Emily Blunt, Michael Moore and Dan Rather are scheduled to appear at the upcoming Hamptons International Film Festival, where some of this year's big Oscar contenders will screen alongside independent features, foreign films and offbeat documentaries.
The festival, which begins Thursday, celebrates its 23rd year with a lineup that includes "Truth," starring Robert Redford as Rather, and "Where to Invade Next," Moore's latest politically minded documentary. Rather and Moore will sit for live interviews, as will British actress Blunt, who was one of the festival's "rising stars" 10 years ago. Morgan Freeman will also attend in support of "The C Word," a cancer documentary that he narrated.
Films off the beaten track include Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion animated feature "Anomalisa," Jerzy Skolimowksi's Warsaw-based thriller, "11 Minutes," and the documentary "Newman," about a man who claimed to have invented a perpetual-energy machine. As always, the festival promises to bring as many filmmakers as possible to speak to audiences.
"The Hamptons are quite arts-centric; they devour anything," says the festival's executive director, Anne Chaisson, who moved to East Hampton over the summer. "Who would think people would want to come see some heavy documentary with esoteric characters? But they just love the Q-and-A's afterward."
Below are highlights of the festival. All times are after noon and all venues are in East Hampton unless otherwise noted.
Truth (Thursday at 7 at Guild Hall) In the festival's official opening-night film, Redford plays Rather and focuses on his final days with CBS News after an erroneous report about George W. Bush's military service. With Cate Blanchett as his producer, Mary Mapes, on whose book the film is based.
When I Live My Life Over Again (Friday at 1 at Guild Hall) During a winter in the Hamptons, a struggling singer-songwriter (Amber Heard) butts heads with another musician -- her father (Christopher Walken).
Dheepan (Friday at 1 at Sag Harbor Cinema) In war-torn Sri Lanka, a Tamil rebel (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) assumes the identity of a dead man to flee the country. Jacques Audiard's film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes.
The Uncondemned (Friday at 3 at the UA East Hampton) This documentary concerns Rwandan women who attempt to classify rape as a war crime. Director Nick Louvel, a part-time Wainscott resident, died in a car crash not long after dropping this film off at the festival. His family and friends are expected to attend the screening.
Experimenter (Friday at 9 at Guild Hall) The story of psychologist Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard), whose famous 1961 study ordered subjects to deliver electric shocks to unseen but very audible victims.
The Champions (Saturday at 1:30 at the UA East Hampton) Darcy Dennett's documentary follows the people who rescued and rehabilitated the pit bulls from NFL star Michael Vick's private dogfighting ring.
Where to Invade Next (Saturday at 5:45 at Guild Hall) Moore's new documentary isn't about American imperialism but the successful economic practices of various European countries, from the female-run banks of Iceland to the employee benefits programs of Italy.
Spotlight (Saturday at 8:45 at Guild Hall) The drama tracks the Boston Globe reporters who broke open the Catholic Church's worldwide child-molestation scandal. With Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton. Directed by Tom McCarthy ("Win Win").
Carol (Sunday at noon at Guild Hall) In 1950s New York, a sophisticated married woman (Cate Blanchett) and a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara) fall in love. Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith ("The Talented Mr. Ripley") and directed by Todd Haynes ("I'm Not There").
Bridge of Spies (Monday at 7 at Guild Hall) The festival's closing-night film is a true-life Cold War drama about a Brooklyn lawyer (Tom Hanks) tapped to negotiate a prisoner release with the Russians. Directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by the Coen brothers.
WHAT The Hamptons International Film Festival
WHEN | WHERE Thursday-Monday at venues around the East End.
INFO Tickets to most screenings are $15, passes are $125-$1,500; 631-324-4600, hamptonsfilmfest.org