Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in "Loving"
Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in “Loving”

The Hamptons International Film Festival announced this week that writer/director Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” will be the opening night film and “American Pastoral” will be the closing night film of the 24th Hamptons International Film Festival in East Hampton.

“Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.

Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.

The film stars Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, and Michael Shannon. Focus Features will open “Loving” in limited release on Nov. 4, expanding across the country in November.

American Pastoral
American Pastoral

The festival’s closing night film is Ewan McGregor’s “American Pastoral.”

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 Philip Roth novel of the same name, the film follows an all American family across several decades, as their idyllic existence is shattered by social and political turmoil.

Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut and stars as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a once legendary high school athlete who is now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former beauty queen. But turmoil brews beneath the polished veneer of Swede’s life.

When his beloved daughter, Merry, disappears after being accused of committing a violent act, Swede dedicates himself to finding her and reuniting his family. What he discovers shakes him to the core, forcing him to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the modern world around him: no American family will ever be the same.

The film also stars Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, David Strathairn, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. Lionsgate will open the film in limited release on Oct. 21.  Actress Dakota Fanning will be at the festival.

“We are thrilled to have such powerful and thought-provoking films as “Loving” and “American Pastoral” as our opening and closing nights at the festival this year,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent. “Jeff Nichols and Ewan McGregor are two tremendously talented filmmakers with impressive careers and we look forward to screening their projects.”

2016 marked the sixth time in a row that a film in the festival has become the eventual Best Picture winner at the Oscars, making HIFF the only Festival on the East Coast with such a distinction. For more information please visit:

The festival will be held over Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 6 through 10. To purchase founders passes and ticket packages, or for additional information please visit  Individual tickets will go on sale on Monday, Sept. 26.



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

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