The 25th annual Hamptons International Film Festival over Columbus Day weekend handed out a variety of awards to directors and producers to recognize excellence in both narrative and documentary filmmaking.
“Ms & Mrs Adelman,” or “Monsieur & Madame Adelman,” a French film directed by Nicolas Bedos which had its East Coast premiere at HIFF, took home the Audience Award for Narrative Feature. “Love, Cecil,” another East Coast premiere, directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland took home the Audience Award for Documentary Feature. It is an American documentary about Cecil Beaton, a controversial photographer and costume designer. “Long Shot,” a documentary about a man arrested for a murder he did not commit, directed by Jacob LaMendola, won the Audience Award for Best Short Film.
“We extend our gratitude to the filmmakers for allowing us to showcase their work, and continue to remain excited to see how our audiences react,” HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent said in a statement.
“We offer our most sincere congratulations to these winners and are delighted that these films resonated with our audiences,” HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson said. “Both features are currently available for U.S. distribution, and certainly have exciting journeys ahead of them.”
While the audience awards were voted on by all festival attendees who saw an eligible film and wished to cast a ballot, juried competitions were also held for select films.
The narrative competition jury included IndieWire deputy editor Eric Kohn, actor Harris Yulin and Stay Gold Features production company founder Daniela Taplin Lundberg. The documentary competition jury was Motto Pictures founder Julie Goldman, HIFF co-founder Toni Ross and Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams.
Best Narrative Feature was awarded to the Icelandic film “Under the Tree,” from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. The prize included $3,000 cash and a package of in-kind goods and services for a total value of more than $132,500.
Best Documentary Feature went to “Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle,” directed by Gustavo Salmerón. The Spanish film took home the $3,000 cash prize and a package of goods and services valued at $30,000.
For short films, “Dekalb Elementary,” directed by Reed Van Dyk, won in the narrative category, and “Edith+Eddie,” directed by Laura Checkoway, won among documentaries. “Commodity City” by Jessica Kingdon earned an honorable mention in the documentary short film contest.
The Suffolk County Film Commission Next Exposure Grant was awarded to “Wanderland,” a narrative feature written and directed by part-time Sagaponack resident Josh Klausner, filmed mostly on the East End.
The 2017 Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution was awarded to “Hondros,” directed by Greg Campbell. Filmed in the United States, Iraq, Liberia and Libya, the English- and Arabic-language documentary is about Chris Hondros, a war photographer who was killed in action at age 41.
The Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award was presented to director Allison Argo for “The Last Pig,” a documentary on a man’s crisis of faith during his last season as a pig farmer. The film was presented as part of HIFF’s Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights program.
The Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice was given to “I Am Evidence,” produced by Mariska Hargitay, the star of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir. The documentary feature concerns how the criminal justice system neglects victims of sexual assault.
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