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National Geographic Documentary "Free Solo" Wins Long And Mattone Audience Award At Hamptons Doc Fest

Sydney A. Braat

"Free Solo" is comprised of breathtaking cinematography and follows the eight-year dream of free solo climber Alex Honnold who became the first person to climb the face of the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. (Courtesy Photo)

Hamptons Doc Fest, previously known as the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, just finished its 11th year at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. After the momentous weekend, they have announced the winner of the Long and Mattone Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature is the awe-inspiring National Geographic Documentary Film "Free Solo."

The film is directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and sold out the theater as the Closing Night Film of the five-day festival on Monday, December 3, as part of Douglas Elliman Community Day.

"Free Solo" is comprised of breathtaking cinematography and follows the eight-year dream of free solo climber Alex Honnold who became the first person to climb the face of the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope. After years of intricate study of every fingerhold/toehold, Honnold succeeded the climb on June 3, 2017, in 3 hours, 56 minutes. Honnold described the surface which he climbed: "the most impressive granite wall on earth."

This inspiring film has opened in theaters this December and will continue to play through January 2019, already picking up Oscar buzz.

"We are thrilled to win the audience award at Hamptons Doc Fest," remarked Directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. "It's wonderful to have the film be so well received in a place that is so special to us."

Robin Long of Long and Mattone, LLP, Attorneys at Law, the new sponsor of the Audience Award, was equally thrilled. "I would like to thank Hamptons Doc Fest for the opportunity to sponsor the audience award. It is my great pleasure to congratulate the brilliant team behind 'Free Solo' in winning this prestigious award. The documentary was truly 'uplifting' and inspirational, and left the audience in awe. I look forward to participating in this great festival in 2019."

If you enjoyed the Doc Fest this year or may want to see what the buzz is all about, mark your calendars because the dates have been set for 2019! The annual Spring Docs Day will be held on Sunday, April 28. The 12th annual Hamptons Doc Fest at the Bay Street Theater, with five full days of documentary films will be December 5-9.

Throughout the year, with the mantra "All Docs, All Year," Hamptons Doc Fest also presents films in collaboration with other institutions and free "Film + Forum" programs of previously-shown festival films and special appearances by their directors at local libraries and art museums.

For more information, visit www.hamptonsdocfest.com.

Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping. https://www.sosydneyny.com/ sydneybraat

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