Marking the 10th anniversary of its founding this year, the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival is expanding to five days of “all docs, all day” from November 30 to December 4, 2017 at its home base at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Three new awards have also been added to the festival’s roster of honors.
“In honor of this 10-year milestone, we created three new awards that bestow special recognition to the makers of films and to the nonfiction films they create,” said Jacqui Lofaro, the founder and Executive Director of HT2FF. “It is their extraordinary contribution to the world of nonfiction storytelling that connects us to a shared humanity.”
The festival’s expansion to five days paved the way for the first-ever Douglas Elliman Community Day of free screenings on Monday, December 4. “Thanks to the support of Douglas Elliman,” HT2FF Creative Director Karen Arikian noted in a release, “we are thrilled to be able to ‘give back’ to our loyal audiences with a day of free screenings capping off a diverse and exciting five-day program celebrating the best of the documentary.”
“Douglas Elliman is always looking for meaningful ways to give back to the Hamptons community,” Carl Benincasa, Douglas Elliman’s Regional Vice President of Sales, stated in the same release. “Through our sponsorship of HT2FF’s Douglas Elliman Community Day, local residents are given a free opportunity to view important documentary films, which in turn are given the level of exposure they so justly deserve.”
HT2FF will open its 10th anniversary celebration on Thursday, November 30, at 8 p.m. with “The Opera House,” Susan Froemke’s study of the development of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, which premiered at the New York Film Festival this year. Following the screening, Froemke will be interviewed by Parrish Art Museum Executive Director Terrie Sultan, followed by a Q&A.
Each night of the five-day festival will feature a notable film or event. The Friday Night Spotlight Film, on December 1 at 8 p.m., will be “Spielberg,” Susan Lacy’s look into the career of one of cinema’s most esteemed filmmakers. On Sunday, December 3, at 8 p.m. the Spotlight Film will be “Letters from Baghdad: The Story of Gertrude Bell and Iraq,” an immersive journey into Gertrude Bell’s life and the impact she had on society following WWI, from directors Sabine Krayenbuehl and Zeva Oelbaum.
The festival’s Closing Night Film on Monday, December 3, at 8 p.m. brings the focus back to the East End of Long Island with a screening of “The Killer Bees,” by Ben and Orson Cummings, which follows the renowned Bridgehampton basketball team as they prepare to defend their state championship title.
At the festival’s Gala on Saturday, December 2, prolific documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus—whose past work includes “Love, Marilyn” and “Bobby Fischer Against the World,” as well as the Emmy-winning “What Happened Miss Simone?”—will receive the Lumiere Career Achievement Award. Saturday’s cocktail/buffet reception and ceremony, which starts at 7 p.m., will be followed by a screening of the filmmaker’s “Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech” and a conversation with Ms. Garbus and her father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus.
Ms. Garbus is a two-time Oscar nominee, two-time Emmy Winner, Grammy nominee and Peabody Winner. Previous recipients of the HT2FF Career Achievement Award include Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Barbara Kopple, Stanley Nelson, Susan Lacy and most recently, Alex Gibney.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Helen Whitney, director of “Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death,” will receive the Filmmakers’ Choice Award this year, at the screening of her film on Saturday, December 2, at 11:30 a.m. The film deals with confronting the eventuality and certainty of death, told intimately through on-screen interviews.
After all the filmgoers’ ballots have been tallied up, the Brown Harris Stevens Audience Award will be announced on Tuesday, December 5.
The three new awards added this year are the Breakout Director Award, the Sloane Shelton Human Rights Award, and the Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award.
The first Breakout Director Award, presented to a documentary film director whose voice and vision are original and exceptional, will be presented to Catherine Bainbridge, who wrote, directed and produced “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” about the contribution of Native Americans to rock and popular music history. The film is screening on Saturday, December 2, at 4 p.m.
The inaugural Sloane Shelton Human Rights Award, named in honor of the late actor Sloane Shelton and given to a documentary film that celebrates courage in the face of social injustice, will be presented on Sunday, December 3, at 1:30 p.m. to Josh Howard for “The Lavender Scare,” a film about discrimination against homosexuals working in government in the 1950s.
The first Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award will be bestowed this year upon Richard Kane’s “I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan,” a film that embraces the vibrancy of “an artist whose experimentations in painting, puppetry and illustration expand our spirits and lives,” according to festival organizers. Named in honor of the artist Hector Leonardi, the award will be presented to Richard Kane at the screening of his film on Sunday, December 3, at noon.
Both “I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan” and “The Lavender Scare” will be screened again, with free admission, on Monday, December 4, at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.
For more about documentaries at HT2FF focusing on visual arts and dance, click here.
BASIC FACTS: The 10th annual Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival will present screenings and programs November 30 through December 4, 2017 at Bay Street Theater, Bay and Main Streets, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. www.HT2FF.com
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