HIFF30: Competition Winners Announced

The HIFF30 Competition Jury has announced their choices for the narrative and documentary competition winners in both the feature and short categories. This year HIFF screened 69 feature films and 51 short films from 34 countries, with nine (9) World premieres, three (3) North American premieres, and twelve (12) U.S. premieres. Five films competed in each of the following four categories.

Best Narrative Feature:

Dir. Lukas Dhont
East Coast Premiere
2022 | French | Belgium/Netherlands/France
Thirteen-year-old boys Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav De Waele) share an intense bond, but as their intimacy comes under scrutiny, their friendship fractures. In the aftermath, Léo builds his own sense of self while seeking answers from Remi’s mother, Sophie (Émilie Dequenne). In his brilliantly crafted sophomore feature, Belgian director Lukas Dhont delivers a visually rich, heartbreaking exploration of intimacy, shame, and responsibility. Featuring breakout performances from its young stars and set against the stunning backdrop of the Belgian countryside, CLOSE was one of the most talked-about films at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the festival’s Grand Prix. This A24 release is Belgium’s official selection for Best International Feature at the Academy Awards.

Join us for an encore screening of CLOSE on Sunday, October 16, at 8:15pm in East Hampton.

The winning Narrative Feature film receives a $3,000 cash prize as well as a film production package of in-kind goods and services with a total value of $82,500, sponsored by Panavision, Silvercup Studios/Silvertrucks, Hamptons Locations, and On Location Education.

Best Documentary Feature:
Dir. Sinéad O’Shea
East Coast Premiere
2022 | English | Ireland

Director Sinéad O’Shea returns home to the small Irish town of Navan to shed light on the painful grip that the Catholic Church held over her community for decades. Skillfully weaving together rare revelatory interviews, archival footage, and present-day investigations, she uncovers a dark history of abuse condoned by the Church, including the horrors of mother-and-baby homes and the persistent violence against schoolchildren. While exposing the co-dependent relationship among Church, State, and the Irish people that allowed for widespread abuse, PRAY FOR OUR SINNERS also reveals unlikely heroes and quiet victories, provides uplifting moments of closure, and celebrates the resilience of Navan’s townspeople.

PRAY FOR OUR SINNERS screens Saturday, October 15, at 5:00pm and Sunday, October 16, at 2:30pm.

The winning Documentary Feature film receives a $3,000 cash prize as well as a film production package of in-kind goods and services with a total value of $20,000, sponsored by 91 East Productions and GreenSlate.

The Narrative and Documentary Short Competition winners will take home a cash prize of $500 and qualify for Academy Award® consideration.

Best Narrative Short Film
Dir. Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
US Premiere
2022 | Mongolian | Mongolia/France
Davka, a Mongolian teenager living in a decaying Soviet-era apartment block, meets a mysterious older woman who challenges his views on intimacy.

Best Documentary Short Film:
Dir. Nathan Truesdell
2022 | English | USA
Tensions rise on a busy street as news organizations and local residents witness an extremely volatile situation turn into a literal powder keg.

Special Mention
Directed by Kyle Thrash, Haley Elizabeth Anderson

The remainder of the HIFF30 Awards, including the Audience Awards, will be announced after the festival ends on October 16.