Sowing the Seeds of Doubt

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Director Robert Kenner receiving the Hamptons Doc Fest’s Pennebaker Career Achievement Award at the festival on December 7, 2019, at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

This week, Hamptons Doc Fest is adding a “Fest Favorite” from the December 2015 festival, “Merchants of Doubt,” to it website, hamptonsdocfest.

Directed by Robert Kenner, “Merchants of Doubt” (96 min., 2014) is a satirical, comedic film, inspired by the book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which focuses on a group of pundits-for-hire, who present themselves as scientific authorities but sow confusion about public threats like tobacco smoke, toxic chemicals and climate change.

Kenner is well known for his films “Food, Inc.” (2008), about the industrialization of the American food industry, which won two Emmys and was nominated for an Academy Award, and “Command and Control” (2016), about a 1980’s nuclear missile accident in Arkansas. Both were shown at previous Doc Fests.

For his body of work, Kenner received the Hamptons Doc Fest’s Pennebaker Career Achievement Award at the festival in December 2019. He was interviewed at the award ceremony by East Hampton filmmaker and long-time friend Don Lenzer. That interview will be on the website as well.

Other films also still available through the Hamptons Doc Fest website, most with Q&As from the directors’ appearances at the Hamptons Doc Fest film festival in previous years, are “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” “Spielberg,” “Life, Animated,” “Very Semi-Serious,” “Free Solo,” “To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor,” “Marvin Booker Was Murdered,” the new first-run documentary “Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint,” “Dads” for Father’s Day, “Pick of the Litter,” “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” the new first-run documentaries “John Lewis: Good Trouble” and “Spaceship Earth,” “A Moment in Time: Hamptons Artists,” “What Happened, Miss Simone?” new first-run documentaries “The Fight” and “Denise Ho: Becoming the Song,” and Fest Fave “Mike Wallace Is Here.”

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