The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival commences Thursday, December 3, for a four-day celebration at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. The festival is dedicated to the documentary genre, and will feature nearly 30 films over the course of the weekend.
The festival is beloved for its devotion to giving all worthy filmmakers a chance for their films to be seen. “I’m very proud of our screening committee and our screening process,” says HT2FF founder Jacqui Lofaro. “Because we are a smaller festival, every submission is watched and discussed. We are very proud of our programs. Every film is a
jewel to us.”
Some of these jewels include works by local and up-and-coming filmmakers. Other films have arrived from across the United States, giving a delightful variety of quality films.
Opening day begins with a “focus on locals,” including shorts made by Long Island filmmakers. The opening night film is A Ballerina’s Tale, the story of American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland, followed by a Q&A with director Nelson George. Friday’s screenings will include The Art of Love, a collaboration with the School of Visual Arts MFA, as part of what the Festival is calling their “Next Best Program.” In the evening, Liz Garbus will be presented with the Filmmakers’ Choice Award and take part in a Q&A following the screening of her spotlight film What Happened, Miss Simone?
Saturday, December 5 will begin with a series of shorts, such as Mark Nickolas and Racha Najdi’s short Nefertiti’s Daughters, the story of women street artists and the fight for women’s rights during the Egyptian uprising. The afternoon will feature the films Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, Big Voice and Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi, a chilling story of a son’s disappearance and mistaken identity in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. In the evening, there will be a gala honoring documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson. Following the cocktail reception and award presentation, there will be a screening of Nelson’s film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, followed by a Q&A with the director.
Sunday, December 6 will showcase the films Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs & the New South Africa, Harry and Snowman, the story of a horse saved from the glue factory to become a champion show jumper, The Newburgh Sting and Monk with a Camera, about a Tibetan Buddhist monk Nicholas Vreeland, son of a U.S. ambassador and grandson of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. The closing night film will be Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
“I founded the festival because I am a documentary filmmaker, and I know how important it is to have your film in a documentary festival,” Lofaro says. “It’s the genre I know and love. I’ve worked with it for years, and that was my passion to create the festival… it’s exactly what was needed.”
The festival’s singular intimate venue, frequent Q&A’s, and careful selection process make it unique within the film festival circuit. “Lots of festivals only want your film if it’s never been seen anywhere,” Lofaro says. “I’ve always found that to be unfair. If you have a good documentary film, it should be allowed in the festival. So many good films fall through the cracks. Good films are what really matter to us.”
The festival is designed to be enjoyed in parts or in full throughout the weekend, so film connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike can enjoy the program. The variety and accessibility of Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival continues to draw larger crowds each year as more people learn of this hidden gem. “Every year our audiences keep growing,” Lofaro says. “We love this fest, we love that they love it. We try to bring them films they won’t see anywhere else…We are proud of that. We are proud of the fact that we give filmmakers the opportunity to see their films on the screen.”
For more information about the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, visit ht2ff.com.