HIFF 2019: Lifetime Achievement, Poster Art + Dick Cavett Award

Believe it or not, the 27th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival is on the horizon! We are thrilled to announce the following in our first wave of news about HIFF 2019: legendary director Brian De Palma will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; indelible Hamptons artist Lee Krasner‘s work will be featured on this year’s poster; and the 2019 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award recipient will be Festival Founder Toni Ross. 

Join us in the Hamptons October 10-14, 2019!


Brian De Palma and Al Pacino on the set of SCARFACE, in a scene from the documentary DE PALMA.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Brian De Palma

HIFF 2019 will honor legendary director Brian De Palma with a Lifetime Achievement Award, along with a special screening of one of his many award-winning films. De Palma will also participate in a A Conversation With… at the festival with Festival co-chair Alec Baldwin.

Brian De Palma is an American film director and screenwriter. Some of his notable directing credits include BLOW OUT, SCARFACE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, CASUALTIES OF WAR, CARLITO’S WAY, CARRIE and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

“Brian De Palma’s filmography suggests one word: excitement. Few directors in movie history have generated the kinds of feelings found in Brian’s films,” said HIFF Co-Chairman Alec Baldwin. “Although he often worked with big stars and great writers, Brian is responsible for most of the excitement in his films.”


Photo: Ann Chwatsky

Poster Artist: Lee Krasner

A legend of the 20th century abstract expressionism movement and one of the artist pioneers who moved out East to the Springs in East Hampton, Lee Krasner’s work spans over 60 years. Currently, the Barbican in London is exhibiting the first solo retrospective of her work in Europe in over 50 years, and her work is included in a group show called “Painters of the East End” exhibiting at Kasmin Gallery in NYC this summer.

“Celebrating local artists each year by commissioning or choosing their art for our official festival poster has been a hallmark of the Hamptons Film Festival since the very first year in 1993,” said HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “In looking at the array of talented artists who have donated their work — including Julian Schnabel, Eric Fischl, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Bruce Weber, Bryan Hunt, Barbara Kruger, and John Alexander — we felt there was one grande dame whose work must be a part of this legacy: Lee Krasner.”

The artwork incorporated into the HIFF 2019 poster will be Lee Krasner’s ‘Vernal Yellow,’ from her Solstice Series (1980, oil, collage on canvas, 150 x 178. Ludwig Collection). This painting, which uses cut-out fragments of figurative charcoal from the 1930s, as well as non-representational lithographs, was exhibited in 1980 at the Pace Gallery in New York. The poster will debut later this summer.

Over the past 26 years, the Hamptons International Film Festival has grown immensely from its beginnings in 1993. The choice of Krasner’s ‘Vernal Yellow’ for this year’s festival felt like a natural choice, as Krasner herself described her use of collage as way to revisit and refocus: “I go back on myself, into my own work, destroy it in some way and come up with a new thing… this seems to be a work process of mine… it’s a form of clarification… a form of growth.”


Photo: Jenny Gorman

Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award: Toni Ross

The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award was created in 2017 and first given to its namesake, Dick Cavett, to honor those in the creative arts who not only excel in their field, but who also support the arts and artists, particularly in film, television and related media.

Toni Ross’s paintings, installations, and sculptures have been showcased around the world and have left an indelible mark on the East End; she is one of its most prolific artists. Toni was the founding Chairman of the Board of HIFF in 1993 and for the ensuing five years, bringing to the organization a deep knowledge and passion for film, and a cultivation of artistic integrity outside of the fine arts. A film studies graduate of Wesleyan University, Ross was instrumental in establishing the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, where she remains on the Board of Trustees. Her career includes work with several film production designers, most notably Philip Rosenberg and Mel Bourne.

As a social activist, Toni is also a founder of Hayground School, where she has focused on the importance of diversity, removing barriers due to financial constraints and arts and culinary education. Ross is also a restaurant entrepreneur, with five East End favorites including Nick & Toni’s, and a supporter of Guild Hall, OLA, and Planned Parenthood, among other non-profit organizations. In a prescient move, Ross founded and curates the biennial series Women Artists: Reshaping the Conversation in East Hampton.

“Toni Ross has been an instrumental champion of the arts and the East End community where she works and lives. She helped to launch the Hamptons International Film Festival and is the reason we are all here today. We look forward to honoring her at the festival in October,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent.

Previous recipients of The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award include Cavett himself and Alan Alda.


The 27th annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place Columbus Day Weekend: October 10 – 14, 2019. The Festival is pleased to welcome back returning Premiere Sponsor Audi, Lead Sponsors Delta and Altour, Signature Sponsors Netflix and JP Morgan, and Official Media Sponsors WNBC, The East Hampton Star, and Purist Magazine.