The Hamptons International Film Festival has revealed the full lineup for its 30th edition, which will run as an extended 10-day event Oct. 7 through 16 at theaters around the East End.
Festival organizers also announced that director Chris Columbus, whose credits include “Home Alone” and the “Harry Potter” franchise, will headline “Rowdy Talks,” the festival’s informal Q&A series.
The festival prides itself on having screened the eventual Academy Award winner for best picture over 12 consecutive years. It clearly intends to continue that streak with a slate of prestige studio productions featuring major stars and name-brand directors. Among the Spotlight selections are Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” a period romance starring Olivia Colman, and Michael Grandage’s “My Policeman,” a story of closeted gay life with Harry Styles and Rupert Everett.
Two films again share the Centerpiece slot this year. One is “The Son,” starring Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern as a couple whose divorce takes a toll on their teenage son; it's Florian Zeller’s follow-up to “The Father,” which earned Anthony Hopkins the Oscar for best actor. The other Centerpiece film is Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” a drama set in an isolated religious community; its cast includes Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley and Frances McDormand.
Other possible Oscar contenders at the Hamptons are “She Said,” starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as New York Times reporters who expose the sexual abuses of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and “Till,” featuring Danielle Deadwyler as the mother of Emmett Till, the Black 14-year-old whose murder at the hands of white Southerners in 1955 made national headlines during the Civil Rights Era. Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a comedy-drama starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, will screen as a Spotlight selection and McDonagh will sit for a live interview.
The opening night film, “Living,” about a London civil servant (Bill Nighy) who seeks adventure after receiving a life-altering medical diagnosis, is an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru” and was written by the Nobel-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”). The closing night film is “SR.,” a documentary about Robert Downey Sr., the late director who delivered “Putney Swope” and other counterculture broadsides during the 1960s long before his son became the megastar of Marvel’s “Iron Man” films.
One of the festival’s buzziest titles is surely Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which marks the career comeback of Brendan Fraser as a 600-pound online English teacher who attempts to reconnect with his teenage daughter (Sadie Sink, of “Stranger Things”). Fraser received a five-minute standing ovation for his performance after the film’s screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“With this year’s inspiring and dynamic selection of films, we cannot wait to commemorate our milestone anniversary with our film-loving community out East,” David Nugent, the festival’s artistic director, said in a statement.
For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.