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‘Under the Tree,’ ‘Lots of Kids’ win big at Hamptons film festival

A scene from

A scene from "Under the Tree," directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. Credit: Netop Films

An Icelandic satire set in the suburbs and a Spanish documentary about one woman’s eccentric life goals were the big winners at this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival, which held its award ceremony Monday morning.

“It was a pleasure watching all of these films,” said Harris Yulin, a narrative competition juror whose acting credits include “Scarface” and “Training Day.” “They’re all admirable without exception.”

The award for best narrative feature went to “Under the Tree,” an Icelandic comedy about a grown man forced to move back in with his parents. Its director, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, sent his thanks via email earlier that morning.

“That’s just great and way beyond my expectation,” he said in the statement, which was read by festival programmer David Nugent. “I want to thank the jury for their good sensibilities.”

Best documentary feature went to “Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle,” whose title refers to the dearest wishes of Julieta Salmeron, mother of filmmaker Gustavo Salmeron. In his acceptance-speech video, recorded in the back of a London taxicab an hour earlier, the director said one of his inspirations had been the classic East End documentary “Grey Gardens.”

“Thank you to the team,” he said. “Long life to the Hamptons film festival.”

Other winners included the short narrative film “DeKalb Elementary,” inspired by a school shooting incident in Atlanta, and the short documentary “Edith + Eddie,” about America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Honorable mention went to the short documentary “Commodity City,” a portrait of China’s Yiwu Markets, a consumer-goods complex that covers 4 million square meters.

The festival closes Monday night with a screening of “I, Tonya” and an in-person appearance by its star, Margot Robbie, who plays the disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. The festival’s audience awards will be announced Tuesday.

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