Hamptons International Film Festival Screenings: October 9

"Ammonite" still, Image: Courtesy NEON
Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in “Ammonite.”
Image: Courtesy NEON

The film floodgates are open today, Friday, October 9! Not only does the 2020 Hamptons International Film Festival have several virtual and drive-in screenings later today, starting at 10 a.m. a wide range of documentaries, narrative features, short films and talks become available on-demand.

Tickets to the drive-in screenings in Amagansett and East Hampton are $50 per car. General admission tickets to the virtual cinema screenings, scheduled and on-demand, are $15, however With Drawn Arms virtual tickets are $25. A Conversation With… tickets are $25, and Winick Talks tickets are $10. All tickets should be purchased online in advance.

RELATED: Hamptons International Film Fest 2020: A Supplementary Guide

Scheduled Virtual Screening at 3 p.m.

The Climb
Narrative Feature directed by Michael Angelo Covino, USA, 2019, HIFF World Cinema
Second Chance: Monday, October 12, 7 p.m. Scheduled Virtual Screening

Best friends Mike (writer-director Michael Angelo Covino) and Kyle (co-writer Kyle Marvin) share a close bond—that is, until a startling confession made on a scenic, mountain bike ride through the South of France threatens to derail their longtime relationship. This revelation launches the pair on an epic, multi-chapter odyssey, as they navigate the ups and downs of their co-dependent, often chaotic and yet inescapable friendship. Skillfully told through a series of cleverly constructed “single take” scenes, The Climb hilariously chronicles their complicated and unshakable bond with equal parts absurdity and humanity.

Scheduled Virtual Screening at 7 p.m.

The Father
Narrative Feature directed by Florian Zeller, UK/France, 2020, HIFF Spotlight
Second Chance: Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m. East Hampton Drive-In
Second Chance: Sunday, October 11, 3 p.m. Scheduled Virtual Screening

Roguish, feisty and staunchly in denial about his ailing memory, 80-year-old Anthony (Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins) defiantly lives alone in his London flat and rejects each and every caretaker his dutiful daughter, Anne (Academy Award winner Olivia Colman) attempts to hire. But she cannot continue to care for him alone, and Anthony’s grasp on reality and his sense of self soon begin to unravel, casting him as the unreliable narrator of his own story. Seamlessly adapted from his award-winning play of the same name and anchored by two spectacular performances, Florian Zeller’s astonishing directorial debut is a deeply moving, uncompromisingly empathetic contemplation of how illness can strip away everything from those afflicted and those who are closest to them.

Documentary Feature directed by Victor Kossakovsky, Norway/USA, 2020, HIFF World Cinema
Second Chance: Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m. Scheduled Virtual Screening

In a remarkable feat of vérité filmmaking, documentarian Victor Kossakovsky gently immerses us in the life of a Norwegian farm through intimate, unspooling encounters with two clever cows, a scene-stealing, one-legged chicken and the majestic Gunda—the eponymous mother sow who has recently given birth to a rambunctious bunch of piglets. Shot in sharply textured black-and-white and eschewing any dialogue or music, Kossakovsky chronicles their joy and their pain with great empathy and respect. Executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix, Gunda movingly recalibrates our moral universe and reminds us of the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal beings.

East Hampton Drive-In at 7 p.m.

The Truffle Hunters
Documentary Feature directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, Italy/USA/Greece, 2020, HIFF World Cinema
Second Chance: Saturday, October 10, 3 p.m. Scheduled Virtual Screening
Second Chance: Sunday, October 11, 7 p.m. Scheduled Virtual Screening

Simultaneously intimate and visually opulent in its storytelling, The Truffle Hunters exquisitely portrays a simpler but endangered way of living in harmony with nature. The White Alba Truffle, the world’s most expensive ingredient, has remained for centuries an elusive and prized possession. Extremely rare and difficult to find, the only ones who have mastered the secret of the hunt are a dwindling community of aging Italian men and their specially-trained dogs. Masterfully crafted by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (The Last Race, HIFF 2018), this whimsical and charming documentary is an enthralling exploration of a ritual suspended in time.

Amagansett Drive-In at 7 p.m.

US Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Francis Lee, UK/Australia/USA, 2020, HIFF Spotlight

Mary (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet), a gifted paleontologist long overlooked by patriarchal scientific societies in 19th-century England, works alone, searching for common fossils on the rugged coastline to sell to tourists. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his grieving wife Charlotte (Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan), she cannot afford to turn his offer down. Despite the initial clash between their social classes and personalities, the pair soon develop an intense bond, compelling them to determine the true nature of their relationship. A powerful follow-up to his award-winning God’s Own Country, Francis Lee’s Ammonite is a vivid and raw love story that honors the lives of pioneering women unappreciated in their own time.

Virtual Streaming On-Demand Through October 14

Coded Bias
Documentary Feature directed by Shalini Kantayya, USA/UK/China, 2020, HIFF World Cinema

Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected.

East Coast Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Alexander Nanau, Romania/Luxembourg, 2019, HIFF Documentary Competition

After a deadly fire in a Bucharest nightclub killed dozens, Romania’s government pledged that the 100-plus citizens left injured would receive immediate and substantial treatment. But in the months that followed, those with what seemed like treatable injuries inexplicably died, prompting an unlikely group of journalists to launch an investigation. The scandal they unearth reaches into the highest levels of government, leading to mass protests across Romania and the toppling of the Prime Minister. Following the investigation as it progresses, Alexander Nanau’s revelatory documentary is a powerful indictment of governmental corruption and a tribute to those working tirelessly to uncover the truth.

Crazy, Not Insane
US Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Alex Gibney, USA, 2020, HIFF World Cinema

Why do we kill? Why do some of us kill and others resist the temptation? What makes a serial killer? Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychiatrist who’s examined numerous serial killers, including Ted Bundy, sought to answer these questions. Her research videotapes, seen here for the first time, show evidence of multiple personalities formed from childhood trauma. Fascinated by the human capacity for ruthlessness, Lewis is a different kind of homicide detective, less interested in what happened than why.

Farewell Amor
Narrative Feature directed by Ekwa Msangi, USA, 2019, HIFF World Cinema

Ekwa Msangi’s captivating debut feature is a poignant, tripartite, intergenerational study of the immigrant experience. After 17 years, an Angolan immigrant in New York City welcomes his wife and daughter when their visas are finally approved. Upon their reunion, the family must contend with the strain that years of separation has had on their relationships. Msangi skillfully illuminates the new familial dynamic and explores all the intricate ways in which people drift apart and discover each other again. A personal look at the layered experience of immigration and assimilation in America, Farewell Amor beautifully explores the nature of memories and the meaning of home.

Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds
US Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, USA, 2020, HIFF World Cinema

In his latest attempt to better understand the mysteries of the natural world, the venerable Werner Herzog turns his attention to meteors, comets and asteroids. Reuniting with co-director Clive Oppenheimer, with whom Herzog previously explored volcanoes in the film Into the Inferno (HIFF 2016), the pair embarks on an epic, globetrotting journey to consult with astronomers, archaeologists and mythologists who reveal the various physical, historical and cultural impacts these cosmic wonders have had on Earth. A holistic rumination on past, present and future realms, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds is a thoughtful exploration of the many ways these celestial curiosities have stirred the human imagination.

Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something
World Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Rick Korn, USA, 2020, HIFF Views from Long Island
Upcoming Screening: Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m. Amagansett Drive-In

Harry Chapin, the award-winning songwriter behind beloved hits such as “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi,” defined his life through his storytelling and his humanitarian work. In this deeply moving portrait, documentarian Rick Korn chronicles the Long Island icon’s extraordinary journey—from his rise to fame to his tragic, untimely death. Through intimate archival footage and interviews with his famous friends and fans—including Billy Joel, Pete Seeger, Pat Benatar, Bruce Springsteen and many more—Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something celebrates the legacy of an artist and activist who tirelessly dedicated himself to others and offers an inspiring call to follow in his footsteps.

East Coast Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Phyllida Lloyd, Ireland/UK, 2020, HIFF World Cinema

In the wake of a physically abusive relationship and a looming housing crisis, Irish single mother Sandra (Clare Dunne) struggles to provide her two young daughters a safe and happy home. Attempting to free herself from her toxic marriage and determined to create some stability and security for her family, Sandra sets out to build her own house from scratch. With little income and no savings, Sandra must rely on her own ingenuity and the generosity of her friends to make this ambitious dream a reality. Featuring sharp direction from Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady, Mamma Mia!), Herself is an inspiring tale of a community coming together to support one woman’s fight for independence.

I Am a Town
Documentary Feature directed by Mischa Richter, USA, 2020, HIFF Documentary Competition
Upcoming Screening: Sunday, October 11, 7 p.m. Amagansett Drive-In

Nestled at the end of a remote peninsula and protected by a circling school of great white sharks, lies Provincetown, MA—a historic New England fishing village turned vibrant arts colony. In his documentary debut, local artist Mischa Richter crafts a gorgeous love letter to the free-spirited community his family has called home for nearly 100 years. Interweaving lush 35mm cinematography, poetry and intimate conversations with the diverse, vivacious inhabitants—from pilgrims and fishermen to drag queens and spirit guides—I Am a Town is a lyrical meditation on the personalities that define this seaside community.

I Am Greta
US Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Nathan Grossman, Sweden, 2020, HIFF Air, Land + Sea

Back in 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg organized a one-person protest for climate action by setting up camp in front of the Swedish Parliament building with a simple sign: “School Strike for Climate.” Just one year later, she finds herself at the forefront of a global movement borne of her activism, invited to speak at high-profile institutions across the world, from European Parliament to the 2019 UN Climate Summit in New York. Showcasing candid, never-before-seen footage, Nathan Grossman’s documentary tracks both her meteoric rise to prominence from a shy student to a two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the indelible impact she has had on a new generation of climate change activists.

Narrative Feature directed by Chloé Zhao, USA, 2020, HIFF Spotlight
Upcoming Screening: Sunday, October 11, 7 p.m. East Hampton Drive-In

In the aftermath of the economic collapse and with no opportunities left in her small Nevada town, Fern (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) packs her van and embarks on a peripatetic life, outside the norms of conventional society. As she drives along the dusty highways of the American West in her beaten-down RV, she encounters a community of like-minded individuals (many played by real-life nomads) who eventually become her mentors and friends. Inspired by Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, director Chloé Zhao’s (The Rider) latest film is a sweeping tale of displacement, a dust-brushed depiction of people drifting away, further and further towards the outskirts of society.

Rose Plays Julie
US Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy, Ireland/UK, 2019, HIFF World Cinema

Yearning to know more about her mysterious past, Irish veterinary student Rose (Ann Skelly) travels to London in the hopes of establishing contact with her biological mother Ellen (Orla Brady), a successful television actress. In the process, she unearths the shocking truth about the troubling nature of how she came into this world, setting her on a violent collision course that threatens to destroy her already fragile sense of her own identity. With perfectly calibrated performances and exquisite direction from Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy (Mister John, HIFF 2013), Rose Plays Julie is a nerve-racking, slow burn thriller that is as precise as it is unpredictable.

Sound of Metal
East Coast Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Darius Marder, Belgium/USA, 2019, HIFF Spotlight

During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career—and with it his life—is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf, in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben has to choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew. Utilizing startling, innovative sound design techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world.

Documentary Feature directed by Elizabeth Lo, USA, 2020, HIFF Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights

Through the eyes of three stray dogs (Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal) wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, the dogs embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life. Disparate lives intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them. Whether they lead us into bustling streets or decrepit ruins, the gaze of these strays act as windows into the overlooked corners of society—women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. The film is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection
East Coast Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Lesotho/South Africa/Italy, 2019, HIFF Narrative Competition

In his arresting and unforgettable fiction debut, writer-director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese crafts a beguiling parable of displacement and resilience. In a small village nestled among the imposing mountains of land-locked Lesotho, octogenarian Mantoa (Mary Twala Mhlongo) prepares for her death, longing to be buried in the centuries-old cemetery with the rest of her departed family and ancestors. As she is making arrangements for her burial, she learns that the community is soon to be forcibly resettled in order to make way for a reservoir, and their entire village, history and traditions will disappear under water. Dreamlike and hypnotic, the film is an expressionistic elegy for things lost and for memory itself.

Documentary Feature directed by Garrett Bradley, USA, 2020, HIFF Documentary Competition

Fox Rich is a fighter. The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 90s in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, director Garrett Bradley paints a mesmerizing portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex.

Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
East Coast Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, USA, 2020, HIFF World Cinema
Upcoming Screening: Monday, October 12, 7 p.m. Outdoor Screening at SAC

Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s (Love, Cecil, HIFF 2017) latest documentary is an intimate, candid portrait of two luminaries of American literature—Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Jim Parsons (voicing Capote) and Zachary Quinto (voicing Williams) lovingly recreate this complicated relationship through the pair’s personal writings, encapsulating their early days of friendship as well as the eventual unsparing critiques they famously traded. Compellingly assembled from archival footage and photographs, Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation captures in their own words a fascinating tableau of two brilliant artists who collaborated and collided in their lifelong pursuit of creativity.

Two of Us
East Coast Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Filippo Meneghetti, France/Luxembourg/Belgium, 2019, HIFF Narrative Competition

Nina and Madeleine are two retired women living across the hall from each other. To the outside world, including Madeleine’s family, they are merely neighbors, but in reality the two have been carrying on a secret love affair for decades. When an unexpected incident intercedes in their previously blissful happiness, their carefully crafted story begins to unravel. Beautifully acted by Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier, Filippo Meneghetti’s remarkable feature film debut is an electrifying, gripping chamber piece.

Narrative Feature directed by Christian Petzold, Germany/France, 2020, HIFF World Cinema

Legend holds that if the water nymph Undine falls in love with a human and he becomes unfaithful, she must kill him and return to the water. Acclaimed auteur Christan Petzold (Phoenix, Transit) builds on this myth in his heady, mesmerizing tale of love gained and lost, steeped in magical realism. Undine (Paula Beer) works as a Berlin city historian. When her boyfriend leaves her, her world seems to tilt off its axis, but when she unexpectedly falls for another man (Franz Rogowski), she dares hope this powerful new romance will finally shatter the curse. Hypnotic and bewitching, Undine is a love story unlike any other.

Us Kids
New York Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Kim A. Snyder, USA, 2020, HIFF World Cinema
Upcoming Screening: Sunday, October 11, 7 p.m. Outdoor Screening at SAC

When a gunman entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018, gruesome images of the deadliest high school shooting in US history quickly emerged. In the massacre’s aftermath, students unite in their frustration at the inaction of elected officials. Over the next month, their actions grow into the nationwide March For Our Lives movement, the largest youth protest in American history. Peabody Award-winning director Kim A. Snyder (Newtown) follows the teenage activists as they fight for gun control and compel the political system into action. Insightful and rousing, Us Kids chronicles a new generation of youth leaders and their remarkable dedication to enact change.

Wander Darkly
East Coast Premiere, Narrative Feature directed by Tara Miele, USA, 2020, HIFF Views from Long Island

In Wander Darkly, a traumatic accident leaves a couple, Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna), in a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through the duality of their shared moments. By reliving fond recollections from the beginning of their romance while also navigating the overwhelming truths of their present, they must rediscover the love that truly binds them together. Writer/director Tara Miele offers a profound new perspective on the delicate nature of relationships with this emotionally moving story about a couple who must reflect on their past in order to face their uncertain future.

With Drawn Arms
World Premiere, Documentary Feature directed by Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi, USA, 2020, HIFF Opening Night Film

While the national anthem played during the 1968 Olympics, gold medal-winning champion Tommie Smith proudly raised his fist in the air—a Black Power salute. This act of silent protest has become one of the most recognizable images in the history of sports. Almost fifty years later, Smith has partnered with artist Glenn Kaino to help explore and expand his legacy. In the process, the duo travel around the country, meeting with key figures who were inspired by Smith’s sacrifice and working on new art projects designed to connect Smith’s intention to a new generation. The film features interviews with various subjects including soccer gold medalist and activist Megan Rapinoe, the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, and actor Jesse Williams, who also serves as an executive producer along with musician John Legend. The untold story of Smith’s sacrifice becomes a cautionary tale of how we must work together to keep each other’s stories alive and a reminder of how much, but also how little, has changed for athletes who are using their voices to make a difference.

Short Film Programs On-Demand
Narrative Short Film Competition
Documentary Short Film Competition
University Short Films Showcase
On the Road to Find Out

From compelling documentaries to off-the-wall delights, the 21 short films in the festival’s four programs offer something for everyone.

Winick Talks On-Demand
Meet the Competition Filmmakers
Lights, Camera, Action?
Keeping It Reel with Sagindie

The festival’s Winick Talks bring movie lovers into of-the-moment discussions about the film industry.

A Conversation With… On-Demand
Kate Winslet, star of Ammonite
Leslie Odom, Jr., star of One Night in Miami…
Steven Yeun, star of Minari

Get to know the stars of HIFF 2020’s Spotlight films in three intimate conversations.

To peruse the official HIFF Program Guide and to purchase screening tickets, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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