Hamptons International Film Festival

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Hamptons International Film Festival
Location The Hamptons, New York, USA
Founded 1993[1]
Festival date October
Language International

The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is international film festival founded in 1993, the festival has since taken place every year in East Hampton, New York. It is usually an annual five-day event in mid-October and is held in theatre venues located in the Long Island area of New York, United States. Approximately 18,000 visitors attend each festival and close to a hundred films are featured each year, including an annual representation of at least twenty countries and an awards package worth over $200,000. HIFF was founded as a celebration of independent film in a variety of forms, and to provide a forum for independent filmmakers with differing global perspectives.[2] The festival places a particular emphasis upon new filmmakers with a diversity of ideas, as a means to not only provide public exposure for festival content and its creators, but to also inspire and enlighten audiences. The festival has presented films that have subsequently been considered highly successful productions; the 2008 event featured eventual winners of the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Independent Spirit Award "Best Picture" accolades, and the 2011 season consisted of 24 Academy Award nominations.[3]

The festival is also involved with other events during the remainder of the year, including screenings in other parts of New York State and an annual Screenwriters Lab.[3]

Special presentations[edit]

HIFF primarily showcases short films, documentaries and narrative films and is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards.[3] The festival also offers special presentations, including:

Annual awards[edit]

As of 2011, the awards and respective prizes, granted as part of each year's festival are (in US dollars):

Golden Starfish Prizes[edit]

  • Narrative Feature Film Award: $150,000 in-kind goods and services
  • Documentary Feature Film Award: $3,000 cash
  • Short Film Award: $1,000 cash and qualification for consideration at the Academy Awards in the Live Action or Animation categories[3]


Audience Awards[edit]

  • Best Narrative Feature
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Short Film[3]


Nowhere in Africa, which had its US premiere at the festival, received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.

In 2005, films screened at the festival went on to receive 13 Academy Award nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter, which had its US premiere at the festival.

In 2007, Taxi to the Dark Side, which screened in the World Cinema section, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In the same year, both The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Best Director) and The Savages (Best Actress nomination for Laura Linney) garnered Academy Award nominations.

The 2008 HIFF featured the East Coast premiere of the eventual Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire. The festival’s awards success in 2008 also included the 8 total Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Editing, Writing, Cinematography and Direction) and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture (Drama) for Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler (Golden Globe Award for Best Actor (Motion Picture Drama) and Independent Spirit Award for Best Film), the US premiere of The Black Balloon (Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards for Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Direction and Best Editing), the US premiere of Synecdoche, New York (Best First Feature and the Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards), Two Lovers (2009 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Best Independent Film award) and three short films that were nominated for Academy Awards.

The festival was listed as one of indieWIRE's "Top 50 Film Festivals".[4]


2010 Festival News

Independent film figure, Ben Barenholtz, received the HIFF/indieWIRE Industry Toast at the 18th Hamptons International Film Festival.[5]
HIFF, in association with East Hampton's Guild Hall, screened Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.[6]
"From High Line to Edible Schoolyard"[7]
"HIFF and Museum Of Modern Art Present 'Talking Tough and Singing Softly'"[8]

SummerDoc Series: The Art of the Steal

"HIFF and Alec Baldwin host documentary screening at Guild Hall"[9]
"Alec Baldwin returns as host of Hamptons International Film Festival summer documentary series"[10]
"HIFF Announces Kick-Off of Second SummerDoc Series At Guild Hall"[11]

2009 Festival[edit]


Abbie Cancelled
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector
All My Dreams on VHS
The Berlin Wall
Big River Man
Captain Coulier
Carlito's Way
Christopher Dispossessed
City of Life and Death
Con Artist
Corso: The Last Beat
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
Crossing Midnight
Daniel and Abraham
Deliver Us From Evil
Desert Flower
Dirty Oil
Dust Kid
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement
Eli's Boy
Everything is Ordinary
Five Hours from Paris
The Fizzy Incident
Forbidden Fruit
The Good Spider
The Greatest
The Happy Duckling
Here and There
The History of Aviation
How to Fold a Flag
How to Live Forever
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
In My Hands: A Story of Marfan Syndrome
Instead of Abracadabra
John Rabe
The Ladies Get Their Say
The Last Dragon Kingdom
The Last Supper
Learning From Light: The Vision of I.M. Pei
Liberty City is Like Paris to Me
Little Soldier
Live Music
Long Distance Love
Looking at Animals
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond
Lost Paradise
Love and Rage
Max Manus
The Men Who Stare at Goats
The Messenger
Millennium: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Misfortunates
Mugabe and the White African
My Neighbor, My Killer
My Words, My Lies, My Love
Naming Pluto
Netherland Dwarf
No Special Incidents
No Way Out
Out Here in the Fields: The Field on Beach Lane
Paper Man
The Perfect Game
Photograph of Jesus
Rabbit a la Berlin
Racing Dreams
A Rational Solution
Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags
Serious Moonlight
Seven Minutes in Heaven
Shadow Billionaire
Sister Wife
Smiles: A Story of Roy Scheider
Solitary Man
Something Left to Sea
Speed Grieving
Stolen Lives
Tanner Hall
Tears of April
Ten: Thirtyone
This is Her
tran si tions
Up in the Air
Van Diemen's Land
Victoria Day
Waking Sleeping Beauty
War Against the Weak
Wild Art: Olly & Suzi
The Young Victoria


Cinematography Master Class with Barry Sonnenfeld
Green Production for the Frugal Producer
Independent Filmmakers Today: New Approaches To Reaching An Audience
New York Film Critics Circle Panel Discussion
Student Awards Showcase & Making Your First Short
Two from the Sloan Screenwriters Lab: Charm School Primates and The Transformation

Conversations With...[edit]

Alan Alda
Marty Bregman and Alec Baldwin
Sharon Stone
Steve Buscemi

Rising Stars[edit]

Emmy Rossum
Zach Gilford
Emma Stone
Rooney Mara

Award Winners[edit]

Best Narrative Feature - The Misfortunates [Felix Van Groeningen]
Zicherman Award for Best Screenplay - The Misfortunates [Felix Van Groeningen]
Kodak Award for Best Cinematography - The Misfortunates [Felix Van Groeningen]
Outstanding Achievement by an Actor - Paprika Steen [Applause]
Best Documentary Feature - Long Distance Love [Elin Jonsson & Magnus Gertten]

Special Jury Award - Mugabe and the White African [Andrew Thompson & Lucy Bailey]

Best Film of Conflict & Resolution - Rabbit a la Berlin [Bartek Konopka]

Special Jury Award - How to Fold a Flag [Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein]

Conflict & Resolution Development Award - The Harvest [Robin Romano]
Best Short Film - Dust Kid [Yumi Jung]
Audience Awards

Best Narrative - The Young Victoria [Jean-Marc Vallee]
Best Documentary - Waking Sleeping Beauty [Don Hahn]
Best Short - This is Her [Katie Wolf]

Kanbar Indie Award - My Adventures in Ladies' Undergarments [Antonio Campos]
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize - Agora [Alejandro Amenabar]
RoC(c) Gold Standard in Filmmaking for a Feature Female Director - Cheryl Hines [Serious Moonlight]
Outstanding Achievement in Acting - Sharon Stone
The Wouter Barendrecht Pioneering Vision Award - Big River Man [John Maringouin]
Student Awards

Akash [Ash Balla]
Blackwater [Konstantinos Frangopoulos]
Christopher Dispossessed [Matthew Watts]
Sinkhole [Eric Scherbarth]
tran si tions [Mark Lee]

Notable films[edit]

Notable attendees[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

Executive Director
  • Anne Chaisson
First Vice Chair
  • Steve Novick
Vice Chairs
  • Kim Brizzolara
Chair Emeritus
  • Toni Ross
Honorary Board
Special Advisor
Advisory Board
  • Richard Abramowitz
  • Thelma Adams
  • Mark Ankner
  • Peter Brown
  • Nancy Buirski
  • Gerry Byrne
  • Beverly Camhe
  • Julie Fontaine
  • Harlene Freezer
  • Sarah Greenberg Roberts
  • Andrew Hurwitz
  • Denise Kasell
  • Meryl Katz
  • Leslie Klotz
  • Karol Martesko-Fenster
  • Luke Parker Bowles
  • Rajendra Roy
  • Jonathan Shoemaker
  • Rand Stoll
  • Mark Urman

Screenwriters' Lab[edit]

The Hamptons Screenwriters’ Lab is an intimate gathering that takes place each Spring in East Hampton. The Lab seeks to develop new screenwriting talent by introducing established writers to emerging screenwriters, the latter having been chosen by the organizers of the film festival and key industry contacts. The mentors advise in a "one-on-one" laboratory setting, whilst scheduled daily events allow participants to engage with board members, sponsors, the local creative community and other festival supporters. The Lab facilitates the improvement of participating screenwriters' work, as the selected writers consult with industry professionals to attain insight into the mechanisms of the film industry.

Recent mentors include: Michael Cunningham (The Hours, Evening); James Vanderbilt (Zodiac); J. Robin Baitz (People I Know, The Substance of Fire); Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco); Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue, This Married Life); Jeff Sharp (Producer, You Can Count on Me, Evening); Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love); Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding, Cosmopolitan); Gregory Widen (Highlander, Backdraft); Mark Christopher (54); Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, Ballad of Little Jo); Belinda Haas (Angels & Insects, The Blood Oranges); Lawrence Lasker (Sneakers, WarGames); Michael Weller (Ragtime, Hair, Spoils of War); Chap Taylor (Changing Lanes, National Treasure); and Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger, P.S.).

The Lab actively seeks a broad selection of screenplays that cumulatively address a diversity of subject matter. The Lab also encourages the submission of fresh, innovative screenplays that explore science, technology, mathematics, invention and engineering as part of its partnership with The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s initiative to further the public understanding of science.


  1. ^ "Hamptons International Film Festival — Awards for 1993". IMDb. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Evelyn J. Mocbeichel (2007). "Hamptons International Film Festival is Coming!". The Montauk Sun. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hamptons International Film Festival (2012). "ABOUT THE FESTIVAL". Hamptons International Film Festival. Hamptons International Film Festival. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff (2012). "Hamptons International Film Festival". Indiewire. SnagFilms Co. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Eugene Hernandez (9 July 2010). "Hamptons & indieWIRE to Salute Ben Barenholtz". indieWIRE. A SnagFilms Co. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Staff (23 February 2010). "Guild Hall sets screening of "Mean Streets" on Saturday". 27east.com - Your Connection To The Hamptons. 27east.com / The Press News Group. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Joy Resmovits; Frances McInnis; Sara Germano; Jen Wieczner (23 June 2010). "From High Line to Edible Schoolyard". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Staff (11 June 2010). "HIFF And Museum Of Modern Art Present 'Talking Tough And Singing Soft'". Hamptons.com. Hamptons Online. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "July 5th – The Art Of The Steal – HIFF and Alec Baldwin host doc screening at Guild Hall". HipHamptons.com. HipHamptons.com. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Staff (29 June 2010). "Alec Baldwin returns as host of Hamptons International Film Festival summer documentary series". 27east.com - Your Connection To The Hamptons. 27east.com / The Press News Group. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Staff (17 June 2010). "HIFF Announces Kick-Off Of Second SummerDoc Series At Guild Hall". Hamptons.com. Hamptons Online. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 

External links[edit]