Over the past eight years, HIFF’s SummerDocs series—showcasing the most anticipated documentaries—has become one of HIFF’s signature events.
“Now in its eighth year, the SummerDocs series has become one of the most anticipated and respected film events in the New York and Hamptons summer calendar,” said Hamptons International Film Festival Co-Chairman and SummerDocs series presenter Alec Baldwin. “We are proud to once again screen some of the best in documentary filmmaking to our audiences and provide an insightful look into the process in conversations with leading filmmakers.”
“Each year we look to raise the bar and we’re excited at the lineup of outstanding documentaries curated for the 2016 SummerDocs series. Each of these films encompass thought-provoking subject matter that will engage and entertain audiences,” said Hamptons International Film Festival Artistic Director David Nugent. “For the first time in the series’ history we’re also including a classic documentary whose political subject matter will allow for a fascinating discussion in this sui generis election year.”
In 2016, we screened three more terrific documentaries. Read about the films below!
BETTING ON ZERO
Saturday, August 6, 7:30 pm
Allegations of corporate criminality and high-stakes Wall Street vendettas swirl throughout this riveting financial docu-thriller from writer-director Ted Braun. Controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history while Herbalife execs claim Ackman is a market manipulator out to bankrupt them and make a killing off his billion dollar short. Caught in the crossfire are middle Americans forging their financial future, working class Latino’s seeking justice, and a business model affecting the lives of millions around the world. BETTING ON ZERO weaves uncertainty, deception, hubris, intrigue, and greed in a surprising, deeply emotional dive into the world of money, fraud and the American Dream.
AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY
Saturday, July 9, 7:00 pm
New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40-year-old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator Laura Albert. AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression. AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY is an Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures release.
Director Jeff Feuerzeig (THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON) joined Alec Baldwin and David Nugent in conversation following the screening.
A PERFECT CANDIDATE
Saturday, August 27, 7:00 pm
Sometimes horrifying, often hilarious, A PERFECT CANDIDATE is a twisted journey into the underbelly of American politics. In 1994 former Marine Oliver North re-emerged from the Iran-Contra scandal to run for the U.S Senate to spark one of modern politics’ most outrageous elections. In the hotly contested race between North and incumbent Chuck Robb—who played Charlie Brown to Ollie’s Elvis—filmmakers R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor were granted astonishing access to the back room games played by the candidates, their handlers, and the press. The result is a revealing, chilling and darkly funny look into the modern political process.
Sometimes called the “evil twin” of the Pennebaker/Hegedus classic THE WAR ROOM, A PERFECT CANDIDATE screened in over 70 theaters nationwide, and on Channel 4 UK; and was nominated for an Emmy and short-listed for an Oscar. Its 2004 DVD release confirmed the film’s lasting value, and prompted The Onion to call it “brilliant, riveting, and unforgettable… a great film about American elections and the people who control them,” while The New Yorker declared, “It couldn’t be more relevant.”
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Many past SummerDocs selections, such as Twenty Feet From Stardom, Last Days of Vietnam, The Cove, Searching for Sugar Man, and How to Survive a Plague, have gone on to receive Academy Award® wins and nominations.