three indigenous women — an artist, an activist, and a politician — seeking to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives. It will be followed by a screening of The Unknown Country, a documentary-narrative hybrid telling the story of an indigenous woman taking an unexpected trip to the Texas border while on her way to a reunion with her estranged Lakota family. A second screening of the film on Oct. 16 will feature a conversation with the film’s producer, Laura Heberton.
Hubbell says there will be multiple opportunities to engage with filmmakers and producers throughout the week, including several works-in-progress scheduled for advance screenings and audience feedback. These include Ani DiFranco and Dory Previn, with Academy Award-nominated producer Amy Hobby, and Reproductive Rights, with film festival artist-in-residence Ruth Leitman. Hubbell looks forward to this creative exchange. “The filmmaker really benefits,” she says. “These are special opportunities for artists to hear directly from their audience.”
The festival also includes Call Jane, a historical drama starring Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver. Set in 1968, it tells the story of one woman’s unlikely alliance with a radical underground network of abortion caregivers. She Said, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoey Kazan as New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, who together broke the story that helped launch the #MeToo movement, will be screened on Oct. 16. And Niyatu Jusu’s directorial debut, Nanny, a thriller starring Anna Diop about an undocumented woman working for a privileged couple in New York City, will show on Oct. 14.
In addition to these contemporary projects, the festival will screen a few older films about gender identity. One highlight is a 30th-anniversary screening of Sally Potter’s 1992 film Orlando, a period fantasy based on a novel by Virginia Woolf about a young nobleman (played by Tilda Swinton) who wakes to find himself transformed into a woman. Also scheduled are two screenings of the much-loved 2015 documentary Clambake, a reflection on three decades of Women’s Week in Provincetown.
Hubbell says that she wanted to curate a program diverse in content and style. It will include a presentation by Provincetown Film Society artist-in-residence Amber Fares about her documentary Speed Sisters, which tells the story of the first all-female race car driving team in the Middle East, as well as feature films that explore death and dying, queer identity, and country music stardom.
Hubbell says she’s excited about three critically acclaimed feminist shorts (Maria Schneider, 1983; Shuli; and Sweet Ruin) by filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin, who will be at the screening of her work. Maria Schneider, 1983 premiered at Cannes this year and is coming to Provincetown straight from the New York Film Festival.
For the full schedule of screenings, events, and show times, visit provincetownfilm.org.