Actors and writers strikes have no impact on the film festivals – and that includes the Hamptons International Film Festival (familiarly known as “HIFF”), returning on Friday, October 5 for its 31st year. Passes and packages for the Festival, which runs through October 12, went on sale Labor Day Weekend; individual screening tickets go on sale September 23 (for HIFF members) and September 25 (for non-members). For additional information, please visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.
This year, The MacCallan joins Audi at the top of the sponsor list; other sponsors include UBS, law firm King & Spaulding, The Atlantic and Variety magazines, Netflix and Silvercup Studios. There are a number of statewide and local media sponsors, including New York State Council on the Arts and Suffolk County Film Commission WNBC New York, The East Hampton Star, WNET, Long Island Broadcast Radio WEHM, 101.7 The Beach, and 102.5 BAZ. Favorite Hamptons wining and dining spots have joined the sponsor list as well, including Nick & Toni’s, Serafina East Hampton, Amagansett Wine & Spirits, Rowdy Hall and Wölffer Estate Vineyards.
HIFF is a premier film event of exclusive screenings, interviews and round table discussion panels with the screening filmmakers as well as other film and cinema professionals. In addition to the films featured in the competition, the Festival offers Signature Programs featuring topic-specific films in the following categories: Films of Conflict & Resolution, Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights, Air Land & Sea, Views from Long Island and Breakthrough Artists.
HIFF partners with numerous international and national organizations, including an educational initiative with the United Nations, a long-standing partnership with the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), who serve on the jury and moderate Q&As, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which attracts many big names from the film and cinema industry. Film critics are also in attendance at the Festival each year, including from The New York Film Critics Circle. The Festival also attracts a wide range of journalists, including the film trades, Oscar bloggers, and local publications, as well as national journalists and New York-based press.
As one of the Academy Award qualifying events, HIFF highlights the year’s best and brightest offerings in contemporary film, as well as promoting up and coming filmmakers who are just starting out in their careers. Not just a festival, HIFF is a competition judged by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals offering accolades as well as cash prize money and in-kind goods and services. The purse for cash prizes and honorariums exceeds $130,000, with prizes being awarded for the Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short (Academy Award qualifier), and Best Documentary Short (Academy Award qualifier). Other awards include the Peter Macgregor Scott Memorial Award ($10,000 prize), the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for Films of Conflict & Resolution ($5,000 cash prize), the Suffolk County Film Commission Next Exposure Grant ($3,000 cash prize), the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award ($2,500 cash prize), the Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice ($2,000 cash prize), the New York Women in Film & Television Awards for Excellence in Narrative Filmmaking and Documentary Filmmaking (each, $1,000 cash prize), and the University Film Awards (various cash awards).
Films featured at the 2022 Festival received 38 Academy Award nominations; in the past 15 years, films featured in the Festival have garnered a total of 527 Oscar nominations. Maybe you’ll recognize some of last year’s featured films: The Whale (2 Oscars), Women Talking (1 Oscar) and The Banshees of Inisherin (9 Oscar nominations).
This year, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes will screen his latest narrative feature May December, as well as receive the festival’s Achievement in Directing Award. Haynes will receive the award in person at HIFF31 during his A Conversation With… discussion on Monday, October 9.