The Hamptons International Film Festival Announces 2021 Slate

A scene from "The First Wave."

On September 15, HamptonsFilm announced its full slate of programming for the 2021 edition of the Hamptons International Festival (HIFF), including the closing night presentation of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” the East Coast premiere of Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer” as the Saturday Centerpiece Film, and additional films to the Spotlight section, as well as Signature Programs including Views From Long Island; Conflict and Resolution; Air, Land & Sea; and Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights. The 29th edition of the festival will feature a lineup of films that are 53 percent female-directed and represent 34 countries from around the world.

“The French Dispatch,” will screen Monday, October 11, and will have an encore presentation on Wednesday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Guild Hall in East Hampton, the official closing night of the festival. From Academy Award-nominated writer and director Wes Anderson, and starring an ensemble cast featuring Frances McDormand, Willem Dafoe, Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Bob Balaban, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray, the film is a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. As previously announced, the festival will open with the World Premiere of Matthew Heineman’s “The First Wave” on October 7.

The festival will also host the East Coast premiere of Academy Award-nominated director Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer” as its Saturday Centerpiece Film, to screen at 8 p.m. on October 9, at Guild Hall. The film, starring Kristen Stewart and Jack Farthing, tells the story of Princess Diana, née Diana Spencer, and eschews the conventions of the traditional biopic, dialing up the melodrama and playing to our collective fascination with the woman known as The People’s Princess.

Newly announced Spotlight titles include the East Coast premiere of Joe Wright’s “Cyrano,” an exuberant and enchanting re-imagining of the timeless tale of Cyrano de Bergerac and the love and heartbreak he endures, starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, and Kelvin Harrison, Jr.; Maggie Gyllenhall’s directorial debut “The Lost Daughter,” which is adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name about a celebrated academic whose seaside holiday takes a sinister turn upon the arrival of a mysterious and menacing family, starring Oliva Coleman and Dakota Johnson; Academy Award-winning director Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers,” a masterful examination of motherhood that tells the story of two women who develop a brief but intense bond when they cross paths in a maternity ward in Madrid, starring Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit; Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut “Passing,” a riveting examination of identity in two Black women who can “pass” as white, but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga; and Academy Award-winner Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” set in early 20th century Montana and concerning the successful cattle-ranching Burbank brothers as they storm into the life of a widowed innkeeper and her dreamy, sensitive son, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst.

It was previously announced that “C’mon C’mon” and “Jockey” would screen in the Spotlight section as well. HIFF will also be presenting a special surprise screening of one of the biggest hits from this year’s Cannes Film Festival at 8 p.m. on October 9, at Sag Harbor Cinema.

“We are thrilled to once again feature the work of emerging filmmakers in our competition sections whose bold films are always a highlight of the festival,” said David Nugent, artistic director of HamptonsFilm. “And with this year’s Spotlights, Centerpieces and World Cinema sections, audiences will find some of the best films of the year that will spark buzz and resonate as this unique year of getting back into cinemas continues to unfold.”

As part of the Signature Programs, the Conflict and Resolution section will include Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee,” a poetic and arresting tale of self-discovery that follows an Afghan refugee who recounts how he escaped his native country as a teen; in addition to the previously announced presentation of “JR’s Paper & Glue.” As also previously announced, this year’s Views from Long Island program will feature the World Premiere of Kelcey Edwards’ “The Art of Making It”; the Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights program will present the East Coast premieres of Andrea Arnold’s “Cow” and Garth de Bruno Austin’s “The Last Horn of Africa”; and the Air, Land & Sea program will feature the New York premiere of Liz Garbus’ “Becoming Cousteau.”

In the World Cinema Documentary section, the slate includes the addition of Douglas Tirola’s “Bernstein’s Wall,” the World Premiere of Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce’s “Bill Mauldin: ‘If It’s Big, Hit It,” Jerry Risius and Beth Levison’s “Storm Lake,” and the East Coast premiere of Natalia Almada’s “Users.” It was previously announced that the festival would screen Amanda Lipitz’s “Found,” Rachel Fleit’s “Introducing, Selma Blair,” Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s “Julia,” Penny Lane’s “Listening to Kenny G,” and E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “The Rescue” as part of the section as well. The festival also announced the presentation of Julia Ducournau’s “Titane” in the World Cinema Narrative section, in addition to the previously announced Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman,” Nana Mensah’s “Queen of Glory,” Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir Part II,” and Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World.”

The Documentary Competition section of this year’s festival will include Jessica Kingdon’s “Ascension,” Alonso Ruizpalacios’s “A Cop Movie,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee,” and Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s “The Real Charlie Chaplin.” The festival additionally announced that Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s “Clara Sola,” Hafsia Herzi’s “Good Mother,” Sebastian Meise’s “Great Freedom,” and Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s “Murina” will screen as part of the Narrative Competition Section.

“We are delighted to welcome our audiences back to theaters with everyone fully vaccinated, wearing masks and staying safe for the 29th edition of the festival,” said Anne Chaisson, executive director of HamptonsFilm. “David and his team have worked tirelessly to bring such a well-rounded, challenging and engrossing selection of films. We are also thrilled to be screening in the new Sag Harbor Cinema for the very first time.”

HIFF also announced six programs of short films this year, including Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, New York Women in Film & Television: Women Calling the Shots, the University Short Films Showcase, This Will Be Our Year, and the Views from Long Island Showcase. Additional shorts will appear before feature films as well.

In the features lineup, the festival will host the world premieres of “The Art of Making It,” “Bill Mauldin: If It’s Big, Hit It,” “Found” and “The First Wave”; the North American premieres of “Good Mother” and “Great Freedom”: and the New York premieres of “Becoming Cousteau,” “Clara Sola,” “A Cop Movie,” “Listening to Kenny G” and “The Real Charlie Chaplin.” The festival will also feature the world premieres of “The Glass” and “Prayers for Sweet Waters”; and the New York premieres of “Anita,” “Bad Omen,” “Buzzkill,” “Pure,” and “Unity Mosque” in the shorts lineup.

The 29th annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place October 7 to 13, as a live and in-person festival. Passes are currently on sale. For full schedule and to purchase passes and packages, visit Additional information on HamptonsFilm’s year-round programming can also be found on the website.