Filmmakers Alex Gibney and Todd Haynes will attend this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival, which runs Oct. 5-12 at venues around the East End.
Gibney will bring his latest documentary, “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon,” while Haynes will screen his new drama, “May December,” starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. Haynes, whose recent works include “Carol” and “The Velvet Underground,” will accept the festival’s Achievement in Directing Award.
With Hollywood actors and writers refusing to publicize their films while on strike, directors are perhaps the biggest names any film festival can hope for. Haynes will sit for a live Q&A as part of the Hamptons’ popular series “A Conversation With …,” which more often has showcased actors. The ban on publicity — as outlined by a SAG-AFTRA agreement — has its loopholes, however. The cast of Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla,” starring Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley, will be allowed to attend the Venice Film Festival because their movie was shot in Canada (the ban applies to movies shot in the United States). And Sylvester Stallone will appear at the Toronto International Film Festival to support “Sly,” which as a documentary is exempt from the SAG-AFTRA agreement.
"It’s a big challenge for us,” David Nugent, the festival's artistic director, said. “There are a lot of people who are not working right now and really want to promote their films.” He added that the festival will still feature guests who are not part of the strike — such as subjects of documentaries and actors with smaller projects that are not covered by the guilds — and that he hopes to add more people to the schedule if the strikes end.
“In many cases, we are sitting in a situation where, if the strike gets resolved, we anticipate that those people will come,” Nugent said.
The Hamptons festival will also include five world premieres. Two will be shown as Spotlight selections: Finn Taylor’s “Avenue of the Giants,” a fact-based drama about multigenerational healing starring Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”), Luke Blumm (“Where the Crawdads Sing”) and Stephen Lang (“Avatar”), and “I’ll Be Right There,” a comedy about a single mother starring Edie Falco and Bradley Whitford. Three are documentaries: “Story & Pictures By" focuses on children’s book creators; “Tell Them You Love Me" examines the controversial relationship between a university professor and a nonverbal man with cerebral palsy; and “They Called Him Mostly Harmless" tells the story behind a dead hiker's body discovered in the Florida wilderness.