The Provincetown Film Society named filmmaker and festival consultant Mitch Levine its new head Thursday. He will take on the CEO role, replacing long-time chief Gabby Hanna who announced her retirement from the post last summer. Mitch's appointment also includes serving as Executive Director of PFS's annual Provincetown International Film Festival, its hometown venue the Waters Edge Cinema at Whalers Wharf and a new Institute of Cinema Arts.
A long-time consultant to film festivals and filmmakers, Levine started The Film Festival Group and currently produces the First Time Fest in New York. Previously he served as CEO of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, produced the first edition of the Bahamas International Film Festival and Le Festival International des Espoirs du Cinema in Monte-Carlo. Levine regularly presents his workshop, Preparing Your Film for the Global Marketplace and hosted AFI’s Great Filmmakers series.
“I’m very proud to be offered the opportunity to lead the Provincetown Film Society,” said Levine. “Provincetown is an extraordinary community of artists and those passionate about the arts and I feel deeply welcomed there. It’s the 16th year of our organization and a tremendous foundation has been laid by my remarkable predecessor, Gabby Hanna, by an amazing and involved Board of Directors, by a world-class programming team and by a truly outstanding group of sponsors. I look forward to sharing the best of the world’s filmmaking with our audience and nurturing a new generation of great cinema artists.”
Filmmaker/writer John Waters, John Waters, PIFF’s resident artist and presenter of its Filmmaker on the Edge Award added, “Mitch Levine comes to Provincetown with experience, a new found energy and a will to make movie going all over town an even better experience than ever!”
“I knew we had struck gold when Mitch accepted the position to lead the festival and the [Provincetown Film Society],” said PIFF Artistic Director Connie White. “His experience, creativity and genuine love for film and filmmakers will greatly enrich this organization. The programming team and I are thrilled to be working with him.”
This year, Provincetown will expand its film festival to a full week, setting its 16th edition for June 17 – 23. The festival had previously taken place in the historic Cape Cod locale over a long weekend. Added Levine about the festival's expansion: “This year, we’re going to add two days to the festival. Our core schedule – Wednesday through Sunday – will remain the same. But we’re going to add two days: a screenings-only 'Preview Day' on Tuesday; and a 'Celebration Day' following the Closing Night, where people will be able to see the award winners and other popular films of the fest. And lastly, it’s our Sweet 16! We’re going to have some fun programming connected to this milestone.”
Levine's bio follows courtesy of Provincetown Film Society:
Levine was a fellow in performance and design at the Juilliard School and was the recipient of the first James Cameron Fellowship in Directing at the American Film Institute. There, he directed Colette, based on the groundbreaking French writer and Stale Identity, an homage to Hitchcock and film noir. His Holocaust drama, Shadows, an exploration of love, family and the attraction of evil during the Holocaust, won awards around the globe. His short drama, In Confidence, just premiered at the Denver International Film Festival and his feature dance documentary, Morphing Gravity, is currently in post-production. He directed nine episodes of the sit-com Living & Learning and co-directed the documentary feature, Hungry Is the Tiger, which focuses on the food crisis in India and Indonesia and utilizes traditional Javanese performance. Levine is also an award-winning film and stage director, with credits the world over in theatre, film, opera and dance and is a directing member of the world renowned Actors Studio. He was the artistic supervisor of the Robert Wilson/Philip Glass opera, Einstein On the Beach, the Production Director of MOMIX Dance Theatre and the production director and designer of the Peter Gabriel/Moses Pendleton collaboration, Passion.
Levine has produced and directed countless film festival tributes, and has worked alongside George Clooney, Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett, Dustin Hoffman, Halle Berry and many others. Before his directing career, Levine was a former Special Representative to the United Nations.