HIFF’s 126 Films of 2016

A scene from 'Loving.'
A scene from ‘Loving.’ Photo: Courtesy HIFF

Celebrate Columbus Day weekend at the 24th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF). It will be an impressive slate of film screening across the East End with 68 feature length and 58 short films from 32 countries, including dozens of premieres as well as the breakout hits and award winners from the Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, and Toronto Film Festivals. “Our audiences will see the films that are sure to be counted amongst the most celebrated films of the year,” says HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent.

The festival begins Thursday, October 6 in East Hampton with the Jeff Nichols written and directed feature Loving, which tells the story of a landmark 1967 civil rights decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Then, on Friday night at the Southampton Opening Night, festivalgoers can see the U.S. premiere of Strange Weather, directed by Katherine Dieckmann. Strange Weather is a portrait of an unconventional woman (Holly Hunter) discovering what it takes to change your life mid-stream. This lyrical and emotionally rich drama is a story about how to be fully alive in the face of tragedy.

HIFF’s two Centerpiece Films will play at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Nugent says, “Our Southampton Opening Night and Centerpiece Films bring an array of talented filmmakers, actors, and diverse storylines to HIFF this year.”

The first Centerpiece Film, showing Saturday, October 8, will be Manchester by the Sea, from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan. This film tells the story of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), who, after the death of his older brother, reluctantly returns to the fishing village where his working class family has lived for generations and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife, Randi (Michelle Williams), and the community. Manchester by the Sea is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.

On Sunday the 9th, check out the newest film from Academy Award-winning director Mike Mills, who will be attending the festival. 20th Century Women is set in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1979. It follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a single mother in her mid-50s, who enlists the help of two younger women in her adolescent son’s upbringing, at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. 20th Century Women is a poignant love letter to the people who raise us and the times that form us.

As part of the Views from Long Island series, HIFF will premiere the first two episodes of A&E’s new documentary series The Killing Season, a raw and immersive documentary series following filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills as they investigate one of the most bizarre unsolved serial murder cases of our time, on Sunday, October 9. Other films featured in the series include God Knows Where I Am; Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town (based and filmed in Sag Harbor); Black Swell; and Prophet Of Plas-Teek.

Seven short film programs go alongside the Narrative and Documentary Short Film Competitions. The programs will be: “New York Women in Film and Television: Women Calling the Shots;” “Away We Go! Shorts for All Ages;” “Student Short Films Showcase;” “Get Off My Cloud;” “Runs in the Family;” “Tilt & Shift;” and “Shorts Before Features.”

For the first time HIFF will present a sidebar “Focus on Norwegian Film,” showcasing films with a Norwegian tie.  Films will include All The BeautyLate Summer, Magnus and It’s Alright.

The festival will also present a special screenings of Ted Braun’s Betting On Zero, winner the 2016 SummerDocs Audience Award, and The Addams Family, in partnership with Southampton Arts Center, on Sunday, October 9 at the Southampton Arts Center.

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