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Film Fest Features 'Views from Long Island'

Hamptons International Film Festival picks allow a look into the lives of Ted Ammon's children and the history of the Amagansett Life-Saving Station.

During the 20th annual Hamptons International Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 4 through 12, nine homegrown documentaries, features and short films made by local filmmakers will be screened at the UA East Hampton Theater.

Tickets went on sale Thursday. Admission is $15, unless otherwise noted.

Making its world premiere, "59 Middle Lane" is the film with the closest of ties to East Hampton. Two adopted children seek out their identities in Ukraine, 10 years after their father Ted Ammon was murdered in his house in East Hampton Village — just a mile away from the center of the film festival.

Greg Ammon, the CEO of UNEAC Entertainment Group, produced the film, which documents his journey with twin sister Alexa Ammon a decade after their father was killed by their stepfather, Danny Pelosi, whom their mother Generosa married three months after Ted Ammon was killed.

While the film largely focuses on their trip back to their native country, they spend a night at 59 Middle Lane, prompting "memories both breathtakingly poignant and unbearably painful: the beds they used to sleep in and the couch where their mother spent her final days; a favorite hiding place that housed the security system that was disabled the night their father died," the film description reads.

The film will be screened on Oct. 5 at 6:45 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 5:45 p.m.

The next generation of farmers on Long Island is the subject of an 18-minute short, "Growing Farmers," directed by Michael Halsband and co-produced with the Peconic Land Trust, Halsband and Hilary Leff. With the high cost of land values, access to affordable farmland often inhibits new farmers from entering the field. The documentary features Scott Chaskey of Quail Hill, John v.H. Halsey, from the trust, Alex Balsam of Balsam Farms in Amagansett, Art Ludlow and Pete Ludlow of Mecox Dairy, and Joe Realmuto, the executive chef at Nick and Toni's. A screening is set for Oct. 7 at 11 a.m.

Limited seating will be available for a panel discussion about the film at Rowdy Hall on Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. As part of the "Rowdy Talks," farmers, filmmakers, and chefs, like Foody's Bryan Futerman, will discuss the Peconic Land Trust's initiative to lease young farmers land and the impact on Long Island and its restaurants.

A 26-minute long documentary takes viewers through 100 years and more of history of the Amagansett Life-Saving Station. "Ocean Keeper," directed by Eileen Olivieri Torpey. She produces along with sisters Isabel Carmichael and Deborah Carmichael, whose family lived in the Life-Saving Station until it was sold to the town several years ago. It will be screened in the on Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m.

"Refuge," a feature narrative directed by Jessica Goldberg, is about a young woman who has to return after just one year of college to take care of her younger brother and sister whom her parents have inexplicably abandoned. "Shot in Southampton and boasting a standout cast, "Refuge" is a touching, tragic-comic portrait of lost souls in destitute small town America," the description states. Showing are Oct. 6 at 11:45 a.m. and Oct. 8 at 4 p.m.

South Fork resident Terry George, who won an Oscar for "Hotel Rwanda,"is behind an entertaining comedy of errors set in Belfast. A Spotlight Screening, "Whole Lotta Sole" is about a man who owes local gangster Mad Dog Flynn $5,000, but when he robs a fish market, he ends up with multiple hostages in a local antique shop currently run by the owner's American cousin, played by Brendan Fraser. The film screens Oct. 6 at 9:15 p.m. ($27) and Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. ($20).

Bridgehampton resident James Salter reflects on his life and work, particularly his most famous book, "A Sport and a Pastime," which rocked readers in 1967 with its poetic prose and sexual references. is the subject of a documentary "James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime" will be shown on Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m. It runs 54 minutes.

Making its New York premiere, "Mondays at Racine," a 39-minute film, is about Long Island sisters Cynthia and Rachel who offer free beauty services for women undergoing chemotherapy at their salon "Racine" in Islip. Cynthia Wade, an Academy Award winning documentary director and cinematographer, directs. Screenings are Oct. 6 at 10:45 a.m. and Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. A panel discussion with Wade will follow a special screening on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.

"Atomic States of America" based on Kelly McMaster’s book about a nuclear power plant on Long Island, the 92-minute documentary feature looks at the resurgence of nuclear power as a viable energy source in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. Filmmakers Sheena M. Joyce and Don Argott speak to reactor communities around the United States and those in the industry. Film screens Oct. 5 at 1:15 p.m. and Oct. 7 at 10:45 a.m.

Lastly, "Misson of Mermaids," a 15-minute short documentary from Susan Rockefeller, is "a poetic ode to the seas and a plea for their protection, this short documentary captures the beauty and tranquility of the ocean," the description states. There is one screening on Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

The box office opens Thursday. Tickets are available online here or by phone at 866-663-8541 from 2 to 6 p.m. The Retreat Boutique in East Hampton will be the location for open for walk-up ticket sales from Thursday through Oct. 3, noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. From Oct. 4 to 8, walk-up sales will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular pricing is $15. For more information, click here.

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