The Hamptons International Film Festival Returns for its 30th Year!
Returning for its 30th year, the Hamptons International Film Festival (familiarly known as “HIFF”) kicks off on Friday, October 7 and runs through Sunday, October 16. For the first time ever, the festival will run for 10 days over the course of two weekends, which allows for additional screenings as well as more programs and conversations with filmmakers. Passes and packages are on sale at hamptonsfilmfest.org.
HIFF has a long and illustrious list of supporters in 2022, including returning Premiere Sponsor Audi; Signature Sponsors Netflix, Silvercup Studios, and Variety; and Contributing Sponsor Regal Cinemas. This year, the new Lead Sponsor is The Macallan; Contributing Sponsors include Crystal Head Vodka and Dragon Hemp. New York State Council on the Arts and Suffolk County Film Commission return as Media Sponsors; local Media Sponsors also include The East Hampton Star, WNET, Long Island Broadcast Radio WEHM, 101.7 The Beach, and 102.5 BAZ.
Well-regarded as the premier film event on the East End, HIFF is an intimate showcase of some of the year’s best offerings in contemporary cinema. An Academy Award-qualifying festival, HIFF hosts multiple competitions focused specifically on early-career filmmakers in order to bolter and promote their works. The HIFF mandate includes bolstering these works by developing discussions around the films from within the film community and beyond. Festival selections continue to play an important role during awards season, with a significant number of titles highlighted every year at the Academy Awards. For the past 12 years, the films selected to receive the Best Picture Oscars at the Academy Awards were showcased at HIFF. According to its organizers, HIFF is the only film festival in the world to garner such a distinction. Films in the 2021 Festival received 38 Academy Award nominations and overall, films in the last 14 annual Festivals have received a total of 489 Oscar nominations. In a recent article about HIFF, entertainment magazine Variety noted that the festival has grown a reputation for “…promoting Oscar race front-runners, but has also become the place to see emerging talent before they become marquee names.”
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.
In 2017, former Festival chair Alec Baldwin instituted the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award honoring those who excel in the field of creative arts as well as those who support the arts. This year, the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award will be bestowed upon Emmy Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay, who has spent decades in the role of Captain Olivia Benson in NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Ms. Hargitay advocates on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse through her not-for-profit organization, the Joyful Heart Foundation. She has received numerous awards for this advocacy work, including the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Special Ally Award, the Good Sister Award for Advocacy at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan’s “100 Women Against Child Abuse,” and a Muse Award from New York Women in Film and Television.
Hargitay has been busy behind the camera as well. She served as executive producer of I AM EVIDENCE, a documentary about the rape kit backlog in this country, which received an Emmy in 2017. The film also received the Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice at HIFF25. The rape kit backlog is an important topic for Hargitay: earlier this year, her organization Joyful Heart jumpstarted endthebacklog.org, the first-of-its-kind web resource to track state by state rape kit numbers and backlog reform status.
Previous recipients of the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award include Dick Cavett, Alan Alda, and Toni Ross.
SELECT FEATURED FILMS:
WHO INVITED CHARLIE?
Directed by Xavier Manrique
Filmed on the East End and starring Jordana Brewster, Adam Pally, and Reid Scott, this movie follows a family hiding out in the Hamptons as their bubble is popped when a Bloody Mary-swilling, pot-smoking ‘Charlie’ from their past shows up seeking refuge.
A RADICAL LIFE
Directed by Ricki Stern
A documentary film about the former First Lady of ISIS, Tania Joya, who for twelve years was married to John Georgelas, the highest ranking American in ISIS.
Directed by Jules and Gédéon Naudet
A documentary examining January 6th from the unique perspective of the heroes, first responders, and survivors of the attack as they reveal their first-hand experiences.
PINBALL – THE MAN WHO SAVED THE GAME
Directed by Austin and Meredith Bragg
Starring Mike Faist, Crystal Reed, and Dennis Boutsikaris, PINBALL – THE MAN WHO SAVED THE GAME follows an unsettled writer and his journey to save the game of pinball while also facing life’s challenges.
THE VOLCANO: RESCUE FROM WHAKAARI
Directed by Rory Kennedy
A minute-by-minute documentary account of unsuspecting tourists caught in a tragic volcanic eruption while sightseeing on an island off New Zealand in 2019.
Directed by Phyllis Nagy
Starring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, and Cory Michael Smith, this film follows the story of a brave group of women who ran an underground abortion clinic before the passage of Roe vs. Wade.