As summer winds down, the Hamptons International Film Festival is gearing up — slowly announcing the roster for its 26th year, which will include films from three alumni of the annual Screenwriters Lab, all of whom happen to be women.
Sara Colangelo’s feature “The Kindergarten Teacher” will make its East Coast premiere in the Spotlight section, following her Lab participation in 2013. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosa Salazar and Gael García Bernal, the film follows a kindergarten teacher who seeks to cultivate the poetic talents of one of her students with questionable methods.
The New York premiere of 2015 Lab participant Ísold Uggadóttir’s “And Breathe Normally” about the blossoming relationship of two women in Iceland — one an airport worker, the other a detained refugee — and how their paths continue to cross, will screen in the Conflict & Resolution section.
And 2016 Lab participant Cathy Yan’s “Dead Pigs,” based on true events of the interwoven lives of five individuals in Shanghai, will screen in the World Cinema Narrative section.
Yan was also the first recipient of support from the Melissa Mathison Fund, founded in 2016 and named for the late Oscar-nominated screenwriter, which strives to foster female writers in the industry and their continued development.
“To be able to include so many completed feature films from our prestigious Screenwriters Lab is truly a dream come true,” Anne Chaisson, executive director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, said in a press release. “For 18 years, our lab has mentored over 75 screenwriters, and these three films from female directors offer diverse perspectives and have all garnered critical acclaim this year.”
Additional films will include Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince,” a biopic about the final years of Oscar Wilde’s life, starring Everett, Colin Firth and Emily Watson, which will screen in the Spotlight section.
“Capernaum” — a jury prizewinner at the Cannes Film Festival, directed by Nadine Labaki, about a 12-year-old boy in Beirut who launches a lawsuit against his negligent parents — will make its U.S. premiere in the World Cinema Narrative section, and the Views from Long Island section will feature the East Coast premiere of Michael Dweck’s documentary “The Last Race,” about a Long Island stock car racetrack trying to maintain the tradition and history of the sport.
The Air, Land and Sea section will feature the U.S. premiere of Sasha Friedlander’s and Cynthia Wade’s documentary “Grit,” chronicling the work of a young social and environmental activist in Indonesia after her village was buried by a toxic mudflow as a result of oil drilling.
“We are elated to kick off the festival with an eclectic and intriguing group of films with narratives and themes that are sure to resonate with our audiences,” David Nugent, artistic director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, said in a press release.
The 26th annual film festival will be held over Columbus Day weekend, from October 4 to 8. Passes and packages for the 2018 festival will go on sale Wednesday, September 5th, and individual tickets will go on sale on Monday, September 24. For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.