The Hamptons International Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, they have announced additions to their program that includes a lineup of awards season-worthy titles.
Making its East Coast premiere will be Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starring Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. The film recently won the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay. Also added to the slate is the Simon Curtis-directed Goodbye Christopher Robin, which follows the life of author A.A. Milne and his relationship with his son that lead to the creation of Winnie the Pooh.
Also added to the lineup are Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival as well as Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet which has been getting critical praise on the festival circuit.
The fest runs October 5-9. Read the additions to the festival lineup below.
CALL ME BE YOUR NAME
Director: Luca Guadagnino
As another summer in his family’s Italian villa lazily drifts by for 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer) seems at first to be little more than the latest in a long line of his father’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) research assistants. However, as the weeks wind on, a tender connection develops between the two in Luca Guadagnino’s sun-soaked masterpiece. Refining the stylistic splendor of his previous work into a lush exploration of desire and intimacy, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is an intoxicating reminder of the tentative gestures and fleeting moments that mark our first steps into the unknown, and their lasting ability to soften the sting of changing seasons.
THE CHINA HUSTLE
Director: Jed Rothstein
In the midst of the 2008 market crash, investors on the fringes of the financial world feverishly sought new alternatives for high-return investments in the global markets. With Chinese indexes demonstrating explosive growth, the country suddenly emerged as a gold rush opportunity with one caveat: US investors were prohibited from investing directly into the country’s market. Makeshift solutions led to a market frenzy, until one investor discovered the massive web of fraud left in its wake. Jed Rothstein’s documentary rings the the alarm on the need for transparency in an increasingly deregulated financial world by following those working to uncover the biggest heist you’ve never heard of.
Director: Ali Asgari
Rising Iranian filmmaker Ali Asgari, whose short film THE SILENCE took home the Best Narrative Short Competition prize at HIFF 2016, returns to the festival with his mesmerizing feature debut. Set against the backdrop of contemporary Iranian society, where conservative traditions often conflict with modern desires, DISAPPEARANCE is the tale of one couple’s race against time to solve an unsolvable problem over the course of one endlessly long night. Featuring outstanding performances from newcomers Sadaf Asgari and Reza Ranjbaran, and an impressively assured stylistic touch, DISAPPEARANCE establishes Asgari as one of the bold new voices in world cinema.
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
North American Premiere
Director: Simon Curtis
Simon Curtis, director of MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (HIFF 2011), presents a heartfelt look into the complicated relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin (newcomer Will Tilston), whose collection of toys and unbridled imagination inspired the enchanting world of Winnie The Pooh. As the whimsical adventures of this honey-loving bear quickly capture the attention of a traumatized, post-war England, the family suddenly finds themselves swept up in the international success—though not without paying the price that often accompanies such fame. While his mother (Margot Robbie) revels in the spotlight, her son struggles with the abrupt loss of his childhood. With great empathy, GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN explores the complexities of family, war, and celebrity.
Director: Greg Campbell
Known for his probing and humane coverage of countries ravaged by conflict, Chris Hondros was one of the world’s most acclaimed war photographers when killed in action at the age of 41. Director Greg Campbell thoughtfully retraces Hondros’s numerous assignments to war-torn nations, with a visceral understanding of the invaluable power of photojournalism. Featuring interviews with Chris’s colleagues and subjects, Campbell creates a stirring portrait of the life of a pioneering photographer who committed himself to bearing witness to the human condition, to ennobling the suffering of others, and to telling their stories with compassion.
IN THE FADE
Director: Fatih Akin
Selected as Germany’s official submission for the Academy Awards® Best Foreign Language Film, Fatih Akin’s tightly-wound revenge thriller stars Diane Kruger as a woman struggling to overcome her profound grief in the wake of a neo-Nazi terrorist attack that leaves her husband and son dead. Awarded the Best Actress prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Kruger provides a stunningly fearless and grounded lead performance as the victim of an increasingly prevalent form of violence, pushed to the edge and forced to find her own justice in the wake of a failed judicial system.
THE LAST PIG
New York Premiere
Director: Allison Argo
A moving meditation on a man’s crisis of faith, THE LAST PIG follows Bob Comis as he concludes his last season as a pig farmer. Peppered with reflections on his decade with the pigs, farmer Bob’s introspective voiceover guides us through the changing seasons on the farm, and the images, often filmed at ground-level, merge us with the drove. Director Allison Argo masterfully gives weight to what at first appear to be mundane daily rituals, and as an ethical question swells for farmer Bob, it does for us as well. In this intimate portrayal of a man at a crossroads, we are welcomed into the sacred moment of choice.
LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE
New York Premiere
Director: Gustavo Salmerón
Julita Salmerón’s biggest wishes in life were to have lots of children and a pet monkey, and to live in a castle. Gustavo Salmerón’s humorously candid film follows his mother, and the rest of their family, as they rummage through the vast family archive over a period of fifteen years. She reflects on the dreams she managed to fulfill, along with the lingering effects of the economic crisis that forced her to almost lose it all. Filled with moments of warmth and sincerity, LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY, AND A CASTLE is a touching documentary about an eccentric, otherworldly family facing up to the harsh economic realities of living in contemporary Spain.
LOVE MEANS ZERO
New York Premiere
Director: Jason Kohn
With his notorious no-nonsense approach to coaching, Nick Bollettieri is regarded as controversial figure in the world of tennis—but also, crucially, as a mentor with the know-how to push players to greatness. Director Jason Kohn balances the pointed questions to his subject, who remains intransigent throughout, with interviews with many of Bollettieri’s students—Boris Becker and Jim Courier among them—to shed light on the enigmatic figure. What emerges is a story of a coach fiercely determined to win at all costs, and a compelling look at what it takes to compete at the highest level.
Director: Jennifer Peedom
Narrated by Willem Dafoe, MOUNTAIN takes the viewer on a sweeping journey to the most awe-inspiring summits on earth. A collaboration between BAFTA-nominated director Jennifer Peedom and Richard Tognetti’s Australian Chamber Orchestra, the film glorifies our species’ pursuit of peril: from ice climbers, snowboarders, and wing-suiters, the thrill-seekers’ daredevil antics will leave audiences gasping for breath. Filmed in 15 countries and assembled from 2,000 hours of hypnotizing footage, MOUNTAIN is a beautifully scored and visually stunning work that vividly captures the fear and reverence inspired by the world’s highest peaks.
THE SHAPE OF WATER
East Coast Premiere
Director: Guillermo del Toro
As the Cold War reaches its peak in the early 1960s, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute janitor working at a US government facility, finds a strange creature held deep within the laboratory. Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER is a mesmerizing continuation of his fascination with on-screen monsters and their real-world counterparts, wonderfully realized through a brilliant cast (including Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins), and jaw-dropping production design and cinematography. In creating perhaps the most realized synthesis of his many preoccupations to date, del Toro has created a wondrous take on the classic monster movie that seems to exist at once out of time and inseparable from our own.
New York Premiere
Director: Carla Simón
Following the death of her parents in Barcelona, six-year-old Frida (the haunting Laia Artigas) is sent to her uncle’s (David Verdaguer) picturesque countryside home, in Carla Simon’s autobiographical feature debut SUMMER 1993. Frida battles with a sense of loneliness and displacement while also yearning to fit into the picture with her new family. Punctuated by moments of youthful exuberance and mature ruminations, this coming-of-age drama, set amongst summery hues, is an extraordinarily moving snapshot of being a child in an adult world, anchored by a flawless performance by its young star.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Cory Finley
Two wealthy teenage girls with violent impulses seek to inject excitement into their boring suburban lives in THOROUGHBRED, Cory Finley’s deliciously twisted filmmaking debut. When Lily’s (Anya Taylor Joy, THE WITCH) stepfather threatens to send the troubled teen off to reform school, she recruits her equally unstable childhood friend, Amanda (Olivia Cooke, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL), in a dangerous plot that serves both of their interests. Featuring electrifying performances from its young leads—including the late Anton Yelchin, in his final appearance—this stylish neo-noir establishes newcomer Finley as a filmmaker to watch.
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
East Coast Premiere
Director: Martin McDonagh
With the local police force no closer to finding a culprit in the months following her daughter’s murder, Mildred (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) decides to make a statement of her own when she posts three signs leading into the town with a blatant message for the town’s chief of police (Woody Harrelson) and his rough-hewn second-in-command (Sam Rockwell). With the same bitingly dark and comedic tone of his previous two films, IN BRUGES and SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (HIFF 2012), Academy Award® winning writer-director Martin McDonagh returns to feature filmmaking with this wildly entertaining and unpredictable story of a divided community simmering with tension and ready to blow.
UNDER THE TREE
East Coast Premiere
Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
“Love thy neighbor” does not apply in the Iceland suburbs of UNDER THE TREE. After his wife kicks him out of the house, Atli (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson) stays with his parents—just as the passive aggressive hostility with their neighbors is ramping up over a large tree in the yard. Director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson establishes character dynamics with jabs to the gut and enough dark humor to quell the uneasiness in your stomach. With a moody score and sound design that sways between the tension and release of the scenes, you may find yourself nervously laughing the next time you want to talk to your neighbors about the noise.
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