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Hamptons Life

May 12, 2008 5:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

New program director at Hamptons International Film Festival

May 12, 2008 5:34 PM

“We’re all fighting over the best films,” he said. “It behooves me to know what films are out there before other people, and who’s interested in bringing a film to the Hamptons.” Unlike at Tribeca, films that screen at Cannes are prime candidates to play at HIFF.

Mr. Nugent finds it easier to recruit for HIFF than the Newport festival. “I really enjoyed my time in Newport but it was a bit smaller and had less of an industry presence. It’s a little tougher to get people to come to it.”

He hopes to continue to grow the stature of the Hamptons festival, and hopes to increase the number of slots for films in competition, but he does not want to increase the number of films the festival presents and says other drastic changes to HIFF are unlikely.

“I thought last year’s [HIFF] was great, but I am quite confident this year will be better,” he said.

The group arrived at the Rivington Hotel, and Mr. Nugent immediately began chatting up editors for film magazines, friends from film festivals he’d attended and filmmakers who talked about their current endeavors.

During one moment of calm, Mr. Nugent turned and quipped: “One more drink and I’m going off the record.”

He headed for the bar. A minute later, he was locked into a new conversation, and “We Can Work It Out” blared out of the lounge’s sound system.

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