The fifth annual Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival will showcase the screenings of documentary films, “all docs, all day,” for three days on November 30, December 1 and 2—all at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, all with a local, Montauk-to-Manhattan connection.
“This year we’ve grown again,” said HT2FF founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro of Bridgehampton. “We’ve tripled the number of festival days and doubled the number of documentary film screenings. At a special gala on December 1, we’re honoring Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of the award-winning PBS series ‘American Masters,’ that appears on New York’s public television stations, Channels 13 and 21. And nearly every film will have a post-event Q&A with the filmmaker, emceed by spirited broadcast personality Bonnie Grice and arts writer/film critic Andrew Botsford.”
“Also new for 2012, HT2FF will present an Audience Award to the film and filmmaker that audiences vote to be the best in the festival,” said Ms. Lofaro. “A good story can make a good doc, but a good story told with talent and heart makes a doc you’ll talk about after the theatre lights come up. Enjoy the festival!,” she exclaimed.
Gala Honoring “American Masters” Series Creator Susan Lacy, December 1, 6:30 p.m.
The gala on Saturday, December 1, begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Bay Street Theatre, followed by a tribute to documentary legend Susan Lacy, who lives part-time in Sag Harbor. The evening includes the screening of her favorite of the many films she has written and directed, the Emmy Award-winning “Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note”; opening remarks by Mr. Bernstein’s daughter Jamie Bernstein; and a Q&A discussion with the filmmaker and three of her American Masters directors—Michael Epstein, Anne Makepeace and Roger Sherman.
“Susan Lacy is one of the giants in the documentary field, who created the American Masters series for PBS and who for 26 years has produced, directed and written scores of documentaries highlighting Americans who made major contributions to our culture,” said HT2FF founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro of Bridgehampton, who is a documentary filmmaker herself.
“Susan Lacy has been responsible for building an exceptional archive of more than 185 documentary films about American cultural giants and has been involved in every aspect of the series, including selecting the artists to be profiled, hiring the teams to research and direct each film, writing grants, handling budgets and making final cuts on every documentary.”
Documentaries written, directed or produced by Lacy include the film biographies of media mogul David Geffen (premiering nationwide November 20 on PBS), fashion designer Richard Avedon, talk show host Johnny Carson, opera star Placido Domingo, architect Buckminster Fuller, entertainer Judy Garland, actor Lillian Gish, singer Lena Horne, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, reporter Edward R. Murrow, television producer Rod Serling, musician Paul Simon, playwright Tennessee Williams, and many others.
Lacy has said of her vision for the series: “I wanted to do for creative people and the creative process what ‘American Playhouse’ had done for drama, what ‘NOVA’ did for science on PBS.”
Tickets for the Susan Lacy gala are $25 and are available at www.HT2FF.com, at the Bay Street box office, by phone at 631-725-9500, or at the door.
Presenting Sponsor for the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival is Bridgehampton National Bank.
Friday, November 30, 4:30-10 p.m.
The film fest opens on Friday, November 30, with three films screened between 4:30 and 10 p.m., each followed by a Q&A emceed by arts writer/film critic Andrew Botsford.
4:30 p.m. First off is a free screening of “The City Dark” (84 min.) by Ian Cheney, partly filmed in Montauk, on the subject of light pollution, featuring interviews with astronomers, naturalists and others, and a Q&A afterwards with long-time Dark Skies advocate Susan Harder.
6:45 p.m. “Long May You Shine” (43 min.) by director Mark Costello Higgins tells the story of the restoration of the beautiful Victorian, Long Beach Bar Lighthouse in Greenport.
8:15 p.m. “Shelter Island: Art + Friendship + Discovery” (77 min.) by director Mike Canzoniero, portrays a poignant relationship between a gas station owner and an outsider artist on Shelter Island.
Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Ten films will be screened on Saturday, December 1, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., with Q&As emceed by lively broadcast personality Bonnie Grice.
10 a.m. The day opens with three short four-minute student films, which were winning entries in the Suffolk County Film Commission’s “First Exposure” annual competition: “The Kite” by Gaby Mikorenda of Northport High School, “Decisions” by Richard Anderson of Sachem East High School, and “Where You and I Exist” by Zachary Towlen of Bellport High School.
These will be followed by a sneak preview of “The Wind That Blows” (60 min.) by New York City director Tom Weston, about the last Yankee whalers on the tiny island of Bequia in the West Indies.
12:15 p.m. “The Salt of the Sea” (53 min.) by award-winning director Tom Garber of Hampton Bays tells the story of a vanishing breed of independent commercial fishermen from Long Island and New England.
Following that is “Shinnecock: Remember the Past, Hope for the Future” (21 min.), a film by Autumn Rose Williams, a recent graduate of the Ross School in East Hampton, who explores the Shinnecock Indian tradition of storytelling.
2 p.m. “Kings Park: Stories From an American Mental Institution” (108 min.) is a documentary by award-winning director Lucy Winer, a former inmate of the now-abandoned Long Island hospital.
4:30 p.m. “After” (22 min.) by director Jeremy Cohan tells of the grief suffered by a couple whose son, filmmaker Jesse Feigelman, took his life in 2002.
This is followed by “Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road” (24 min.) by director Eric Smith, who documents the life of an eccentric woman he met in South Beach, Miami.
6:30 p.m. The gala reception at Bay Street Theatre will be followed by a tribute to “American Masters” creator/executive producer Susan Lacy of Sag Harbor; 7:45 p.m. screening of her Emmy Award-winning film “Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note” (120 min.); and panel discussion with Lacy and three American Masters directors.
Sunday, December 2, 10 a.m.-9:15 p.m.
The final day of the festival features six films from 10 a.m.-9:15 p.m., with Q&A emceed by arts writer/film critic Andrew Botsford.
10 a.m. “Children of Chabannes” (93 min.) an Emmy Award-winning film by directors Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell tells the story of how the people in the tiny French village of Chabannes during World War II saved the lives of 400 Jewish refuge children, including Ms. Gossels’ father and uncle. The documentary represents the HT2FF’s first annual “Filmmaker’s Choice Award” and was nominated for this honor by Cat Del Buono of East Hampton, a filmmaker from last year’s festival.
1 p.m. “Deputized—Como Pudo Pasar?” (84 min.) by directors Sue Hagedorn and Amanda Zinoman, explores the 2008 Long Island hate crime whereby 37-year old Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was assaulted and killed by a group of teenage boys.
3:30 p.m. “Harry Hellfire” (97 min.) by director Jim Morrison of Greenport tells about a great but unknown rock musician who lives in a tent behind the seaside graveyard in Greenport.
5:30 p.m. “Courting Justice” (54 min.) by director Ruth B. Cowan profiles the fearless female judges of South Africa who are charged with guarding human rights.
This is followed by “Right There” (17 min.) by directors Florence Buchanan and Arthur Bijur, which recounts how the children of PS 234, just three blocks north of the World Trade Center, returned on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to discuss what they remember of that day.
7:30 p.m. The closing film is “Plimpton: Starring George Plimpton as Himself” (89 min.), directed by Luke Poling and Tom Bean, co-edited by Casey Brooks, who grew up in East Hampton, which documents the life of the founding editor of The Paris Review, amateur sportsman, fireworks enthusiast and bon vivant in both New York City and the East End of Long Island.
Tickets for each film segment are $15 ($13 for senior citizens, though no online sales). The Saturday night gala, including reception and “Leonard Bernstein” film is $25. A full festival pass for all three days of films including the gala is $100.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.HT2FF.com; at the Bay Street Theatre box office in person, by phone at 631-725-9500, online at www.baystreet.org or at the door; and in person at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street, Sag Harbor, 631-725-2499.
The HT2FF.com website has a full description of films, photos, and links for purchasing tickets.
Further information is available from executive director Jacqui Lofaro at info@HT2FF.com.