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Hamptons International Film Festival 2013: Films You Should Discover

Submitted by on October 8, 2013 – 6:15 amNo Comment

By Heather Buchanan

While the Hamptons International Film Festival is known for its uncanny ability to predict academy award winners and preview those films at the festival there are also a host of other wonderful movies to discover.  Artistic Director David Nugent and his talented programming team have combed the globe for some gems.  Here are a few HipHamptons favorites to put on your radar.

HIFF PlotForPeace460x260

Plot For Peace

Director: Carlos Agullo

In this fascinating portrait of underground diplomatic negotiations one mysterious French business man emerges as an unsung hero.  Jean-Ives Olivier, a native of Algeria, single handedly and at his own expense brings together disparate factions in Africa including diplomats, heads of states, generals, master spies and anti-apartheid fighters to facilitate the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in South Africa in the 1980’s.  Olivier’s ability to gain access unlike any traditional diplomat and bring together enemies and warring factions is a fascinating story.  Given the frustration with the stalemate in this country’s congress, perhaps we could persuade Monsieur Olivier to lend us his skills.

Winner of the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution

NOTE: there is also a panel discussion after the screening on 10/13

HIFF Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine Ferraro: Paving The Way

Director: Donna Zaccaro

While many of us were consumed with collecting lipsmackers and perfecting our Farrah Fawcett hair toss, there were other women revolutionizing American politics.  This compelling documentary portrays Geraldine “Gerry” Ferraro’s  background and rise from a stay-at-home mom to center stage to become the first female vice presidential nominee in 1984.  Featuring interviews with key political figures and Ferraro herself before her death in 2011, it presents an inspirational story.   There are delightful surprises with interviews not only with Hillary Clinton but George and Barbara Bush.  The heartwarming portrayal shows that respect for a great lady can indeed cross party lines.

HIFF The Last Safari

The Last Safari

Director: Matt Goldman

In this world premier audiences will get to experience not only the stunning images of photographer Elizabeth L. Gilbert but her homecoming journey when she returns to Africa to share her finished book with the native people who were her subjects years before.   Gilbert taps into the sentiment of these indigenous cultures of viewing Westerners who come in and shoot and leave, never to return.  With a crew she travels to the far reaches of desolate terrain to put up a giant screen to show her subjects the stunning images of themselves.   As with all homecomings it is an emotional reunion and testament to the technological changes affecting native cultures as well as the human bonds which are everlasting.

HIFF Desert Runners

Desert Runners

Director: Jennifer Steinman

Let’s get this straight.  This no place for Lululemon.  The 4 Desert Ultra-marathon Series is a life-threatening challenge where runners strive to complete four of the most treacherous desert runs in the span of one year.  You won’t be able to take your eyes off of the 150 mile marathons and the brave souls who overcome pain, exhaustion, heat, cold, and even surprise attacks along the way.  The stunning scenery includes the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt, and Antarctica.  Root for your favorite runner in this compelling real life drama.  Much better than Survivor.

HIFF Kiss the water

Kiss The Water

Director: Eric Steel

The beautiful and lyrical love story in remote Scotland portrays the power of enchantment and the beloved’s fatal attraction to a dangerous liason.  It may surprise you to know that this is between a salmon and the world’s most gifted fishing fly maker.   The magical figure of Megan Boyd who quietly lived in a remote part of Scotland and turned down an invitation from the Queen because she had a bridge game emerges through letters and reminiscences of those who knew her of an understated master artisan.  Her fishing flies appear as works of fine art with stunning  attention to detail which ultimately led to her going blind.  Prince Charles was among those who came from all over the world to acquire her fishing flies which skillfully caught even the most elusive of fish who could not resist her charms.  With enchanting animation and a beautiful original score, the audience feels indeed as if mermaids from the deep have enticed them into an ethereal realm.

HIFF 2Autumns3Winters460x260

2 Autumns, 3 Winters

Director: Sebastien Betbeder

If you want a little comic relief, this delightful French film will take you on the journey of three lost souls who bravely face the thirtysomething condition.  The twists and turns prove that life happens while you are making plans.  With a stylish subtlety the filmmaker endears us to a trio whose search for love and meaning and at times the name of the current French president is both humorous and heart breaking.

For more info: www.hamptonsfilmfest.org

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