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A Few Upcoming Films At HIFF

Originally Posted: October 10, 2011

"Without" is the award-winning debut feature film by Brooklyn-based Mark Jackson, and will screen at the HIFF. (Courtesy Photo: Studio)

Southampton - Below are a few of the films to be screened during the 19th Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF):

"Without," the Award-winning and critically acclaimed debut feature film by Brooklyn-based Mark Jackson, will screen at the 19th Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) beginning on Friday, October 14, at 6:15 p.m. at the UA East Hampton Theatre. Talented newcomer Joslyn Jensen, whose "stunning debut performance" ("Hammer to Nail") has mesmerized audiences around the globe and drawn comparisons to Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert, and Producer, Jeff Marchelletta, will be in attendance at the screenings at HIFF this year.

"'Without' is an intimate portrait of a young woman struggling with grief and isolation," says Director Jackson. "The film explores the meaning of loss in a culture where digital technologies so often stand in for physical connection." Scarred by mysterious past events, a 19-year-old girl tumbles into solitude when she takes a job as a caretaker for a catatonic old man on a remote wooded island with no cell signal or internet access. Cut off from the outside world, she begins a slow progression of mental and emotional disintegration as she struggles to maintain a daily routine while in conflict with her own guilt, sexuality and loss.

Called "a chilling exercise in precisely measured ambiguity" (The Hollywood Reporter), "a minimalist stroke of genius" (Twitch), and featuring "the assured hand of a born filmmaker" (Indiewire), "Without" has been honored with Special Jury Awards at the Slamdance, Atlanta and Florida Film Festivals, as well as the Grand Jury prize for Independent Vision at the Sarasota Film Festival 2011 and the Best Narrative Feature at the Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival 2011.

Internationally, it took Locarno by storm as one of only two American films in the auteur-driven Filmmakers of the Present Competition; and at Deauville, where Jensen's performance was singled out as "absolutely stunning" (L'Express). "Without" is one of only two American films nominated for the distinguished Sutherland Award at BFI London. With Ghent, Reykjavik, Vancouver, Festival Du Nouveau Cinema and many more prestigious festivals also on the tour of the film, "Without" is establishing a track record reminiscent of last year's Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone." For more information on "Without" go to www.without-movie.com.

"Happy New Year"
On October 15 at 12:15 p.m., "Happy New Year," the controversial narrative feature film about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the rise in suicide within the U.S. Armed Forces, will have its New York premiere at the 19th Hamptons International Film Festival which runs from Thursday, October 13 through Monday, October 17.

"My Week With Marilyn" to screen at Guil Hall. (Courtesy Photo: HIFF)

"Happy New Year" shocked audiences and critics during its World Premiere at the 2011 South x Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) and is electrifying the festival circuit, recently earning the Audience Award for Best Picture at the Oldenburg International Film Festival (called the "German Sundance," by The Hollywood Reporter) and the Best Director and Best Actor Awards at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), where former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy endorsed it as "a great film that reminds us of our obligation never to forget."

Breakout New York City filmmaker K. Lorrel Manning (2011 RIIFF Best Director Award, MFA Columbia University), gives a human face to PTSD, expertly directing an accomplished, multi-ethnic cast, led by emerging star Michael Cuomo (RIIFF Best Actor Award) who delivers a haunting performance as "Lewis." Eminent British producer Iain Smith("Children of Men," "The Fountain," "The Killing Fields") serves as the film's Executive Producer and Academy Award-winning Soopum Sohn("Make Yourself at Home," MFA New York University) is the Director of Photography, creating a "fly-on-the-wall" experience that is painfully intimate.

Manning and Cuomo, who reprised their respective roles from the sold-out Off-Broadway play (The Barrow Group, June 2007) and short film adaptation (Huffington Post, April 2008), bring a deep level of authenticity to the narrative feature film, inspired by more than 80 one-on-one interviews with combat veterans, their families and V.A. personnel. "Happy New Year" even features hand-held combat footage shot by U.S. Marine and Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran Mike Scotti (star of the critically-acclaimed documentary "Severe Clear"), an element that further allows audiences to connect and empathize with each of the film's characters, particularly "Lewis."

The supporting cast shines with searing performances from JD Williams ("The Wire," "Oz") and Monique Gabriela Curnen ("Contagion," "The Dark Knight," "Half Nelson") and industry veteran Tina Sloan. Sloan, who is best known for (year length) her star turn as "Nurse Lillian Raines" on CBS's "Guiding Light," brings to the screen the fear she endured over a two-year period while her real-life son served in Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine.

"'Happy New Year'blew me away," says Scotti, "Like many others veterans; I had struggled with the aftermath of combat. The quality of Michael's and the other actors' performances, of Lorrel's direction, the honesty of the story - all of it - I believed that the actors were veterans and had seen the horrors of war."

"Oranges And Sunshine"
On Saturday, October 15 at 3:45 p.m. at the Southampton Regal Cinema. On Sunday, October 16 at 6:45 p.m. at the East Hampton UA.

Produced and directed by Jim Loach, written by Rona Munro, produced by Camilla Bray, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman ("The King's Speech"), starring Emily Watson (two-time Academy Award nominee for "Breaking the Waves" and "Hilary and Jackie"), Hugo Weaving ("The Matrix," "Lord of the Rings") and David Wenham ("300," "Public Enemies" and "Lord of the Rings").

"Oranges and Sunshine" tells the true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the organized deportation of children who were sent from the United Kingdom to Australia. Almost single-handedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, she reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice.

About Cohen Media Group
Charles S. Cohen, Steve Scheffer and Edmondo Schwartz have formed Cohen Media Group, LLC (CMG,) a new theatrical production and distribution company. The company will produce and distribute independent films throughout North America. Its first release "Outside the Law," directed by filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award. In addition, "My Afternoons With Margueritte" starring Gerard Depardieu is to be released in July 2011 along with "Chasing Madoff" in Fall 2011. Cohen Media Group will produce and release select films annually; allowing the CMG team to devote their efforts toward each film's fullest potential. In 2008, the company produced "Frozen River" which garnered two Academy Award nominations. Cohen Media Group currently has two properties in development, "Operation Mincemeat;" a World War II historical drama and "Lila the Werewolf;" by acclaimed author Peter S. Beagle, about a man who finds out that there's more to his girlfriend during a full moon in New York City. Both are slated to start production later this year.

"Think Of Me"
Starring Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under," "Funny Girl"), Audrey Scott, Dylan Baker, and Penelope Ann Miller. Written and directed by
Bryan Wizemann
. Beneath the neon glow of Las Vegas, Angela is a single mother struggling to make ends meet for her daughter, Sunny. When her life hits a breaking point, she is faced with an impossible choice: keep trying to make things work, or let it all go for the promise of something better, 103 minutes, screening on Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 p.m. at East Hampton UA, and Sunday, October 16, at 8 p.m. at East Hampton UA.

"In Heaven, Underground"
Seventh Art Releasing is pleased to present the U.S. theatrical premiere of "In Heaven, Underground," from award-winning director Britta Wauer. Winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, honorable mention at the Jerusalem Film Festival and an official selection of Hot Docs and the upcoming Hamptons International Film Festival, "In Heaven, Underground" opens November 18, 2011 in New York (Cinema Village) with a national release to follow.

"In Heaven Underground" screens Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. (Hampton Art Center, Westhampton) and Monday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. (Guild Hall, East Hampton).

"In Heaven, Underground" is an enchanting journey into history that celebrates life and the immortality of memories. North of Berlin's noisy city center, surrounded by a jungle of trees and lush foliage, lies the peaceful and secluded 130-year-old Weissensee Jewish Cemetery, the oldest Jewish cemetery still in use in Europe. Its 100 acres hold 115,000 graves and a meticulous archive record. The cemetery has never closed, and was one of the few institutions to remain in Jewish hands during the Nazi regime. Award-winning director Wauer's charming portrait creates a serene experience following a delightful array of characters from around the world: mourners, tourists, a young family residing at the cemetery, a third-generation gravedigger and an ornithologist studying rare birds of prey.

"In Heaven, Underground, 90 minutes. In German, Russian and English with English subtitles. For more information go to www.7thart.com/films/In-Heaven-Underground.

Shorts: "How It Ended" And "LOFT"
A pair of filmmakers fell in love at the Hamptons Film Festival in 2005, made a film together that premiered at the Hamptons in 2007, married in the Hamptons in 2009, and are now returning to the festival this year with two beautiful and shocking short films: "How It Ended" and "LOFT."

Elizabeth Wood (Director "LOFT") and Gabriel Nussbaum (Director "How It Ended") will attend their lucky festival for the New York premieres of their short films.

"How It Ended," starring three-time Academy Award-nominee Debra Winger, was shot on location in Amagansett and Sag Harbor.

The couple moved to New Orleans to teach filmmaking in schools that were struggling after Katrina. Their work resulted in the award-winning documentary "Wade in the Water, Children," which premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival in 2007 and went on to numerous fests and acquisition by Cinema Guild and IndiePix Films. The film is now in stores and on iTunes and continues to screen around the world.

The couple married in 2009 at Nussbaum's parents home in Amagansett; his family owns the trio of local BookHampton bookstores. Wood and Nussbaum had already formed their company, Bank Street Films, and 2010 brought the production of two short films: "LOFT" and "How It Ended."

"LOFT," directed by Wood and edited by Nussbaum, is a study for a feature film currently in development. The short film tells the story of the fateful night when a jaded young woman invites an intriguing homeless stranger into her Brooklyn apartment. The film stars the fearless Juilliard-graduate Joanne Tucker, and was shot on location in Bushwick, New York.

"How It Ended," directed by Nussbaum and Executive Produced by Wood, stars the remarkable trio of Winger ("Terms of Endearment"), Halley Feiffer ("The Squid and the Whale") and Larry Pine ("The Royal Tennenbaums"). Based on a provocative short story by celebrated local author James Salter, the film was shot by acclaimed cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes ("Martha Marcy May Marlene," HIFF 2011). Nussbaum commandeered his parents' home as a location, and was offered the use of the American Hotel in Sag Harbor for one rainy night.

Presenting the films at the Hamptons International Film Festival feels like a return home for the filmmakers, and a validation of their efforts. Both filmmakers will be in attendance at their screenings, and both have features films slated for production in 2012, which (of course) they hope to bring back the Hamptons Film Festival.

"LOFT" Part of Short Film Series "The Unquiet Ones" screens on Saturday, October 15, at 10:45 p.m. at UA 6 East Hampton, and Monday, October 17, at 8:45 p.m., at UA 6 East Hampton

"How It Ended" Part of "East End Films" screens Saturday, October 15, at 10:30 a.m. at UA 6, East Hampton, and Monday, October 17, at 6:30 p.m. at UA 6, East Hampton. For more information go to www.bankstreetfilms.com.

"My Week With Marilyn"
Screening on Sunday, October 16, at 12 noon, at Guild Hall, East Hampton. Early in the summer of 1956, American film star Marilyn Monroe set foot on British soil for the first time. On honeymoon with her husband, the celebrated playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe came to England to shoot "The Prince and the Showgirl" - the film that famously united her with Sir Laurence Olivier, the British theatre and film legend who directed and co-starred in the film.

That same summer, 23-year-old Colin Clark set foot on a film set for the first time in his life. Newly graduated from Oxford, Clark aspired to be a filmmaker and found a job as a lowly production hand on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl." Forty years later, he recounted his experiences of the six-month shoot in a diary-style memoir entitled "The Prince, the Showgirl and Me." But one week in Clark's account was missing.

It wasn't until years later that Clark revealed why. In a follow-up memoir entitled "My Week with Marilyn," he recounted the true story of one magical week he spent alone with the world's biggest star - the week he spent with Marilyn. By turns comic and poignant, "My Week With Marilyn" offers an uncommonly intimate look at the Hollywood icon, charting the brief, charged connection she forged with a young man who came to understand her better than anyone.

Live Art Event
On October 16, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on Georgica Beach with Land Artist Jim Denevan, who is the artist subject of Short Film "Jim Denevan: Lake Baikal. A public art demonstration, in connection with the Hamptons International Film Festival will take place. Witness renowned land artist Denevan create one of his signature, free-hand works on Georgica Beach. The California-based artist will be in East Hampton for the premiere of the short film "Jim Denevan: Lake Baikal," that documents his 2010 journey to Siberia to create the world's largest artwork. Known for his drawings on beaches and dry lake beds, Denevan's search for the perfect ephemeral canvas compelled him to endure sub-zero temperatures and blistering winds to inscribe artwork on the frozen surface of the world's oldest and deepest lake. The expedition and documentary were commissioned by Anthropologie.

The short film will be presented in the documentary shorts program on October 15 at 4:30 p.m. and October 16 at 12:15 p.m. at UA East Hampton 6.

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