Could our couch-binging days be mostly behind us? It’s possible: In-person film festivals are making a comeback — for the most part.
Two major Bay State festivals open this June with more than 130 feature films and shorts on the docket. After last summer’s all-virtual festivities, the Provincetown and Nantucket film festivals debuted their 2021 lineups this week — each with a host of in-person options. Here’s what cinephiles can expect:
Slated for June 16-25, the Provincetown International Film Festival presents a mix of streamed, drive-in, and live screenings at limited capacity.
“In the Heights” (Jon M. Chu) will open the festival, and “Being BeBe” (Emily Branham) is the closing-night feature. “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It,” “Boy Meets Boy,” and “Potato Dreams of America” are among almost two dozen films to be screened live at Water’s Edge Cinema for half the usual crowd.
Organizers plan to celebrate prolific writer and director Richard Linklater with The Filmmaker on the Edge Award. Linklater, best known for “Boyhood” and “Dazed and Confused,” will accept the top honor in a virtual conversation with filmmaker John Waters. And director Natalie Morales of “Plan B,” “Dead to Me,” and “Language Lessons” will receive the Next Wave Award for new, diverse voices in film.
“We are thrilled to present a robust slate of bold, new films from incredibly talented filmmakers — many of whom faced significant challenges in having their work be seen,” said PIFF artistic director Lisa Viola in a statement.
The complete lineup includes 86 narrative features, documentary features, or shorts. See the film list at www.ptownfilmfestival.com.
The slightly smaller Nantucket Film Festival promises 25 features, 32 shorts, and a comparable list of celebrity appearances. As an expanded 12-day festival, the Nantucket event offers an at-home, drive-in, and garden series from June 17-28.
That means the festival’s notable features: “Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson), “Playing with Sharks” (Sally Aitken), and “Coda” (Siân Heder) can be enjoyed from the couch. Additional conversations, including with Ethan Hawke on his career, Mark Duplass on making time for indie projects, Alice Hoffman on her “Practical Magic” novel series, will be viewable only online.
But of course, there’s more.
Eight screenings are expected to take place at the Dreamland Drive-In. And 11 in-person events are scheduled at private Nantucket residences, part of the festival dubbed the “garden series.” Those will be attended by special guests, including commentator Chris Matthews, TV writer Amy Sherman-Palladino, and comedian Ophira Eisenberg.
Each celebrity is slated to host a discussion. Colin and Nick Barnicle, the pair behind “This is a Robbery” about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, will dive into the details about the infamous crime. Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon will talk about her latest book on the Islamic State, “The Daughters of Kobani” — a soon-to-be movie.
“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Gilmore Girls” writers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino will receive the Excellence in Television Writing Award.