The Hamptons International Film Festival is back with a powerful lineup of films across every genre. Which is right for you? Let’s take a snapshot of some films to figure out what’s worth clearing your schedule for.
Opening night, Thursday, October 10, kicks off with “Just Mercy,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The true story follows Bryan Stevenson, a young lawyer played by Michael B. Jordan, and his battle for justice as he heads to Alabama to defend the innocent with support of a local advocate.
“All of the big movies are clearly amazing, and they are getting the attention that they deserve. But there are some nuggets throughout the program that are genuinely press worthy,” said the festival’s executive director, Anne Chaisson.
Spotlight screenings are dedicated to diverse films, both award-winning and with notable actors, that are expected to be the best within the festival. Spotlight films this year include “The Aeronauts,” directed by Tom Harper, an Amazon Original making its East Coast premiere, about a balloon pilot and meteorologist as they advance weather knowledge and fly higher than any other human in history.
Other East Coast premieres include “Frankie,” directed by Ira Sachs, showing three generations brought together for a family holiday; a peasant farmer at the dawn of World War II who finds his life disrupted and family torn apart in “A Hidden Life,” directed by Terrence Malick; “Jojo Rabbit,” directed by Taika Waititi, is an “anti-hate satire” about a boy growing up in World War II Germany; and “Knives Out,” directed by Rian Johnson, a modern-day murder mystery.
Other Spotlight films that are also part of the Views From Long Island section, “The Artist’s Wife” will make its world premiere, directed by Tom Dolby, about a woman who gave up her own life of painting to support her artistic husband for over 20 years, when he suddenly becomes diagnosed with dementia; and “Human Capital” makes its U.S. premiere, directed by Marc Meyers, a drama following two families’ lives that become financially intertwined. Another world premiere is “Scandalous,” directed by Mark Landsman, which depicts the true story of the National Enquirer and how the publication made fake news mainstream.
“The Song of Names” makes its U.S. premiere, directed by François Girard, about a young Polish musical prodigy that goes missing during World War II. Another stateside premiere is “Western Stars,” directed by Thom Zimny, capturing Bruce Springsteen’s private performance at his New Jersey farmhouse alongside his wife Patti Sciafla and a 30-piece orchestra.
Additional Spotlight films include Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” about a botched execution that leaves a prison warden questioning her position and home life; “Marriage Story,” directed by Noah Baumbach, which shows a cross-continental couple that decides to end their marriage. Another Amazon Original, “The Report,” directed by Scott Z. Burns, is about an investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation program during the “War on Terror.”
Notable Centerpiece films include “The Irishman,” directed by Martin Scorsese, the Friday Centerpiece about organized crime in post-war America that spans decades and chronicles the unsolved mystery of the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. The New York premiere of “Ford v Ferrari,” directed by James Mangold, will be the Saturday Centerpiece. The film is based on the true story of car designer Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles who built a race car for Ford Motor Company. Sunday’s Centerpiece will be “The Two Popes,” directed by Fernando Meirelles, an East Coast premiere about Cardinal Bergoglio, who requested to retire with permission from Pope Benedict, but then faces scandal.
Closing out the film festival will be the East Coast premiere of “Waves,” directed by Trey Edward Shults, about the emotional journey of a suburban African-American family.
“They’re all our babies. We take a long time to get these movie titles, features, shorts, the entire breakdown, but there are a couple of things I’m very excited about,” Chaisson noted. “‘Earth’ is an insanely gorgeous, and simultaneously eye-opening and horrifying, look at the ways that we are excavating the Earth. It is about the environmental health of the Earth and it is a cinematic masterpiece. I’ve never seen these kinds of stories told in this way that that actually juxtapose beautiful and horrifying at the same time.” “Earth” is part of the Air, Land, & Sea division of the festival.
View the full lineup and grab tickets at www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.