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Hamptons Life

Apr 11, 2019 3:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Spring Documentaries Explore Farming, Jazz And Newspaper Legends

Apr 16, 2019 12:06 PM

Film fans, rejoice! The Hamptons Doc Fest is welcoming spring with three documentary films to be shown over the course of two successive Sundays—April 28 and May 5.

Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor will be the venue for two films on April 28. The first, “Biggest Little Farm,” will be screened at 1 p.m. Directed by Emmy Award-winner John Chester, the film chronicles the personal journey of two big-city foodies—Mr. Chester and his wife, Molly, a culinary writer—as they trade city life to acquire and establish their own farm on 200 acres of depleted and dry soil in Moorpark, California, outside of Los Angeles.

The film follows them for eight years as they work the land, planting 10,000 orchard trees and 200 crops, raising animals and battling coyotes, insects, drought and disease. A post-film Q&A will feature Scott Chaskey, director of Peconic Land Trust's Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, and Amanda Merrow, co-founder of Amber Waves Farm, also in Amagansett. Facilitating the conversation will be Geoffrey Drummond, executive director of The Food Lab at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton.

The second film at Bay Street on April 28 will be “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” at 4 p.m. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr., who was the Hamptons Doc Fest’s 2015 Career Achievement Award honoree, the film focuses on the life and career of the visionary jazz horn player, bandleader and musician who was determined to break boundaries and conventions.

In making the film, Mr. Nelson had unprecedented access to the Miles Davis estate, never-before-seen archival materials, Sony archives and interviews. The film will have its global theatrical release this summer and will also air on the PBS American Masters series. A talkback panel after the film features Ed German, radio host of WPPB’s Urban Jazz Experience on 88.3 FM.

Tickets for either film at Bay Street is $15 at hamptonsdocfest.com or at the theater box office.

The second part of the spring docs series takes place on Sunday, May 5 at Southampton Arts Center with a 5 p.m. screening of “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists," an HBO documentary directed by Jonathan Alter, John Block and Steve McCarthy.

The film follows the intersecting lives, triumphs, tragedies, and five-decade careers of two brilliant, gritty and controversial New York City newspaper columnists—Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill—in the great era of print journalism, writing for the New York Herald Tribune, Daily News, New York Post and Newsday. It draws directly from rare archival footage, family archives, and interviews with both columnists as well as major figures on the New York and national scene. It also follows them to the East End, as they retreat to rented homes to find the peace and quiet to write their novels.

The screening will be presented in partnership with the Press Club of Long Island. A Q&A afterwards will feature Steve McCarthy, the film’s co-director and director of cinematography, and Jimmy Breslin’s son Patrick Breslin in conversation with Brendan O’Reilly, a board member of the Press Club of Long Island and features editor of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press.

Tickets are $10 at hamptonsdocfest.com, southamptonartscenter.org, or at the Southampton Arts Center door, 25 Jobs Lane.

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