Hamptons International Film Fest SummerDocs

The wonderfully successful SummerDocs series, a program of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), will be back at Guild Hall this summer for its third season, launching with the documentary Buck, a film about the dynamic man who is a true horse whisperer.
David Nugent, HIFF Director of Programming, said in a phone interview that this year there will be four documentaries screened.
The upbeat Nugent said he had “huge admiration” for the large role Alec Baldwin, a HIFF board member, has played in SummerDocs. Nugent said that Baldwin, in fact, “selects the pieces to be viewed,” a job Nugent is very familiar with, as he himself has chosen 30 films for the festival that went on to win an Academy Award. Baldwin called Nugent “a wizard and genius” at selecting films for the festival.
Nugent credits HIFF Executive Director Karen Arikian for her insight and stewardship of all HIFF activities these last three years including SummerDocs. “We all seem to shine under Karen’s guidance,” is how Nugent said it.
Buck was this year’s Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner and is an IFC Films release. The screening, which will be hosted by James Lipton, is at Guild Hall on Saturday, June 4, at 8 p.m. The plan is for Alec Baldwin to host the remaining three. Lipton is the host of “Inside the Actors Studio” on Bravo.
Julie Goldman, the producer of Buck told me the documentary is a truly American story about an unsung hero, Buck, who is an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds. He actually worked with Robert Redford on The Horse Whisperer as Redford’ double and, quite frankly, a model for the role Redford played. Goldman said, “Buck is very grounded, his magnetism works on two levels.” She said he is amazing to watch on the screen, having the same calming effect on humans as he does on horses. Buck’s transformation from the horror of his youth into the gentleness of his adulthood in his treatment of horses is truly inspiring.
Goldman, who was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, said, “Buck and director Cindy Meehl really bonded in trust, which makes for the magic on the screen.” This is Meehl’s first film as a director. “Cindy real made it happen. It was a pleasure to watch her work her magic. In fact making Buck was a pleasure from beginning to end.” Other kudos go out to the phenomenal job film editor Toby Shimin did and the efforts of Executive Producer Andrea Meditch.
The second documentary will be Andrew Rossi’s Page One, a documentary of a whole year behind the scenes at The New York Times, which will be shown on July 22.
Tickets for all SummerDocs can be purchased at either the Guild Hall box office or online at guildhall.org.

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