As the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) gears up for its 23rd year this October, organizers have announced a handful of signature programs that will debut at this year’s event. HIFF has launched the Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights program, which will provide filmmakers the opportunity to advocate social justice issues and animal rights, and has renamed its morning talks the Winick Talks at Rowdy Hall in honor of late director and producer Gary Winick. In addition, the festival will partner with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration’s PLURAL+ International Youth Video Program as it continues to extend its education initiatives in the Hamptons.
The Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights signature program will showcase three narrative or documentary films, one of which will receive the annual Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award. The platform will look to awaken respect for the dignity and rights of living beings, and will allow filmmakers to share information and tools to create a safe and humane world. The festival has chosen to world premiere Darcy Dennett’s “The Champions” in the new signature program. The documentary follows the pit bulls rescued from the brutal fighting ring of NFL quarterback star Michael Vick.
“Billions of animals continue to be abused every day and denied their basic right to life and protection against violence and cruelty,” said David Nugent, HIFF Artistic Director. “This new signature program will allow the festival to join the important film movement that brings justice to animals, an effort that has been increasing impact and visibility worldwide.”
The festival also announced the Winick Talks at Rowdy Hall in honor of Gary Winick (director: “13 Going on 30”; producer: “Tape”), who premiered multiple films at the festival and won the HIFF Audience Award in 1999 for his drama “The Tic Code.” The Gary Winick Memorial Fund, which was established to help young filmmakers hone their craft and further the art of cinema, will support the Winick Talks at Rowdy Hall. The events will take place October 9-11 at 10am, where each morning guest artists will be featured in a moderated conversation.
Focusing on the themes of migration, diversity and social inclusion, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration’s PLURAL+ festival annually showcases films selected from a pool of over 200 submissions. Each year, approximately 25 films, which are a maximum of 5 minutes in length and in any language with English subtitles, receive awards selected from an International Jury. HIFF will showcase these films during the film festival as well as throughout the year in East End schools.
The 23rd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held October 8-12.