Bits: ‘Free Solo’ Takes Audience Award, Meteor Shower, Ina at BookHampton, Sonnier at Parrish

Susan Lacy and Jules Feiffer at Hamptons Doc Fest. (Photo credit CB Grubb);

‘Free Solo’ Takes Audience Award at Hamptons Doc Fest

The buzz surrounding “Free Solo” isn’t just coming from the Oscars.

The National Geographic Documentary Film recently won the Long and Mattone Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature during the 11th annual Hamptons Doc Fest at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

“We are thrilled to win the audience award at Hamptons Doc Fest,” directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi said on learning of the award. “It’s wonderful to have the film be so well received in a place that is so special to us.”

The documentary screened to a packed audience as the Closing Night Film in the five-day festival from November 29 to December 3, as part of the Douglas Elliman Community Day.

“The film, with heart-pounding cinematography, follows the eight-year dream of free solo climber Alex Honnold to be the first person to climb the face of the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope,” according to a press release.

Next year, the 12thannual Hamptons Doc Fest will be held from December 5 to 9 at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. The annual Spring Docs Day will be held on April 28 and, throughout the year, the festival will present films in collaboration with other institutions, as well as the “Film + Forum” series.

For more information, visit hamptonsdocfest.

Meteor Shower Worth Braving the Cold

Scan the sky with Montauk Observatory astronomers during the Geminid Meteor Shower observing on Thursday, December 13, at the tennis center near the Ross School, located at 18 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton.

“While meteors are best viewed by naked eye, we’ll also be setting up telescopes and looking for Comet Wirtanen, which will be passing nearby, and other celestial objects,” a press release said.

A brief talk about meteors and comets will precede the observation at 6 p.m., before moving outdoors next to the observatory to hunt for meteors until 9 p.m.

“So bundle up the kids, bring a blanket or a lawn chair and join us for one of nature’s fabulous sky shows — a great way to celebrate the holiday season,” according to a press release. “Please note that this event will be held only if the skies are clear, not if it’s overcast, raining or (heavens forbid) snowing. So look up before you head out.”

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, visit

Ina Garten to Sign Copies of “Cook Like a Pro” at BookHampton 

Ina Garten has taught millions of people how to cook — even though she is self-taught herself.

The Barefoot Contessa doesn’t consider herself to be a professional chef, but she has the knowledge base of one, and shares her latest batch of tips and recipes in her new book, “Cook Like a Pro,” which she will sign on Saturday, December 15, at BookHampton in East Hampton.

From the secret to making her custardy Truffled Scrambled Eggs to the key behind her Fried Chicken Sandwiches, “Cook Like a Pro” runs the gamut, covering both cooking and entertaining skills.

“Beginner and advanced cooks alike will love Ina’s delectable recipes, and if you have questions along the way, don’t worry — Ina’s practical cooking advice talks you through every detail, as though she were right there by your side,” a press release said. “With beautiful photos and a treasury of pro tips that span prepping, making and serving, as Ina says, ‘You don’t have to be a pro to cook like one!’”

The book signing will start at 12 p.m. at the East Hampton store, located at 41 Main Street. Admission is $35, which includes one copy of “Cook Like a Pro.” For more information, call (631) 324-4939 or visit

“Keith Sonnier — Sketches To Neon” To Screen at Parrish Art Museum

Keith Sonnier was born in Grand Mamou, a rural, bilingual town in Louisiana. Lana Jokel was born in Shanghai, China. She grew up in Brazil, was educated in France and, finally, the United States.

He is an artist, the subject of more than 140 solo exhibitions and 360 group exhibitions through his career. She is a filmmaker, known for her documentation of important figures in the art world.

And, together, they came together for the short documentary, “Keith Sonnier — Sketches to Neon,” which will screen on Friday, December 14, at 6 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum, in conjunction with the solo exhibition, “Keith Sonnier: Until Today.”

“I much look forward to this intimate portrait of Keith Sonnier by Lana Jokel, who has captured the life and work of many artists of the East End,” Corinne Erni, senior curator for ArtsReach and Special Projects at the Parrish, said in a press release.

Jokel’s 20-minute pilot film illuminates the history and creative process of Sonnier — a pioneering figure in the fields of conceptual, post-minimal, video and performance art — who radically reframed the function of sculpture.

Filmed at two locations on the East End, the documentary follows Sonnier and Jokel to a local autobody shop where the artist is transforming a 1950s Oldsmobile into a mobile neon sculpture, and Sonnier’s Bridgehampton studio, where he and Jokel discuss his process of transforming sketches and maquettes into neon works.

“‘Keith Sonnier: Until Today’ considers the full extent of Sonnier’s achievement with more than 30 works that reveal his diverse output from 1967 to the present,” according to a press release. “It features the artist‘s important and ever-evolving neon sculpture, as well as sound pieces, a site-specific neon installation in the Museum’s spine, and work rarely shown in the U.S. — large-scale sculpture influenced by his deep interest in other cultures.”

A conversation with Jokel, Sonnier and Alicia Longwell will follow the screening. Admission is $12 and free for members, children and students. For more information, call (631) 283 2118 or visit