The program will offer female filmmakers from around the world the chance to work among artists and writers in the outer Cape Cod area of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Residency begins today and runs through April 17. Another residency will occur later this fall. The participants of the inaugural program are Shelli Ainsworth (“Stay Then Go”), Jennie Livington (“Paris is Burning”), and Stacie Passon (“Concussion”).
“When we first conceived of the idea of a film institute, we met with several leaders in the film world to explore ways in which we could have an immediate impact on our underserved communities,” said Christine Walker, CEO of the Provincetown Film Society. “We concluded that a residency program for women would serve as a catalyst for change in an industry where an abysmal 16% of the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, cinematographers and editors are women. Thanks to the overwhelming support of our community and our sponsors, we are pleased to be able to launch the program this spring.”
In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Stacie Passon emphasized the importance of women mentoring each other. When we asked the “Concussion” director what advice she had for first-time female filmmakers, she said “Seek your mentors and Yodas, and always talk to people. Always seek advice. Always reach out. Ask for help. Don’t guard yourself in a way that will be counterproductive. And embrace all aspects of being a woman and don’t be apologetic for feeling a certain way at a given time… We sort of need to mentor each other.” It sounds like this residency will be an excellent opportunity for all of the participants to collaborate with and evolve alongside one another.
Here are the bios of this program’s first residents, courtesy of the Provincetown Film Society:
About the Artists Selected for Spring Residency:
Writer/director Shelli Ainsworth is a Minneapolis-based artist whose work in experimental theater and film has earned her national recognition. A former recipient of grants and fellowships from ITVS, The Bush Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation, Ainsworth’s short narrative films have been seen in festivals and museums in the United States and Europe. Her first feature film, STAY THEN GO, has been an official selection in film festivals across the country, as well as the official selection for the Southern Circuit, a highly-regarded touring program. For STAY THEN GO, Ms. Ainsworth was the recent recipient of the “Pioneering Women in Screenwriting” award from the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival.
Jennie Livingston is a groundbreaking filmmaker, known for thoughtful exploration of identity, class, race, death, sex and gender. She works in both fiction and nonfiction: her films include PARIS IS BURNING, WHO’S THE TOP? and THROUGH THE ICE. She is currently directing, producing and editing EARTH CAMP ONE, an essay/memoir about how she lost four family members in five years (her advice: don’t try it at home!). She has also written and is developing a dramatic feature, PRENZLAUER BERG, set in the art worlds of New York and East Berlin in 1989. In 2015, PARIS IS BURNING received the Cinema Eye Honors Legacy Award and was honored during the Sundance Collection screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Livingston lives in Brooklyn, NY and was educated at Yale. Upon graduation she had a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Stacie Passon is an American film director and screenwriter, whose debut film CONCUSSION premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and subsequently won a Teddy Award Jury Prize as an outstanding film about LBGT themes at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. Passon previously worked as a commercial director and producer. CONCUSSION was released in the United Stated by RADiUS-TWC and in 17 other territories around the world. The film garnered two Gotham Nominations, a Spirit Award nomination for Best First Film and won a 2014 GLADD Media award. Passon is an adjunct professor at New York University and Tisch School of the Arts.