Centerpiece, World Cinema + Animal Rights Films Announced for HIFF29

With HIFF29 just five weeks away, we’re delighted to announce that the US Premiere of Eva Husson’s MOTHERING SUNDAY will screen as the festival’s Sunday Centerpiece film on Sunday, October 10, sponsored by KORE Private Wealth.

In the Spotlight Section, the festival will screen Mike Mills’s C’MON C’MON, Wes Anderson’s THE FRENCH DISPATCH, and the East Coast Premiere of Clint Bentley’s JOCKEY. The festival will also feature the New York Premiere of Penny Lane’s LISTENING TO KENNY G, and the East Coast Premiere of both Paolo Sorrentino’s THE HAND OF GOD, and in the World Cinema section, Rachel Fleit’s INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR.

Selma Blair and Clifton Collins Jr. (JOCKEY) plan to attend the festival in person on behalf of their films.

Also featured in the World Cinema section will be the World Premiere of Amanda Lipitz’s FOUND and the East Coast Premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s A HERO. The East Coast Premiere of Andrea Arnold’s COW will screen in the Signature Program Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights. Additional titles selected for World Cinema include Ryuske Hamaguchi’s DRIVE MY CAR, Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s JULIA, Céline Sciamma’s PETITE MAMAN, Nana Mensah’s QUEEN OF GLORY, E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s THE RESCUE, Joanna Hogg’s THE SOUVENIR PART II, and Joachim Trier’s THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD.

“Every year we work to bring our audiences out east a diverse and thoughtful selection of films that excite and expand perspectives,” said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of HamptonsFilm. “We are overjoyed to once again be bringing our community together in celebration of some of the year’s most incredible films.”

“We will be presenting some of the best films from all over the world, which will transport our audiences to different places, perspectives and stories, and help us understand the world that we are in,” said David Nugent, Artistic Director of HamptonsFilm. “We can’t wait to be back in theaters to see and hear how our passionate audiences respond to the films.”

Find details of all films below.

Sunday Centerpiece


US Premiere
dir. Eva Husson (UK), 2021
In this vibrant, lush romance, orphaned housemaid-turned-writer Jane (played by Odessa Young and the legendary Glenda Jackson, respectively) reflects back on a particular warm spring day she spent in post-WWI Britain. While her employers Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Academy Award® winners Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) are away for the day, she meets with her neighbor and long-term lover Paul (Josh O’Connor, The Crown) for a clandestine tryst. Scripted by Alice Birch (LADY MACBETH, Normal People) and sensually helmed by Eva Husson, MOTHERING SUNDAY explores one woman’s passion, vulnerability, and grief in the inter-war period.

Spotlight Films


Dir. Mike Mills (USA), 2021
Writer-director Mike Mills (BEGINNERS, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN) returns to the festival with the story of Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix), a well respected radio journalist who finds his life turned upside-down when unexpected circumstances lead his semi-estranged sister Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) to leave her nine-year-old son Jesse (Woody Norman, in a breakout performance) in his care. Suddenly thrust into each other’s company, the two forge a tenuous but transformational relationship that takes them on a journey from Los Angeles to New York to New Orleans. With striking black-and-white cinematography and soulful performances from its knockout cast, C’MON C’MON is a delicate and deeply moving story about the tender connections between adults and children, the past and the future.


dir. Wes Anderson (USA), 2021
THE FRENCH DISPATCH brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. It stars Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Christoph Waltz, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston.


East Coast Premiere
Dir. Paolo Sorrentino (Italy), 2021
In his stunning new feature, Academy Award® winner Paolo Sorrentino (THE GREAT BEAUTY, YOUTH, and The Young Pope) returns to his hometown to tell his most personal story yet. Inspired by events of his youth, the film follows Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti) as he comes of age in the tumultuous Naples of the 1980s—a time of unexpected joy, including the arrival of soccer legend Diego Maradona, and of an equally unforeseen tragedy that changes the course of Fabietto’s life forever. Lusciously lensed and with excellent supporting performances by Toni Servillo and Teresa Saponangelo, THE HAND OF GOD is a sweeping tale of love, loss, self-discovery, and how one can find salvation in cinema.


East Coast Premiere
dir. Clint Bentley (USA), 2021
Despite his age and deteriorating health, veteran jockey Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) stubbornly decides to train for what is likely to be his final season on the circuit, hoping to win one last championship for his longtime trainer, Ruth (Molly Parker). This plan is unexpectedly upended by the arrival of rookie rider Gabriel (Moisés Arias), who claims to be his son—their connection further complicating the path to fulfilling Jackson’s dream. Imbued with authentic performances and gorgeously shot at an active racetrack, JOCKEY is a thoughtful character study of a seasoned athlete forced to confront his personal and professional legacy.


New York Premiere
Dir. Penny Lane (USA), 2021
LISTENING TO KENNY G explores why some people hate Kenny G’s music and why so many more people can’t get enough. With her signature wit and provocative flair, documentary filmmaker Penny Lane (HAIL SATAN?) delivers a light-hearted examination of the internationally best-selling—yet often polarizing!—smooth jazz icon. While chronicling both his impressive rise to fame and his equally colossal stumble into backlash, Lane raises some complex questions about musical taste, genre, and marketing. In the process, we hear from music critics, record executives, radio personalities, market researchers, fans—and of course, the G man himself.



East Coast Premiere
dir. Andrea Arnold (UK), 2021
This film is an endeavour to consider cows. To move us closer to them. To see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives. Not in a romantic way but in a real way. It’s a film about one dairy cow’s reality and acknowledging her great service to us. When I look at Luma, our cow, I see the whole world in her.



East Coast Premiere
dir. Asghar Farhadi (Iran), 2021
Rahim is in jail for a debt he hasn’t been able to pay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint in exchange for paying back part of the debt. Rahim is then confronted with a crisis he would never have imagined.


dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan), 2021
While grieving the loss of his wife Oto (Reika Kirishima), aging thespian Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) develops an unexpected connection with Misaki (Toko Miura), the reticent young woman hired to be his chauffeur as he prepares for an upcoming production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. An engrossing tale of love and betrayal, loneliness and kinship, DRIVE MY CAR thoughtfully considers the ways in which artistic expression can unlock fundamental truths to understanding human nature. Crafted in his characteristically mesmerizing style, Japanese auteur Ryusuke Hamaguchi (HAPPY HOUR, ASAKO I & II) skillfully transforms Haruki Murakami’s short story into an entrancing epic that earned him Best Screenplay at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.


World Premiere
dir. Amanda Lipitz (USA), 2021
Three American teenage girls, each adopted from China, come across a life-changing discovery after a commercial DNA service informs them that they are cousins. The online reunion sparks a burning desire to visit China, in an attempt to understand their past and to come to terms with what has transpired. Their journey marks the cousins’ first in-person meeting, and they band together in search of the answers that hold the key to their past. Documentary filmmaker Amanda Lipitz (STEP) elegantly sheds light on the resilience of teenage girls and the histories that bind us as we confront our unspoken pasts in order to face uncharted futures.


East Coast Premiere
dir. Rachel Fleit, (USA), 2021
Startlingly honest and candid, INTRODUCING SELMA BLAIR offers the viewer an unprecedented glimpse into the life of the celebrated actress and activist. Following Blair as she reckons with the next chapter of her life after a devastating diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, the film explores complex issues ranging from dissecting deep-rooted myths about beauty to exploring our collective fears around disability and mortality. Replete with Blair’s trademark wit and humor, director Rachel Fleit’s deeply intimate and powerful feature honors this brave and compassionate woman as she undergoes a journey of resilience, monumental transition, and personal acceptance.


dir. Julie Cohen, Betsy West (USA), 2021
JULIA brings to life the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the film traces Julia Child’s 12-year struggle to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, and her rapid ascent to become the country’s most unlikely television star. It’s the empowering story of a woman who found her purpose—and her fame—at 50, and took America along on the whole delicious journey.


dir. Céline Sciamma (France), 2021
After the passing of her grandmother, 8-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) returns with her parents to her mother’s childhood home to begin clearing out the house. While wandering the surrounding woods, Nelly discovers a secret that unlocks insights into her mother’s past. With PETITE MAMAN, Céline Sciamma (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, HIFF 2019) once again brings forth a magical quietude, this time through the exploration of the emotional bonds between mothers and daughters. Sciamma’s luscious, cinematic poetry takes pleasure in confronting the spirit of imagination and the power of memory through the eyes of a child.


dir. Nana Mensah (USA), 2021
Nana Mensah’s playful and charming debut feature QUEEN OF GLORY follows the story of a brilliant daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, Sarah Obeng (played by the director herself), who is quitting her Ivy League PhD program at Columbia University to follow her married lover to Ohio. However, Sarah’s plans fall apart when her mother dies suddenly, bequeathing her a Christian bookstore in the Bronx. A humorous and empathetic twist on the classic immigrant tale, QUEEN OF GLORY explores the intricate threads connecting the experiences of different generations, and illuminates the way in which its heroine is reborn through her inheritance.


dir. E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin (USA/UK), 2021
In the summer of 2018, the world stood watch as 12 young soccer teammates were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. Flooded passageways left rescue crews at a loss, until they sought help from cave experts and deep sea divers who offered both an expansive knowledge of the risks involved and the willpower to succeed when all hope seemed lost. Oscar®-winning directors Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi (FREE SOLO) take on one of the most remarkable rescue missions in recent history with intricate detail; the powerful firsthand accounts in THE RESCUE will leave you in awe of human perseverance.


dir. Joanna Hogg (UK), 2021
The much-awaited follow up to her mesmerizing 2019 masterpiece, Joanna Hogg’s THE SOUVENIR PART II follows Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) in the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with Anthony (Tom Burke), a charismatic and manipulative older man. As Julie begins to untangle her fraught love for him in the making of her graduation film, she deliberately sorts fact from his elaborately constructed fiction. The hypnotic and enchanting story of this young woman’s complicated reaction to a formative first love is also a portrait of an artist that transcends the halting particulars of everyday life—a singular, alchemic mix of memoir and fantasy.


dir. Joachim Trier (Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark), 2021
Julie (Renate Reinsve) is restlessly cycling through career paths, relationships and the taxing realities of existence. As she goes hurtling into her 30s she’s left wondering: when will life really begin, and what is her true purpose? Framed around Julie’s delightful indecisiveness, we follow four years of ups and downs, featuring two important relationships and a handful of what ifs. This darkly comedic journey from director Joachim Trier (LOUDER THAN BOMBS, HIFF 2015) is a biting take on romantic comedy in the modern age, and earned Reinsve the Best Actress Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The 2021 edition of the Hamptons International Film Festival will take place October 7–13 with live and in-person events and screenings across the Hamptons. Passes will be on sale after Labor Day. See the announcements to date.

HamptonsFilm will take enhanced safety measures for the 29th edition in accordance with COVID-19 regulations across the state. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination for all in-person events, and will be required to wear masks over their nose and mouth. HamptonsFilm holds the safety of our guests, filmmakers, and staff as our highest priority, and is closely monitoring any and all changes to New York State and Suffolk County health guidelines.

HIFF thanks the supporters for this year’s festival, including corporate sponsors Audi, Netflix, KORE Private Wealth, and official media sponsors WNBC, Variety, The Purist, and The East Hampton Star. HamptonsFilm is grateful for the long-term support from New York State Council on the Arts and Suffolk County.

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