Actress Mariska Hargitay helped announce the winners at the Hamptons International Film Festival Monday morning, presenting the award for best documentary to “The Eagle Huntress,” about a 13-year-old Kazakh girl who breaks a centuries-old glass ceiling by becoming her family’s first female eagle hunter.
The Emmy-winning star of NBC’s “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” who served as a festival juror, said the documentary “really touched me — wrecked me, in fact,” and praised it as a step toward the “long-sought reality” of gender equality. “The Eagle Huntress” is scheduled to open in limited release Oct. 28. Director Otto Bell later released a statement that he would donate his $3,000 cash prize to a fund for the education of Aisholpan, the film’s young subject, who hopes to become a doctor.
The awards ceremony kicked off the closing day of the 24th annual festival, which has prided itself on screening seven of the past eight Oscar winners for best picture. Its two short film prizes, which allow the winners to qualify for Oscar consideration, were awarded to the narrative “The Silence,” about a girl trying to translate for her mother at a doctor’s appointment, and the documentary “Irregulars,” about a migrant’s journey across the Mediterranean. The prize for narrative feature went to “Glory,” a Greek-Bulgarian crime drama about a railway worker who discovers a pile of cash left on the tracks.
“Oh, I feel great,” the film’s lead actress, Margita Gosheva, said while accepting the award. “This is our first award in America.”
Honorable mention went to the narrative feature “Divines,” a buddy comedy about two girls in a Paris ghetto who become caught up in a world of crime. The festival’s audience awards will be announced Tuesday morning.
The festival was scheduled to end with Dakota Fanning appearing at East Hampton’s Guild Hall for a screening of the closing-night film “American Pastoral,” in which she plays a young suburbanite who becomes a political terrorist during the 1960s.