HIFF Announces More Festival Films - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 2196920

HIFF Announces More Festival Films

icon 7 Photos
Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in

Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in "All of Us Strangers." PARISA TAGHIZADEH, COURTESY SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES. © 2023 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A scene from Jennifer Esposito’s film “Fresh Kills.

A scene from Jennifer Esposito’s film “Fresh Kills." COURTESY HIFF

A scene from the documentary short “Happy,” directed by Laura Rindlisbacher. COURTESY HIFF

A scene from the documentary short “Happy,” directed by Laura Rindlisbacher. COURTESY HIFF

A scene from

A scene from "Rowdy Girl" directed by Jason Goldman. COURTESY HIFF

Left, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King and Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in George C. Wolfe’s film

Left, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King and Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in George C. Wolfe’s film "Rustin." PARRISH LEWIS/NETFLIX © 2022

A scene from the documentary feature “Wilding,” directed by David Allen and based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book of the same name. COURTESY HIFF

A scene from the documentary feature “Wilding,” directed by David Allen and based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book of the same name. COURTESY HIFF

A scene from Jonathan Glazer’s film “The Zone of Interest.” COURTESY HIFF

A scene from Jonathan Glazer’s film “The Zone of Interest.” COURTESY HIFF

authorStaff Writer on Sep 3, 2023

HamptonsFilm, the home of the Hamptons International Film Festival, has announced additional Spotlight selections for this year’s festival, which runs October 5 to 12 with in-person screenings and events across the East End, including Jennifer Esposito’s “Fresh Kills” (also screening in the Views From Long Island program), Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers,” George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin,” and Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” as well as select Signature programming.

“This year’s Signature programming and Spotlight films include a diverse array of powerful and thought-provoking titles,” said HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent. “We feel it is important to feature projects that are not only compelling but also socially impactful and capable of sparking a dialogue among our audiences.”

The festival has also announced a select group of films that will screen within the Compassion, Justice, and Animal Rights section, including the U.S. premiere of documentary feature film “Rowdy Girl,” directed by Jason Goldman; the North American Premiere of documentary feature “Wilding,” directed by David Allen and based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title; and the U.S. premiere of documentary short film “Happy,” directed by Laura Rindlisbacher.

Passes and packages for the 31st edition of HIFF are on sale now at hamptonsfilmfest.org. Additional programming will continue to be announced in the coming weeks.

Spotlight Selections

“Fresh Kills,” dir. Jennifer Esposito (USA), 2023

Late 1980s — meet the Larusso family: Joe, the loving father and up and coming mafia kingpin; Francine, the lovingly flawed wife and mother; Connie, the son Joe never had; and Rose, an inquisitive, withdrawn young girl. New to Staten Island by way of Brooklyn and looking to make a better life, Rose, the youngest daughter, reluctantly discovers who her father is, her place within this family and the world around her. Her eventual desire to break free from the life set before her not only threatens her existence but makes enemies out of her closest allies: her mother and sister. Like every mob movie you’ve never seen before, this is the story of the women of this life, and the fear, violence and rage that dictates who they are and who they become. A search for freedom within a world they may never leave.

“All of Us Strangers,” dir. Andrew Haigh (UK), 2023

One night in his near-empty tower block in contemporary London, Adam (Andrew Scott) has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal), which punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.

“Rustin,” East Coast premiere, dir. George C. Wolfe (USA), 2023

The architect of 1963’s momentous March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was one of the greatest activists and organizers the world has ever known. He challenged authority, and never apologized for who he was, what he believed, or whom he desired. And he did not back down. He made history and in turn, he was forgotten. Starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, this film shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world, and inspired a movement in a march toward freedom. The film’s cast also includes Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, with Jeffrey Wright and Audra McDonald.

“The Zone of Interest,” dir. Jonathan Glazer (USA/UK/Poland), 2023

The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.

Compassion, Justice, and Animal Rights

“Rowdy Girl,” U.S. premiere, dir. Jason Goldman (USA), 2023

Unable to come to terms with the cruel reality of animal agriculture, a former Texas cattle rancher goes vegan and transforms her husband’s beef operation into a farmed animal sanctuary. When their story goes viral, she realizes her true calling — to help farmers transition to plant-based and end their business of animal agriculture. The film showcases the inspiring work of an animal activist who has been on both sides and proves that there is a common ground between farmers and vegans — a shared mission of compassion and sustainability.

“Wilding,” North American premiere, dir. David Allen (UK), 2023

Based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title, the film tells the story of a young couple that bets on nature for the future of their failing, 400-year-old estate. The young couple battles entrenched tradition and dares to place the fate of their farm in the hands of nature. Ripping down the fences, they set the land back to the wild and entrust its recovery to a motley mix of animals both tame and wild. It is the beginning of a grand experiment that will become one of the most significant rewilding experiments in Europe.

“Happy,” U.S. premiere, dir. Laura Rindlisbacher (UK), 2023

Happy is an elephant. But is she also a person? This is the question of the biggest animal rights case of the 21st century. Captured as a baby in Asia, Happy has been living at the Bronx Zoo for more than 40 years. Since 2006, she has been living there alone. A legal team is fighting for her liberty rights. But according to the law, as soon as Happy has a right, she also becomes a legal person. This is the story of a legal case that asks us to rethink our definition of personhood and the interdependence of the animal and human kingdom.

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