30th Anniversary Of The Hamptons International Film Festival Honors Actress Mariska Hargitay - 27 East

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30th Anniversary Of The Hamptons International Film Festival Honors Actress Mariska Hargitay

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Emmy Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay will receive the 2022 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award at the 30th anniversary of the Hamptons International Film Festival. COURTESY HIFF

Emmy Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay will receive the 2022 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award at the 30th anniversary of the Hamptons International Film Festival. COURTESY HIFF

authorStaff Writer on Aug 12, 2022

On Friday, August 12, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) announced that Emmy Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay will receive the 2022 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award at the 30th annual festival this fall.

HIFF will run as an expanded 10-day festival from October 7 through 16 as an in-person event. HIFF has also announced a handful of world premieres, selections from its World Cinema Narrative and Documentary sections, and additional Signature Programming for this year’s edition.

The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award was created in 2017 by Hamptons Film Chairman Emeritus Alec Baldwin. This award honors those in the creative arts who excel in their field and also support the arts and artists in other fields.

Hargitay is best known for her role as Captain Olivia Benson on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama in 2006. In addition to her decades-long career as an actor, Hargitay is a fierce advocate and activist. In 2004, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit, to support and advocate for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Joyful Heart’s array of programming has included initiatives to support the mental health needs of trauma professionals, engage male survivors, and bring awareness and reform to the nationwide rape kit backlog. Earlier this year, Joyful Heart deployed End The Backlog (endthebacklog.org), the first-of-its-kind web resource to track state by state rape kit numbers and backlog reform status.

In 2017, Hargitay executive produced “I Am Evidence,” an Emmy-winning documentary feature on the rape kit backlog, which screened at the 25th Hamptons International Film Festival. The film tells the stories of survivors whose rape kits remained untested for years, as well as the law enforcement officials leading the charge to pursue long-awaited justice in these cases. Joyful Heart was the social action campaign partner for the film. Hargitay also co-produced “Emmanuel,” about the murder of nine churchgoers at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church in 2015, and executive produced “My Beautiful Stutter,” about the attendees at Camp SAY, a summer camp in Livingston, New York, for youth who stutter.

Hargitay has been honored with many awards for advocacy, including the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Special Ally Award, the Good Sister Award for Advocacy at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan’s “100 Women Against Child Abuse” and a Muse Award from New York Women in Film and Television. Most recently, she was named a Woman of the Year by Glamour Magazine.

Previous recipients of the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award include Cavett, Alan Alda and Toni Ross.

“We are so thrilled to be able to honor Mariska Hargitay at this year’s anniversary,” said HamptonsFilm Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “A role model for many across the globe for her acting career and her championing of causes around domestic violence, Mariska embodies everything the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award was created to represent. She is also a huge supporter of local Hamptons causes and we are lucky to have her as part of our community.”

As part of this year’s programming, HIFF will host world premiere screenings of five films, including the locally shot “Who Invited Charlie?” directed by Xavier Manrique, screening as part of the Views from Long Island section, supported by Suffolk County Film Commission. The feature, which was shot on the East End, stars Jordana Brewster, Adam Pally and Reid Scott, and follows a family hiding out in the Hamptons as their bubble is popped when a bloody Mary-swilling, pot-smoking “Charlie” from their past shows up seeking refuge.

Additional world premieres at this year’s festival include Discovery+’s “January 6th,” directed by Jules and Gédéon Naudet and screening as part of the World Cinema Documentary section, which examines the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol from the perspective of the heroes, first responders, and survivors of the attack as they reveal their first-hand experience of the stand.

Among the World Cinema Narrative selections will be “Pinball — The Man Who Saved The Game,” directed by Austin and Meredith Bragg and starring Mike Faist, Crystal Reed, and Dennis Boutsikaris which follows an unsettled writer and his journey to save the game of pinball while also facing life’s challenges. The Discovery+ film “A Radical Life,” directed by Ricki Stern and screening as part of the Films of Conflict & Resolution section, takes an unfiltered look at the former first lady of ISIS, Tania Joya, who for 12 years was married to John Georgelas, the highest ranking American in ISIS. Screening in the World Cinema Documentary selection will be “The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari,” a film directed by Rory Kennedy and distributed by Netflix which shares a minute-by-minute account of unsuspecting tourists caught in a tragic volcanic eruption while sightseeing on an island off New Zealand in 2019, and celebrates the survivors, as well as the everyday people who came to their rescue.

“It is with great enthusiasm that we are able to once again welcome our film-loving community back to our theaters out East for the 30th anniversary of the festival,” said Hamptons Film Artistic Director David Nugent. “With a diverse and robust selection of narrative and documentary films, we are excited to share unique, thrilling stories from this year’s talented filmmakers. We feel so proud to play host to a number of world premiere screenings, and are honored that these brilliant storytellers have chosen to screen their films for audiences for the first time here at HIFF.”

In the World Cinema Narrative section, HIFF will screen MUBI’s “Decision To Leave,” directed by HIFF alum Park Chan-wook, about a detective investigating a man’s mysterious death in the mountains who finds himself emotionally entwined with the man’s suspicious widow, as well as the previously mentioned “Pinball — The Man Who Saved The Game.” The World Cinema Documentary section will feature “Desperate Souls, Dark City and The Legend of Midnight Cowboy,” directed by Nancy Buirski, which tells the unlikely story of the 1969 film “Midnight Cowboy” that captured the zeitgeist of the country and connected with American audiences despite a host of obstacles, due to the unwavering vision of its director; Prime Video’s “Good Night Oppy,” directed by Ryan White, which revisits Opportunity, the Mars rover sent to Mars on a 90-day mission, that subsequently captivated the world by surviving 15 years and sending back invaluable images and information about the red planet; as well as the previously mentioned films “January 6th,” and “The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari.”

Additional programming includes the Spotlight feature “Call Jane,” directed by Phyllis Nagy and distributed by Roadside Attractions. This film follows the story of a brave group of women who ran an underground abortion clinic before the passage of Roe vs. Wade. In this year’s Signature Programs, the festival will host Cannes Jury Prize winner “EO,” distributed by Sideshow and Janus Films, in the Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights section, which is directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and follows a donkey exploring a vision of modern Europe, experiencing joy and pain as he encounters good and bad people along his journey; as well as the previously mentioned “A Radical Life” in the Films of Conflict & Resolution section.

Additional HIFF programming will be announced in the coming weeks. Passes and packages for the festival go on sale beginning September 6, 2022. Additionally, a weeklong special Founder Pass sale will take place from August 29 through September 5. For information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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