A Carefully Curated Fine Film Series: WHBPAC Summer Films 2022

WHBPAC - Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Barbara Lassen

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) will screen select films from around the globe right here in Westhampton throughout the summer.

The Finest in World Cinema program is returning to the WHBPAC, presenting first run, independent and foreign films every Tuesday and Wednesday night, from June 7 to August 31. Each movie has been chosen carefully for this series, fitting loose yet selective criteria.

“Are we looking at films that are diverse enough?” asked WHBPAC Director of Sales & Volunteer Services Allison Frost as she worked to plan this year’s lineup. “Is there a film here that both young and old people would really be for? Are there enough women directors in our lineup? Are there enough underrepresented communities in the stories?”

Andrew Botsford, for his 16th year, will introduce the films each Tuesday night and stay after for a discussion with guest commentators and the audience. His experience teaching at Stony Brook Southampton, as well as serving as a communications consultant for graduate arts brings him to the stage. He has worked as an associate editor at The Southampton Press and editor of the newspaper’s Arts & Living section, not to mention his experience writing about film, theater and arts. He also hosts the annual Hamptons Doc Fest in Sag Harbor, and has acted, directed and produced for the Hampton Theatre Company since 1985.

Due to a prior commitment, Andrew will not be leading the August 23 discussion.

WHBPAC Summer Films 2022 Lineup

Scene from Donbass
Scene from DonbassCourtesy WHBPAC

DONBASS
June 7 & 8, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

In the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine, mid-2010s: a hybrid war takes place, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies on a mass scale perpetrated by Russian-separatist gangs. In the Donbass, war is called peace, propaganda is uttered as truth, and hatred is declared to be love. Life is suffused with fear and suspicion. What is real and what is fake news? Called “a darkly satirical omnibus of scathing vignettes” by The Washington Post, Donbass serves as a crucial interpretation of the Russo-Ukrainian war, but the film is not, ultimately, a tale of one region or one conflict. It is about a world lost in post-truth and fake identities. It is about each and every one of us. “There is no other antiwar film quite like Donbass” (Los Angeles Times). 122 Minutes | Russian, Ukrainian, English | Not Rated

Scene from Benediction
Scene from BenedictionCourtesy WHBPAC

BENEDICTION
June 14 & 15, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Terence Davies

Decorated for bravery during World War I, British soldier Siegfried Sassoon returns from service and becomes a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the war. Adored by the aristocracy and the stars of London’s literary and stage world, Sassoon’s experiences inspire him to write poetry about the horrors of battle. 137 minutes | English | PG-13

Scene from Lost Illusions
Scene from Lost IllusionsCourtesy WHBPAC

LOST ILLUSIONS
June 21 & 22, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Xavier Giannoli

In 1821, Lucien de Rubempré (César winner Benjamin Voisin) arrives in Paris as a sensitive, and idealistic young poet determined to write a reputation-making novel. Instead, he finds himself swept into journalism, whose influence and reach is booming with the help of the printing press, widely available of late. Under the mentorship of cynical editor Étienne Lousteau (César winner Vincent Lacoste), Lucien agrees to write rave theater reviews for bribes, achieving material success at the expense of his conscience. With this sweeping adaptation of one of Balzac’s greatest novels, Xavier Giannoli crafts a contemporary tale of corruption amidst an early form of “fake news.” 149 minutes | French | NR

Scene from The Art of Making It
Scene from The Art of Making ItCourtesy WHBPAC

THE ART OF MAKING IT
July 5 & 6, 7:30 p.m. – with special appearance by the director on July 5!
Directed by Kelcey Edwards

Follow a diverse group of young artists on the brink of success or failure as they challenge systems, break barriers, and risk it all with the goal of making it in an industry where all the rules are currently being rewritten. 94 minutes | English | NR

Scene from The Pez Outlaw
Scene from The Pez OutlawCourtesy WHBPAC

THE PEZ OUTLAW
July 12 & 13, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Amy Storkel & Bryan Storkel

The story of Steve Glew, a Midwestern machinist who smuggles rare Pez dispensers from Europe and sells them for thousands, drawing the ire of both U.S. Pez and rival collectors. 87 minutes | English | NR

Scene from Queen of Glory
Scene from Queen of GloryCourtesy WHBPAC

QUEEN OF GLORY
July 19 & 20, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Nana Mensah

Ghanaian-American Sarah is all set to abandon her Ivy League doctoral program to follow her married lover across the country. Her plans are derailed, however when her mother’s sudden death leaves her the owner of a neighborhood bookshop in the Bronx. 78 Minutes | English | Not Rated

Scene from Official Competition
Scene from Official CompetitionCourtesy WHBPAC

OFFICIAL COMPETITION
July 26 & 27, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn

Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star as two egomaniacs commissioned by a millionaire to make a movie together in this sharp comedy skewering wealth, art, and pride. 115 mins | Spanish | R

Scene from The Phantom of the Open
Scene from The Phantom of the OpenCourtesy WHBPAC

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN
August 2 & 3, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Craig Roberts

Amateur golfer Maurice Flitcroft achieves his late-in-life goal of participating in the British Open Golf Championship, much to the ire of the staid golfing community. 132 mins | English | PG-13

Scene from Butterfly in the Sky
Scene from Butterfly in the SkyCourtesy WHBPAC

BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY
August 9 & 10, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Bradford Thomason & Brett Whitcomb

A new feature-length documentary chronicling the legacy of one of the most important and influential children’s television shows of all time, Reading Rainbow. Spanning nearly 40 years from 1981 to the present, the film tells the story of a handful of broadcasters, educators, filmmakers, and one incredible host – LeVar Burton – who believed television could inspire a lifelong love of reading. A selection at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. 87 minutes | English | NR

Scene from Beba
Scene from BebaCourtesy WHBPAC

BEBA
August 23 & 24, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Rebeca Huntt

First-time feature filmmaker Rebeca “Beba” Huntt undertakes an unflinching exploration of her own identity in the remarkable coming-of-age documentary/cinematic memoir Beba. Reflecting on her childhood and adolescence in New York City as the daughter of a Dominican father and Venezuelan mother, Huntt investigates the historical, societal, and generational trauma she’s inherited and ponders how those ancient wounds have shaped her, while simultaneously considering the universal truths that connect us all as humans. Throughout Beba, Huntt searches for a way to forge her own creative path amid a landscape of intense racial and political unrest. Poetic, powerful and profound, Beba is a courageous, deeply human self-portrait of an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection. 79 minutes | English | R

Scene from HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song
Scene from HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A SongCourtesy WHBPAC

HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG
August 30 & 31, 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is a definitive exploration of singer songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, “Hallelujah.” This feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: The songwriter and his times; the song’s dramatic journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom “Hallelujah” has become a personal touchstone. Approved for production by Leonard Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the film accesses a wealth of never-before-seen archival materials from the Cohen Trust including Cohen’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews. Featuring Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Glen Hansard, Sharon Robinson, Rufus Wainwright, and many others, this film was a selection at Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival. 115 minutes | English | PG-13

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