The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) concluded on Monday, October 8. On that day, they announced the first batch of films that had received prestigious awards at the festival. With cash and prizes handed out totaling more than $180,000, HIFF continues to attract some of the best films of the year.
All Good won Best Narrative Feature. Directed by Evan Trobisch, the film focuses on a woman’s silence following a non-consensual sexual encounter and the tragic effect her denial has on her life and relationships. The winner of Best Documentary Feature was Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, directed by Alexis Bloom. The award for Best Narrative Short Film was given to Fence, a story about an unwelcome guest at a Kosovan family gathering, directed by Lendita Zeqiraj. The Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to Guaxuma, a film about a friendship memorialized in sand, directed by Nara Normande.
The next day, the HIFF Audience Awards were announced. “We are thrilled that these diverse, unique and entertaining stories resonated with our audience,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent. The winner of the HIFF Audience Award for Documentary Feature was the heartwarming story of The Biggest Little Farm. Directed by John Chester, it follows Chester and his wife as they sought to create Apricot Lane Farms to seek solace from urban life and help improve the health of their beloved rescue dog.
HIFF’s Audience Award for Short went to animation studio Taiko’s first film One Small Step, directed by former Pixar employees Bobby Pontillas & Andrew Chesworth, in which a father lovingly encourages his daughter to become an astronaut. The HIFF Audience Award for Narrative Feature was awarded to the powerful adaptation of Angie Thomas’s novel, The Hate U Give, directed by George Tillman Jr., which revolves around a black teenager taking a stance after a childhood sweetheart dies at the hands of a local police officer.
In addition to the major HIFF awards, a plethora of miscellaneous awards were given to talented emerging actors and directors. Border, directed by Ali Abbasi, received a Special Jury Prize For Acting for its two lead actors, Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff. The 2018 Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution went to And Breathe Normally, directed by Ísold Uggadóttir. The Vimeo Staff Pick Award was given to Cross My Heart, directed by Sontenish Myers.
The film Only the Wind Is Listening, directed by Emily Anderson, received the Suffolk County Film Commission Next Exposure Grant. This program supports the completion of high quality, original, director-driven, low-budget independent films from both emerging and established filmmakers who have completed 50% of principal photography within Suffolk County. The film was awarded a $3,000 grant.
The Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award: Dedicated to Those Who Suffer in Silence was gifted to the film, The Cat Rescuers, directed by Rob Fruchtman and Steven Lawrence. The Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice was awarded to The Silence of Others, directed by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar.
Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) won the Industry Advocate for Women Award and Alan Alda was presented The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award by Amagansett actor Alec Baldwin. Kayli Carter, Cory Michael Smith and Amandla Stenberg were named the 2018 Breakthrough Artists.
For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.