Hamptons International Film Festival 2022 Snapshot

Bill Nighy in "Living" at Hamptons International Film Festival HIFF
Bill Nighy in “Living”
Courtesy HamptonsFilm

HamptonsFilm’s Hamptons International Film Festival is set to return for its 30th year, and to say this year’s weeklong schedule, October 7–16, is packed would be an understatement. While we’ll provide a supplemental HIFF guide to all the feature films in the October 7 issue of Dan’s Papers, here are some of the most exciting highlights.

HIFF opens on Friday, October 7 at 7 p.m. with the East Coast premiere of Oliver Hermanus’ Living. The film, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, follows the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the 11th hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful. It stars Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp and Tom Burke.

Additional HIFF 2022 highlights include a pair of Centerpiece Films. Florian Zeller’s The Son, a Sony Pictures Classics release, will see its East Coast premiere on Sunday, October 9 at 7 p.m. and will screen once more on October 10 at 11 a.m. The feature drama tells the story of a family as it falls apart and tries to come back together again, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath and Anthony Hopkins.

The festival’s second Centerpiece Film is Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, which screens on Tuesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. and again on Friday, October 14 at 8:45 p.m. The film, distributed by MGM and based on the novel by Miriam Toews, follows a group of women from an isolated religious community that grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith, starring Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand.

The festival culminates with a screening of Sr., directed by Chris Smith, on Saturday, October 15 at 7:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. The film is a tender yet fittingly irreverent portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey Sr., the fearless, visionary American director who set the standard for counterculture comedy in the 1960s and ’70s. It is an inspired collaboration between celebrated documentarian Chris Smith; the subject’s son, Robert Downey Jr.; and the man himself, who passed away in July 2021.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to close this year’s edition of the Hamptons International Film Festival with Chris Smith’s moving tribute to the late Robert Downey Sr.,” said David Nugent, HamptonsFilm artistic director, in a statement. “With this year’s inspiring and dynamic selection of films, we cannot wait to commemorate our milestone anniversary with our film-loving community out east.”

Spotlight Films include JD Dillard’s Devotion, Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, Michael Grandage’s My Policeman, Karen Maine’s Rosaline, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and more. And, of course, HIFF’s Signature Programs return: Views From Long Island; Conflict & Resolution; Air, Land & Sea; and Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights. Highlights from these include Markie Hancock’s The Power of Community: How One Town Stood Against Domestic Violence in VFLI and Evgeny Afineevsky’s Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom in C&R.

HIFF wouldn’t be complete without the global perspective that World Cinema brings. The Documentary section offers the likes of Laura Checkoway’s The Cave of Adullam and Robert S. Bader’s Groucho & Cavett. Narrative selections consist of Carla Simón’s Alcarràs, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker, Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage and others.

Scene from "The Son" at Hamptons International Film Festival HIFF
Scene from “The Son”Courtesy HamptonsFilm

HamptonsFilm also announced 10 programs of short films this year, including Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, New York Women in Film & Television: Women Calling the Shots, the University Short Films Showcase, Splash! Shorts for All Ages, On the Road to Nowhere, Stop Making Sense, Looking Backward, Looking Forward, Conflict & Resolution Shorts Program and Views From Long Island Shorts Program.

This year’s Narrative Competition is looking intense, with powerful films such as Lukas Dhont’s Close, Davy Chou’s Return to Seoul, Lola Quivoron’s Rodeo and Sadaf Foroughi’s Summer with Hope vying for victory. And in the Documentary Competition, competitors include Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes, Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s Bobi Wine: The People’s President, Tamana Ayazi and Marcel Mettelsiefen’s In Her Hands, Sinéad O’Shea’s Pray for Our Sinners and Casey Neistat’s Under the Influence. The esteemed jury includes Opal H. Bennett, Jordan Hoffman, Regina Scully, Fred Berner, Jeb Brody and Rajendra Roy.

“We are delighted to be able to host a diverse class of talented filmmakers and actors from around the world at this year’s festival,” stated Anne Chaisson, HamptonsFilm executive director. “It is with great excitement that we can finally share the well-rounded selection of Centerpiece films, Spotlight screenings, and beyond that we are proud to program as part of the 30th anniversary of HIFF.”

The “Conversations With …” series returns with three engaging discussions. Filmmaker/playwright Martin McDonagh will discuss his career and HIFF Spotlight Film, The Banshees of Inisherin, on October 9.

Chelsea Clinton and a special guest will host a screening of new Apple TV+ documentary series Gutsy, based on her and mom Hillary Clinton’s bestselling book The Book of Gutsy Women, followed by a conversation with the hosts on October 10.

Lastly, Emmy Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay, star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, will be honored with the 2022 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award during a luncheon and conversation on October 15.

The festivities continue at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton, where HamptonsFilm will host three Rowdy Talks. The first of these feature talks, on October 8 at 10 a.m., celebrates the massive success of Everything Everywhere All at Once with directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and this year’s HIFF Breakthrough Artist Stephanie Hsu.

On Sunday, October 9, a group of dedicated filmmakers will discuss documenting democracy and how their work lends a voice to the masses. Then on Monday, October 10, director-screenwriter-producer Chris Columbus will discuss his groundbreaking career in the film industry.

Tickets, the in-depth film guide and more info are available at hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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