HIFF Unveils Signature Programs Film Selections for 2016

A scene from HIFF Signature Programs film "Sonita"
A scene from HIFF Signature Programs film "Sonita"

On Tuesday, August 23, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) unveiled some of the Signature Programs for its 24th edition, on October 6–10. HIFF announced a selection of films that will screen as part of the returning Conflict & Resolution and Compassion, and Justice & Animal Rights programs. HIFF will also launch Air, Land & Sea, a brand new section of the festival that focuses on global issues of environmental conservation, clean water and the integrity of our planet’s natural resources, with an ocean-centric focus.

Films of Conflict & Resolution—dedicated to showcasing films that deal creatively with the complex issues and societal effects of war and violence, and the attendant human dramas—return with a mixture of features and shorts. The program includes the East Coast premiere of Stephen Apkon & Academy Award–nominated director Andrew Young’s Disturbing the Peace, and screenings of Gianfranco Rosi’s Berlin Golden Bear-winner Fire at Sea, and Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s Sundance award-winner Sonita. The shorts portion will include Daniel Mulloy’s Home, Melissa Langer’s My Allepo, and Academy Award–nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel’s The White Helmets.

Steve Wise in "Unlocking the Cage"
Steve Wise in “Unlocking the Cage” Photo: ©2015 Pennebaker Hegedus Films

Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights—a program that provides a platform for filmmakers to share meaningful information, stories of inspiration, and tools for creating a safe and humane world for animals—is returning for its sophomore year. The program includes the New York premiere of Academy Award–nominated director Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani’s The Ivory Game, and a screening of Academy Award–nominated directors Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s Unlocking the Cage. This program bestows one film with the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless “ award at the HIFF Award Ceremony during the festival.

The Air, Land, & Sea program launches with the goal to generate awareness around man-made environmental issues and allow filmmakers and experts to share information and discuss solutions to these global problems. The program include a screening of Emmy-nominated director Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld’s Sonic Sea, which focuses on protecting aquatic wildlife from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution. The documentary is a call to action to reduce the impacts of the shipping, seismic and sonar noise in the ocean.

A scene from HIFF Signature Programs film "Sonic Sea"
A scene from HIFF Signature Programs film “Sonic Sea”

“Our Signature Programs help to elevate the content of the festival’s programming with films that continue to provide audiences with thought provoking material,” HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent says. “Our hope with Air, Land, & Sea is for the festival to embrace the global discussion on environmental issues, and build a platform for filmmakers and audiences to engage and interact.”

“We are delighted to announce yet another year of incredible documentary, narrative and short films as part of our Signature Programs,” HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson adds. “Each year these sections have attracted some of the brightest filmmakers from across the globe to the Hamptons, bringing stimulating, entertaining and intelligent material to audiences.”

The lineup of announced films includes both veteran filmmakers and newcomers to the festival. Some returning filmmakers include von Einsiedel, whose film Virunga (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary) screened at the festival in 2014, and was awarded the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” award; Hegedus and Pennebaker, who brought their film Return of the War Room to the festival in 2008; and Davidson whose short film Open Heart screened at the festival in 2012, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

Additional Signature Programs films will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 24th annual Hamptons International Film Festival is scheduled for Columbus Day Weekend, October 6–10. Founders Passes are currently on sale, and other ticket packages will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, September 6. Individual tickets will go on sale at the end of September. Visit hamptonsfilmfest.org to purchase passes and for additional information.

Click here to read complete information about each of the announced films and watch trailers, if available.

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