Mariska Hargitay, the face of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” will be honored at this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival.
The actor and filmmaker will receive the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award, given yearly since 2017 to those who “support the arts and artists in other fields, such as education, related media, and other arts disciplines.”
Hargitay, 58, has supported survivors of sexual, domestic and child abuse through her Joyful Heart Foundation since its launch in 2004. The organization was an outgrowth of her “Law & Order” role as Olivia Benson, a New York City cop whose cases often involve violence against women; the actor frequently received letters from real-life survivors. Hargitay also produced a documentary, “I Am Evidence,” that raised awareness of untested rape kits at U.S. police departments, and in 2012 campaigned for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
“A role model for many across the globe for her acting career and her championing of causes around domestic violence, Mariska embodies everything the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award was created to represent,” Anne Chaisson, the festival’s executive director, said in a statement.
The festival also announced that its lineup will boast five world premieres. The locally filmed comedy-drama “Who Invited Charlie?” focuses on a family whose Hamptons getaway is interrupted by a figure from the past. “Pinball — The Man Who Saved the Game” is a comedy-drama based on a real-life figure who fought to overturn New York City’s ban on the arcade game. Rory Kennedy’s documentary “The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari” tells the story of a deadly New Zealand volcano eruption in 2019. There are also two documentaries from discovery+: “January 6th,” which looks at the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol from the perspectives of survivors and first responders, and “A Radical Life,” about the jihadist-turned-counter-extremist Tania Joya.
The festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will run in an expanded 10-day edition — up from six days last year — from Oct. 7 through 16. Passes and packages go on sale Sep. 6. For more information, go to hamptonsfilmfest.org.