Best of the Day: Provincetown International Film Festival – June 17, 2015

The 17th annual PIFF brings five days of boundary-pushing cinema to P-Town. Wondering what to watch? Here are our top picks.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.

Tab Hunter Confidential

Promotional still from Tab Hunter Confidential / Courtesy photo

Since 1999, the Provincetown International Film Festival has been championing diverse voices in cinema, a reflection of this town’s long history as an arts colony and LGBT mecca. For the fest’s 17th year, in addition to five full days of shorts and feature-length films, they’re bringing in special guests of honor Bobcat Goldthwait, who’s being awarded PIFF’s annual “Filmmaker on the Edge” award, and Jennifer Coolidge (perhaps best known for her work in Christopher Guest films like Best in Show), who’ll receive the Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award.

Here are our picks for what to see for each day of the fest.

June 17

In a way, the Cape spawned the original summer blockbuster: In 1975’s Jaws, Martha’s Vineyard served as the location for the movie’s fictional shark-plagued Amity Island. So what better place to catch a 40th anniversary screening of Jaws than at the Cape’s Wellfleet Drive-In? For maximum vintage terror, this special PIFF-presented double feature also includes a screening of Roar.

June 17, 8:30 p.m., Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, 51 US-6, Wellfleet, 508-349-7176,

June 18

Tab Hunter Confidential
What would have happened if Atomic Age audiences knew that Tab Hunter, the muscle-bound all-American hunk billed as “six feet of rugged manhood to stir the heart of every woman,” was secretly gay? The possibility so haunted the actor that he spent decades making sure he never found out the answer to that question. Inspired by Hunter’s New York Times best-selling autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential examines this epic example of Hollywood closeting.

June 18, 7 p.m., Town Hall, 260 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-7013.

June 19

Call Me Lucky
As the talent booker for Boston’s long-shuttered Ding Ho, Barry Crimmins helped propel the careers of many up-and-coming comedians—including a young Bobcat Goldthwait. Now, in his first feature-length documentary, Goldthwait repays the favor with this tribute to his mentor. Call Me Lucky details Crimmins’s struggle with his dark, abuse-filled past to show how he became the activist and political provocateur he is today. And on June 20, catch Goldthwait in conversation with John Waters when he receives his “Filmmaker on the Edge” award at Provincetown’s historic Town Hall.

June 19, 7:30 p.m., Art House Cinemas, Screen 2, 214 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-9222.

June 20

Packed in a Trunk
In 1924, painter Edith Lake Wilkinson was sent to an asylum, and never heard from again. After her death, her light-filled canvasses were packed into trunks and stored in her relatives’ attic, only to have a younger generation stumble upon them years later. In Packed in a Trunk, Wilkinson’s great-niece Jane Anderson journeys to the Provincetown art scene that fostered Wilkinson’s talent during the early 20th century and strives to unravel the many mysteries shrouding her great-aunt’s legacy.

June 20, 12 p.m., Art House Cinemas, Screen 2, 214 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-9222.

June 21

Killer Joe
What movies are deranged enough to earn a spot in John Waters’s Netflix queue? This year, neo-noir film Killer Joe—directed by The Exorcist’s William Friedkin—makes the cut for PIFF’s annual Waters-curated presentation. Starring Matthew McConaughey in the title role as a sadistic Texas cop moonlighting as a hitman, this 2011 film earns its NC-17 rating with repugnant characters, rampant violence, and one spectacularly disturbing scene in which Gina Gershon is forced to fellate a chicken drumstick.

June 21, 5 p.m., Art House Cinemas, Screen 2, 214 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-9222.