HIFF: The First 30

Save the dates for our expanded 30th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival—October 7-16, 2022—where we will celebrate our bright future together! Join us as we revisit our first 30 years with a look back at some of the most memorable films from past editions of HIFF.


HIFF 2021: THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

“Sets a new gold standard for romantic comedy just before it sneaks up and hits you like a shot in the heart.” — Rolling Stone

Senior Programmer Megan Costello revisits one of the universally acclaimed world cinema gems from our 2021 edition last fall. Joachim Trier‘s THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD features a star-making turn from Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve.

Watch THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD on Hulu.


HIFF 2009: THE COVE

“A taut, thrilling documentary that plays out like a heist movie while never overshadowing its message or activist credentials.” — Little White Lies

In the summer of 2009, Alec Baldwin and David Nugent launched the very first SummerDocs series with THE COVE, Louie Psihoyos‘s film that would go on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Now in its 14th year, SummerDocs offers up three new films to discover this summer!

Join us in 2022, starting with FIRE OF LOVE on June 25!

Watch THE COVE on the streaming platform of your choice.


HIFF 2007: BERNARD & DORIS

“This stunner of a movie is… the hip antidote to multiplex junk.” — Rolling Stone

What can’t HamptonsFilm Board Member Bob Balaban do? He’s an acclaimed actor and producer, and he directed our HIFF 2007 Opening Night Film, BERNARD & DORIS, which starred Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes. We are so glad Bob is a part of the HIFF family!

Watch BERNARD & DORIS on HBO Max.


HIFF 2018: BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY

“Anyone who loves musical theater owes it to themselves to see [this] delightful deep-dive documentary into one man’s obsession.” — Variety

Director Dava Whisenant and subject Steve Young brought their highly entertaining documentary comedy to our enlightening SummerDocs series in the summer of 2018. Now in its 14th year, the SummerDocs series, curated by Alec Baldwin and David Nugent, continues to be one of our most popular year-round offerings.

Join us in 2022, starting with FIRE OF LOVE on June 25!

Watch BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY on Netflix


HIFF 2017: I AM EVIDENCE

“A searing, lucid film that never shies from tough details, especially when survivors share their attacks in a powerful bearing of witness.” — Variety

HIFF’s Director of Digital Content + Publications Kristin McCracken recommends I AM EVIDENCE, a searing documentary that received the annual Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice at HIFF 2017.

Watch I AM EVIDENCE on HBOMax.


HIFF 2003: OPEN WATER

“It’s a very pure, basic kind of terror, nail-bitingly fun to watch.” — Seattle Times

HIFF’s former Artistic Director Rajendra Roy (now Chief Curator of Film at MoMA) revisits OPEN WATER, a well-made, low-budget independent thriller that had its World Premiere at HIFF in 2003 before becoming an international hit.

OPEN WATER will screen on August 10 in Herrick Park as part of our Summer 2022 Screening Series.


HIFF 1994: MURIEL’S WEDDING

“A gleeful, gaudy tribute to one ungainly misfit and her determination.”The New York Times

Artistic Director David Nugent takes us almost back to the beginning, when our second annual festival featured some high-profile conversations and the eccentric wild abandon of Toni Collette‘s breakout performance.

Find out where to stream MURIEL’S WEDDING.


HIFF 2010: INCIDENT BY A BANK

“Unfolds an intricately choreographed series of events with the casual nonchalance of everyday life.” — Next Projection

Senior Programmer Megan Costello takes us back to HIFF 2010, when we screened Swedish auteur Ruben Östlund‘s (FORCE MAJEURE, THE SQUARE) innovative short film INCIDENT BY A BANK, based on a true crime event that took place in Stockholm in 2006.

Watch INCIDENT BY A BANK now.


HIFF 1995: THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN

“A stunningly surreal fantasy, a fable of longing and danger, of heroic deeds and bravery, set in a brilliantly realized world of its own. It is one of the most audacious, original films of the year.” — Los Angeles Times

Artistic Director David Nugent takes us back to our third edition, when we hosted the US Premiere of this wild French fairy tale from directors Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet after it debuted at Cannes.

Watch THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN now.


HIFF 2007: THE SAVAGES

“With the help of acting giants [Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman], Jenkins turns THE SAVAGES into a twisted, bittersweet pleasure.”Rolling Stone

Artistic Director David Nugent takes a look back at his first year at HIFF, when we screened Tamara Jenkins‘s gem of the independent film era, starring two of the best.

Watch THE SAVAGES now.


HIFF 2020: I AM GRETA

In honor of Earth Day this week, Executive Director Anne Chaisson highlights our Air, Land & Sea signature program, which was founded in 2016 with the goal to generate awareness around man-made environmental issues and foster a deeper appreciation for our planet.

The intimate and stirring documentary I AM GRETA, which had its US premiere in our HIFF 2020 virtual edition, follows the galvanizing impact of climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Watch I AM GRETA now.


HIFF 2000: Pollock

“A highly personal, rigorous, and thoughtful analysisof a truly troubled genius.” — BBC

David Nugent highlights our Views From Long Island section by revisiting Ed Harris‘ directorial debut POLLOCK, in which he starred as famed East End artist Jackson Pollock. HIFF was pleased to welcome both Ed Harris and his co-star Marcia Gay Harden—who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Pollock’s wife and acclaimed artist Lee Krasner.

We established the Views From Long Island section in 2002—presented with our partners at the Suffolk County Film Commission—featuring films that focus on local filmmakers, the area’s unique landscapes, and the issues facing Long Island communities.


Stream POLLOCK today.


HIFF 2018: Dead Pigs

Writer/director Cathy Yan brought her first feature script to our 2016 HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab, and two years later her finished film DEAD PIGS screened at HIFF after premiering at Sundance earlier in the year. Cathy went on to direct the big-budget DC Comics adaptation BIRDS OF PREY for Warner Bros. in 2020.

In addition, Cathy was the inaugural recipient of support from the Melissa Mathison Fund, established in 2016 to support women filmmakers and named for the late Hollywood screenwriter. Learn more about the Fund: http://bit.ly/mathisonfund

>> Meet the Screenwriters and Mentors in the 22nd Annual HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab. 

Stream DEAD PIGS today.


HIFF 1996: The Year of Soderbergh

Artistic Director David Nugent reflects on the seminal 1996 Hamptons International Film Festival, when the prolific Steven Soderbergh joined us in East Hampton with three (!) films that embody his extraordinary range: two films he directed, SCHIZOPOLIS and GRAY’S ANATOMY, and THE DAYTRIPPERS, which he produced.

Poignantly, he was joined by Spalding Gray, another frequent, cherished attendee, who was also the subject of GRAY’S ANATOMY.

Stream SCHIZOPOLIS, GRAY’S ANATOMY, THE DAYTRIPPERS, and a number of other Soderbergh classics now on HBO Max.


HIFF 2008: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

In honor of this week’s Academy Awards ceremony, Artistic Director David Nugent revisits Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (HIFF 2008), the first film that screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival before going on to win Best Picture at the Oscars the following year.

Two years later, another film that screened at HIFF—THE KING’S SPEECH—also went on to win Best Picture, and every year since, the ultimate Best Picture winner* has screened at the Festival the Fall before; HIFF is the only film festival in the world to have such a streak. David and the entire Programming Team applaud the willingness of HIFF audiences to take a chance on challenging cinema.

Join us in rooting for the films that screened at HIFF29 at this year’s Oscar ceremony. Tune in on Sunday, March 27!

*SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE KING’S SPEECH, THE ARTIST, ARGO, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE), SPOTLIGHT, MOONLIGHT, THE SHAPE OF WATER, GREEN BOOK, PARASITE, NOMADLAND


HIFF 2015: THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER

In solidarity with the strong and brave people of Ukraine, Artistic Director David Nugent reflects on Chad Gracia‘s haunting and prescient documentary THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER (HIFF 2015), which “succeeds brilliantly in delivering a chilling warning about where Putin and his spooks might go next” (The Guardian).

Throughout HIFF’s 30-year history, in films like this and those in our Conflict & Resolution section, we have looked to artists to help us shine a light on areas of conflict around the world, highlighting injustices and atrocities like those currently being perpetrated on the people of Ukraine.


NYWIFT Shorts: Women Calling the Shots

For almost 20 years, HIFF has been honored to showcase the outstanding achievements of female filmmakers from around the world in a beloved shorts program called “NYWIFT Shorts: Women Calling the Shots,” curated in partnership with New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT).

In celebration of Women’s History Month, NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez reflects on this cherished, longstanding collaboration.

Watch a selection of NYWIFT shorts!


HIFF 1993: THE PIANO

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Artistic Director David Nugent takes us all the way back to our first HIFF (1993), a year in which director Jane Campion gifted us with THE PIANO, a lush and romantic epic that earned Oscars for Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin, and for Campion herself (Best Original Screenplay).

Jane Campion was the first woman nominated for Best Director for THE PIANO, and she is now the only woman to be nominated twice in the category, with her 2022 nomination for THE POWER OF THE DOG (HIFF 2021).


HIFF 2017: STRONG ISLAND

“A view of systemic racism through a highly personal and artistic lens.” — Newsday

In recognition of Black History Month, Senior Programmer Megan Costello recommends Yance Ford’s intimate and riveting documentary, which screened in our Views From Long Island section at the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival and went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.


HIFF 2004: THE UNTOLD STORY OF EMMETT LOUIS TILL

“One of the most powerful, important things a documentary can do is bear witness to man’s inhumanity to man, and document for posterity crimes that cry out for justice, however tardy.” — The A/V Club

In recognition of Black History Month, Artistic Director David Nugent recommends this haunting and powerful documentary, which received the Brizzolara Family Inspirational Film Award at HIFF 2004.


HIFF 2016: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO
“You would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.” — The New York Times

Honor Black History Month with Raoul Peck‘s I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (HIFF 2016 Audience Award winner), which received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.