HIFF to Award Innovative Films from Several Countries
With some 70 feature films, more than 50 shorts, panel discussions, and one-to-one interviews with directors and actors, the Hamptons International Film Festival includes high-profile projects, low-budget documentaries, and everything in between.
The HIFF Competition films highlight the work of emerging and innovative narrative and documentary filmmakers whose work pushes the boundaries of the medium.
The five films in this year’s Narrative Competition include two U.S. premieres. In “All Good,” when an encounter at her class reunion ends in rape, Janne resists defining herself as a victim, insisting “everything is all right.” The director Eva Trobisch wrote the film, which explores the consequences of sexual aggression, denial, and repression, before the explosion of the #MeToo movement.
Also having its U.S. premiere is “One Day,” a first feature by a Hungarian director, Zsofia Szilagyi, about 36 hours in the life of Anna, a married mother of three whose exhausting routine leaves her little time to contemplate what is important to her.
Yen Tan, a Malaysian-born producer and director, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 19. His newest film, “1985,” having its New York premiere, is the story of a closeted gay man who returns to his Texas hometown and religious parents during the AIDS crisis.
From Sweden comes Ali Abbasi’s “Border,” the story of a reclusive customs officer whose unique sense of smell enables her to identify contraband coming through the border. Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, the film blends romance, fantasy, and horror.
“Too Late to Die Young” takes place during summer of 1990, which brought democracy to Chile. Dominga Sotomayor’s film follows a group of families that start a new life in the foothills of the Andes, with a particular focus on the coming of age of a 16-year-old girl in her new rural home.
In the Documentary Competition, Jesse Sweet’s “City of Joel” is having its world premiere. The film was shot over several years 50 miles north of New York City in Joel, which has one of the fastest-growing Hasidic communities in the country. Tensions rise in the region as the non-Hasids in neighboring villages fear Joel’s desire to expand.
In “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” Alexis Bloom examines the legacy of the former head of Fox News, a dominant force in conservative politics and one of the first notables to be brought down by accusations of sexual misconduct in 2016, a year before his death.
From Daniel Zimmerman, a Swiss filmmaker, comes “Walden,” an experimental documentary that consists entirely of 13 360-degree panning shots that follow a tree’s lumber from its harvest in an Austrian forest to its ultimate destination in Brazil. The film is having its New York premiere.
“Ghost Fleet,” an American film directed by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron and having its East Coast premiere, follows a Thai human rights activist dedicated to rescuing workers enslaved at sea by the global fishing industry.
The fifth entry in the Documentary Competition, Michael Dweck’s “The Last Race,” is also part of the Views From Long Island series. A discussion with Mr. Dweck about the film appears elsewhere in this section.
The Narrative Short Film Competition includes “Caroline” (U.S.A.) by Celine Held and Logan George, “Feathers” (U.S.A.) by A.V. Rockwell, “Fence” (Kosovo/Croatia/France) by Lendita Zeqiraj, “Shadow Animals” (Sweden) by Jerry Carlsson, and “Third Kind” (Greece) by Yorgos Zois.
The short documentaries are “Dulce” (Colombia) by Guille Isa and Angello Faccini, “Guaxuma” (Brazil/France) by Nara Normande, “Juck” (Sweden) by Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, and Ulrika Bandeira, “Lifeboat” (U.S.A.) by Skye Fitzgerald, and “Santuario” (U.S.A.) by Pilar Timpane and Christine Delp.
The jury for both narrative features and shorts consists of Geralyn Dreyfous, an independent producer and founder of the Utah Film Center; Jamie Patricof, a producer of narrative features, documentaries, and digital content, and Linus Sandgren, a cinematographer whose credits include “La La Land” and “First Man,” one of the festival’s Centerpiece films.
Rory Kennedy, an Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning documentary writer and producer, and Alison Willmore, a critic at BuzzFeed News and a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, will judge the documentary features and shorts.
The winning narrative feature will receive a $3,000 cash prize and a film production package of in-kind goods and services worth $100,000. The award for best documentary feature also comes with $3,000 and a production package of more than $30,000.
The winners of best narrative and documentary short films will each receive a $500 cash prize and qualify for consideration at the Academy Awards for their respective categories.