The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival kicks off Friday, featuring "all docs, all day" for three days.
Now in its fifth year, the festival is designed to showcase documentaries with a local connection that were rejected from the Hamptons International Film Festival, which is held annually in October from Westhampton Beach to Montauk.
HT2FF was founded by executive director Jacqui Lofaro, a Bridgehampton resident and documentary filmmaker herself, who said this year the number of film screenings has doubled.
“Also new for 2012, HT2FF will present an Audience Award to the film and filmmaker that audiences vote to be the best in the festival,” Lofaro said. “A good story can make a good doc, but a good story told with talent and heart makes a doc you’ll talk about after the theater lights come up."
Most screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, led by WPPB radio personality Bonnie Grice and Stony Brook Southampton's Andrew Botsford
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., HT2FF will hold a gala at Bay Street honoring Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of the PBS series "American Masters." It begins with a cocktail reception, followed by a tribute to Lacy, a part-time Sag Harbor resident, and screening of her Emmy Award-winning film “Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note,” with opening remarks by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie Bernstein and a Q&A with Lacy and three "American Masters" directors, Michael Epstein, Anne Makepeace and Roger Sherman.
“Susan Lacy has been responsible for building an exceptional archive of more than 185 documentary films about American cultural giants and has been involved in every aspect of the series, including selecting the artists to be profiled, hiring the teams to research and direct each film, writing grants, handling budgets and making final cuts on every documentary,” Lofaro said.
Tickets for the Susan Lacy gala are $25. Tickets to films are $15 each for general admission, and $13 for seniors. A three-day festival pass, including the gala, is $100. Tickets are available at www.HT2FF.com, at 631-725-9500, at www.baystreet.org, or at the door. Tickets may also be purchased in person in advance at the Bay Street Theatre box office or at the Romany Kramoris Gallery.
The festival provides a schedule and synopsis of films:
Friday, November 30, 4:30-10 p.m.
The film fest opens on Friday, November 30, with three films screened between 4:30 and 10 p.m., each followed by a Q&A emceed by arts writer/film critic Andrew Botsford.
4:30 p.m. First off is a free screening of “The City Dark” (84 min.) by Ian Cheney, partly filmed in Montauk, on the subject of light pollution, featuring interviews with astronomers, naturalists and others, and a Q&A afterwards with long-time Dark Skies advocate Susan Harder.
6:45 p.m. “Long May You Shine” (43 min.) by director Mark Costello Higgins tells the story of the restoration of the beautiful Victorian, Long Beach Bar Lighthouse in Greenport.
8:15 p.m. “Shelter Island: Art + Friendship + Discovery” (77 min.) by director Mike Canzoniero, portrays a poignant relationship between a gas station owner and an outsider artist on Shelter Island.
Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Ten films will be screened on Saturday, December 1, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., with Q&As emceed by lively broadcast personality Bonnie Grice.
10 a.m. The day opens with three short four-minute student films, which were winning entries in the Suffolk County Film Commission’s “First Exposure” annual competition: “The Kite” by Gaby Mikorenda of Northport High School, “Decisions” by Richard Anderson of Sachem East High School, and “Where You and I Exist” by Zachary Towlen of Bellport High School.
These will be followed by a sneak preview of “The Wind That Blows” (60 min.) by New York City director Tom Weston, about the last Yankee whalers on the tiny island of Bequia in the West Indies.
12:15 p.m. “The Salt of the Sea” (53 min.) by award-winning director Tom Garber of Hampton Bays tells the story of a vanishing breed of independent commercial fishermen from Long Island and New England.
Following that is “Shinnecock: Remember the Past, Hope for the Future” (21 min.), a film by Autumn Rose Williams, a recent graduate of the Ross School in East Hampton, who explores the Shinnecock Indian tradition of storytelling.
2 p.m. “Kings Park: Stories From an American Mental Institution” (108 min.) is a documentary by award-winning director Lucy Winer, a former inmate of the now-abandoned Long Island hospital.
4:30 p.m. “After” (22 min.) by director Jeremy Cohan tells of the grief suffered by a couple whose son, filmmaker Jesse Feigelman, took his life in 2002.
This is followed by “Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road” (24 min.) by director Eric Smith, who documents the life of an eccentric woman he met in South Beach, Miami.
6:30 p.m. The gala reception at Bay Street Theatre will be followed by a tribute to “American Masters” creator/executive producer Susan Lacy of Sag Harbor; 7:45 p.m. screening of her Emmy Award-winning film “Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note” (120 min.); and panel discussion with Lacy and three American Masters directors.
Sunday, December 2, 10 a.m.-9:15 p.m.
The final day of the festival features six films from 10 a.m.-9:15 p.m., with Q&A emceed by arts writer/film critic Andrew Botsford.
10 a.m. “Children of Chabannes” (93 min.) an Emmy Award-winning film by directors Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell tells the story of how the people in the tiny French village of Chabannes during World War II saved the lives of 400 Jewish refuge children, including Ms. Gossels’ father and uncle. The documentary represents the HT2FF’s first annual “Filmmaker’s Choice Award” and was nominated for this honor by Cat Del Buono of East Hampton, a filmmaker from last year’s festival.
1 p.m. “Deputized—Como Pudo Pasar?” (84 min.) by directors Sue Hagedorn and Amanda Zinoman, explores the 2008 Long Island hate crime whereby 37-year old Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was assaulted and killed by a group of teenage boys.
3:30 p.m. “Harry Hellfire” (97 min.) by director Jim Morrison of Greenport tells about a great but unknown rock musician who lives in a tent behind the seaside graveyard in Greenport.
5:30 p.m. “Courting Justice” (54 min.) by director Ruth B. Cowan profiles the fearless female judges of South Africa who are charged with guarding human rights.
This is followed by “Right There” (17 min.) by directors Florence Buchanan and Arthur Bijur, which recounts how the children of PS 234, just three blocks north of the World Trade Center, returned on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to discuss what they remember of that day.
7:30 p.m. The closing film is “Plimpton: Starring George Plimpton as Himself” (89 min.), directed by Luke Poling and Tom Bean, co-edited by Casey Brooks, who grew up in East Hampton, which documents the life of the founding editor of The Paris Review, amateur sportsman, fireworks enthusiast and bon vivant in both New York City and the East End of Long Island.