‘Get Out’ Hits the Oscar Campaign Trail With a Timely Hamptons Event

Did Oscar season actually start in February? When Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut “Get Out” opened in late February (not typically a release date space that hosts zeitgeist-smashing hits), few could have expected that the social thriller would not only be a success with critics (the film still sits at a 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) but also a huge moneymaker, pulling in over $252 million at the global box office. Next up? An awards campaign. Chatter surrounding the film’s awards possibilities kicked up early, and the trick has been keeping it up though these many months. One way to do that? A special event at a festival known for its love of award movies. “Get Out” is already into it.

Peele and his film are set for a timely Hamptons International Film Festival appearance later this month, when the festival runs October 5 – 9 in and around East Hampton, NY. The “Get Out” filmmaker will be on hand for a special event centered around his film, complete with cast and crew on hand. Moderated by IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn, Peele will be joined by producers Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick, along with stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams, for a conversation centered around important scenes from the film, all the better to engender a conversation that the festival hopes will shed better light on the film’s “relevance to today’s political and cultural climate.”

As HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent told IndieWire, special events like the one planned for “Get Out” are part of a long tradition at the festival, which routinely hosts some of Hollywood’s most well-loved talents. Previous editions have included events with luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Roger Ebert. It’s not bad company for Peele and his cast and crew.

Neither is the Hamptons, a regional festival that often hosts some of the year’s biggest contenders as they’re kicking into their own campaigns, typically after strong showings at bigger venues like Venice, Telluride, or TIFF. This year’s lineup includes such early favorites as “Darkest Hour,” “I, Tonya,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Wonderstruck.”

Even Nugent admits that the massive success of “Get Out” came as a bit of surprise, and he’s been tracking the film’s wild trajectory for months now. “‘Get Out’ was a phenomenon this year that nobody saw coming,” he said. “I saw the film at the cinema in East Hampton this past winter at the cinema most of our screenings take place in. It was a packed screening, with one of the most diverse audiences that I’ve been amongst there for a regular film screening which is a testament to how much this film connected with audiences here, and all around the world.”

Can it keep up that momentum? And how much will this latest event help bolster? It’s anyone’s guess, but by setting such an event on the cusp of awards season, HIFF is making it clear: this is a movie to talk about, or at least keep your eye on.

While Nugent suspects that the nature of the event will appeal more to those that have already seen the film, he’s also expecting that a wide audience will enjoy it. If nothing else, it should strike HIFF audiences who are eager to see the best the year has to offer. “We’re proud of the success that films that have screened at HIFF have had over the years during awards season,” Nugent said. “We aim to present what we think are the best films of the year, whether they’re Fall releases or like ‘Get Out,’ a film that opened in February but continues to resonate with audiences.”

Check out the rest of our bi-weekly Film Festival Roundup on the next page, including lineup announcements for Hamptons, New Hampshire, NewFest, Chelsea, and Bushwick, and much more.

Lineup Announcements

– The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) has announced the full slate for the 25th Anniversary festival, including the selections for Spotlight Films, World Cinema and Shorts Programs, as well as Signature Programs including Views from Long Island; Air, Land & Sea; Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights; and Conflict & Resolution.

The festival has also announced that Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya” as the Closing Night Film with star Margot Robbie in attendance. The 2017 festival will take place October 5 – 9, Columbus Day Weekend, with over 65 features and 50 shorts representing a total of 40 countries across the globe. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

“I, Tonya”

– The New Hampshire Film Festival will take place October 12 – 15 throughout historic downtown Portsmouth. The lauded 17th annual festival will include celebrity guests, filmmakers, and a number of premieres. Current lineup highlights include titles like “The Florida Project,” “Golden Exits,” “Lucky,” “The Strange Ones,” “The Square,” and “Woodshock.” For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

– Following the announcement of their Opening, Closing, and Centerpiece films, NewFest, which is programmed in partnership with Outfest, has announced the full lineup of their 29th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world. The program of more than 140 narrative features, documentaries, episodic series, and shorts runs from October 19- 24 at the SVA Theatre, Cinépolis Chelsea, and The LGBT Community Center in New York City. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

– The Miami GEMS Festival has announced its full lineup, including the Miami premiere of Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” and the U.S. premiere of Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Florida film “Life and Nothing More.” Other films of note include “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Square,” and “Faces Places.” The festival, now in its third year, will take place October 12 – 15, at MDC’s Tower Theater Miami. Miami GEMS 2017 Festival is a fall extension of the annual, internationally-renowned Miami Film Festival, which will celebrate its 35 edition next March. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

“The Square”

– The 5th Annual Edition of Chelsea Film Festival has announced the 17 feature films that have been selected in the 2017 Official Lineup. 12 films are in competition for the Chelsea Film Festival Petite Prix. The festival will be held in Chelsea, Manhattan from October 19 – 22, 2017 at the AMC Loews 34th St. and Fashion Institute of Technology. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

– The TransNation Film Festival, presented by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a community health center in Los Angeles that serves one of the largest populations of transgender patients in the country, has announced its 2017 lineup of narrative and documentary features, experimental films, and shorts for its second annual festival. The festival will run October 13-15 at the Silent Movie Theater in West Hollywood. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

– The Bushwick Film Festival (BFF) has officially announced the full program of screenings, panels, workshops, parties and networking opportunities for its 10th anniversary, taking place October 12 – 15. Located in Bushwick, the bustling center of Brooklyn’s artistic and cultural community, the festival encourages filmmakers, industry professionals and audiences to engage, share and collaborate in an eclectic and open-minded atmosphere to form new alliances, expand horizons and share common passion for independent film. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

“Faces Places”

– The Nordic Film Festival has announced their third year lineup, with 24 competing films of Nordic and International decent. The opening night feature is the international premiere of Finland’s and “Man and a Baby,” directed by Marja Pyykkö. The festival will screen 6 International Premieres, 8 North American Premieres, and all the rest; U.S. or New York Premieres will screen at New York City’s Scandinavia House October 12 – 14. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

Awards and Honors

– The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced the winners of the 2017 Festival, which took place September 14 – 17 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine. The annual event presented four awards for documentary features and one for a documentary short, in addition to its Points North Pitch Award. You can see the full list of winners here.

Other Announcements

– North Bend, Washington — the original shooting location for “Twin Peaks” — will unveil a new film festival this August, with a focus on standout vanguard programming. The North Bend Film Festival will debut Agust 23 – 26, and “using the town’s fantastical and mysterious energy that once inspired David Lynch, the festival will set out to fill the void of programming for the progressive audiences in the Pacific Northwest, and to provide a platform for emerging filmmakers. Working directly with the town of North Bend, NBFF will be an event for the local community, Northwest creatives, and national genre film industry to enjoy together.”

“Lucky”

Magnolia Pictures

– This year’s Harry Dean Stanton Fest will continue on, despite the passing of its namesake and honoree. “In light of his passing, some of the programming choices have been endowed with unexpected poignancy. We are closing this year’s festival with an outdoor screening of David Lynch’s ‘The Straight Story.’ The final moments in that film are some of the most powerful and touching of Harry’s career. The movie ends on a tight shot of him, with tears in his eyes, looking toward the stars. We couldn’t imagine a more fitting way to close his memorial tribute,” said festival director Lucy Jones. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.

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