Columbus Day On Long Island’s East End: The Hamptons International Film Festival

This year’s Hampton International Film Festival Poster celebrating the Festival’s 25th Anniversary.

This year’s Hampton International Film Festival Poster celebrating the Festival’s 25th Anniversary.

By Lil & Mike

Long Island’s best Festival outside of Huntington is around the corner – Columbus Day weekend (October 5-9) is the annual Hampton International Film Festival (HIFF). For nine of the last 10 years, we have celebrated 2-5 days of incredible films, food, and fun out east.

Over the years, we have seen many memorable, award-wining films at HIFF: 12 Years A Slave, The King’s English, Black Swan, and Argo, among many more. Last year, was the seventh year in a row that the Festival’s Audience Award-winning film (La La Land) was nominated for Academy Awards Best Picture honors, with two such films (The Artist and The King’s Speech) eventually taking home the prize. Overall, films in the last nine years have received 275 total Oscar nominations; eight out of nine the years, HIFF screened the Oscar-winning Best Picture.

But we’ve also seen quite a number of more obscure films which have left a lasting impression. “Jiro: Dreams of Sushi” turned us on to both documentaries and movies which explore the exciting culinary world.  The Director of “Jiro” is David Gelb, the force behind the popular Netflix series The Chef’s Table.

HIFF offerings vary: Views From Long Island focuses on local filmmakers, the area’s unique landscapes, and the important social and political issues facing Long Island communities; Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights is a Signature Program that explores this important movement;. Films of Conflict and Resolution showcases films that deal with the complex issues and societal effects of war and violence, and the attendant human dramas. Many screenings are followed by a Q & A’s with the filmmaker(s) and/or film stars. And, if it’s your thing, celebrities are likely to be an arm’s length away.

By the time you’re reading this, the complete film schedule should be online and tickets will be available for purchase. East Hampton, the location of most of the screenings, is just an hour and a half drive from Huntington and can be a day trip. However, jump online and see what’s available as far as lodging – tickets, talks and meals are easier to come by than rooms, so attend to that first and don’t forget a rezzie at one of the top Hampton restaurants.

Check it out at HamptonFilmFest.org.