“The town really comes to life in the most vibrant way,” says Festival Marshall Jared Earley, saying that many businesses in the resort town see the start of the festival as a time when visitors really begin arriving for the summer season.
The festival was founded in 1999 and has expanded greatly. “Like any 16 year old we’re growing up in a lot of ways,” says Earley with this year’s sweet 16 attracting many big names in cinema including Jonathan Demme, Tom Dolby and Patricia Clarkson who will accept the 2014 Excellence in Acting Award.
The Festival has seen a record number of submissions this year which Earley believes is due in part to technological advances that have made cameras and editing equipment more affordable and accessible. “What it does mean is more access to the medium and more people involved.”
While the festival has become truly international with contributions from around the world and participation by some of Hollywood’s biggest names the focus remains on the host community with events such as the Portuguese film sidebars that give a nod to the contributions of the town’s Portuguese population.
That connection to Provincetown continues year round with events that involve collaborations with organizations such as the Fine Arts Work Center. When the summer ends the tourists will leave, but Earley says the spirit of the festival remains.
“Even in winter people have festival catalogs on their table,” says Earley “it wouldn’t exist without their support.”
The Provincetown International Film Festival runs until June 22nd. To learn more about the festival visit their website.