The arts have always been a focus for the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, and the festival’s 10th anniversary programming continues that tradition with two films about the visual arts and two films about dance included on this year’s roster.

Up first will be New York and East Hampton filmmaker Mirra Bank’s "The Last Dance" (84 min), screening on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 4 p.m. Screening at HT2FF on the 15th anniversary of its debut, the film documents the creative collaboration between the American modern dance company, Pilobolus, and famed illustrator and children’s author Maurice Sendak, who work together to create a dance-theater piece about the Holocaust.

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Still from “Last Dance" - Dancer Otis Cook. Courtesy of HT2DFF.

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Along with capturing the improvisational process of creating a dance inspired by Sendak’s personal connection to the Holocaust, the documentary also reveals some of the conflicts between three artistic directors.

Director Mirra Bank—who also wrote, produced and directed, among others, “The Only Real Game,” a film about love of baseball in the volatile border state of Manipur in northeast India—will be interviewed following the screening by Andrew Botsford.

Screening on Friday, December 1, at 6 p.m. will be director Lana Jokel’s feature "The Way It Goes—Nathan Slate Joseph" (60 min). Joseph, a member of the New York School for more than 40 years, “blurs the boundary between painting and sculpture,” according to a biography of the artist on the Sundaram Tagore Gallery website.

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Still from “The Way It Goes—Nathan Slate Joseph." Courtesy of HT2DFF.

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Drawn to a vivid color palette in his early paintings, Joseph turned to simple forms and urban materials when he went on to create abstract compositions of galvanized steel. According to the Sundaram Tagore bio, the artist’s work alludes to issues of “globalization, immigration and climate change” in “intricate and dimensional arrangements that merge urban aesthetics with a concern for nature.”

Lana Jokel has created intimate films on the work of many renowned contemporary East End artists—John Chamberlain, April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Larry Rivers, and Andy Warhol, to name a few. Following the screening on Friday, Joseph and Jokel will discuss the film with Guild Hall Museum Director and Chief Curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield.

“I had the opportunity to see the film on Nathan, ‘The Way It Goes,’ this past summer when it was shown at the Chrystie Gallery,” Strassfield wrote in an email this week. “I thought it was a wonderful film; as with all of Lana’s work, she is able to capture the essence of who the artist is, what motivates them and a bit of what makes them unique.  Her weaving of the archival  and contemporary footage allows one to see the development of his art very clearly.  In this film she is also able to showcase Nathan’s engaging, jovial personality.”

Strassfield noted that she first met Jokel in 1991 when she was curating an exhibition on Robert Dash.  “It was at that point that she showed me her documentary films on artists and I immediately began to show some of them at Guild Hall,” she wrote. “Lana is a dedicated filmmaker who is a master at her craft.”

"Anatomy of a Male Dancer" (83 min), directed by David Barba and James Pellerito, will be the next arts related film at HT2FF this year, screening on Saturday, December 2, at 2 p.m. The documentary is described as a “touching and insightful film offering a unique behind-the-scenes portrait of Brazilian ballet star Marcelo Gomes, widely considered the greatest ballet partner of his generation.”

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Still from “Anatomy of a Male Dancer” - ballet star Marcelo Gomes. Courtesy of HT2DFF.

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The film follows the dancer—currently celebrating his 20th year with American Ballet Theatre—on his journey across international stages as he struggles to reach the top of the ballet world.

On Sunday, December 3, at noon HT2FF will screen Richard Kane’s “I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan,”  winner of the first Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award, one of three new awards being presented by the festival this year. In the announcement of the award, named in honor of New York and Bridgehampton artist Hector Leonardi, festival organizers characterized Bryan as “an artist whose experimentations in painting, puppetry and illustration expand our spirits and lives.”

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Still from “I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan” - Poet/illustrator of over 50 children’s books and puppet maker. Courtesy of HT2DFF.

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Now 94 years old and living in Maine, in 1962 the New York-born Ashley Bryan was the first African American to publish a children’s book as author and illustrator. Honored for his poetry, in addition to painting, writing and illustration, the longtime teacher, now retired, also enjoys making puppets, building stained glass windows from beach glass, creating papier-mâché, and making collages.

The inaugural Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award will be presented to director Richard Kane at the screening of his film on Sunday. “I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan” will have a second screening, with free admission, on Monday, December 4, at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are available online at www.HT2FF.com  and  www.baystreet.org  and at the Bay Street Box Office, Bay and Main Streets, Sag Harbor; 631-725-9500.

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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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Copyright 2017 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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