Ten years ago the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival (HT2FF) screened four films in a single afternoon. This year, HT2FF will screen 25. As Jacqui Lofaro, Founder and Executive Director of HT2FF notes, “We love the journey, more so that our audience has come along with us, many for the whole decade. We remind ourselves that there’s no festival without an audience, without eyes, ears and spirits attuned to life’s fascinating stories as told by talented documentary filmmakers.” The films at this year’s festival—from Thursday, November 30 to Monday, December 4,—delve into and illuminate a plethora of topics and issues. “Every film is a gem,” Lofaro says.
Highlights of this year’s festival include the Opening Night Film on Thursday, November 30 at 8 p.m. The Opera House is Susan Froemke’s captivating account of the development of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Friday Spotlight Film, director Susan Lacy’s Spielberg, which looks into the career of the esteemed filmmakers, screens at 8 p.m. Sunday’s Spotlight Film, Letters From Baghdad, is a journey into Gertrude Bell’s life and the tremendous impact she had on society following World War I. A reception and Q&A with the directors follows these screenings.
At the Saturday Night Gala, at 7 p.m., prolific documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, whose past work includes Love, Marilyn, Bobby Fischer Against the World, and the Emmy Award winning What Happened Miss Simone?, will receive the Lumiere Career Achievement Award in a ceremony followed by the screening of her new doc Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech. A Q&A with Garbus and her father, the First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus, will follow.
HT2FF has created several new awards this year in order to honor filmmakers. First, the Breakthrough Director’s Award will go to Catherine Bainbridge, whose Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World tells the story of a profound, essential and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. The award will be presented during a Q&A with director Catherine Bainbridge and co-producer Ernest Webb following the screening on Saturday, December 2 at 4 p.m.
The Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award will go to I Know a Man…Ashley Brian, about a 93-year-old creative wonder who served in a World War II all-Black battalion and experienced the racism of a segregated Army and the carnage of D-Day. The doc will show Sunday, December 3 at noon followed by an award presentation and Q&A with director Richard Kane.
Finally, the Sloane Shelton Human Rights Award will go to The Lavender Scare, the first documentary film to tell the little-known story of an unrelenting campaign by the federal government to identify and fire all employees suspected of being homosexual. The Lavender Scare will show on Sunday, December 3 at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Q&A with director Josh Howard and co-producer Barbara Pierce.
Support your local documentarians Mirra Bank (The Last Dance) on Thursday at 4 p.m., Lana Jokel (The Way it Goes, Nathan Slate Joseph) on Friday at 6 p.m. and Dr. Blake Kerr (Eye of the Lammergeier) Monday at 2 p.m.
HT2FF’s Closing Night Film, will be a the free screening of Killer Bees, directed by Ben Cummings and Orson Cummings, both Bridgehampton High School alumni, on Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m. A Q&A with the directors will follow. All screenings on Monday, December 4 are free to the community as part of Douglas Elliman Community Day.