Pictured Above: A scene from The Eternal Memory
Five of the films screened at last December’s Hamptons Doc Fest have been shortlisted for Academy Awards, and we’ll be watching as the final list of Oscar contenders is released this week to see if they have made the final roster.
The five films were among 30 documentary feature and short films shown at the festival at the Sag Harbor Cinema and Bay Street Theater Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, 2023.
The Oscars Shortlists, announced Dec. 21, 2023, include 15 films in each of 10 categories which will advance in those categories for the 96th Academy Awards.
In the Documentary Feature Film category, two Hamptons Doc Fest films —”American Symphony” and “The Eternal Memory”— were among the 15 Shortlisted.
The film “American Symphony,” directed by Matthew Heineman who received this year’s Pennebaker Career Achievement Award at the Hamptons Doc Fest Gala on Dec. 2, follows stressed musician Jon Batiste as he prepares his original composition for its premiere at Carnegie Hall while his wife, writer Suleika Jaouad, is undergoing hospital treatments for a rare form of leukemia.
The film also made the Shortlist in the two separate categories of Music (Original Score) and Song (“It Never Went Away”).
“The Eternal Memory,” directed by Maite Alberdi, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of veteran Chilean journalist Augusto Gongora and his devoted wife and caregiver Paulina Urrutia, the former Chilean culture minister, as Gongora struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Three of the seven documentary film shorts screened at Hamptons Doc Fest’s “Shorts and Breakfast Bites” programs on Dec. 2 and 3 made the Oscars Shortlists in the category of Documentary Short Film.
These include “The ABCs of Book Banning” (27 min.) directed by Trish Adiesic and Naz Habtezghi and produced by Sheila Nevins, about book banning in American schools told through the eyes of children; “The Barber of Little Rock” (35 min.) directed by John Hoffman and Christine Turner, about a barber’s visionary approach to the wealth gap by founding a community bank in Little Rock, Arkansas; and “Last Song from Kabul” (30 min.) directed by Kevin Macdonald about a group of daring young musicians in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
Stay tuned on Tuesday, Jan. 23 when the Academy announces the shorter list of nominees in each category, and March 10, when the annual Academy Awards ceremony announces the winners.