Screen Gems and Stars Aplenty
If the Academy Awards were a horse race, the Hamptons International Film Festival, taking place for the 21st time from Oct. 10 to 14, would be quite the handicapper.
“Four of the last five years now, we’ve screened the film that would eventually go on to win best picture,” said David Nugent, the festival’s artistic director. That includes “Argo,” the 2013 winner, shown in the festival last year.
Among the prominent movies in the Hamptons lineup this year — there are 75 features and 51 shorts — is “Kill Your Darlings,” starring Daniel Radcliffe as the beat poet Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan as his dangerous cohort Lucien Carr, screening Oct. 10. Mr. DeHaan, 27, one of “10 Actors to Watch” whom the festival has named in conjunction with Variety, will attend and will take part in a panel discussion about challenges young actors face in the film industry.
“Nebraska,” starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son on a road trip, will be the Sunday centerpiece film on Oct. 13, and Mr. Dern and Mr. Forte will participate in an interview as part of the series “A Conversation With …”
The closing-night film is “12 Years a Slave,” directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. It is based on an 1853 memoir, “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, From a Cotton Plantation Near the Red River, in Louisiana.”
Though the Hamptons event can clearly compete with big-name festivals in terms of content, it also aims for individuality. Both Mr. Nugent and Anne Chaisson, the festival’s new executive director (appointed in November, though she has long been affiliated with the festival in different capacities), said in telephone interviews that the signature programs in the Hamptons — along with the spectacular setting — make the festival unique.
They include the series “Films of Conflict and Resolution,” with a focus on issues of violence and warfare, and an annual Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize granted to a film that deals with science and technology. This year’s winner is “Decoding Annie Parker,” based on a true story about a woman’s battle with breast cancer.
One program you won’t find in Cannes or Venice is “Views From Long Island,” a group of films created by local filmmakers or shot locally. The actor Ralph Macchio dons his directing hat in this group, with his short titled “Across Grace Alley,” about a young boy coping with his parents’ divorce.
As always, there will be plenty of stars to gaze at between watching movie screens. Renée Zellweger, Helena Bonham Carter, Spike Jonze, Amy Ryan and David Duchovny are among the many celebrities who are expected to hit the Hamptons next week.