The Hamptons International Film Festival Brings Cinema Back to the Theater

The Hamptons International Film Festival returns after running its festival virtually last year to offer films and events in person in its 29th edition October 7 – 13, 2021 at venues across the Hamptons. Audiences will be treated to fascinating films from all over the world, a chance to be entertained, enlightened, and educated. After almost 19 months of sitting at home streaming films on our TVs or devices, the chance for a shared experience in all its visual and auditory glory is a welcome opportunity. It is also a great way to get a sneak peek at Oscar contender films. Last year 2020 marked the 11th time in a row that a film in the Festival has become the eventual Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards, making HIFF the only festival in the world with such a distinction. Yet it is also the smaller, lesser-known films which create lasting impressions on the audiences, a chance to hear a plethora of different voices.

HamptonsFilm will take enhanced safety measures for the 29th edition in accordance with COVID-19 regulations across the state. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination for all in-person events, and will be required to wear masks. HamptonsFilm holds the safety of their guests, filmmakers, and staff as its highest priority, and is closely monitoring any and all changes to New York State and Suffolk County health guidelines.

The festival opens Thursday, October 7th with the World Premiere of Academy Award-nominated director Matthew Heineman’s THE FIRST WAVE, a documentary feature spotlighting the everyday heroes inside one of the country’s hardest hit hospitals at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Oscar-nominated filmmaker Matthew Heineman has made a stunning film highlighting not only the resilience of the human spirit, but the selflessness of healthcare workers who risk their own lives to keep us safe. We are honored to open our 29th edition with the world premiere of his film, which succeeds at exploring the gravity of a historic moment through his intimate style of filmmaking,” said HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent. “We are also thrilled to announce a strong group of films screening as a part of our Signature Programs — including films by local artists as well as those wrestling with the issue of the sanctity of our planet and the lives of the animals with whom we share it.”

The First Wave

As part of HIFF’s Signature Program Views from Long Island, supported by Suffolk County Film Commission, HIFF will feature the World Premiere of Kelcey Edwards’ THE ART OF MAKING IT. The documentary follows a diverse cast of young artists at defining moments in their careers as they explore whether the art world ecosystem meant to nurture them is actually failing them. Screening as part of the festival’s Conflict and Resolution section, JR’s PAPER & GLUE features world renowned artist JR (Academy Award nominee for FACES, PLACES) turning the camera on his own work as he builds some of his monumental projects. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus’ BECOMING COUSTEAU, which will hold its New York Premiere as part of the Air, Land & Sea section, takes an inside look at legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his life, career, and mission to protect the Earth. Garth De Bruno Austin’s THE LAST HORNS OF AFRICA, which will have its East Coast Premiere as a part of the Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights section, features gripping and never-before-captured footage of the current rhino poaching war raging across Africa.

The Festival also comes full circle as it honors this year’s poster artist Toni Ross who is the founder of the Festival and board member. “We are also elated to announce our 2021 poster artist is our very own founder, Toni Ross, renowned artist, East Ender, restaurateur and recipient of the 2019 HIFF Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award,” said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of HamptonsFilm. “Toni meticulously created this new piece throughout the Pandemic to commemorate and reflect on our shared experience. I am forever grateful for her generosity.”

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