HIFF25: Centerpieces, Spotlights, Award Winners + More

The 25th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival today announced two more Centerpiece films, three Spotlight features, the feature films in our HIFF Competition, and two key award winners.

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The Friday Centerpiece film in Southampton on October 6 will be the North American premiere of Simon Curtis’s GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, a look into the life of author A.A. Milne and his relationship with his son, leading to the creation of the renowned character “Winnie the Pooh.” The film stars Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie, and HIFF Honorary Board member Carter Burwell is the film’s composer.

Starring Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, Saturday’s Centerpiece film in East Hampton is the East Coast Premiere of Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. The story of a woman in conflict with her local police department in an attempt to solve her daughter’s murder case, the film recently received the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay by McDonagh.

“The addition of GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI as Centerpieces are sure to please audiences for their emotional depth, brilliant performances and captivating storylines,” said Hamptons International Film Festival Artistic Director David Nugent. “We hope audiences enjoy these first-look opportunities, as well as the additional variety of creative voices and diverse stories playing at this year’s festival.”

Three additional Spotlight Films were announced today, including Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER, winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Richard JenkinsLuca Guadagnino’s CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, starring Timothée Chalamet, one of this year’s Variety 10 Actors to Watch; and Fatih Akin’s IN THE FADE, starring Diane Kruger. The Spotlight section is sponsored by Audi.

Simon Curtis, Carter Burwell, and Diane Kruger will attend the festival.

The festival also announced the winner of HIFF’s longstanding signature program Films of Conflict and Resolution: Greg Campbell’s HONDROS, a documentary that explored the life of Chris Hondros, one of the world’s most acclaimed war photographers, killed in action at the age of 41, and the legacy he left behind. Sponsored by HighTower Sports and Entertainment and The Brizzolara Family Foundation.

The third year of HIFF’s successful Compassion, Justice, and Animal Rights section awards Allison Argo’s THE LAST PIG, which looks at a man in the crossroads of life during his final summer as a pig farmer, with the Zelda Panel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award, sponsored by Zelda Penzel.

Films in this year’s Documentary Competition include Gustavo Salmerón’s LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE; Jennifer Peedom’s MOUNTAIN; Jason Kohn’s LOVE MEANS ZERO; Jed Rothstein’s THE CHINA HUSTLE; as well as the previously announced 11/8/16, curated and produced by Jeff Deutchman.

The Narrative Competition will include director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Icelandic narrative UNDER THE TREE; Carla Simón’s SUMMER 1993; Ali Asgari’s DISAPPEARANCE; Cory Finley’s THOROUGHBREDS; as well as the previously announced OH, LUCY!, directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi. Read more about the HIFF Competition films here.



North American Premiere | Director: Simon Curtis
Simon Curtis, director of MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (HIFF 2011), presents a heartfelt look into the complicated relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin (newcomer Will Tilston), whose collection of toys and unbridled imagination inspired the enchanting world of Winnie The Pooh. As the whimsical adventures of this honey-loving bear quickly capture the attention of a traumatized, post-war England, the family suddenly finds themselves swept up in the international success—though not without paying the price that often accompanies such fame. While his mother (Margot Robbie) revels in the spotlight, her son struggles with the abrupt loss of his childhood. With great empathy, GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN explores the complexities of family, war, and celebrity.


Three Billboards Day 04_118.dngEast Coast Premiere | Director: Martin McDonagh
With the local police force no closer to finding a culprit in the months following her daughter’s murder, Mildred (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) decides to make a statement of her own when she posts three signs leading into the town with a blatant message for the town’s chief of police (Woody Harrelson) and his rough-hewn second-in-command (Sam Rockwell). With the same bitingly dark and comedic tone of his previous two films, IN BRUGES and SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (HIFF 2012), Academy Award® winning writer-director Martin McDonagh returns to feature filmmaking with this wildly entertaining and unpredictable story of a divided community simmering with tension and ready to blow.



CMBYN_stills_00086403.JPGDirector: Luca Guadagnino
As another summer in his family’s Italian villa lazily drifts by for 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet, Variety’s 10 Actors To Watch), 24-year-old Oliver seems at first to be little more than the latest in a long line of his father’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) research assistants. However, as the weeks wind on, a tender connection develops between the two in Luca Guadagnino’s sun-soaked masterpiece. Refining the stylistic splendor of his previous work into a lush exploration of desire and intimacy, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is an intoxicating reminder of the tentative gestures and fleeting moments that mark our first steps into the unknown, and their lasting ability to soften the sting of changing seasons.


U.S. Premiere | Director: Fatih Akin
Selected as Germany’s official submission for the Academy Awards® Best Foreign Language Film, Fatih Akin’s tightly-wound revenge thriller stars Diane Kruger as a woman struggling to overcome her profound grief in the wake of a neo-Nazi terrorist attack that leaves her husband and son dead. Awarded the Best Actress prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Kruger provides a stunningly fearless and grounded lead performance as the victim of an increasingly prevalent form of violence, pushed to the edge and forced to find her own justice in the wake of a failed judicial system.


Shape of Water 650East Coast Premiere | Director: Guillermo del Toro
As the Cold War reaches its peak in the early 1960s, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute janitor working at a US government facility, finds a strange creature held deep within the laboratory. Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER is a mesmerizing continuation of his fascination with on-screen monsters and their real-world counterparts, wonderfully realized through a brilliant cast (including Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins), and jaw-dropping production design and cinematography. In creating perhaps the most realized synthesis of his many preoccupations to date, del Toro has created a wondrous take on the classic monster movie that seems to exist at once out of time and inseparable from our own.



Liberian Government Troops Push Back RebelsDirector: Greg Campbell
Known for his probing and humane coverage of countries ravaged by conflict, Chris Hondros was one of the world’s most acclaimed war photographers when killed in action at the age of 41. Director Greg Campbell thoughtfully retraces Hondros’s numerous assignments to war-torn nations, with a visceral understanding of the invaluable power of photojournalism. Featuring interviews with Chris’s colleagues and subjects, Campbell creates a stirring portrait of the life of a pioneering photographer who committed himself to bearing witness to the human condition, to ennobling the suffering of others, and to telling their stories with compassion.



Last Pig 650New York Premiere | Director: Allison Argo
A moving meditation on a man’s crisis of faith, THE LAST PIG follows Bob Comis as he concludes his last season as a pig farmer. Peppered with reflections on his decade with the pigs, farmer Bob’s introspective voiceover guides us through the changing seasons on the farm, and the images, often filmed at ground-level, merge us with the drove. Director Allison Argo masterfully gives weight to what at first appear to be mundane daily rituals, and as an ethical question swells for farmer Bob, it does for us as well. In this intimate portrayal of a man at a crossroads, we are welcomed into the sacred moment of choice.