Pictured Above: HIFF will host the U.S. Premiere of “I Am Greta” about teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunburg.

The Hamptons International Film Festival usually brings a dizzying array of films to the South Fork over Columbus Day Weekend, but due to the pandemic this year’s festival is bringing a clarifying mix of virtual and drive-in presentations of first class new release films, running from Thursday, Oct. 8 through Wednesday, Oct. 14.

“As we continue forward in these unprecedented times, we are delighted to add more dynamic films and programs to our lineup,” said HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “Our festival continues to push boundaries with compelling and inclusive storytelling.”

The festival includes the U.S. Premiere of Nathan Grossman’s documentary “I Am Greta,” about the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunburg, and the East Coast premiere of Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s documentary “Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation,” about the friendship between writers Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, “that stretches from their early days of friendship to their final, unsparing critiques of each other.”

Also among the virtual screenings is Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” staring Frances McDormand as a woman who sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad after the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, and Garrett Bradley’s documentary “Time,” which  follows entrepreneur, abolitionist, and mother of six boys Fox Rich, who has spent the last two decades tirelessly campaigning for the release of her husband Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a crime they committed in the early ’90s in a moment of desperation.

The Closing Night Film is Regina King’s directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” starring Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom, Jr. and Aldis Hodge.

Based on the award-winning play of the same name, the film tells the story of one evening in 1964 when four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

To dive deeper into the film—and into his stellar career—the festival welcomes Tony Award® winner Leslie Odom, Jr., who plays legendary singer Sam Cooke in the film, to its A Conversation With… series. 

Odom, Jr. originated the role of Aaron Burr in the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton,” and he recently starred in the new Apple TV+ animated musical-comedy series Central Park, for which he received an Emmy nomination.

Drive-in films will be shown in East Hampton and Amagansett at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 through 12. There will be rain dates announced if the screenings are canceled due to inclement weather, and all drive-in films are also available for virtual screening, streaming at home.

On Opening Night, Oct. 8, the festival will screen “With Drawn Arms” from its Films of Conflict & Resolution series in both East Hampton and Amagansett at 7 p.m. 

On Friday, Oct. 9, the festival will screen the Australian narrative feature film “Ammonite” in Amagansett and “The Truffle Hunters,” from the festival’s Views from Long Island in East Hampton at 7 p.m. 

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the festival will show the Long Island-based documentary “Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something” in Amagansett and the Spotlight film “The Father” in East Hampton. The Documentary Competition film “I Am A Town” will be shown in Amagansett and “Nomadland” will be shown in East Hampton on Oct. 11 and Spotlight film “Nine Days” will be shown in East Hampton and “One Night in Miami” will be shown in Amagansett on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. 

“Us Kids,” which will have its New York premiere at SAC Oct. 11.

Two films are also slated to be shown outdoors, under the stars, on Sunday and Monday, Oct. 11 and 12 at the Southampton Arts Center.

On Oct. 11, SAC will host the New York Premiere of “Us Kids,” the story of the movement begun by students who experienced the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Valentines Day in 2018 at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 12, SAC will host an outdoor screening of “Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation” at 7 p.m. Tickets for each SAC screening are $15, and reservations are required at hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Virtual tickets are $15 for most films and $25 for opening and closing night films. Drive-in tickets are $50 per car, and passes to all virtual films are $250. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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