Hamptons Film Festival (HIFF) Reveals Exciting Movies for 2021

Scene from Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" Hamptons Film Festival HIFF
Scene from Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" Courtesy HIFF

The annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is the crowning event of fall on the East End, and it’s back for its 29th year from October 7–13 with a full slate of in-person screenings and events — a welcome return to normalcy following 2020’s virtual and drive-in offerings.

With less than a month to go before the festival begins, much of the schedule, celebrity guests and featured films have already been revealed, including Sunday Centerpiece film Mothering Sunday and a host of Spotlight screenings and premieres from some of the most respected names in cinema.

Josh O’Conner and Odessa Young in "Mothering Sunday" Hamptons Film Festival HIFF
Josh O’Conner and Odessa Young in “Mothering Sunday” Courtesy HIFF

“Every year we work to bring our audiences out east a diverse and thoughtful selection of films that excite and expand perspectives,” Hamptons Film Festival executive director Anne Chaisson says. “We are overjoyed to once again be bringing our community together in celebration of some of the year’s most incredible films.”

The recently announced Sunday Centerpiece, the U.S. premiere of director Eva Husson’s British drama, Mothering Sunday, screens as one of HIFF’s main events on Sunday, October 10 — right in the middle of the eight-day festival. The film is based on the novel by Graham Swift and tells the story of a maid in post-World War I England who secretly plans to meet with the man she loves before he goes off to marry another woman. It stars some of the U.K.’s finest, including Colin Firth and The Crown’s Olivia Coleman and Josh O’Connor, as well as Odessa Young who starred opposite Elisabeth Moss in Shirley, an adaptation of the novel by Sag Harbor’s Susan Scarf Merrell.

But HIFF has no shortage of incredible programming from start to finish. A wide array of exciting films will be shown at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater and Sag Harbor Cinema throughout the festival.

"The First Wave" Hamptons Film Festival HIFF
“The First Wave” Courtesy HIFF

Opening night kicks things off with the world premiere of Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s documentary The First Wave, which promises to be a powerful look at the everyday heroes in one of New York’s hardest-hit hospital systems at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. The film, shot while Heineman had exclusive access to these essential hospital workers, puts moviegoers alongside those fighting one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered.

In the Spotlight Section, the festival will screen director Mike Mills’s C’mon C’mon starring Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix; Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, featuring an A-list ensemble, including Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Elisabeth Moss, Timothée Chalamet and Tilda Swinton, to name a few; and the East Coast premiere of Clint Bentley’s Jockey with veteran character actor Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld, Capote) who will be attending the festival.

Selma Blair in "Introducing, Selma Blair" Hamptons Film Festival HIFF
Selma Blair in “Introducing, Selma Blair” Courtesy HIFF

Selma Blair is also attending HIFF this year in support of Rachel Fleit’s Introducing, Selma Blair, a raw and deeply intimate documentary chronicling the Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde star’s struggles after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and her efforts to slow the disease’s progression. This screening will serve as the film’s East Coast premiere.

Other movies coming to HIFF include the New York premiere of Penny Lane’s Listening to Kenny G, a documentary portrait of the easy-listening saxophonist, his popularity and backlash, and the way he handles the jokes at his expense; and the East Coast premiere of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God, the story of a boy experiencing “fate and family, sports and cinema, love and loss” in the tumultuous Naples, Italy of the 1980s.

Additional films announced: the world premiere of The Art of Making It, about art world disruptors; the New York premiere of Becoming Cousteau, following the life and career of the great undersea explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau; the East Coast premiere of The Last Horns of Africa, about the rhino horn trade; and a screening of Paper & Glue, a documentary self-portrait from French visual artist JR.

JR in "Paper & Glue" Hamptons Film Festival HIFF
JR in “Paper & Glue” Courtesy HIFF

The world premiere of Amanda Lipitz’s Found and the East Coast premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero will appear in the World Cinema section. The East Coast premiere of Andrea Arnold’s Cow will screen as part of the Signature Program Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights. Additional titles selected for World Cinema include Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s Julia, Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman, Nana Mensah’s Queen of Glory, E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s The Rescue, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II, and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World.

HIFF says they are taking enhanced safety measures to protect moviegoers against the spread of COVID-19 at this year’s festival. Attendees must show proof of vaccination for all in-person events, and all participants will be required to wear masks.

Tickets went on sale September 7 and will likely sell quickly. There are no box office sales at individual venues this year. To get tickets, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Keep an eye on Dan’s Papers or visit hamptonsfilmfest.org for the latest HIFF news and announcements.

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