5 Films to World Premiere at HIFF 2018

There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of sitting in a darkened theater, awaiting the very first public screening of a film… to be part of the first audience ever to have that particular shared experience. That will happen five times at this year’s festival, and we invite you to experience these World Premieres with the filmmakers, the cast/subjects of the film (in some cases), and us!


Panama Papers 650World Premiere
Directed By Alex Winter
Documentary Feature | 96 minutes

Leaked by an anonymous source to journalists in 2015, The Panama Papers were an explosive collection of 11.5 million documents, exposing the use of secretive offshore companies to enable widespread tax evasion and money laundering. Largely viewed as the largest data leak in history, the release of the Papers had wide-reaching implications, incriminating 12 current or former world leaders, 128 politicians or public officials, and various celebrities and public figures (among others). In his expansive documentary, director Alex Winter speaks to the journalists who worked to ensure the release, and examines how it reshaped our understanding of corruption amidst the highest forms of government, along with the ongoing effects on global inequality.

Sponsored by ID Films 100Saturday, October 6, 6:45pm
East Hampton UA
Sunday, October 7, 7:15pm
East Hampton UA


Cat Rescuers 650World Premiere
Directed By Rob Fruchtman & Steven Lawrence
Documentary Feature | 87 minutes

Throughout the United States, an estimated 40 million cats live abandoned without a home, with over 500,000 stray or feral cats roaming the streets of New York City alone. In an effort to counter the increasingly uncontrollable issue of the city’s abandoned cat population, hundreds of animal welfare activists have taken to the streets to attempt to humanely help the animals through new techniques and adoption pushes, often at great expense to their personal lives. Following four of these volunteer activists working in Brooklyn, THE CAT RESCUERS is an eye-opening look at a too often undiscussed issue facing the city, and the courageous few doing what they can to help.

WINNER: 2018 Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award
A panel will immediately follow the screening on 10/7.

Sunday October 7, 12:45pm
East Hampton UA


City of Joel 650World Premiere
Directed By Jesse Sweet
Documentary Feature | 83 minutes

50 miles north of New York City lies the town of Monroe, where one of the fastest-growing Hasidic communities in the country thrives deep within the Hudson Valley. As the 25,000+ population within the village of Kiryas Joel looks to expand their city, the neighboring villages of non-Hasids see the encroaching community as a burgeoning power grab, leading to an increasingly tense standoff between locals. Shot over several years with seemingly boundless access, Emmy®-winning director Jesse Sweet’s documentary observes the simmering tensions that have come to define the community of Monroe, and the myriad ways in which the town’s divide echoes the country’s as well.

Sponsored by NetflixFriday, October 5, 10:15am
East Hampton UA
Sunday, October 7, 3:15pm
East Hampton UA


Henri Dauman 650World Premiere
Directed By Peter Kenneth Jones
Documentary Feature | 86 minutes

As one of the preeminent photographers of the 20th century, self-taught Henri Dauman took the international photojournalism scene by storm with his cinematic images that redefined the methods of capturing historical icons. Leaving behind his past as an orphaned Holocaust survivor, Dauman created a new life for himself in New York City, where his timeless style quickly gained momentum amidst high society and celebrity culture. Exploring both the photographer’s traumatic past and the contrasting vibrancy of the city that would define his work, director Peter Kenneth Jones’s film is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the man behind the camera.

Sponsored by ID Films 100Saturday, October 6, 5:30pm
East Hampton UA
Sunday, October 7, 3:30pm
Southampton UA


Ask for Jane 650World Premiere
Directed By Rachel Carey
Narrative Feature | 108 minutes

Between 1969 and 1973, The Jane Collective operated underground in Chicago, helping over 11,000 women receive safe, illegal abortions throughout the metropolitan area, learning and performing the procedure on their own in an era that refused to make them legally available. Before disbanding in the wake of Roe v. Wade in 1973, the group operated like a spy network throughout the city and provided a necessary public service to the women of Chicago. Exploring the story of Jane’s founding with a ensemble cast including Emmy® nominee Alison Wright, Tony® nominee Saycon Sengbloh, and Ben Rappaport, ASK FOR JANE is a timely reminder of the necessity of reproductive healthcare in our modern era.

Sunday, October 7, 11:15am
Southampton Arts Center