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Hamptons Film Festival winners announced

Director of "Hard Times: Lost on Long Island"

Director of "Hard Times: Lost on Long Island" Marc Levin, left, with one of his documentary subjects, Heather Harstein from Montauk, at the Hamptons International Film Festival in East Hampton Saturday afternoon. (Oct. 15, 2011) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A French silent film and a Long Island documentary were among the big winners at Sunday night's Golden Starfish Awards ceremony for the 19th annual Hamptons International Film Festival.

"The Artist," a French movie already shaping up as an Oscar contender, won the Audience Award for best narrative film, while "Hard Times: Lost on Long Island," about the local effects of the recession, won the Audience Award for best documentary.

"People have been rising up because the economic system isn't fair," said the documentary's director, Marc Levin, a part-time Amagansett resident. He also thanked the subjects of his film for having "the courage" to share their stories and pointed to one, Alan Fromm of Plainview, in the audience.

Two stars of "The Artist," James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller, accepted the prize for their film, which made a strong showing at Cannes as well. "Who would have thought that a black-and-white silent film set in the '20s would get such a reception?" Miller said.

The juried awards included best narrative for the slapstick comedy "The Fairy" and best documentary for "Laura," about a glamorous but impoverished hobnobber.

The festival wraps up with screenings of the award-winning films Monday.

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