Hamptons Int’l Film Festival 2018 Boosts Foreign Contenders ‘All Good,’ ‘Border’

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Photo Source: “All Good” (“Alles Ist Gut”): NFP Kino / YouTube

The 2018 Hamptons International Film Festival closed Oct. 8 after a long weekend of star-studded fetes and flicks. The New York neighborhood, known for celebrity sightings and A-list events, did not disappoint with this year’s festival, which is co-chaired by Alec Baldwin and Randy Mastro. For eight years in a row now, the fest has screened the title that eventually went on to win best picture prizes at the industry’s biggest awards. 

HIFF’s top award this year went to German director Eva Trobisch’s debut project “All Good” (“Alles Ist Gut”) for Best Narrative Feature, while the Best Documentary Feature award went to director Alexis Bloom’s “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes.” Both awards were sponsored by Netflix. Director Ali Abbasi’s “Border” (“Gräns”), Sweden’s official entry for the foreign language film Oscar, received a Special Jury Prize for in recognition of its leading actors Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff.

David Nugent, the artistic director of the festival, said of this year’s selection, “We offer our sincere praise to this year’s winners and are thankful to all the films that participated in this year’s groundbreaking competition slate. In a year in which all of our Screenwriters Lab participants were women, and our competition section was evenly split with 50/50 gender representation, it is great to see that the jury selected four films by female filmmakers.”

The festival also honored legend Alan Alda with the 2018 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award, presented to him by Baldwin. Alda will also be the recipient of the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

The inaugural presentation of the festival’s Industry Advocate for Women Award was given to Terry Lawler, the outgoing longtime executive director of New York Women in Film and Television. The award was presented by the festival’s executive director, Annie Chaisson, who said, “The festival is very fortunate to have an astounding and dynamic team of hard-working staff and volunteers that keep the festival strong. We are also very appreciative to all the donors, sponsors, film industry, and attendees, including filmmakers and talent that could join us this year to celebrate the latest and greatest of cinema.”

The weekend kicked off with Netflix’s “The Kindergarten Teacher,” with star Maggie Gyllenhaal in attendance. It closed with Australian writer-director-star Joel Edgerton’s “Boy Erased” from Focus Features, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe. HIFF also screened a bevy of early Oscar hopefuls between their Spotlight and Centerpiece films, including Yorgos Lanthimos’ Fox Searchlight dark comedy “The Favourite,” starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman; Marielle Heller’s Fox Searchlight drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” starring Melissa McCarthy as writer Lee Israel; Steve McQueen’s 20th Century Fox thriller “Widows” with Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo; and Felix Van Groeningen’s Amazon Studios addiction drama “Beautiful Boy” starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell.

The fest also included a Signature Conversation series, which featured Gyllenhaal, “First Man” director Damien Chazelle, and “The Public” writer-director-actor Emilio Estevez, all of whom had their films in the Spotlight section of the festival. Check out the full list of winners here.