Pictured Above: Scuba Diver Valerie Taylor in “Playing with Sharks”

The Hamptons Doc Fest inaugurates spring this week with its annual Docs Equinox celebration, which this year includes an expanded four days of programming, with three virtual and live documentary film screenings with filmmakers and special guests, along with an inspiring East End Green Team “conversation centerpiece”—all happening from Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, through Sunday, April 25.

“Hamptons Doc Fest is celebrating Earth Day in a big way this year with three highly illuminating environmental films that shed a clear light on the human connection to our planet,” said Hamptons Doc Fest founder/executive director Jacqui Lofaro. “Plus we’ve scheduled a ‘conversation centerpiece’ with inspiring, local eco-advocates, the new keepers of our planet.” 

In a Hamptons Doc Fest collaboration with the newly opened Sag Harbor Cinema, National Geographic Documentary Films’ “Playing With Sharks” (2021, 95 min.), which debuted to acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in January, will enjoy a special live screening at the Cinema on Saturday, April 24, at 7 p.m. This will be followed by a Q&A with the director/writer Sally Aitken, producer Bettina Dalton and the one and only Valerie Taylor, the subject of the film, led by Sag Harbor Cinema artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.

The documentary and Q&A will also be available online exclusively at www.hamptonsdocfest.com from Saturday, April 24, 9 p.m. to Sunday, April 25, midnight.

Valerie Taylor is a pioneering Australian scuba diver who has dedicated her life to exposing the myth surrounding our fear of sharks and has become a powerful advocate for their conservation. The documentary includes stunning cinematography of the underwater universe.

Its worldwide rights were acquired by National Geographic Documentary Films. 

Captain Paul Watson

Screening online from April 22 through April 25 at www.hamptonsdocfest.com will be “Watson” (2019, 99 min.), about Captain Paul Watson, the renegade founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a co-founder of Greenpeace, who has spent 40 years sailing the globe, fighting to end the destruction of the ocean’s marine life and its habitat.

His ships patrol the seas, preventing the poaching of porpoises, whales, seals and sharks, cleaning up beaches and educating people. The film, directed by Lesley Chilcott, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, where it was nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

The online Q&A will include both the director Ms. Chilcott and Captain Paul Watson, interviewed by documentary filmmaker Roger Sherman, co-founder of Florentine Films. 

Also screening online at www.hamptonsdocfest.com for the four-day period, April 22-25, will be the documentary “And We Go Green,” directed by Oscar winner Fisher Stevens (“The Cove,” 2009) and Malcolm Venville, and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. The online interview with Fisher Stevens will be hosted by Florentine Films co-founder, documentarian Roger Sherman.

“And We Go Green” (2020, 99 min.) follows the brash professional drivers on the international Formula E circuit—all with eco-friendly electric cars—as they race across 10 cities. The title comes from the slogan shouted with the green light at the start of each race. 

Also part of the festival is an online “Conversation Centerpiece” with the East End Green Team, on Hamptons Doc Fest’s website April 22 through April 25.

“Don’t miss the insights of our local eco-advocates,” says Hamptons Doc Fest founder/executive director Jacqui Lofaro about the “East End Green Team” panel discussion available online at www.hamptonsdocfest.com, moderated by WLIW 88.3 FM radio host Gianna Volpe.

The team of local environmental activists will include Scott Bluedorn, local artist, who sits on the East Hampton Energy and Sustainability Committee; Daniela Kronemeyer, national indigenous rights consultant; John Robertson, landscape manager, Wainscott Farms; Alexandra Talty, award-winning international journalist on agriculture and social justice; and Shane Weeks, Shinnecock Nation artist and educator. They will all share their thoughts and action plans for the planet and our local neighborhoods. 


Tickets and information for all Docs Equinox screenings/events (including the live screening of “Playing With Sharks” at Sag Harbor Cinema) are available only at www.hamptonsdocfest.com.

The live theater screening at the Sag Harbor Cinema is $20. The three online screenings are each $15. The East End Green Team “Conversation Centerpiece” is free. 

Docs Equinox is sponsored by Pilato PR + Marketing Consultants and Wainscott Farms.

East End Beacon
The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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