Hamptons Film Festival Returns October 5–12, 2023
With summer about to land behind us, the East End’s next big moment is this fall’s 2023 Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), bringing in-person screenings to cinemas across the Hamptons October 5–12.
Last week, Hampton Film announced numerous movies from this year’s lineup as well as premiere screenings, awards presentations and more.
Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon will screen as this year’s festival Centerpiece presentation on Friday, October 6. In addition, HIFF is hosting five world premiere film screenings, including Avenue of the Giants, I’ll Be Right There, Story & Pictures By, Tell Them You Love Me, and They Called Him Mostly Harmless.
Netflix’s May December will also screen as a Spotlight Selection and director Todd Haynes will attend the festival to Receive an Achievement in Directing award.
In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon is the definitive portrait of Montauk resident Paul Simon, following him inside the studio as he makes his new album Seven Psalms, while also looking back on his six-decade, Grammy Award-winning career with countless musical peaks from Sounds of Silence to Graceland. Gibney is scheduled to attend the festival and will participate in a post-screening conversation on the film.
“We are honored to be able to share this exclusive look into the creative process and legacy of Paul Simon, who is undoubtedly among the most influential artists of the 20th century,” said HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “Alex Gibney is one of the foremost documentary storytellers of our generation, and we look forward to hosting him and the incredible film he created with Paul Simon at this year’s event.”
Because HIFF is presenting Haynes with the Achievement in Directing Award, he will attend the festival to receive the award in-person and participate in “A Conversation With …” talk on Monday, October 9. Haynes has directed a number of critically celebrated films and cult favorites, such as Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven, Carol and his first feature-length documentary The Velvet Underground. Haynes is also attending HIFF this year to promote his new narrative feature, May December starring Natalie Portman and Montauker Julianne Moore, which will be one of this year’s Spotlight screenings. The film will be released on Netflix later this year.
Among the five world premiere films, Avenue of Giants, directed by Finn Taylor and starring Stephen Lang, Elsie Fisher, Robin Weigert and Luke Blumm, tells the true story of Herbert Heller, a 74-year-old man carrying a traumatic secret who befriends an isolated teenager in an emotional story of multigenerational healing.
I’ll Be Right There, directed by Brendan Walsh and starring Edie Falco, Charlie Tahan, Jeannie Berlin, and Bradley Whitford, is a comedy following a single mother who has her hands full.
World Cinema Documentary selection Story & Pictures By is directed by Joanna Rudnick and takes audiences behind the scenes to meet the boundary pushers who create children’s picture books. Additional world premiere screenings include documentary feature Tell Them You Love Me, directed by Nick August-Perna and screening in competition, which weaves a riveting and endlessly nuanced story about communication, race, and sex; and Max Original They Called Him Mostly Harmless, directed by Patricia E. Gillespie, in which a mystery unravels when the body of an unidentified hiker is found in the Florida wilderness.
The 2023 festival is set to open on Thursday, October 5 with a screening of Netflix’s Nyad, the narrative feature debut from Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The film tells the remarkable true story of athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, commits to achieving her life-long dream: a 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida.
Passes and packages for the 31st edition of HIFF go on sale September 5 at the Hamptons International Film Festival website, hamptonsfilmfest.org.
HIFF’s organizers say additional programming will continue to be announced in the coming weeks.