HIFF 2017 and its Top Ten Stars

…by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

If you have never experienced the Hampton International Film Festival (HIFF), this is the year you must do it! Now celebrating its 25th year the lineup of events planned for the five day festival is spectacular. This year’s Festival runs October 5 – 9th and promises to be another outstanding presentation and is one of the most exciting events on the East End! “HIFF was founded in 1993 to celebrate independent film, long, short, fiction and documentary and to introduce a unique, varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to the public. The Festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.”

We have been attending this event for over fifteen years and one of our favorite parts of the five day festival is the chance to meet the people involved in the films. After many of the films are shown there is often a Q & A session where film makers or actors involved in the film are in the theatre to answer questions from the audience. This may include the actors, writer, director or producer. Did you ever watch a film and wonder, “how did they come up with an idea for that movie?” Or “why did the character do a particular action?” “Why did the writer end the film that way?” Many people have wonder what the actors did to prepare for the role or how did they train for the part, especially if a certain talent was involved, like playing an instrument, dancing or something physically challenging. All of these questions finally get answers at these stimulating post viewing conversations. Over the years we have seen films at HIFF that have gone on to become box office hits and many of them have been Academy Award winners or nominees. HIFF calls these films that are predicted to become nationally or world known “Spotlight Films” and their picks have been on target. The list is extensive as we remember seeing The King’s Speech, The Black Swan, 127 Hours, ARGO, Nebraska and Silver Linings Playbook, and Manchester by the Sea to mention the long list of award winners.

Another favorite of ours at HIFF is getting a chance to meet and listen to a panel of “rising stars” that are appearing in films at the festival. Variety announced their annual list of The 10 Actors to Watch, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. In the past honorees include many future Oscar winners and nominees, such as Brie Larson, Jessica Chastain, Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Shannon, and Melissa Leo. “When the fall film festival season arrives, it’s not just a great time to celebrate world cinema’s latest artistic achievements, it’s also time to survey the international movie landscape for major new acting talents,” says Variety’s Vice President/Executive Editor, Steven Gaydos. “Celebrating its 20th year on the scene, the most important showcase of exciting emerging actors and actresses is Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch, now in its sixth year in conjunction with the Hamptons Film Festival.” HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent adds “The Hamptons International Film Festival has been shining a light on emerging actors for over 15 years now. Partnering with Variety for the sixth year now to recognize this group of talented actors for the incredible work they have done thus far is an honor. With another recent honoree, Mahershala Ali, having won an Academy Award last year, we are thrilled to see this group of actors continue to blossom.”

This year’s 10 Actors to Watch are: Timothee Chalamet, Hong Chau, Kiersey Clemons, Daveed Diggs, Ali Fazal, Daniel Kaluuya, Barry Keoghan, Danielle Macdonald, Kumail Nanjiani, and Grace Van Patten
It is a gorgeous season on the East End in early October with the autumn colors arriving and a beautiful time to spend attending the Festival to enjoy many of the pre-released films. Celebrity sightings and meeting new talent through the five day event is also a highlight movie goer’s love about the event. These talented actors and filmmakers are anxious for audiences to see their work to be entertained, informed and to be carried away into the magic of the cinema. Ticket passes can be purchased for multiple films and/or events or tickets for individual films. Don’t miss it! For tickets, schedules or more information visit: http://hamptonsfilmfest.org