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Hamptons Doc Fest launches with new name and extra day of films

Previously known as the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, the event has grown from a one-day program to a five-day series.

Robert Shafran, left, David Kellman and Edward Galland

Robert Shafran, left, David Kellman and Edward Galland in "Three Identical Strangers." Photo Credit: Newsday LLC / CNN Films/Dan Goodrich

With a new name, new logo and more films than ever, the Hamptons Doc Fest launches its 11th annual edition this weekend.

Previously known as the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, the event has grown from a one-day program to a four-day series — and this year arrives with an added, fifth day of free screenings sponsored by realtors Douglas Elliman. As always, filmmakers and other guests abound, including playwright Terrence McNally, the subject of the opening-night film, and Sheila Nevins, former president of HBO Documentary Films, who will be honored with a career achievement award. The closing night selection, “Free Solo,” about a death-defying rock climber, is one of several in the lineup that has been generating Oscar buzz this year.

“It’s the same festival, new image,” says founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro. “We have a very special time slot: It’s after Thanksgiving when everyone’s exhausted, and it’s before the Christmas madness. So it’s a nice small window where you can treat yourself to a film experience.”

Below are several highlights from the festival. All screenings are at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

EVERY ACT OF LIFE (Thursday at 8 p.m.) The opening night film pays tribute to McNally, the four-time Tony-winning playwright (“The Kiss of the Spider Woman”) and longtime fighter for gay rights. McNally will hold a live Q&A with the actor Harris Yulin.

CARMINE STREET GUITARS (Friday at 8 p.m.) A visit to the Greenwich Village shop where Rick Kelly has made custom guitars for a long list of musicians. In attendance will be director Ron Mann and guitarist G.E. Smith, former musical director of “Saturday Night Live.”

SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME (Saturday at 2 p.m.) Director Samuel D. Pollard will be in attendance at this screening of his film about the boundary-breaking African-American entertainer. Winner of the Filmmakers’ Choice Award.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Sunday at 1 p.m.) The story of identical triplets, separated at birth, who meet by chance as teenagers and discover a dark secret about their past. Tim Wardle’s film was recently shortlisted for the Producers Guild of America’s documentary award; a good sign for Oscar potential. Wardle will attend for a Q&A.

STAND UP (Monday at 5:30 p.m.) Members of Paddlers for Humanity, an East Hampton nonprofit, prepare for their annual 18-mile, open-ocean paddle around Block Island. A number of filmmakers and paddlers alike will be in attendance.

FREE SOLO (Monday at 7:30 p.m.) Oscar buzz is surrounding this film about Alex Honnold, a climber who attempts to scale Yosemite’s towering El Capitan rock without equipment. This is the festival’s closing night film.

WHEN|WHERE Thursday through Monday, at Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor.

TICKETS $15-$25; passes are $150.

INFO  (631) 237-8055 or go to


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