DISPATCH - NOV 30, 2012 (9:15 a.m.)

SAG HARBOR, NY-

The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival is set to roll out the red carpet for its fifth annual festival this weekend at Bay Street Theatre. Marking the occasion is an expanded festival with three days of screenings, an Audience Award, discussions with filmmakers and a benefit party honoring documentarian Susan Lacy.

The festival opens today with three screenings set at 4:30 p.m. (The City Dark), 6:45 p.m. (Long May You Shine) and 8:15 p.m. (Shelter Island: Art + Friendship + Discovery).

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Film still from Long May You Shine by Mark Costello Higgins.

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Ten films will be screened on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. They include The Salt of the Sea by award-winning director Tom Garber of Hampton Bays, NY, The Wind That Blows by Tom Weston of New York City and Kings Park: Stories From an American Mental Institution by award-winning director Lucy Winer. A Q & A follows each screening led by WPPB broadcast personality Bonnie Grice.

The gala reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 7:45 p.m. screening of Susan Lacy's Emmy award-winning film Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note. Immediately following is a panel discussion with Lacy and three American Masters directors: Michael Epstein, Anne Makepeace and Roger Sherman.

Lacy has over 185 documentaries to her credit capturing American cultural giants, according to HT2FF founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro. These include film biographies on David Geffen, which premiered on PBS on Nov 20, Richard Avedon, Johnny Carson, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Joni Mitchell, Edward R. Murrow, Paul Simon, Tennessee Williams and others. Lacy lives part time in Sag Harbor, NY.

"Susan Lacy is one of the giants in the documentary field, who created the American Masters series for PBS and who, for 26 years, has produced directed and written scores of documentaries highlighting Americans who made major contributions to our culture," said Lofaro.

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A film still from Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note directed by Susan Lacy.

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Sunday features six films screening from 10 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. They include the Emmy Award-winning film Children of Chabannes by Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell, Harry Hellfire by Jim Morrison of Greenport and Courting Justice by Ruth B. Cowen. A Q & A follows each screening led by film critic, director and actor Andrew Botsford.

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Film still from Harry Hellfire by Jim Morrison.

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Closing the festival is Plimpton: Staring George Plimpton as Himself directed by Luke Poling and Tom Bean. The film was co-edited by Casey Brooks, who grew up in East Hampton. The film documents the life of Plimpton, who was the founding editor of The Paris Review.

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Film still from Plimpton Starring George Plimpton as Himself by Luke Poling and Tom Bean.

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Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival (HT2FF) began as an outlet for documentaries that had already premiered but deserved a second look, stated Lofaro in a festival release. HT2FF is a way to honor documentary as an art form and to put quality films in front of the public.

"...HT2FF is a champion of documentary film and filmmakers who are drawn to stories, big and small, told with rich visual components captured live or relived in archival footage," Lofari states in festival information.

HT2FF is a counterbalance, of sorts, to the Hamptons International Film Festival which requires premieres. HIFF draws fierce competition, knocking many worthy films away from the festival and from filmgoers, she said. Ultimately, HT2FF was born because Lofaro has a passion for documentaries.

"Docs rock," she states on the festival's website. "They can change your mind and change your world."

Lofaro is an award-winning filmmaker who places social and environmental issues in front of her lens. Her documentary Empty Chair: Death Penalty Yes or No (2003) received the 2006 Thurgood Marshall Broadcast Journalism Award, screened at the 2003 HIFF  and was selected by Amnesty International as the documentary selection for their National ‘Weekend of Faith in Action’ programing for 2005 and 2006, among other awards, according to www.documentary.org. Lofari co-produced and co-directed Empty Chair: Death Penalty Yes or No with Victor Teich.

Other films include “The Last Fix: an Addict’s Passage from Hell to Hope. (2010: co-produced and directed), “70 x 7: The Forgiveness Equation (2008: co-produced and directed), Robins Island Long Island Pine Barrens Last Lake On Long Island, Composting: What’s It to You and The Corrugator, which won a Merit Award in the Long Island Film and Television Festival, according to www.documentary.org.

BASIC FACTS: The fifth annual Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival takes place from Nov 30 to Dec 2, 2012 at Bay Street Theatre, 2 Bay St, Sag Harbor, NY 11932. Tickets are $15 per film or $13 for seniors at the box office. A festival pass for all three days and the gala is $100. Tickets are $25 for the Saturday Night Gala honoring Susan Lacy. They include the screening of Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ht2ff.com, or through Bay Street Theatre (box office, by calling 6310-725-9500 or online at www.baystreet.org. Tickets are available at Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY.

For a full festival line up and film descriptions, visit www.ht2ff.com.

RELATED: Hamptons Art Hub: "From Picket Fence to New York City Gallery." Published Nov 29, 2012.

Hamptons Art Hub: "Documentaries on Artists Screen in the Hamptons." Published Nov 28, 2012.

Hamptons Art Hub: "Film on Amagansett Life-Saving Station Featured on Treasures of New York." Published Nov 10, 2012.

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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