Film & TV

Summer Family Film Festival in Southampton Introduces Kids to Cinema

The Hamptons International Film Festival is always an exciting time on the East End. Whether you’re catching a movie that will go on to win Best Picture at the Oscars (12 Years A Slave) or hobnobbing with A-listers and talented newcomers, the festival is a fall treat for film buffs. As part of the fest’s drive to continue to grow and evolve, they’ve partnered with the Southampton Arts Center to create a special weekend of family-friendly films, beginning on Friday, August 22.

“For over seven years, we have been working on film education initiatives, and were looking to expand those efforts along with our children’s programming to Southampton,” HIFF executive director Anne Chaisson says. “Our festival expanded into Southampton a decade ago and we are very happy to debut the Summer Family Film Festival at the Southampton Arts Center. Southampton is an integral part of our festival and it has been a delight to partner with the Southampton Arts Center on this inaugural event.”

Opening night of the Summer Family Film Festival kicks off with classic silent shorts starring the legendary Charlie Chaplin. The films all feature Chaplin’s famous character, the Tramp, as he gets into ridiculous hijinks full of physical comedy. The three shorts—The Rink, The Pawnshop and The Adventurer—will feature live piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin, giving children an authentic silent film experience.

“We try not to play favorites, as we’re proud of all of the films in the lineup,” Chaisson says. “We are excited about the opening night program of Chaplin shorts with live piano accompaniment, as that’s something that’s outside the regular programming of the area in general, so we think our audiences will really embrace the experience.”

Featuring a mix of classic short films from the silent era, as well as such modern animated hits like How to Train Your Dragon 2, which will screen in 3D on Sunday, August 24, the festival has a diverse lineup with films that children and adults can enjoy. A highlight is the French/Belgian animated film Ernest & Celestine, about the unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse featuring an all-star cast, including Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright and Amagansett’s Lauren Bacall in her final film role. The film was a festival darling, appearing at Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival and more, and was nominated for Best Animated Feature in the 2013 Academy Awards.

The festival will also feature a screening of Disneynature’s Bears, a documentary showing a year in the life of a family of bears in Alaska. Bears is the latest in Disneynature’s series of acclaimed nature-themed documentaries. Also on offer is Ghost Dog, a spooky adventure about three misfit friends who are challenged by the town bully to spend the night in a house that’s rumored to be haunted.

Tickets for the screenings, August 22–24, are available for purchase at Adult tickets are $12 and children’s tickets are $8. Packages include: (4) Ticket Family Package $35. A gift bag is included with Family Package purchase. For more information on the festival and Southampton Arts Center, go to

The 22nd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held over Columbus Day Weekend, October 9–13 2014. A limited number of Founders Passes are currently on sale for 15% off until Labor Day.

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