HIFF Announces Full Slate of Films and Talks on Website
Although it has been teasing out a few highlights, the Hamptons International Film Festival this week released its full online guide in advance of individual tickets going on sale on Sept. 24.
Since many films and events will sell out quickly, here is a recap of the previous highlights along with some of the latest announcements.
The opening film on Oct. 4 will be "The Kindergarten Teacher," directed by Sara Colangelo and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. A veteran of the festival's Screenwriters Lab, Ms. Colangelo's second feature is about a Staten Island teacher who attempts to fulfill her own creative aspirations through a young prodigy in an obsessive and unpredictable fashion. Ms. Gyllenhaal will be interviewed during an hourlong conversation on the afternoon of Oct. 5.
Closing the festival on Oct. 8 will be "Boy Erased" by Joel Edgerton and starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges. The story is based on Garrard Conley's memoir about growing up in a Baptist family in Arkansas and getting sent to a church program meant to cure homosexuality as an illness.
This year's centerpiece films, which will be shown in the evenings from Friday through Sunday during the festival, are "The Favourite," "First Man," and "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Yorgos Lanthimos's "The Favourite" is about a battle of wills between two of Queen Anne's confidantes to become her preferred companion and the power that role implies in early-18th-century England. Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz star. It will be screened as the Friday centerpiece.
"First Man," the Saturday evening centerpiece, stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle's follow-up to "La La Land," in which Mr. Gosling also starred. With a screenplay by Josh Singer, a co-author of "Spotlight" (which won best picture and screenplay at the 2016 Academy Awards), it focuses on the eight years of Armstrong's life from his joining NASA to the moon landing. Mr. Chazelle will sit down for a conversation about his career so far on the afternoon of Oct. 7.
"Can You Ever Forgive Me?" tells the story of Lee Israel, a successful biographer who took up literary forgery after her more respectable style of biography fell out of favor in the 1980s. Marielle Heller directs Melissa McCarthy as Ms. Israel, who died in 2014. Richard E. Grant also stars.
The festival's program of Spotlight films are those with distribution deals or likely to get them or have received accolades at other festivals. They include "Ben Is Back," "To Dust," "Everybody Knows," "Green Book," "The Happy Prince," "The Hate U Give," A Private War," "The Public," "Roma," and "Wildlife."
"Ben Is Back," in its United States premiere, is directed by Peter Hedges and stars Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges as a young man coming home after a stint in rehab for opioid addiction. The family is wary of his progress, but Ms. Roberts, as his mother, is eager to welcome her son home as he attempts to prove his sobriety.
Showing that the opioid crisis is at the forefront of people's attention these days, another film, "Beautiful Boy," takes up the painful journey of a father and a son who struggles with drug addiction. Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet star in this film by Felix Van Groeningen based on Nic Sheff's two memoirs.
"To Dust" was a favorite at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the audience award for narrative film and Shawn Snyder was given the jury award for best new narrative director. It stars Geza Rohrig and Matthew Broderick as the unlikeliest of buddies in a quirky, unsettling, and at times uproarious film. Two Amagansett part-timers, Alessandro Nivola and Emily Mortimer, were producers.
Asghar Farhadi's "Everybody Knows" is a psychological drama set in the foothills and wine country of Spain. Penelope Cruz plays a woman returning home for a wedding who loses her daughter in a power outage, and who thinks her ex and family are the likely suspects.
"Green Book" refers to a guide used by African-American motorists in the segregated South to find welcoming lodging. Under Peter Farrelly's direction, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen team up as Don Shirley, a successful jazz musician, and his very vocal bodyguard and bouncer. They use the guide on Mr. Shirley's 1962 Southern tour in this buddy picture based on a true story.
In Rupert Everett's "The Happy Prince," he portrays Oscar Wilde in the final three years of his life, from 1897 to 1900. Free after his imprisonment for indecency, he lives in exile under assumed names and vacillates between going back to his ex-lover or his estranged wife, played by Emily Watson. Mr. Everett is expected to attend the festival.
"The Hate U Give" by George Tillman Jr. is about a black teen played by Amandla Stenberg who goes to an upper-class school but lives in a working-class neighborhood. After a personal tragedy involving a longtime friend and a police officer, she must choose a side in the growing protests.
Matthew Heineman's "A Private War" is a biopic about Marie Colvin, a photojournalist who put herself in extreme harm's way during a perilous career as a war correspondent. Rosamund Pike plays Colvin, who worked for the London Sunday Times from 1985 until her death in 2012. Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci have supporting roles.
"The Public" is about a library caught in the middle of a standoff between homeless patrons who refuse to leave and policemen in riot gear determined to extract them. Emilio Estevez, who also has a role in the film, directs a cast that includes Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, and Alec Baldwin. He will participate in a conversation about his career on the afternoon of Oct. 6.
Alfonso Cuaron, the director of "Gravity" and other notable films, is at the helm of "Roma," a semi-autobiographical look at his childhood in Mexico City. Directing a cast of relative unknowns, he shot the story in 65-millimeter film, lending vibrancy and grandeur to a tale of turbulence and anxiety.
In "Widows," the director Steve McQueen teams up with Gillian Flynn, a best-selling author of noir fiction, for a story about four women who have nothing in common except the loss of their husbands in deaths related to their criminal activities. Now they plan to make new paths for themselves together.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Paul Dano's "Wildlife," set during a wildfire in 1960s Montana. Having just lost his job, he joins the firefighters, leaving his family to fend for themselves. Carey Mulligan plays his wife, confronted with the decline of the stability of their nuclear family.
Also in the mix is the world premiere of the documentary "The Panama Papers," directed by Alex Winter, who will attend the festival. It looks at the release of more than 11 million documents and financial records that implicated hundreds of individuals and exposed corruption on an international scale. Elijah Wood narrates.
In addition to the conversations, many stars and filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their films after the screenings. They include Bob Balaban, Mr. Broderick, Bill Camp, Kayli Carter, Mr. Dornan, Mr. Hedges, Mr. Heineman, Mr. Nivola, Ms. Pike, Cory Michael Scott, Josh Singer, Mr. Tillman, and Dolly Wells.
Passes and packages continue to be on sale. Individual tickets go on sale Sept. 24 online and at box offices to be announced.