Auction items 

Provincetown Film Society Auction with John Waters, Kathleen Turner

PROVINCETOWN — Filmmaker John Waters has issued an official dinner invitation to 10 as yet undetermined people: Meet Me at the Provincetown Dump. We’ll eat salvaged food prepared by a New York chef, on tables set with damaged cutlery and dead flower arrangements.

This ‘once in a lifetime gourmet’ evening in July is the highlight of the Provincetown Film Society’s winter online auction, which opened on Wednesday, raised more than $15,000 in bids in less than 48 hours and ended on Sunday.

There are over 100 items on offer, and while many Cape Cod nonprofits hold fundraising auctions, the vast majority of items in this virtual event are related to Provincetown and/or the film society – and rub shoulders with the celebrities, the art, the great food, the eccentricity and the sense of fun it can mean.

“These are Provincetown items celebrating the Provincetown businesses, restaurants, people and things that always support nonprofits and have generously donated to us,” explained auction co-chair Julia King. “It’s Provincetown, Provincetown, Provincetown – all we can do.”

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While required opening bids vary at, the estimated value of many unique items — including Waters’ dinner — is listed as “priceless.”

What is the Film Society Auction?

For example, award-winning film/theater/TV actress Kathleen Turner is offering for the second year to record a telephone message with her distinctive voice. A similar recording offer comes from actress Beth Grant (“Donnie Darko”, “Sordid Lives”, “The Mindy Project”), accompanied by a Zoom chat.

You can have coffee with paranormal expert Adam Berry, who co-stars on the Travel Channel’s “Kindred Spirits” or get autographed copies of his book “Ghost Hunting”; take a private food history tour of Provincetown with restaurant owner John Yingling and make pizza with him at Spiritus Pizza; or get a private tour and business advice meeting with restaurant owners Canteen, Rob Anderson and Loic Rossignon.

You can get a one-hour virtual architecture tour with David Dunlap, author of “Building Provincetown”; stay a few nights with dinner at the historic Mary Heaton Vorse House; or get an eight-page personal history written about you by novelist Martha McPhee and poet Mark Svengold.

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The film company runs the Waters Edge Cinema year-round; the Provincetown Film Festival every June; and various programs, workshops and residencies through the new Gabrielle A. Hanna Film Institute.

Connections through these efforts allow for the first auction items this year of one-on-one Zoom calls with people in the film industry, King said, including producers, an editor, a casting director, actors or a production designer. Additionally, bidding is Zoom calls with Tony Award-nominated Broadway librettist/lyricist/director Bill Russell (“Side Show,” “Pageant”).

The auction also includes tickets to top Broadway musicals (including “Six,” “Company” and “Hadestown”); gift cards for local restaurants, music venues, clubs, health classes and businesses; vacation homes in town and around the world; and choices of local art and collectible posters.

Dinner for two with John Waters

And then there’s that dinner with Waters, the colorful director/writer/actor/artist and part-time local resident who’s a longtime supporter and host of the film festival.

“It’s fun every year to come up with a concept that pokes fun at the whole process of charity auctions and at the same time raises money for them,” Waters said on a call this week from London. He chose the Provincetown dump because of “the location, the location, the location” – and enjoys the connection to the famous Bette Davis line of “What a dump!”

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“I love the dump! … I like the idea of ​​elegance in a very low place and I think ‘the dump’ sounds good,” he said. “Everybody in Provincetown knows about the dump and … a dump is a place where all the people meet, to find things and throw things that get in their way.

Waters said he enjoys the collective theme of his auction item that draws other Provincetown talent. Chef Jake Hetnarski – who worked at Waters’ favorite restaurant in New York, the now-closed Prune, and is starting a restaurant business in Provincetown – will literally go digging through trash cans at businesses across town to find ingredients for the meal, Waters said.

Designer and friend John Derian will supply the “damaged” plates, and Garden Renovations Nursery will take care of the dead flowers.

“The Provincetown Film Festival is extremely important to me,” Waters said of his support for the auction. The 24-year-old festival, where Waters plans to hold a signing this year for her new book ‘Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance’, is a “great week in June where the best people come to town for that and all, so I’m excited about (the auction) I’ve been involved in (the festival) from the very beginning.

How the money helps Provincetown

Waters’ help is much appreciated: King said she expects there will be a bidding war for those dumpster dinner seats in the final hours of the auction, as he there was last year for Waters’ article. It involved taking the winners on a tour of famous historic public sex spots around Provincetown and then going out to dinner.

This experience alone last year raised nearly $20,000 of the $70,000+ – more than double the company’s original goal – the auction raised to fund the cinema, the festival and the institute at a time when all had been so challenged by COVID-19 concerns about public gatherings.

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The auction “was a way to raise money to at least keep (the theater) open,” King said, as well as fund the other programs and pay staff for the year. “We think there’s a year-round community in Provincetown that honestly seems to be growing now that more people can work remotely… (and) we think it’s an important thing to keep the theater open all year. year.

Last year was the first time the company changed its usual fall fundraiser for the winter auction, in a change that King said was intended to avoid competing with other fundraisers. city ​​non-profit fund. The organizers were delighted with the result, and from Waters, and hope for such success this year.

The unusual nature of the dinner at the junkyard helps raise awareness of the auction, while celebrating “all things Provincetown and his love for Provincetown. We’re so excited about it,” she said. “John has been so supportive of the film company over the years.”

A bonus last year, she said, was that many of the people who won bids to go on Waters’ tour had never been to Provincetown “and ended up loving it.” So it’s kind of our way of introducing Provincetown to people who don’t know it too.

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