This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Hamptons International Film Festival. Running from October 4th to the 8th, this pantheon to cinematic independence boasts over 150 films in a broad array of genres.
The documentary category is particularly vibrant this time around. WNET and PBS Broadcasting are showcasing the latest in their American Masters series with a documentary on the inimitable David Geffen, the Peconic Land Trust is screening Growing Farmers, a short piece that examines the triumphs and challenges of Long Island farming life, and UK director Jesse Vile is offering up Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, the poignant story of a guitar prodigy battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.
For star power, East End fixture/champion of the arts Alec Baldwin and award winning leading man Richard Gere will walk the red carpet on Saturday afternoon before leading the conversation at the Chairman’s Reception at Guild Hall on Saturday night.
The festival’s centerpiece film is Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, whose directorial vision is quickly obscuring his on-screen efforts and the closing film is Not Fade Away, a sixties rock and roll coming of age tale and the first feature film from television scribe extraordinaire David Chase (The Sopranos).
While hardly lacking panache or passion, the HIFF does lack a core central location. With films showing in East Hampton, Southampton, Westhampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk, it’s best to plan your viewing strategy ahead of time – Hamptons traffic never dies. For ticket info, specific locations and screening times, visit www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.