(Long Island, N.Y.) This year the Hamptons International Film Festival celebrated their 20th anniversary. The Hamptons International Film Festival was established to promote Independent film – feature length, short, fiction and documentary. The festival introduces a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to a wide range of audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting movies that express fresh voices and differing global concepts, with the hope that these programs and films will inspire audiences and provide exposure for filmmakers.
This year the film festival took place from October 4th through the 8th of 2012. Throughout the film festival I enjoyed many red carpet events and interviews. Here are my top choices for films:
The Hamptons International Film Festival was honored to present “Love, Marilyn” for their Opening Night Film of the 20th Anniversary Film Festival. I had the chance to interview the Director, Liz Garbus. The documentary features an intimate and revealing portrait of perhaps the most famous female movie star to grace the silver screen. The documentary reveals access to Monroe’s never-before-seen personal correspondence, diary entries, and archival footage. This film traces the beginning of the legend, from Norma Jeane Mortenson to sexy starlet to American icon. “Love Marilyn” also depicts the desperate final year of her too-short life. The film features Actors Viola Davis, Marisa Tomei, Glenn Close, Adrien Brody and many more celebrated actors. “Love Marilyn” celebrates the tenacity, vulnerability and beauty of Marilyn Monroe on the 50th anniversary of her death.
A-listers on the red carpet that I was lucky to interview included: Director Liz Garbus, Former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and Celebrity Photographer Milton Greene’s widow Amy Greene who lived with Marilyn for four years.
Directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, Citizen Hearst traces the one hundred and twenty five year history of the Hearst publication empire. The documentary is narrated by Academy Award nominee William H. Macy. The film depicts the founder, William Randolph Hearst, pioneering and controversial days of headline-grabbing journalism, to the global impact of the company’s many successful media brands.
Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks share with interested audiences a rare glimpse behind the glass walls of the Hearst Tower, interviewing top magazine editors of Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. The film also brings awareness about San Simeon, California, for unprecedented access to the Hearst Castle and family members.
Leslie Iwerks is an Academy Award and Emmy nominated documentary producer and director. She has filmed numerous award-winning shorts and feature length films spanning the last two decades. Her films include Pixar Animation Studios, George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic and the Hearst Media Empire.
Ms. Iwerks is the granddaughter of Oscar-winning Disney animation legend and designer of Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks, the subject of her 1999 documentary, The Hand Behind the Mouse.
I had a chance to interview Leslie Iwerks after the screening of the film in East Hampton on the red carpet where she revealed that she was approached by Hearst Publication to make this important documentary.
The world premiere of “The Girl” screened at this year’s 20th Hamptons International Film Festival. The film stars British Actors Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock and the lovely Sienna Miller portraying Actress Tippi Hedren.
At the Baume and Mercier Reception I had a chance to chat with Actor Toby Jones about his film accomplishments and his new film “The Girl.”
Alfred Hitchcock is perhaps the most famous film director of all time, directing Hollywood classics as “Vertigo” and “Psycho.” This film portrays speculated controversy of accusations about his abusive personal treatment of his blonde leading ladies. “The Girl” depicts Hitchcock and Actress Tippi Hedren’s on and off-set tumultuous and torrid relationship while filming the seminal horror film, “The Birds.” Director Julian Jarrold stages the filming of many of “The Birds” most famous realistic sequences. Jones and Miller’s entertaining performances are lavish and intense digging into the personas of these two Hollywood icons of cinema in this penetrating docudrama.
Director Julian Jarrold is a BAFTA Award-nominated English film and television director. He is a member of the family which founded Jarrolds of Norwich in 1823 and was educated in Norfolk at Gresham’s School, Holt. His credits include “Kinky Boots,” “Becoming Jane,” and “Red Riding.”
Any Day Now
Also at the Baume & Mercier Reception I talked candidly with Actor Alan Cumming about his new film “Any Day Now.”
“It’s a beautiful film, I am very, very proud of it. It’s about a gay couple in the 70’s who try to adopt a down syndrome child. It premiered in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival and it’s coming out in cinemas in December. In all my vast career it is the one thing I am most proud of. The movie is coming out and changing opinions of everyone! Nothing much has changed since the 70’s for gay people adopting children,” revealed Alan during our sit down interview.
Based on true events and anchored by moving performances, the film “Any Day Now” depicts Alan Cumming as Rudy, an aspiring singer and part-time drag queen in 1970s Los Angeles. Rudy discovers his drug-addicted neighbor habitually abandons her down syndrome teenage son Marco played by Isaac Leyva. After finding Marco wandering alone on the streets, Rudy and his new partner Paul, a closeted District Attorney played by Actor Garret Dillahunt, decide to take Marco home to live with them and the three become a loving family. When authorities find out the situation that Rudy and Paul are gay, the couple battle a prejudiced judicial system to adopt the boy they now consider their son.
Director Travis Fine decided to leave a successful acting career in 2001 to become an airline pilot. While flying a commercial jet, Travis began to develop the story that became his first feature film, “The Space Between,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 and was shown on the USA Network on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
In Your Dreams
Despite stormy weather, the world premiere of the Documentary “In Your Dreams” took place after Conversations with Stevie Nicks at the Sag Harbor Cinema in Sag Harbor, New York on October 7th, 2012 to a red carpet filled with adoring fans and members of the press.
Singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks established her career as one of the most distinctive female voices in rock history as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo performer.
Stevie is famous for her bewitching, emotionally charged songs including “Rhiannon” to “Landslide”, “Dreams” and “Gypsy”. Producer/songwriter Dave Stewart was one half of the influential pop/rock group the Eurythmics with Annie Lennox. In 2010 Stevie and Dave partnered to collaborate and record Nicks’ highly acclaimed album, “In Your Dreams.”
The documentary is co-directed by Stewart and Nicks. The film reveals the album’s creation and peeks inside the never before seen unique footage behind the creative process of Dave and Stevie.
“I asked Dave if he wanted to produce this record and without even planning it he decided to do it at my house and that was the greatest thing. That was really the catalyst to do it in a big beautiful old 1938 house instead of going to a studio that cost you $2,500 a day – we had no time limits. We didn’t have to be there at any time. We could leave at any time. We could roll with our own time scale. It became our own kind of world and went on for a year,” revealed Stevie during our interview on the red carpet before the world premiere of the film.
Dave Stewart is recognized as one of the most respected and accomplished talents in the music and Rock and Roll industry today. Besides his creative talent as a musician, Dave is a renowned producer, author, director, photographer, filmmaker, and philanthropist. His music career spans three decades and more than one hundred million album sales. Stewart is famous for his collaboration with Annie Lennox in the groundbreaking pop-rock duo The Eurythmics.
The Hamptons International Film Festival premier sponsors included: Capital One, Wall Street Journal and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The lead sponsors included Silvercup Studios, Baume & Mercier and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts New York.
At the Baume & Mercier Reception I was happy to interview Rudy Chavez, President of Baume & Mercier North America.
This year their marketing and branding is about special moments in our lives.
Their advertising campaign was shot in The Hamptons with real families, the Baume & Mercier campaign is composed of six visuals that are instant snapshots of daily life.
The campaign expresses a special lifestyle spirit and created to convey authenticity. The families shown radiate an aura of genuine emotions and a vibrant sense of real-life moments bearing the unmistakable Baume & Mercier signature.
For more information please visit www.baume-et-mercier.com.
The Hamptons International Film Festival presented an evening of conversation with humanitarian, actor, and Golden Globe winner Richard Gere. Mr. Gere’s legendary career has cemented his place as one of the finest actors in Hollywood from his breakthrough in Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” through his career-defining roles in “American Gigolo,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” Pretty Woman” and his latest triumph “Arbitrage.”
Gere has successfully blended a true intensity and charm to his performances. Actor Alec Baldwin discussed the craft and artistry behind Gere’s unforgettable performances at Guild Hall. The evening culminated in Gere being honored with The Golden Starfish Award for Lifetime Achievement in Acting. Every year at the home of founder Stuart Suna the Chairman Reception takes place where all the filmmakers, starlets, actors and members of the press gather before the award is given out. I had the pleasure of attending the reception and red carpet event.
A-listers that attended included, Sienna Miller, Toby Jones, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Dree Hemingway, Director James Ponsoldt, Hawk Koch President of the Academy Awards and Bravo TV James Lipton from “The Actors Studio.”
For more information about the Hamptons International Film Festival please visit www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.