The Hamptons International Film Festival Turns 21

By Kate Siegel

The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is proud to be returning for its 21st year with a spectacular list of independent films, conversations with filmmakers and actors, along with other exciting events for festival lovers to enjoy. Together with stars such as Anna Paquin, Bruce Dern, Ralph Fiennes, Renee Zellweger, Dakota Fanning, David Duchovny, Helena Bonham Carter, Edgar Wright, Kevin Connolly, Will Forte and Timothy Hutton, the five-day celebration of some of the world’s finest independent films will take the East End of Long Island by storm. Many of these notables spend a substantial amount of time in the Hamptons and will savor the experience along with the rest of the local and film community. 

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded in 1993 with a commitment to excellence and the desire to celebrate independent, long, short, fiction, and documentary film from all over the world. Over the past 21 years, it has become one of the most respected and influential film festivals in the country. Attracting hardcore cinephiles, celebrities, and movie lovers from around the globe to the historic villages of Long Island’s East End. The festival is a welcome boost for the local economy in the Hamptons, which is generally a summer destination. 

Anne Chaisson, the new Executive Director, Stuart Suna, the Chairman and David Nugent, the Artistic Director of the festival are extremely excited with this year’s programming.

“The films in our 21st edition represent our mission of bringing the best cinema from around the world to the impassioned and curious audiences in the Hamptons,” Nugent describes. “With a mixture of new films from master filmmakers, plus works from the next wave of filmmaking talent, we are very excited to share this program with our community.” 

The festival will kick off on Thursday October 10th with Director John Krokidas’s ‘Kill Your Darlings’ and Friday night will open with ‘About Time’, directed by Richard Curtis. Saturday’s Centerpiece Film will be August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and based on the Broadway smash by Tracey Letts. Closing the festival will be 12 Years a Slave, and Nebraska. The Spotlight films featured in the festival are Breathe In, Free Ride, Her, Labor Day, Louder Than Words, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The Past and Capital. This year the festival will pay special tribute to Oscar Award winning director Costa-Gavras before the screening of his latest film Capital.

The HIFF will feature thirteen world premieres, seven from North America and five foreign titles, some of which are being considered for Academy Awards. The festival will also include films from over 35 countries, such as: The Rocket (Australia), The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), In Bloom (Georgia), The Notebook (Hungary), and Mother, I Love You (Latvia).

Other highlights of the festival will encompass the World Premieres of American Masters—Marvin Hamlisch; One Singular Sensation, Geraldine Ferraro’s; Paving The Way, the North American Premier of A Fragile Trust, Alex Gibney’s documentary; The Armstrong Lie, and Palme d’Or prize winner at the 2013 Cannes Film festival, Blue Is The Warmest Color.

In addition to the films presented at HIFF, there are all sorts of exciting panels and workshops that will be taking place over the course of the long weekend. Furthermore the festival will be awarding the Alfred P. Sloan film prize to Steven Bernstein’s Decoding Annie Parker. HIFF will present the Sloan Screenplay Reading on Sunday, October 13 at 4:00PM. As well as several other screenplays will be read, including David Schwab’s Francis Turnbull, directed by Terry George of Hotel Rwanda. Variety is bringing in their new crop of 10 hot new actors to watch such as Jack Huston (kill Your Darlings), Brie Larson (United States of Tara) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale) who will be discussing what it takes to make it as a young actor in the film industry today.

Another set of events that will be featured at HIFF is the third annual series of Rowdy Talks, taking place at the Rowdy Hall Restaurant in East Hampton, starting on Friday at 10 am and continuing Saturday and Sunday also at 10am. On Saturday morning, HIFF’s Golden Starfish Competition contenders Christine Molloy, Dan Shadur, and Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson, will talk about the highs and lows of their filmmaking careers.

The New York Film Critics Circle will also be highly involved this year, with members Joshua Rothkopf, Joe Neumaier, Bilge Ebiri and Karen Durbin serving as mentors, panelists and jurors at various events throughout the Festival. 

New York Film Critics Circle Chairman Joshua Rothkopf, says of their involvement, “We in the New York Film Critics Circle are honored to be a part of this festival, an event that’s marked by provocative screenings and spirited Q&As.” 

So, if you can’t attend the HIFF and experience the fun first hand check back next month for a full comprehensive report on who, what, where, and when.

For more information on programming and schedules please go to: