EXCLUSIVE: The 19th annual Hamptons International Film Festival has set the silent film sensation The Artist to be the closing-night film premiere on Oct. 16 and the Drake Doremus-directed drama Like Crazy to be the Centerpiece Film screening Oct. 15. That film won the Grand Jury Prize at 2011 Sundance, where it was acquired by Paramount and Indian Paintbrush.
The festival will honor its star, Anton Yelchin, as one of this year’s Breakthrough Performers. Other emerging stars will be added as the festival gets closer. HIFF already announced that its opening film will be the Jay and Mark Duplass-directed Jeff Who Lives at Home. The Michel Hazanavicius-directed The Artist, acquired by The Weinstein Company on the eve of Cannes, won Best Actor honors at the festival for Jean Dujardin, who plays a silent-movie superstar at the advent of talking pictures, a development that will ruin his career.
“The Artist is one of the most unique and charming films I’ve seen in a long time, and I can’t wait to screen it,” said HIFF Director of Programming David Nugent. “And the emotional honesty and moving performances of Like Crazy heralds the arrival of so much new talent both in front of and behind the camera. I am proud to share these special films with out audience out east.”
The festival also will award the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict & Resolution to The Bully Project, the Lee Hirsch-directed documentary about the culture of bullying among youths in America. The festival has awarded that prize for the past 12 years, but this is the first time it has gone to an American film whose focus wasn’t on an international conflict. Hirsch will be on hand for a panel discussion on conflict resolution and school bullying.