HIFF Signature Programs

Explore our distinctive Signature Programs: these exclusive screenings, conversations, and special events are unique to the Hamptons International Film Festival, bringing diverse, thoughtful entertainment to the East End.


Discover thrilling new talent in HIFF’s prestigious Competition section. Each year, the HIFF Awards honor emerging narrative and documentary directors from all over the world, representing cinema’s next wave of groundbreaking film artists.

Films are honored in narrative feature, documentary feature and short film competitions, including categories for both narratives and documentaries. Juried by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals, these competitions comprise important, provocative premieres from new voices in filmmaking.


Since 2000, the Films of Conflict & Resolution section has showcased films that focus on the realities of human conflict and injustice around the world, and inspire discussion about the possibilities for resolution. The films, which include both features and shorts, call on the audience to learn, react, and engage in worthy causes.

One film from this section is awarded $5,000 as the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award winner. Recent program highlights include FOR SAMA (Academy Award Nominee); THE CAVE (Academy Award Nominee); OF FATHERS AND SONS (Academy Award Nominee); HUMAN FLOW (Academy Award Documentary Shortlist); I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Academy Award Nominee); FIRE AT SEA (Academy Award Nominee); THE WHITE HELMETS (Academy Award Winner); and many more.

Each year, one film in the program is recognized with a cash prize of $5,000 from The Brizzolara Family Foundation. The 2022 award was presented to FREEDOM ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM by Evgeny Afineevsky.


Bringing together animal advocacy, environmental and social justice issues, our Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights section provides a platform for filmmakers to share meaningful information, stories of inspiration, and tools for creating a safe and humane world for animals.

In the 21st century, billions of animals continue to be exploited for our food, clothing, labor, research and entertainment. They are denied their basic right to life and fundamental protections against violence and cruelty. The films in this program seek to arouse in the consciousness of our audiences respect for the dignity and rights of all living beings and to encourage dialogue about how we treat and view animals as a community.

Each year, the winner of the Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights program receives the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award, accompanied by a cash prize. Raising public awareness about the moral and ethical treatment and the rights of animals, as well as environmental protection, the winning film inspires compassion and compels social change. Given by Zelda Penzel, long time educator, advocate for animal rights, and a volunteer at HIFF since its inception.

HamptonsFilm also has a year-round program that brings Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights education into the schools. Learn more!

Founded in 2016 with the goal of generating awareness around man-made environmental issues, our year-round Air, Land + Sea program presents films that take filmgoers on a journey of environmental appreciation and awareness, fostering a deeper appreciation for our planet and allowing filmmakers and experts to share information and discuss solutions to the global problems we face. This screening series runs all year long, creating citizen scientists who address the issues we face on the East End every day.

Founded in 2016 with the goal to generate awareness around man-made environmental issues, this section fosters a deeper appreciation for our planet, and allows filmmakers and experts to share information and discuss solutions to the global problems which face us all today.

HamptonsFilm’s Air, Land & Sea selections take filmgoers on a journey of environmental appreciation and awareness. This journey continues with post-screening Q&As that dive deep into the issues depicted in select films.

Air, Land and Sea is made possible, in part, by the generous contribution of Susan and David Rockefeller. Additional support provided by Nicole Delma and Fond Group.

The Views From Long Island program focuses on local filmmakers, the area’s unique landscapes, and the important social and political issues facing Long Island communities.

Supported by the Suffolk County Film Commission, one Suffolk County Next Exposure Grant is awarded to a feature film in the section. This program supports the completion of high quality, original director-driven, low budget independent films from both emerging and established filmmakers who have completed 50% of principal photography within Suffolk County, New York.

With support from


Since the Festival’s inceptionA Conversation With… has been an integral part of HIFF, featuring one-on-one interviews with some legendary personalities. Past conversations include Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand, Brian De Palma, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Altman, Laura Dern, Holly Hunter, Edward Norton, Emily Blunt, Hilary Swank, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew BroderickMartin Scorsese, and many more.

For three mornings during the Festival, all are welcome to join HIFF for food, fun, and casual conversation with exciting special guests at our HIFF Talks.

Guest artists are featured in a moderated conversation, with coffee and light breakfast served free of charge. Cinephiles will not want to miss this exciting opportunity for in-depth and informal discussion with pre-eminent film artists!

Each year, the Hamptons International Film Festival recognizes a new class of Breakthrough Artists. These up-and-coming stars with uncommonly bright futures are celebrated at the Festival.

Past honorees include many future Oscar® winners and nominees, including Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Taraji P. HensonOctavia SpencerPatricia Clarkson, Samantha MortonLupita Nyong’oMichael ShannonMelissa Leo and more.

Additional actors who have received this honor include Oscar Isaac, David Oyelowo, Adam Driver, Brie Larson, Miles Teller, Jack O’Connell, Tatiana Maslany, Emily Blunt, Rooney Mara, and Alexander Skarsgård.

650 Plural Plus Awais Catalog Pic

During the annual Film Festival, HamptonsFilm welcomes nearly 1000 local, middle, and high school students to participate in the annual film festival to view short films made by international youth on diversity, migration, inclusion and human rights. Students are further engaged with a post-screening Q&A session with attending filmmakers and educators. Learn more.

The short films are made by international youth. Most of the films are chosen in conjunction with the Plural+ International Film Festival, a joint venture of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration.