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Dec 15, 2017 4:57 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

'The Opera House' Wins Top Award At Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival

Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival executive director Jacqui Lofaro, center, and Parrish Art Museum director Terrie Sultan, right, who led the Q&A, greet Susan Froemke, left, winner of the Brown Harris Stevens Audience Award for her brilliant documentary “The Opera House,” which screened as the November 30 Opening Night film during the festival’s run, November 30-December 4.    C.B. GRUBB
Dec 18, 2017 12:12 PM

“The Opera House,” directed by part-time East Hampton resident Susan Froemke, won the Brown Harris Stevens Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, held November 30 to December 4 at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

The film was screened to a packed audience at Bay Street as the opening night film for the five-day festival, which celebrated its 10th year.

A favorite of opera lovers, architects and artists alike, “The Opera House” chronicled the glittering ambience of the old but inadequate Metropolitan Opera House and the controversies over building the new Lincoln Center. It featured numerous interviews with soprano Leontyne Price, now 90, who sang in Samuel Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” the opening night opera in 1966.

The film can be seen in a MET broadcast scheduled for January 13.

Jacqui Lofaro, founder and executive director of the festival, made the announcement last week.

Of the award, Ms. Froemke said, “One of the great joys of being a documentary filmmaker is that each film takes you on a new adventure. The idea that you have succeeded in bringing the audience with you is incredibly rewarding.”

“We are proud to sponsor the Take 2 Documentary Film Festival’s Audience Award again this year,” said Brown Harris Stevens Senior Managing Director Robert M. Nelson. “It is so important to support the arts and especially the dedicated filmmakers who commit their life to finding topics, issues, people and ideas to explore and present to a larger audience. We feel honored to be a part of it.”

Other highlights of this year’s HT2FF were: the Friday Night Spotlight film “Spielberg,” directed by Susan Lacy; the Filmmaker’s Choice Award presented to Helen Whitney, director of “Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death”; the Saturday night Career Achievement Award presented to Liz Garbus, director of “Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech”; the Sunday Night Spotlight film, “Letters From Baghdad: The Story of Gertrude Bell and Iraq,” by directors Sabine Krayenbuehl and Zeva Oelbaum; and the Closing Night Film during the free Douglas Elliman Community Day, “Killer Bees” by directors Ben and Orson Cummings.

The three new awards, created for the 10th anniversary, were the Breakout Director Award, which went to Catherine Bainbridge for “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”; the Sloane Shelton Human Rights Award, which went to Josh Howard for “The Lavender Scare”; and the Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award, to Richard Kane for “I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan.”

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