DISPATCH - OCT. 9, 2013
The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) returns to the East End for its 21st edition presented from Oct. 10 to 14, 2013. This year’s festival includes screenings of 75 feature films and 51 shorts from an array of categories. Screenings are held in theaters in East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Southampton and Montauk, NY. HIFF also features two installments of the popular “A Conversation With . . . “ series plus panel discussions and plenty of parties and star-gazing over the five-day festival.
One of this year's highlights is the star-studded big screen adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage hit “August: Osage County”—one of two “Centerpiece” films. Other films generating buzz are the festival’s opening night film, “Kill Your Darlings,” with Daniel Radcliffe playing the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
Additional highlights include the second Centerpiece film, “Nebraska,” starring Bruce Dern (screened on Sunday), and the Closing Night film “12 Years a Slave” (screened on Monday).
Opening Night in Southampton arrives on Friday and features “About Time” by “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” director Richard Curtis. “About Time” stars Domhnhall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams.
This year’s guests for “A Conversation With . . . “ are Helena Bonham Carter, who appears in “Burton and Taylor,” and Bruce Dern (and possibly Will Forte, his co-star in “Nebraska”). The series is held at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor.
Carter’s Conversation takes place on Saturday. Dern is featured on Sunday's Conversation.
Audience participation by way of voting for the best films is one draw of HIFF.
The Golden Starfish competition presents films in several categories, including Narrative, Documentary and Short Film. Films included in each category can be found on the HIFF website.
The “Views from Long Island” category joins the competition this year with the addition of a new cash prize award.
"Views from Long Island" includes a short directed by “Karate Kid” actor Ralph Macchio. Other films include "Big Shot" by Kevin Connolly, a Patchogue native and "Maid's Room" by Michael Walker of Bellport. "Maid's Room" is a thriller that centers on a maid from Columbia who takes a new position in a Hamptons home.
Additional films by Long Island fillmakers in the competition include "Kiss The Water" directed by Eric Steel, a Bridgehampton native, plus "Miss Todd" by Kistrina Yee,, "Lost Thoughts" by Jeff Scher and "Fool's Day" by Cody Blue Snider.
Viewing award-winning films and prize winners pre-selected by HIFF is another draw of the film festival.
The Golden Starfish Award for Lifetime Achievement will be bestowed to the producers of “About Time,” Working Title Films, and co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. A special “Tribute to Working Title Films”, featuring director Richard Curtis, actor Renée Zellweger, and directors Joe Wright and Edgar Wright, takes place on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY.
The $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, awarded to a film that deals with science and technology, is going to “Decoding Annie Parker”. Directed by Stephen Bernstein and starring Helen Hunt, the film is based on a true story about a woman’s battle with breast cancer.
“Decoding Annie Parker” screens on Friday at WHERE . It will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on cancer research and the ethics surrounding genetic trademarking.
Another annual feature of HIFF is Films of Conflict and Resolution. This year's films are from South Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, the U.S. and Israel.
The Brizzolara Family Foundation $5,000 cash award is going to “Plot for Peace” from South Africa, which tells the true story of the behind-the-scenes diplomatic maneuverings to release Nelson Mandela from jail in South Africa in the 1980s.
New for this year is the awarding a $2,000 Honorable Mention to the Egyptian film “The Square”. The film traces two years of struggle as seen through the eyes of a group of protesters from all walks of society who first came together in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
Also new for 2013 is a new leadership team for HIFF. The new executive director Anne Chaisson was appointed in November. She has been with the festival for over a decade. To put together this year's festival, Chaisson worked with HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent, the former director of programming. Chaisson replaced Karen Arikian, who was executive director for the past five years.
BASIC FACTS: The 21st Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held from Oct. 10 to 14. Screenings and programs will be held in theaters in East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Southampton and Montauk.
Tickets range from $15 to $30 for adult tickets for films. Tickets for regular screenings for seniors (over 65 years) are $13 and children (12 and under) are $8 for regular screenings. Higher prices apply for Spotlight Films, Centerpiece Films and Special Events. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone by calling 212-279-4200 from noon to 8 p.m. daily.
For complete film listing, screening information and program schedule, visit www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.
"ILLE Film Screening Weaves into 'Figure and Ground" by Andrew Botsford.