“Rowdy Gir,” “Wilding” and “Happy” to Screen as Part of the Compassion, Justice, and Animal Rights Signature Program - Festival to Run October 5-12, 2023
HamptonsFilm, the home of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), announced today a handful of additional Spotlight selections, which include Jennifer Esposito’s “Fresh Kills,” 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. The 31st annual edition of HIFF will take place October 5-12, 2023, with in-person screenings and events across the Hamptons.
HIFF announced a number of additional Spotlight selections, including “Fresh Kills,” directed by Jennifer Esposito and starring Esposito, Emily Bader, Odessa A’zion, and Annabella Sciorra, which follows the story of the loyal women of an organized crime family that dominated some of the boroughs of New York City in the late 20th century. Esposito is scheduled to attend the festival and will participate in a post-screening conversation on the film. The film will also screen as part of the Views From Long Island signature program. Additional Spotlight screenings include Searchlight Pictures’s “All of US Strangers,” directed by Andrew Haigh and starring Andrew Scott Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Claire Foy, which tells the story of a screenwriter who, after an encounter with a mysterious neighbor, is drawn back to his childhood home where his parents appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before; the East Coast Premiere of Netflix’s “Rustin,” directed by George C. Wolfe, screenplay by Julian Breece and Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black, and starring Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, and Glynn Turman, following the gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington. Wolfe is scheduled to attend the festival and will participate in a post-screening conversation on the film; and A24’s “The Zone of Interest,” directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Sandra Hüller and Christian Friedel, who will be in attendance at the festival, the film follows the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, who strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp. Previously announced Spotlight selections include Finn Taylor’s “Avenue of the Giants,” Brendan Walsh’s “I’ll Be right There,” and Todd Haynes’ “May December.”
As part of this year’s Signature Programs the festival has announced a select group of films that will screen within the Compassion, Justice, and Animal Rights section, including the US Premiere of documentary feature film “Rowdy Girl,” directed by Jason Goldman, follows a former Texas cattle rancher who, unable to cope with the cruelty of animal agriculture, transforms her husband’s beef operation into a farmed animal sanctuary; 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, which tells the story of a young couple who bets on nature for the future of their failing, four-hundred-year-old estate; and the US Premiere of documentary short film HAPPY, directed by Laura Rindlisbacher, following a historic court case about Happy the elephant, who was captured as a baby and has been confined for the past 40 years. New York’s highest court is deciding if she should be considered a person in the legal sense. The distinctive signature programs are unique to the Hamptons International Film Festival, and bring diverse, thoughtful entertainment to the East End. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
“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.”
As previously announced, the 2023 edition of the festival is set to open on October 5 with a screening presented by Audi of NYAD, the narrative feature debut from Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The New York Premiere of Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon” will screen as this year’s festival Centerpiece presentation on Friday, October 6, sponsored by UBS. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes will attend the festival to screen his latest narrative feature “May December,” and he will receive the festival’s Achievement in Directing Award during an A Conversation With… event, sponsored by The Macallan.
Passes and packages for the 31st edition of HIFF will be on sale beginning September 5, 2023, at the HamptonsFilm website. Additional programming will continue to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Hamptons International Film Festival thanks sponsors and supporters for this year’s festival, including returning Premiere Sponsor Audi; Lead Sponsor The Macallan; Signature Sponsors King & Spalding, and UBS,; Supporting Sponsors Naturopathica, Dragon Hemp, Silvercup, and Regal Cinemas; as well as official Media Sponsors Variety, WNBC, The Purist, The East Hampton Star, and new Signature Sponsor The Atlantic, and new supporting sponsor MUBI; and long term support from New York State Council on the Arts, and Suffolk County Film Commission. For more information, please visit www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.
2023 Hamptons International Film Festival Lineup – Additional Films Lineup
Sponsored by Audi
“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.
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, we follow Rose, the youngest daughter, as she 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.
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 who he desired. And he did not back down. He made history, and in turn, he was forgotten. Directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, RUSTIN 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. Produced by Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen, Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, and George C. Wolfe, the film features an all-star cast including 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
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. ROWDY GIRL 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.
North American Premiere
dir. David Allen (UK), 2023
Based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title, WILDING tells the story of a young couple that bets on nature for the future of their failing, four-hundred-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. Wilding is produced by three-time Oscar-winning production company Passion Pictures; partnered with Oscar-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning HHMI Tangled Bank Studios. The film is directed by five-time Emmy Award-winning David Allen, and photographed by multi-BAFTA & Emmy Award-winning cinematographers Tim Cragg and Simon de Glanville. Wilding’s musical score is composed by Biggi Hilmars and Grammy-nominated Jon Hopkins.
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.
HamptonsFilm, home of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) was founded in 1992 to celebrate the art of film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. A non-profit organization with year-round screenings of global narrative and documentary films, an annual Screenwriters Lab, a summer documentary showcase, and extensive educational initiatives, HamptonsFilm offers programs that enlighten, educate, and provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers, while also providing the East End of Long Island with an educational and cultural experience that enriches the lives of its citizens and contributes to the local economy. HIFF, celebrating its 31st year, is an annual premiere film event in New York State, and an intimate showcase of some of the year’s best offerings in contemporary cinema from around the world. Awarding prizes to filmmakers in cash and goods and services of over $130,000, each year, with over $5 million awarded in competition funds and services over the decades, our program continues to play an important role during awards season. For more information, please visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.