Follow this helpful 2021 Hamptons International Film Festival schedule to plan your screenings and more, starting this Thursday, October 7 with the world premiere of The First Wave and concluding on Wednesday, October 13.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7
6:30 p.m. The First Wave, 93 minutes, Opening Night Film, Guild Hall (GH): Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning director Matthew Heineman’s film spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8
11:30 a.m. Queen of Glory, 78 minutes, World Cinema, Sag Harbor Cinema (SHC): Nana Mensah’s playful and charming debut feature follows the story of a brilliant daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, Sarah Obeng (Nana Mensah), who is quitting her Ivy League PhD program at Columbia University to follow her married lover to Ohio. However, Sarah’s plans fall apart when her mother dies suddenly, bequeathing her a Christian bookstore.
11:45 a.m. The Worst Person in the World, 127 minutes, World Cinema, GH: In Joachim Trier’s 2021 film, Julie (Renate Reinsve) is restlessly cycling through career paths, relationships and the taxing realities of existence. This darkly comedic journey is a biting take on romantic comedy in the modern age.
11:45 a.m. The First Wave, 93 minutes, Opening Night Film (other showtime), SHC, second chance screening
Noon. Good Mother, 99 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: Hafsia Herzi’s sophomore feature is a tender character study of matriarch Nora (Halima Benhamed), a caretaker in her 50s who looks after her multigenerational family, struggling to make ends meet in a Marseille housing estate. The film transcends the standard migrant story, following Nora and her family as they try to escape the broken system that keeps them perpetually indebted.
2:15 p.m. The Real Charlie Chaplin, 114 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: Award-winning filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s latest documentary is a fascinating take on one of cinema’s most iconic figures: Charlie Chaplin. The innovative film traces Chaplin’s meteoric rise from the slums of Victorian London to the heights of Hollywood superstardom, before his scandalous fall from grace.
2:30 p.m. This Will Be Our Year Shorts, 90 minutes, SHC
2:45 p.m. Julia, 95 minutes, World Cinema, GH: Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives and food cinematography, Julie Cohen and Betsy West trace Julia Child’s 12-year struggle to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961 and become the country’s most unlikely television star.
2:45 p.m. Bill Maudlin: If It’s Big, Hit It, 108 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Famed political cartoonist Bill Mauldin consistently questioned the privilege he witnessed in American politics and used his artistry and wit to provide commentary on the world, earning two Pulitzer Prizes in the process. This doc by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce delves into his incredible legacy, as well as his complicated personal life, to create an intimate portrait of a long-forgotten voice whose work still resonates today.
5:15 p.m. Paper & Glue, 94 minutes, Signature Program, SHC: From acclaimed French street artist JR and featuring collaborator Ladj Ly, this film showcases some of JR’s most monumental projects, starting with early illicit graffiti videos captured on nighttime Paris rooftops.
5:30 p.m. C’mon, C’mon, 108 minutes, Spotlight, GH: Writer-director Mike Mills returns to the festival with the story of Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix), a well respected radio journalist who finds his life turned upside-down when unexpected circumstances lead his semi-estranged sister Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) to leave her nine-year-old son Jesse (Woody Norman) in his care.
5:30 p.m. University Short Films Showcase, 78 minutes, SHC
5:45 p.m. Murina, 95 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: In Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s 2021 film, tensions rise between father Ante (Leon Lučev) and daughter Julija (Gracija Filipović), as Ante’s verbally abusive patriarchal ways become too much for Julija to bear. When a millionaire friend of Ante’s comes to visit, Julija sets into motion a plan that will force an already strained relationship towards its fiery breaking point.
8 p.m. Passing, 98 minutes, Spotlight, SHC: Rebecca Hall’s stunning directorial debut follows two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white, but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. When a chance encounter reunites the former childhood friends, Irene reluctantly allows Clare into her home, where she ingratiates herself to Irene’s husband (André Holland) and soon her social circle.
8:15 p.m. Film screening to be announced, SHC
8:30 p.m. The Lost Daughter, 121 minutes, Spotlight, GH: Adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s extraordinary directorial debut follows celebrated academic Leda (Olivia Colman), whose seaside holiday takes a sinister turn upon the arrival of a mysterious family. Leda quickly develops a dangerous fixation on young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter — unearthing long-buried memories and forcing Leda to face the consequences of her unconventional choices from the past.
8:30 p.m. Titane, 108 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Not for the faint of heart, Julia Ducournau’s dazzling and sinister pychosexual thriller smashed over this year’s Cannes Film Festival like a tidal wave. With its plot shrouded in mystery, viewers found themselves on an unforgettable ride that forced them to question assumptions about gender, identity and how the idea of what a family is remains fluid.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9
10:30 a.m. Belfast, 97 minutes, Spotlight, GH: Set amid the sociopolitical turmoil of late-1960s Northern Ireland, Kenneth Branagh’s humorous film follows Buddy (Jude Hill), a 9-year-old boy who is lovingly raised by his Ma and Pa (Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe) and doting grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds).
10:30 a.m. Found, 98 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Amanda Lipitz’s intriguing documentary follows three American teenage girls, each adopted from China, come across a life-changing discovery after a commercial DNA service informs them that they are cousins. The online reunion sparks a burning desire to visit China, in an attempt to understand their past and to come to terms with what has transpired.
10:45 a.m. Drive My Car, 179 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: In this fascinating Ryusuke Hamaguchi feature, aging thespian Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is grieving the loss of his wife Oto (Reika Kirishima), then develops an unexpected connection with Misaki (Toko Miura), the reticent young woman hired to be his chauffeur as he prepares for an upcoming production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
11:15 a.m. The Last Horns of Africa, 98 minutes, Signature Program, SHC: Every 24 hours a rhinoceros is illegally killed in South Africa. With unprecedented access to the realities of both the conservationists who put their lives on the line and the organized poachers themselves, filmmaker Garth de Bruno Austin grippingly captures these worlds with an exquisite eye for cinematic moments against a sometimes unforgiving backdrop.
1:30 p.m. The Power of the Dog, 127 minutes, Spotlight, GH: Set in majestic rural Montana in the early 20th century, Jane Campion’s highly anticipated new film follows the successful cattle-ranching Burbank brothers — brutal and beguiling Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and quiet and polite George (Jesse Plemons) — as they storm into the life of widowed innkeeper Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her dreamy, sensitive son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee).
2:00 p.m. Introducing, Selma Blair, 89 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Startlingly honest and candid, this documentary by Rachel Fleit offers the viewer an unprecedented glimpse into the life of celebrated actress and activist Selma Blair
2:30 p.m. Narrative Competition Shorts, 78 minutes, SHC
2:45 p.m. Great Freedom, 117 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: In postwar Germany, Hans (Franz Rogowski) is spied on and imprisoned again and again, solely because of his sexuality. Throughout the years, the one steady relationship in his life proves to be the combative one he has with his cellmate Viktor (Georg Friedrich), a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. In this touching Sebastian Meise film, what begins as revulsion blossoms into something far more tender, a salve to nourish their broken spirits.
4:45 p.m. Cyrano, 124 minutes, Spotlight, GH: In Joe Wright’s dazzling film, we meet Cyrano de Bergerac (Peter Dinklage) dazzles, whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel. But, convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of the love of a devoted friend (Haley Bennett), she has now fallen in love with someone else (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).
5 p.m. Jockey, 95 minutes, Spotlight, SHC: Clint Bentley’s feature follows veteran jockey Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) who, despite his age and deteriorating health, stubbornly decides to train for what is likely to be his final season on the circuit, hoping to win one last championship for his longtime trainer, Ruth (Molly Parker). This plan is unexpectedly upended by the arrival of rookie rider Gabriel (Moisés Arias).
5:15 p.m. Documentary Competition Shorts, 97 minutes, SHC
5:45 p.m. Flee, 90 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film follows Amin, an Afghan refugee who recounts how he escaped his native country as a teen, his perilous journey through multiple countries and his constant pursuit of a place in which he could freely explore his identity and feel a sense of belonging.
8 p.m. Spencer, 111 minutes, Saturday Centerpiece Film, GH: Pablo Larraín’s film is set during Christmastime at Sandringham, and while three days of festivities at the Queen’s pastoral estate promise warmth and merriment, the marriage of Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) and Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) has long since grown cold.
8 p.m. Secret film screening, 126 minutes, Spotlight, SHC
8:15 p.m. The Souvenir Part II, 108 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: The much-awaited follow up to her mesmerizing 2019 masterpiece, Joanna Hogg’s sequel follows Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) in the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with Anthony (Tom Burke), a charismatic and manipulative older man.
8:30 p.m. Listening to Kenny G, 97 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: With her signature wit and provocative flair, documentary filmmaker Penny Lane delivers a light-hearted examination of the internationally best-selling, yet often polarizing, smooth jazz icon.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10
10:15 a.m. Spencer, 111 minutes, Saturday Centerpiece Film (other showtime), SHC, second chance screening
10:30 a.m. Becoming Cousteau, 93 minutes, Signature Program, GH: For over four decades Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his explorations under the ocean became synonymous with a love of science and the natural world. Liz Garbus takes an inside look at Cousteau and his life, his iconic films and inventions, and the experiences that made him the 20th century’s most unique and renowned environmental voice.
10:30 a.m. Clara Sola, 106 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: HIFF alum Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s debut feature is the riveting tale of Clara (Wendy Chinchilla Araya), who is believed to have special powers as a “healer.” After years of being controlled by her mother’s repressive care, Clara’s sexual desires are stirred by her attraction to her niece’s new boyfriend.
11 a.m. Views from Long Island Shorts, 86 minutes, SHC
1:15 p.m. The Art of Making It, 95 minutes, Signature Program, GH: Against the backdrop of a culture in crisis, documentary filmmaker and curator Kelcey Edwards follows a diverse cast of young artists at defining moments in their careers, and explores whether the systems intended to nurture these up-and-coming creative talents are ultimately failing them instead.
1:15 p.m. Parallel Mothers, 123 minutes, Spotlight, SHC: The latest from Academy Award-winning auteur Pedro Almodóvar is an arresting melodrama following the lives of successful, middle-aged photographer Janis (Penélope Cruz) and anxious adolescent Ana (Milena Smit), which intertwine when they meet in a maternity ward in Madrid and develop a brief, but intense bond.
1:30 p.m. A Cop Movie, 107 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: Alonso Ruizpalacios’ inventive, genre-bending documentary takes us deep into the Mexican police force. Following family tradition, Teresa and Montoya join the police force, only to find their convictions and hopes crushed by a corrupt system.
2 p.m. New York Women in Film & TV Shorts, 87 minutes, SHC
4 p.m. The Power of the Dog, 127 minutes, Spotlight, GH, second chance screening
4:30 p.m. The Rescue, 114 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: In the summer of 2018, the world stood watch as 12 young soccer teammates were trapped in a cave in Thailand. Oscar-winning directors Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi take on one of the most remarkable rescue missions in recent history with intricate detail.
4:45 p.m. Cow (with short before), 100 minutes, Signature Program, SHC: In her documentary debut, acclaimed director Andrea Arnold turns her lens towards a dynamic subject of few words, a dairy cow named Luma residing on an English farm. The daily life of a cow is by no means glamorous, but certainly thought-provoking, within this particular examination, which moves us closer to nature.
5 p.m. A Hero, 127 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Celebrated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi returns to HIFF with his latest film, the winner of the Cannes 2021 Grand Prix. Rahim (Amir Jadidi), separated from his wife and child, is imprisoned due to an unpaid debt. When he is granted two days of leave from prison, Rahim attempts to turn his life around, but instead spirals even deeper into despair, weaving a seemingly inescapable web of deceit.
7:15 p.m. Mothering Sunday, 104 minutes, Sunday Centerpiece Film, GH: In this vibrant, lush romance directed by Eva Husson, orphaned housemaid-turned-writer Jane (Odessa Young and Glenda Jackson) reflects back on a particular warm spring day she spent in post-WWI Britain. While her employers Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) are away for the day, she meets with her neighbor and long-term lover Paul (Josh O’Connor) for a clandestine tryst.
7:45 p.m. The Hand of God, 130 minutes, World Cinema, SHC: Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino returns to his hometown to tell his most personal story yet. Inspired by events of his youth, the film follows Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti) as he comes of age in the tumultuous Naples of the 1980s — a time of great joy, including the arrival of soccer legend Diego Maradona and of an equally unforeseen tragedy that changes the course of Fabietto’s life.
8 p.m. Ascension, 97 minutes, Competition Films, SHC: Alumni filmmaker Jessica Kingdon returns to HIFF with an immersive examination of the often paradoxical pursuit of wealth and progress in contemporary China. In a series of vignettes loosely structured around the distinct social and economic classes that divide the nation, Kingdon follows factory workers, middle class consumers and carefree elites as they chase the ever elusive “Chinese Dream.”
8:15 p.m. Cyrano, 124 minutes, Spotlight, SHC, second chance screening
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11
10:15 p.m. Mothering Sunday, 104 minutes, Sunday Centerpiece Film (other showtime), GH, second chance screening
1:15 p.m. Bernstein’s Wall, 100 minutes, World Cinema, GH: Douglas Tirola’s film explores Leonard Bernstein’s legacy as one of America’s key musical figures and his lifelong fight to create social change and inspire political activism through his work. The son of a Russian Jewish immigrant who became a conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein towered over the worlds of classical music, Broadway and TV.
4 p.m. The Rescue, 114 minutes, World Cinema, GH, second chance screening
7 p.m. The French Dispatch, 107 minutes, Closing Night Film (other showtime), GH: Wes Anderson’s latest film revels in the 1920s expatriate life in France while turning an eye to the world of journalism with his signature impeccable style and flair. Bringing to life the stories published within the expatriates’ magazine is a star-studded cast: Frances McDormand, Willem Dafoe, Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Bob Balaban, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12
11 a.m. Film screening to be announced, GH
2 p.m. Users, 81 minutes, World Cinema, GH: In her latest visionary work, which earned her the Best Documentary Director Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Natalia Almada takes us on a philosophical and cinematic journey, inviting us to reassess our complicated relationship to technology and to question whether technological progress will always lead to the betterment of society.
4:45 p.m. Petite Maman, 70 minutes, World Cinema, GH: After the passing of her grandmother, 8-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) returns with her parents to her mother’s childhood home to begin clearing out the house. While wandering the surrounding woods found in Céline Sciamma’s gripping film, Nelly discovers a secret that unlocks insights into her mother’s past.
7 p.m. The Lost Daughter, 99 minutes, Spotlight, GH, second chance screening
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13
11 a.m. Film screening to be announced, GH
1:45 p.m. Storm Lake, 86 minutes, World Cinema, GH: In a documentary by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison, dark clouds hang over the cornfields of Storm Lake, Iowa, which has seen its share of change in the 40 years since Big Agriculture came to town. Enter: 63-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen and his family-run newspaper, The Storm Lake Times. Day-in and day-out, the Cullens deliver local news on a shoestring budget for their 3,000 readers.
4:30 p.m. Parallel Mothers, 123 minutes, Spotlight, GH, second chance screening
7:30 p.m. The French Dispatch, 107 minutes, Closing Night Film, GH, second chance screening
For tickets and more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org