- The Hamptons International Film Festival
) has announced their slate of programs and films as follows:
Now in its 17th year, this East Coast favorite comes to life against the fall back-drop as talent, industry and audiences participate in what has now become a premiere International Film Festival. The 2009 Hamptons International Film Festival runs over Columbus Day Weekend - Thursday, October 8 through Monday, October 12 in East Hampton, with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk. Festival headquarters are located at the beautiful The Maidstone
Hotel on Main Street in East Hampton.
HIFF was founded to celebrate independent film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to audiences. The Festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.
"In addition to a year of fantastic films, panels and events, this is also a year where we will be collaborating with many important organizations. We are thrilled to be working with Martin Scorsese's
World Cinema Foundation, Mira Nair's
Maisha Foundation, recognizing the 75th Anniversary of the New York Film Critic's Circle, as well as continuing our long and fruitful partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
, says Executive Director Karen Arikian
. "Each of these organizations play a vital and unique role in advancing film and filmmaking in our world today."
"From the searing reality of our opening night film, to the imaginative whimsy of this year's closer, this year's program showcases a wide variety of viewpoints and voices from around the world" says Director of Programming David Nugent
. "I continue to be impressed with the breadth and intensity of filmmakers in their drive to bring their visions the screen."
This year's Festival features 107 films including 15 World Premieres, 10 North American Premieres, 18 U.S. Premieres, 14 East Coast Premieres and 10 New York Premieres.
The heart of the HIFF has always been its Golden Starfish Award and the films in the competitions for Best Narrative Feature (over $165,000 in goods and in-kind services), Best Documentary Feature ($5,000 in cash), Best Conflict and Resolution Film and Best Short Film ($5,000 in cash). The HIFF also awards the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science and Technology ($25,000 in cash); the Kodak Award for Cinematography ($6,000 of goods and in-kind services); the Zicherman Family Foundation Award for Screenwriting ($5,000 in cash); Best Undergraduate and Graduate Student Films (five $500 cash awards); RoC® Gold Standard Award for Female Feature Director ($5,000 cash award); and the newly created Conflict and Resolution Development Award ($5,000 in cash) given to a work in progress by the Brizzolara Family Foundation.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, the HIFF is proud to open its 17th season with the East Coast Premiere of "The Greatest," the directorial debut by Shana Feste
starring Susan Sarandon
and Pierce Brosnan
, who is the producer and star of the film and will be in attendance. It's the story of a family that's disintegrating as they deal with the death of their child and their surviving son's drug use. "The Greatest" explores the ways in which love can persist and life can re-assert itself in the face of seemingly all-consuming tragedy.
This year's Centerpiece Film is "Solitary Man" (U.S. Premiere) - Directors Brian Koppelman
, David Levien
, and Michael Douglas's
masterly ability to delve into complex characters shines in "Solitar Man," a tale of a New York businessman experiencing a mid-life slump so severe that it is more catastrophe than crisis.
And to close the 2009 Festival, HIFF is honored to host the U.S. Premiere of Heath Ledger's
last film "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus." Directed by Terry Gilliam
and starring the late Heath Ledger, as well as Johnny Depp
, Jude Law
, and Colin Farrell
who stepped in to assume Ledger's role after he passed away during production. 'Doctor Parnassus' is the proprietor of a traveling "Imaginarium" in which paying customers are invited to cross into a hallucinatory otherworld to uncover their true selves. Gilliam gives free rein to his signature whimsicality in the Imaginarium's rich, cartoonish, constantly shifting landscape, and the adventurous film brims with affectionate nods to its late star.
Programs And Special Events
• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science And Technology Film
This year, the HIFF celebrates the 10th anniversary of their partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, whose dedication to the public understanding of science and technology through the arts has had a profound effect on the film community. HIFF was the first film festival to partner with the Sloan Foundation
, and each year the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize is awarded at the festival. The cash prize is presented to a feature-length film that explores science and technology themes in fresh, innovative ways, and depicts scientists and engineers in a realistic and compelling fashion. HIFF and The Sloan Foundation are proud to present Alejandro Amenabar's
historical drama "Agora," starring Rachel Weisz
, which chronicles the life of philosopher and scientist Hypatia of Alexandra, with this year's Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize.
• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenplays
Two science and technology-themed screenplays from the 2009 HIFF Screenwriters' lab are selected to be performed as staged readings at the festival. This year's featured screenplays are "The Transformation," by Kirk Davis
and Sam Sloves
and "Charm School For Primates," by Karen Odyniec
. "The Transformation" is based on the true story of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis
, the innovative Hugarian physician who makes a radical discovery of the cause and cure of Childbed Fever, a disease killing thousands of poor pregnant women in the hospitals of 19th century Europe. In "Charm School For Primates," a lovelorn primatologist with acute social anxiety must present her ape research to a board of executives and defeat brilliant, socially adept scientists in order to win a coveted grant. The screenplay readings will take place on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church Hall in East Hampton.
• The Sloan Science In Film Tribute: Celebrating 10 Years Of Innovative Films
To celebrate their 10-year partnership with Sloan and the 10th edition of this award, on Friday, October 9th the festival will hold the Sloan Science In Film Tribute, taking place at Guild Hall
and hosted by Bob Balaban
. This special evening will be a celebration of the feature films that have received Sloan recognition at the HIFF over the past 10 years. The on-stage event will include a number of special guests, including Alan Alda
, Amy Redord
and past Sloan Prize Winners Marc Abraham
("Flash of Genius"), Su Rynard
("Kardia") and Maggie Greenwald
("Songcatcher"), among others. Tickets and more information will be available at the festival box office.
• "8" - A Special Benefit Evening with Mira Nair
The HIFF is proud to present a special benefit screening and U.S. premiere of the film '8', an unprecedented collection of short films by eight world-renowned directors (including Mira Nair
, Wim Wenders
, Jane Campion
and Gus Van Sant
) each taking on one of the eight "Millennium Development Goals" for 2015, adopted by 191 countries. Director Nair will present the film and share the work of MAISHA, her non-profit African Film Lab established to empower emerging artists in the region.
After the premiere screening join Nair for a post-screening Q&A moderated by Rajendra Roy
, Chief Curator of Film at MoMA, at the regular Spotlight price, or support the Maisha Foundation with a $75 package which includes the film screening and an exclusive cocktail reception from 4 p.m to 6 p.m. at a private residence in East Hampton with Nair and special guests; 100 percent of the proceeds for this evening will be donated to Maisha Film Lab. Maisha (which means 'life' in Kiswahili) is a groundbreaking filmmakers' training program founded by acclaimed director Nair and based in Kampala, Uganda. Maisha's mission is to nurture and support emerging film professionals from East Africa by offering intensives in screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, sound, and acting. Their motto is: "if we don't tell our own stories, no one else will."
A Conversation With. . .
Each year, the Festival presents A Conversation With...Past guests have included the late Robert Altman
, Gena Rowlands
, Martin Scorsese
, Steven Spielberg
and more. This year the HIFF is thrilled to announce four conversations. "A Conversation With..." Sharon Stone
("Casino," "Basic Instinct"), Alan Alda
("The Aviator," "M*A*S*H"), Steve Buscemi
("Saint John of Las Vegas," "The Messenger") and Martin Bregman
("Carlito's Way," "Dog Day Afternoon") interviewed by Alec Baldwin
This year the HIFF will again pair their Rising Stars Program with European Film Promotions renowned Shooting Stars initiative in the festival's Breakthrough Performs Program to honor up and coming actors from both the U.S. and Europe. Sharon Stone
is this year's mentor to the Breakthrough Performers and will spend time with the Rising Stars/Shooting Stars at a mentoring brunch (past mentors have included Gena Rowlands
, Joan Allen
, Ellen Burstyn
, Robert Altman
, Miranda Richardson
and Alec Baldwin
), Breakthrough Performers Party, Red Carpet event and a public symposium.
• Rising Stars (U.S.)
("Dare"), Zach Gilford
("Dare"), Rooney Mara
("Tanner Hall"), Emma Stone
• Shooting Stars (Europe)
("Due Partite"), Cyron Melville
("Love and Rage").
Golden Starfish Narrative Competition
• "A Rational Solution" (North American, Premiere). Director Jorgen Bergmark
with Rolf Lassgard
, Pernilla August
, Stina Ekblad
, Claes Ljungmark
, Magnus Roosman
. Against his better judgment, married Erland has fallen in love with his best friend's wife. His rational solution is for all four to move in together until the passion inevitably subsides. Insightfully observed and superbly acted, Bergmark's film begins as simple and ordered, only to mature into a nuanced, heartbreakingly authentic portrait of love, fidelity, marriage and monogamy.
• "Applause" (United States Premiere). Director Martin Pieter Zandvliet
with Paprika Steen
, Michael Falch
, Sara Marie Maltha
, Shanti Roney
, Otto Leonardo Steen Rieks
, Noel Koch-Sofeldt
, Malou Reymann
. Recently divorced Thea is struggling to give up drinking and regain custody of her two boys. But staying on the wagon isn't easy when every night she receives clamorous applause from audiences for stage performances that all-to-closely resemble the former self that she is trying to leave behind.
• "Jaffa" (United States Premiere). Director Keren Yedaya
with Dana Ivgy
, Moni Moshonov
, Ronit Elkabetz
, Mahmoud Shalaby
, Roy Assaf
, Hussein Yassin Mahajneh
, Lili Ivgy
. Following up her international success with Cannes Camera D'Or winning film "Or (My Treasure"), director Yedaya introduces another stunning and complex family drama with :Jaffa." A star-crossed secret romance develops between a Jewish girl and an Arab man, but tragedy interrupts the young lovers' intentions to elope and escape their intolerant families.
• "The Misfortunates" (United States Premiere). Director Felix van Groeningen
with Kenneth Vanbaeden
, Valentijn Dhaenens
, Koen De Graeve
, Wouter Hendrickx
, Johan Heldenbergh
. This Flemish seriocomedy ruminates over Gunther Strobbe's ribald, troubled adolescence among three bawdy uncles, an ever-boozing dad, one put-upon grandmother, and more dysfunction than you can shake a keg at. Adapted from an acclaimed novel by Dimitri Verhulst
and directed with deftness, verve and pathos by Van Groeningen.
Golden Starfish Documentary
• "Big River Man" (East Coast Premiere). Director John Maringouin
with Martin Strel
, Borut Strel
, Matthew Mohlke
. Maringouin intrepidly follows unlikely long distance swimming champion Martin Strel on his journey to complete the world's longest ever swim: the Amazon
River. The adventure of a lifetime
, the film follows the swimmer and his team on their wildly dangerous and life-altering journey.
• "Long Distance Love" (U.S. Premiere). Directors Magnus Gertten
, Elin Jonsson
with Alisher Sultanov
. Dildora Sultanov Alisher and Dildora are in love in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. To support his new family, Alisher is forced to leave his new bride to try to make it big in Moscow. While the newlyweds' earnest love has a sweetness stronger than their 3,500 mile divide, their relationship is now beset by challenges more dire than distance alone.
• "Mugabe and the White African." Directors Lucy Bailey
and Andrew Thompson
with Michael Campbell
, Ben Freeth
. "Is it possible to be a white man and African?" This daring film follows the story of Mike Campbell who, in 2008, took the government of Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe to international court for violation of human rights in an effort to preserve his farm amid state-sanctioned "Land Reform" initiatives tantamount to the ethnic cleansing of whites.
• "Videocracy (U.S. Premiere). Director Erik Gandini
. A jolly, Mussolini-loving agent, an aspiring martial artist/singer, a paparazzo wrangler-cum-outlaw and the prime minister of Italy are just a few of the outlandish personalities in this documentary that explores the mad world of Italian television.
• "Waking Sleeping Beauty" (East Coast Premiere). Director Don Hahn
with Roy Disney
, Jeffrey Katzenberg
, John Musker
, Glen Keane
, Howard Ashman
. By the mid-1980s, the once mighty Disney Animation Studios was in a slump. By the end of 1990s, however, Disney had produced a string of bona fide hits from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" to "The Lion King." Director Hahn's juicy behind-the-scenes tell-all of this transitional period is an encyclopedia of the tragic lows and elating highs of the Disney renaissance.
Golden Starfish Short Film Competition
• "Committed" (World Premiere). Director Isold Uggadottir
with Dora Johannsdottir
, Jorundur Ragnarsson
, Darri Ingolfsson
, Johanna Fridrika Saemundsdottir
. Eva and Vidar have decided to take their relationship to the next level by moving in together. "Committed" is a subtle portrait of young love on the cusp of maturity from the director of the Icelandic Academy Award-nominated short "Family Reunion."
• "Dust Kid" (North American Premiere). Director Yumi Jung
. While cleaning her apartment, Eujin comes across a tiny replica of herself. She tries to dispose of the little creature, only to find another in every corner. A minimalist pencil animation direct from this year's Cannes Film Festival
• "Missing" (U.S. Premiere). Director Jochem de Vries
with Lotje Molin
, Gitta Fleuren
. A mother and daughter prepare for a big day in this poignant, keenly observed portrait of good intentions and family dynamics.
• "Slaves" (New York Premiere). Director David Aronowitsch
. Abuk and Machiek, Sudanese children abducted from their homes and forced into slavery, calmly relate the enormity of their experiences with a maturity and eloquence that belies their young ages in this multiple award-winning animated documentary.
• "Sparks" (East Coast Premiere). Director Jospeh Gordon-Levitt
with Carla Gugino
, Eric Stoltz
. Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut is based on a short story by novelist Elmore Leonard
. With large sums of money on the line, a vixen-ish declining rock star is being investigated for arson.
• "Con Artist" - Director Michael Sladek
with Mark Kostabi
, Michel Gondry
, Glenn O'Brien
, Baird Jones
, Pope Benedict XVI
. Mid-level collectors and art fans around the world clamor to buy Kostabi's canvases, but his involvement in those creations is controversial. Collaborating with painters and designers, he often lends no more than his signature to a work. Intimate footage of Kostabi at home and interviews with friends and celebrities investigate the unusual motivations of this art establishment outsider.
• "Dare" (New York Premiere). Director Adam Salky
with Emmy Rossum
, Zach Gilford
, Ashley Springer
, Anna Gasteyer
, Rooney Mara
, Sandra Bernhard
, Alan Cumming
. In this Sundance hit, uptight A-student Alexa (Rossum) and her best friend Ben (Springer) befriend popular jock Johnny (Gilford), after which their relationships take on surprising new dimensions. Featuring terrific support from Ana Gasteyer
, Sandra Bernhard, Alan Cumming and Rooney Mara, "Dare" is that rare "teen movie" with a provocative twist.
• "Desert Flower" (North American Premiere). Director Sherry Hormann
with Liya Kebede
, Sally Hawkins
, Craig Parkinson
, Meera Syal
, Soraya Omar-Scego
, Anthony Mackie
, Juliet Stevenson
. The unbelievable true story of Waris Dirie, a Somalian nomad who would become a top supermodel, and use her influence to affect the lives of countless women all over the world. Tracing Dirie's path from traumatized child to triumphant adult, the film is an incredible tale of one woman's remarkable courage.
• "Dirty Oil" (Canada, U.S., England, World Premiere). Director Leslie Iwerks
with Neve Campbell
(narration), Lester Brown
, Kevin Timoney
, Andrew Nikiforuk
. The oil sands in the Canadian Providence of Alberta are a source of a vast supply of petroleum, but the effects of extracting it are highly controversial. This probing documentary explores the environmental, health and moral ramifications of this booming business, offering hard statistics, sobering forecasts and frightening cautionary tales.
• "John Rabe" (Germany, France, China, North American Premiere). Director Florian Gallenberger
with Ulrich Tukur
, Daniel Bruhl
, Anne Consigny
, Dagmar Manzel
, Zhang Jingchu
. Rabe's spent years in Nanking building a career, remaining steadfastly loyal to his wife, his company, his country and the National Socialist party. When Japanese forces begin their brutal occupation of the city, Rabe's conscience is awakened and he joins with a cynical American doctor and a motley group of expatriates to save the citizens of Nanking.
• "Learning From The Light: The Vision of I.M. Pei" (U.S. World Premiere). Directors Bo Landin
, Sterling Van Wagenen
. One of the most distinguished architects of our time, I.M. Pei has spent his storied career creating designs for some of the world's most treasured structures. 'Learning From Light' chronicles Pei's adventures through a recent and historically monumental challenge: his commission to design the Museum of Islamic Art for Doha, Qatar.
• "The Loss of A Teardrop Diamond" (U.S.A., U.S. Premiere). Director Jodie Markell
with Bryce Dallas Howard
, Chris Evans
, Ellen Burstyn
, Mamie Gummer
, Jessica Collins
. Fisher Willow, an impulsive, wistful heiress, falls in love with righteous, "simple" Jimmy Dobyne after hiring him as an escort to Memphis debutante parties. The loss of a priceless earring, however, stirs unforeseen emotions in this handsomely photographed drama, produced from an unrealized Tennessee Williams screenplay.
• "Paper Man" (U.S.A., East Coast Premiere). Directors Michele Mulroney
and Kieran Mulroney
with Jeff Daniels
, Ryan Reynolds
, Emma Stone
, Kieran Culkin
, Hunter Parrish
, Lisa Kudrow
. Richard Dunn is a failed writer, husband and adult who adjourns to a cottage in the Hamptons to complete his latest novel. Unfortunately, he's followed everywhere by Captain Excellent, an imaginary friend he has been unable to shake since childhood. Richard finds comfort in an unlikely friendship with a neighborhood teen. A darkly comic "coming-of-middle-age" story set against the picturesque backdrop of Montauk in winter.
• "Tanner Hall" (U.S.A., U.S.A. Premiere). Directors Francesca Gregorini
, Tatiana von Furstenberg
with Rooney Mara
, Georgia King
, Brie Larson
, Amy Ferguson
, Chris Kattan
, Amy Sedaris
, Tom Everett Scott
. A vivid peek into the private world of an all-girls boarding school. The knot of adolescent complexity is unraveled through the coming-of-age stories of four teenage girls when their friendship is jeopardized by the arrival of a new girl.
• "Stolen Lives" (U.S.A., World Premiere). Director Anders Anderson
with Josh Lucas
, Jon Hamm
, Rhona Mitra
, James Van Der Beek
, Jimmy Bennett
. Cutting back and forth from present day to the 1950s, "Stolen Lives" weaves together the stories of two missing boys. Detective Tom Adkins is obsessed by the disappearance of his son eight years ago. When the remains of a child buried alive 50 years ago are discovered they seem to shed new light on the mystery of his own son's vanishing.
• "Tenure" (U.S.A., World Premiere). Director Mike Million
with Luke Wilson
, Gretchen Mol
, David Koechner
, Bob Gunton
, Rosemarie DeWitt
. In this comedic and romantic send-up of academia, Associate Professor Charlie Thurber begrudgingly prepares for one more attempt at a tenure position. Just as he starts to feel the long awaited promotion is within his grasp, an impressive new professor is brought on staff. Charlie's best friend convinces him the only solution is to sabotage his new competition, but Charlie soon finds his professional aspirations and personal emotions leading him down different paths.
• "Uncertainty" (U.S.A., U.S.A. Premiere). Directors David Siegel
, Scott McGehee
with Joseph Gordon-Levitt
, Lynn Collins
, Assumpta Serna
, Olivia Thirlby
, Louis Arcella
, Nelson Landrieu
, Manoel Felciano
. McGehee and Siegel's latest film explores the very different directions our lives can take with just one decision. Perched atop the Brooklyn Bridge, young lovers Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins flip a coin and send the film's narrative down two separate tracks that are alternately thrilling and moving: just like life itself.
World Cinema Features
• "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector" (North American Premiere). Director Vikram Jayanti
. Phil Spector is a pioneer of American music, a legendary producer to John Lennon
and Tina Turner
, and, as of April 13, 2009, a convicted murderer. Director Jayanti overlays unprecedented personal interviews with harrowing court footage and original music recordings to create a dizzying portrait of genius and insanity, and a profound insight into a notorious subject.
• "Corso: The Last Beat" (North American Premiere). Director Gustave Reininger
with Gregory Corso
, Ethan Hawke
, Allen Ginsberg
, Patti Smith
. Corso, the youngest of the influential Beat Poet movement, is given his own spotlight in Gustave Reinenger's affectionate documentary. Reinenger's long friendship with Corso late in his life affords him an intimacy with his iconic subject and Corso's larger-than-life character is captured like lightning in a bottle.
• "The Crimson Wing; Mystery of the Flamingos" (East Coast, Premiere). Directors Matthew Aeberhard
and Leander Ward
. On Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania, an island of salt emerges from the water. Set against the lush and dramatic colors of the African landscape, elegant flamingos struggle against predators and the environment to ensure that the next generation makes it back to the salt shore. 'The Crimson Wing' is gorgeous and moving nature documentary for the whole family.
• "Daniel and Abraham" (World Premiere). Director Ryan Eslinger
with Gary Lamadore
, David Williams
. To spread his father's ashes, Daniel's traveled to the mountains of upstate New York. There he meets Abraham, a mysterious man whose condescending helpfulness becomes increasingly sinister. This small feature recalls the work of Samuel Beckett
and Jack London
, contrasting the natural beauty of its winter setting with sudden violence.
• "Deliver Us From Evil" (U.S. Premiere). Director Ole Bornedal
with Lasse Rimmer
, Lene Nystrom
, Jens Andersen
, Pernille Valentin
, Mogens Pedersen
, Bojan Navojec
, Sonja Richter
. Bornedal ("The Substitute" - HIFF '07, "Nightwatch"), delivers again with this dynamic social thriller. When local lout Lars runs down a beloved neighborhood woman, he tries to shift the community's wrath onto taciturn Bosnian refugee Alain, careening the viewer towards a shocking conclusion as the whole town becomes implicated in a rampant moral corruption.
• "Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement" (East Coast Premiere). Director Greta Olafsdottir
with Edie Windsor
, Thea Spyer
. Hamptons residents Windsor and Spyer share a fairy tale romance. They fell in love at first sight in the West Village nearly 50 years ago and their passion for each other would endure for decades. Yet as a lesbian couple, they would have to wait their entire adult lives to be able to legalize their union.
• "Five Hours From Paris" (U.S.A. Premiere). Director Leon Prudovsky
with Dror Keren
, Elena Yaralova
, Vladimir Freedman
. Mid-life quandaries are candidly addressed with both authenticity and humor in 'Five Hours From Paris," a refreshingly sincere and mature romance. When he unexpectedly falls for his son's music teacher, Yigal (Dror Keren), a painfully passive taxi driver on the eve of mid-life, feels compelled to take charge of his future more than ever before.
• "Forbidden Fruit" (Kielletty Hedelma) (North American Premiere). Director Dome Karukoski
with Marjut Maristo
, Amanda Pilke
, Malla Malmivaara
, Joel Mäkinen
, Jarkko Niemi
. When Raakel's best friend Maria leaves their cloistered religious community to experience life in the city, she follows, ostensibly to protect Maria from the predations of "The Arch Fiend" and, hopefully, bring her back to the fold. As the two young women explore their new surroundings both of them change in unexpected ways in this quiet, affecting drama.
• "Here and There" Director Darko Lunuglov
with David Thornton
, Mirjana Karanovic
, Cyndi Lauper
, Branislav Trifunovic
, Antone Pagan
, Fedja Stojanovic
, Goran Radakovic
. Robert is a middle-aged musician barely getting by in New York when he meets Branko, a young Serbian immigrant desperate to bring his girlfriend to America. On the promise of $5,000 Robert travels to Belgrade for a quick green card marriage. But a simple plan becomes complicated when Branko fails to pay and Robert falls for Branko's beautiful mother.
• "How To Live Forever" (World Premiere). Director Mark S. Wexler
. Wexler embarks on a worldwide trek to investigate just what it means to grow old and what it could mean to really live forever. Featuring interviews with everyone from a chain-smoking, beer-drinking centenarian marathoner to an elder porn star and health, fitness, and life-extension experts, Wexler's engaging new documentary challenges our notions of youth and aging with comic poignancy.
• "In My Hands: A Story of Marfan Syndrome" (World Premiere) Directors Brenda Siemer Scheider
, Emma Morris
. It is estimated that one in 5,000 people in the United States have Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the body's connective tissue. "In My Hands" follows the inspirational stories of a group of children and adults living with Marfan.
• "Little Soldier" (East Coast Premiere). Director Annette K. Olesen
with Trine Dyrholm
, Finn Nielsen
, Lorna Brown
, Rasmus Botoft
, Jens Jorn Spottag
. Tough and masculine Lotte (Dyrholm) has just returned from military service in Afghanistan to the town in Denmark where her father runs an underground brothel. Offered employment as a driver for her father's mistress and top earner, Lily, the two women start out at odds, but soon the two women bond and their lives become unpredictably intertwined.
• "Love and Rage" (U.S. Premiere). Director Morten Giese
with Cyron Melville
, Sara Hjort
, Dejan Cukic
, Charlotte Fich
. Daniel is a gifted young piano student, a loner until he meets Sofie, another young music student who opens his life to more than just music. But as his affection grows, so does an all-consuming jealousy which begins to rip him apart and expose the pent-up rage that has always been simmering beneath.
• "The Ladies Get Their Say" (U.S. Premiere). Director Enzo Monteleone
with Margherita Buy
, Isabella Ferrari
, Marina Massironi
, Alba Rohrwacher
. Four women in the 1960s and their four daughters in the present day experience parallel joys and woes in their personal lives.
• "The Messenger" Director Oren Moverman
with Ben Foster
, Woody Harrelson
, Samantha Morton
, Jena Malone
, Eamonn Walker
. "The Messenger" is a superbly crafted new drama that feels like an instant classic. Foster gives a stunning performance of a lifetime as Will Montgomery, an injured soldier who returns from Iraq
to serve his last few months of active duty notifying families of the deaths of loved ones lost in combat.
• "The Men Who Stare At Goats" (Special Screening). Director Grant Heslov
with George Clooney
, Ewan McGregor
, Jeff Bridges
, Kevin Spacy
, Stephen Lang
, Nick Offerman
, Tim Griffin
. In a comedic look at real life events that are almost too bizarre to believe, a reporter discovers a top-secret wing of the U.S. military when he accompanies an enigmatic Special Forces operator on a mind-boggling mission.
• "Mammoth" (North American Premiere). Director Lukas Moodyson
with Gael Garcia Bernal
, Michelle Williams
, Marife Necesito
, Sophie Nyweide
, Run Srinikornchot
, Tom McCarthy
, Jan Nicdao
. "Mammoth" revolves around successful New York couple Leo (Garcia Bernal), the creator of a booming website, and Ellen (Williams), a dedicated emergency surgeon. Their daughter Jackie spends most of her time with her nanny and Ellen is starting to question her priorities. When Leo travels to Thailand on business, he unwittingly sets off a chain of events that will have dramatic consequences for everyone.
• "Max Manus" (U.S. Premiere). Directors Joachim Roenning
and Espen Sandberg
with Aksel Hennie
, Kyrre Haugen Sydness
, Mads Eldoen
, Christian Rubeck
, Nicolai Cleve Broch
, Agnes Kittelsen
, Ken Duken
. Based on the true story of the famed resistance fighter, "Max Manus" follows the exploits of the title character as he joins the Norwegian resistance movement and becomes one of the most important members of the so-called Oslo Gang, carrying out spectacular raids against German ships in Oslo harbor, including the sinking of the slave ship Donau.
• "Millenium: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (U.S. Premiere) with Michael Nyqvist
, Noomi Rapace
, Sven-Bertil Taube
, Peter Haber
, Lena Endre
. Stieg Larsonís
("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo') is the first in the three-part Millenium trilogy, and is one of the decade's major literary success stories. The first book in the series is brought to the big screen by acclaimed filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev
, whose "We Shall Overcome" won the Audience Award in 2006.
• "My Words, My Lies, My Love" (North American Premiere). Director Alain Gsponer
with Daniel Bruhl
, Hannah Herzsprung
, Henry Hubchen
. The proverbial Death of the Author theory
is taken literally in this fresh rags to riches romantic comedy starring Bruhl ("Goodbye Lenin!," "Inglourious Bastards"). A timid waiter named David Kern (Bruhl) has become a sudden and unlikely literary star with the publication of a best-selling novel. The catch? He didn't actually write it.
• "Racing Dreams" Director Marshall Curry
with Brandon Warren
, Josh Hobson
, Annabeth Barnes
. "Racing Dreams" follows the lives of Annabeth (11-years-old), Josh (12), and Brandon (13), as they race around a concrete track at speeds of up to 70 mph in the World Karting Association's National Championship, learning about the adult worlds of love, money, family troubles and corporate sponsorship along the way.
• "Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags" (U.S. Premiere). Director Marc Levin
with Bruce Raynor
, Charles Kernaghan
, Joe Raico
, Stan Herman
, Irving Rousso
. Produced by HBO
Films, filmmaker Levin chronicles the century-long story of the American garment industry, from its Lower East Side sweatshop beginnings to its booming post-WWII rise as an emblematic American/New York City
institution and its devastating fall at the hands of a post-Reagan global economy.
• "Serious Moonlight" Director Cheryl Hines
with Meg Ryan
, Timothy Hutton
, Kristen Bell
, Justin Long
. After she arrives at her country home for a romantic weekend getaway, things don't go exactly as planned for high-powered Manhattan lawyer Louise (Meg Ryan). First, her husband of 13 years, Ian (Timothy Hutton), tells her that he's leaving her for a younger woman (Kristen Bell). Then, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon Ian finds himself held captive by an oddly cool Louise who explains that she won't release him until he professes his love for her and commits to working on their marriage. And that's when things REALLY start to go wrong. The unexpected arrival of an opportunistic young gardener (Justin Long) and Ian's impatient mistress only serve to complicate the crisis even further, while somehow forcing Louise and Ian to reckon with their past and realistically deal with their future.
• "Seven Minutes in Heaven" Director <>Omri Givon with Reymonde Amsellem
, Eldad Prives
, Ndav Nates
. An ethereal mystery story about tragedy and love, "Seven Mintues in Heaven" tackles the weighty notion of fate with rare artistry. Grieving and injured by a suicide bomber, young Galia tries to piece her life back together with the help of Boaz, a kind stranger who enters her life when she most needs him.
• "Shadow Billionaire" Director Alexis Manya Spraic
. After DHL founder Larry Hillblom failed to return from a flight in his vintage Seabee over the Pacific, bar girls throughout Southeast Asia came forward claiming to have had children by him. "Shadow Billionaire" unravels the scandalous life of this reclusive tycoon as the battle over his estate takes on epic proportions, pitting impoverished, teenage prostitutes against Larry's former business associates and several of the largest law firms in the world.
• "Surrogate" (North American Premiere). Director Tali Shalom Ezer
with Amir Wolf
, Lana Ettinger
, Rosina Kambus
, Liat Glick
, Yonatan Swriski
. Suffering from deep-seated sexual trauma, Eily chooses to undergo a highly unusual form of therapy to help him overcome wounds that prevent him from experiencing any kind of intimacy. A sensitive portrait of a damaged soul, "Surrogate" delicately explores the profoundly personal course of psychological recovery.
• "Tears of April" (East Coast Premiere). Director Aku Louhimies
with Samuli Vauramo
, Pihla Viitala
, Eero Aho
, Eemeli Louhimies
, Riina Maidre
. At the end of Finland's civil war in 1918, the government-supported Whites are rounding up the Social Democratic Reds. Private Aaro Harjula cannot tolerate the cruel abuses he has witnessed and insists on taking Miina Malin, a young Red platoon leader, to await trial. Along the way Aaro and Miina develop a connection that will force Aaro to make an agonizing choice.
• "Van Diemen's Land" (U.S. Premiere). Director Jonathan auf der Heide
with Oscar Redding
, Arthur Angel
, Paul Ashcroft
, Torquil Neilson
, Mark Winter
, Thomas Wright
, Greg Stone
. When Alexander Pearce and a group of fellow convicts stage a escape from their penal colony and take flight across the forbidding landscape, they are unprepared for the lengths they'll have to go to in order to survive. This harrowing re-telling of an infamous true story is a chilling depiction of the growth of evil.
• "War Against the Weak" (New York Premiere). Director Justin Strawhand
with John Hockenberry
, Ashley Lazarus
, "War Against The Weak" is the terrifying history of eugenics, arguably the most dangerous pseudoscience of all time, conceived by American scientists and put into practice in the U.S. for the greater part of the 20 century. The goal of eugenics was to create a master race of humans, and eliminate those considered "unfit."
• "Wild Art: Olly & Suzi" (U.S. Premiere). Director Rupert Murray
. Olly, a man with a lust for the outdoors, teams up with Suzi, once a rising star in the art world, in the pursuit of an extreme and authentic artistic creation. They create under the most extreme conditions, channeling the clarity of that moment onto the paper in front of them. Director Rupert Murray
offers a view into the lives, adventures and creative processes of two remarkable artists.
Films Of Conflict And Resolution In Competition
• "City of Life and Death" (U.S. Premiere). Director Lu Chuan
with Liu Ye
, Hideo Nakaizumi
, Fan Wei
, Gao Yuanyuan
, Qin Lan
. Acclaimed director Chuan's much-anticipated Nanjing drama resists the swelling music and overwrought melodrama of so many depictions of war, shifting the focus from a top-down, authoritative history lesson to an unprecedented personal epic. This visually arresting realist masterpiece offers a genuine, affecting portrait of humanity in war that moves the fraught Nanjing narrative one step nearer to closure.
• "The Good Soldier" (World Premiere). Directors Lexy Lovell
, Michael Uys
with Will Williams
, Jimmy Massey
, Perry Parks
, Edward Wood
, Michael McPhearson
. Directors Lovell and Uys bring together veterans from each of the American wars of the last century who marched eagerly to defend their country in 1944, 1966, 1991, or 2003 only to return conflicted by the atrocities they saw and participated in, and questioning what true service to your nation really means.
• "How to Fold a Flag" (U.S. Premiere). Director Petra Epperlein
. "We were asked to believe that the war was over. We laughed - for we were the war." So begins Michael Tucker
and Epperlein's ("Gunner Palace") haunting tapestry of young Iraq veterans coming home. When the American flag is folded at a memorial service, each fold is sent to represent a virtue. Tucker and Epperlein unpack this symbolism as they, along with the soldiers they follow, reconcile the idealized and abstract discourse of war with its heartbreakingly reality.
• "My Neighbor My Killer" (U.S.). Director Anne Aghion
. Seven years after the Tutsi genocide, the Rwandan government put in place the Gacaca óopen-air hearings with citizen-judges meant to try their neighbors and rebuild the nation. As part of this experiment in reconciliation, confessed genocide killers are sent home from prison, while survivors are asked to resume living side-by-side. Filming for close to a decade, Aghion has charted the emotional journey to coexistence.
• "Rabbit a la Berlin" Director Bartek Konopka
. Winner of a top prize at this year's prestigious Hot Docs documentary film festival, "Rabbit a la Berlin" is the charming true story of a community of wild rabbits that found safe haven within the confines of the Berlin Wall.
Films Of Conflict And Resolution Jurors
• Spotlight on Scandanavian Cinema
Scandinavian films have always thrived at the festival, most recently in 2008 when the superlative Norwegian feature "Troubled Water" swept both the jury and Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature. To celebrate all the popular and critical success Scandinavian films have achieved, the festival has carefully curated a selection of work from all five Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden) across all sections of the program. This unique sidebar will open with the U.S. Premiere of the Norwegian WWII resistance epic "Max Manus," and close with the highly anticipated feature film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's
bestselling "Girl With A Dragon Tattoo." We are also proud to partner with Swedish-owned Hamptons landmark c/o The Maidstone to host a reception in honor of these noteworthy filmmakers. Join HIFF as they honor all the Scandinavian film industry's achievements, and toast their future success both here in the Hamptons and beyond.
Films For Families
HIFF invites children and families to celebrate together with a host of youth-created media offerings and an exciting selection of family-friendly films!
One of this year's sure highlights is "The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos," a stunning documentary which comes to the festival from the talented and innovative group at Disney Nature. In the tradition of "Earth" and "March of the Penguins," "The Crimson Wing" tells the incredible story of the birth, life and death of the crimson-winged flamingos of Tanzania.
Adults and kids alike will be amazed and inspired by the feats of the preteen racecar prodigies of "Racing Dreams," a documentary about the kids who take part in the fiercely competitive World Karting Association National Pavement Series. Both an exciting tale of striving for glory and a powerful story about growing up, "Racing Dreams" is a wonderful choice for the whole family.
A special treat for youth and adults alike is the Youth Shorts Program, an entertaining and enlightening collection of films by, about and for young adults. This diverse selection of short films from all over the world is appropriate for ages 10 and up.
, the Chief Curator at the Museum of the Moving Image, will moderate an in-depth discussion with this year's guest. This intimate event is sure to provide both filmmakers and film aficionados with a rare view into the creative process. The event will feature clip presentations, trade secrets, and tips on lighting for film.
Kodak Cinematography Master Class
• On Saturday, Oct. 10, at 12 noon, East Hampton UA 6 Theater
View From Long Island
At the HIFF theu are committed to showcasing films rooted in the community, and this year brings an exceptionally strong line-up of work by and about Long Island. Come out and support work by local filmmakers including Brenda Siemer Scheider's
affectionate portrait of Marfan Syndrome "In My Hands" and ode to the work and life of Roy Scheider
"Smiles." Bruce Weber's
new short film "Liberty City is Like Paris To Me," former Ross School artist-in-residence Darko Lungulov's
feature "Here And There," and local student filmmakers Eric Striffler
and Megan Vinciguerra's
award-winning short films in the Youth Shorts Program.
For those interested in seeing the Hamptons'scenery light up the big screen, be sure to catch the indie dark comedy "Paper Man," set against a picturesque winter Montauk backdrop, and Alec Hirschfeld's
short doc "Out Here in the Fields" exploring issues of farming and land ownership in East Hampton.
The HIFF is grateful for the funding and support for this program from the Suffolk County Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs
To The Point: Women Telling Stories Through Media
This is a joint venture of the HIFF and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). In its sixth year, this series of shorts honors women's voices and visions through film - narratives, documentaries, animated and experimental and video. No more than 20 minutes long, these works explore the unique, personal stories of women - past, present, and future.
• "Abbie Cancelled," Director Jessica Burstein
; "Birth," Director Signe Baumane
; "Everything Is Ordinary," Director Noelle Brower
; "Omelette," Director Nadejda Koseva
; "Sister Wife," Director Jill Orschel
; "Speed Grieving," Directors Jessica Daniels
, Alysia Reiner
; "This Is Her," Director Katie Wolfe
• "All My Dreams On VHS" (East Coast Premiere). Director Timothy X Atack
; "Captain Coulier" (Space Explorer), Director Lyndon Casey
; "Instead of Abracadabra" (New York Premiere), Director Patrik Eklund
; "The Last Supper" (East Coast Premiere), Director Angus Sampson
; "Runaway" Producers Michael Scott
, Derek Mazur
• "The Fizzy Incident," Director Eric Striffler
; "The Happy Duckling" (New York Premiere), Director Gili Dolev
; "The History of Aviation" (East Coast Premiere), Director Balint Kenyeres
; "Live Music" (East Coast Premiere), Director Yair Landau
; "Naming Pluto" (New York Premiere), Director Ginita Jimenez
; "Netherland Dwarf," Director David Michod
; "No Way Out," Director Megan Vinciguerra
; "Photograph Of Jesus," Director Laurie Hil
Shorts Program: Best Served Cold
"Concerto," Director Filippo Conz
; "Eli's Boy" (North American Premiere), Director Cameron Fertitta
; "Make Up (World Premiere), Director Scott Tuft
Shorts Program: Local To Global
"Crossing Midnight, Dir. Kim A. Snyder; The Last Dragon Kingdom (North American), Directors Aine Carey
, David Emery
; "Lost Paradise" (New York Premiere), Director Mihal Brezis
; "No Special Incidents" (North American Premiere), Director Lennart Ruff
; "Out Here in the Fields: The Field on Beach Lane" (World), Director Alec Hirschfeld
; "Something Left To Sea" (World Premiere), Director Harry Schleiff
Shorts Before Features
Beloved (USA) Director Will Frears
; "The Berlin Wall" (Germany), Director Paul Cotter
; "Liberty City is Like Paris to Me" (USA), Director Bruce Weber
; "Looking At Animals" (USA), Director Marc Turtletaub
; "Smiles - A Story of Roy Scheider" (English), Director Brenda Siemer Scheider
; "Ten: Thirtyone" (English), Director Lev Gorn
, Gabe Fazio
; "Wagah," Director Supriyo Sen
Undergraduate And Graduate Student Film/Video Awards
• "Akash" (U.S.), Director Ash Bhalla
. Akash lives with his mother, father, grandmother and five sisters in rural India. He is approximately 13 years old, and the people of his village believe that he has the ability to invoke the goddess Durga. This documentary follows Akash's transition from boy into deity, a process that has never before been witnessed by an outsider or been committed to film.
• "Blackwater" (East Coast), Director Konstantinos Frangopoulos
. Brief Synopsis: A male nightmare. Living under the shadow of your loved one isn't a safe thing.
• "Christopher Dispossessed," Director Matthew Watts
. He ís too late to stop the wedding, but not too late to stop the marriage.
• "Sinkhole" (East Coast), Director Eric Scherbarth
. A salesman approaches a mysterious landowner with an offer to buy the manís smoldering abandoned coal mines but finds that there is more at stake than the land.
• "Tran si tions" (World), Director Mark Lee
. A young man tapes a mentally ill woman on a subway train and believes that she may be his long-missing mother.
Cinematography Master Class
Each year, the HIFF and Kodak partner present a Master Class with a leading cinematographer during the festival. Past guests have included Michael Ballhaus
("Goodfellas," "The Departed"), Frederick Elmes
("The Ice Storm, "Wild At Heart," "The Namesake") and Ellen Kuras
("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Summer of Sam").
• "Visions of An Old New Land: Israeli Films on Tel Aviv's 100th" 2009 marks the 100th Anniversary of the city of Tel Aviv, the artistic and cultural capital
of Israel. Not only is Tel Aviv the center of Israel's film production, it is a richly diverse and ever changing city that reflects the modern face of Israel and the plurality of backgrounds of the Israeli people. The films chosen for the HIFF Tel Aviv Anniversary program reflect the faces and cultures of contemporary Israel, featuring Tel Avivian directors and varying portraits of this extraordinarily unique city.
• "Seven Minutes In Heaven," Omri Givon
; "Surrogate," Tali Shalom Ezer
, "Jaffa," Keren Yedaya
, "Five Hours From Paris," Leon Prudovsky
, "Lost Paradise," Mihal Brezis
and Oded Binnun
• Green Production for the Frugal Producer - Many movie and TV producers are making progress in their efforts to reduce the carbon emissions and environmental impacts of their productions, while increasing efficiency and cutting costs. Across all aspects of production - energy, transportation, lighting, craft services, set construction, waste and recycling - some amazing innovations have come out of recent on-set experiments, which will intrigue producers and moviegoers alike.
• Breakthrough Performers Panel - Join the international group of Rising and Shooting Stars in an informal and intimate discussion about the craft of acting, how the process compares in different countries, and what their experiences were with each of their films in the 2009 Festival.
• New York Film Critics Circle Panel Discussion - This year, HIFF is thrilled to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the New York Film Critics Circle and its long-time commitment to championing excellence in filmmaking. Join four prominent members of the circle for a timely and intimate discussion as they share the story of the NYFCC, and shed light on the current state of film criticism since the advent of the internet age.
• Making your First Short - Using the Short Film as a Route to Features. The students in this year's Student Awards shorts program will take part in this informative roundtable discussion about short filmmaking. The panel will take place immediately following the Student Awards short program, and admittance is free with your ticket to the Student Awards program.
• Two From the Sloan Screenwriters Lab: "Charm School For Primates" and "The Transformation" - HIFF, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, presents staged readings of two featured screenplays from their annual screenwriters lab. "Charm School For Primates," by Karen Odyniec
and "The Transformation," by Kirk Davis
and Sam Sloves
. Jay Anania
("Day on Fire," "Her Name Is Carla") will direct a selection from each screenplay, which will be performed by a cast of guest actors from New York City.