BY MICHAEL SCHENKLER
It’s that time of year again—Columbus Day weekend and the annual Hampton International Film Festival (HIFF). For nine of the last 10 years, my wife and I have headed east for our long Columbus Day weekend. Our annual film escape in the Hamptons to enjoy incredible movies, food and fun helped us to fall in love with the place we now call home.
By the time you’re reading this, the complete film schedule should be online at HamptonFilmFest.org. Tickets will be available for purchase online on Sept. 25. East Hampton, the location of most of the screenings, is just under a two-hour drive from the Nassau-Queens border and can easily be done as a day trip. However, jump online and see what’s available as far as lodging—tickets, talks and meals are easier to come by than rooms, so attend to that first.
Over the years, we have seen many acclaimed films at HIFF, including Academy Award Best Picture winners: 12 Years A Slave, The King’s Speech and Argo. As a matter of fact, HIFF has screened the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner in eight of the last nine years—and is the only festival on the East Coast with such a distinction.
But we’ve also seen a number of more obscure films that have left a lasting impression. Jiro: Dreams of Sushi turned us on to both documentaries and movies that explore the exciting culinary world, including last year’s, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent. At its screening, I had the opportunity to chat with the film’s executive producer—celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
The Hamptons International Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 5 to 9, offers films of conflict and resolution, with unique portrayals of humanity depicted in the turbulent and violent world in which we live. For short films, it is an Oscar-qualifying festival and it hosts four competitions of selected films. Many screenings are followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers or film stars. And—if it’s your thing—celebrities are likely to be an arm’s length away.
For movies, fun, culture and the freshest, clean air on Long Island—see you at HIFF.