October 5, 2012 Page 37
HIFF: Golden Starfish Awards and Other Highlights
he Hamptons International Film Festival has long been a haven for thriving indie and mass-market films. The HIFF hands out multiple awards every year, including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science and Technology, the Kodak Award for cinematography and various audience awards as well. Perhaps most prestigious are the Golden Starfish awards, presented in the past to many performers and films that have gone on to Oscar glory. The Golden Starfish Awards are open to both foreign and domestic films, and often include a cash prize, along with gifts from various sponsors. It’s interesting to put U.S. and international films together in one category without forcing some kind of division, like the Academy Awards does. It promotes the concept of film as a worldwide communal art form. The Misfortunates, which took home Cannes honors in 2009 was a winner of three Golden Starfish Awards for Best Narrative Feature, Screenplay and Cinematography. The year before, Troubled Water (which made its U.S. debut at the festival) won the Golden Starfish, while the documentary feature Herb and Dorothy (also making its U.S. debut at the HIFF in 2008) took home a prize as well. The HIFF’s Golden Starfish seems to have a tendency to go to powerful films about societal issues, a nice change of pace from typical awards-season fluff. Richard Gere will be receiving a Golden
Starfish Award, presented by Hamptons As if the HIFF needed more buzz, it’s always favorite Alec Baldwin, for Lifetime Achievement fun to speculate what may or may not be taking In Acting. Previous recipients of this honor home the Golden Starfish Awards this year. include Vanessa Redgrave, Gena Rowlands, Dead Man’s Burden looks to be a beautiful entry Joan Allen and Alec Baldwin himself. Baldwin, in the pantheon of western cinema. The family who is serving as Honorary drama Kuma promises to be an Chairman of the festival, will interesting take on a modern host “A Conversation With Turkish family living in Vienna. Richard Gere” as well, which is The Almost Man, a Norwegian a hot ticket at the festival, as comedy, might end up stealing both are Hollywood icons. Gere, the Golden Starfish, with the the star of such films as The performances both touching Mothman Prophecies, An Officer and genuine. And A Gentleman and Pretty Jason Becker: Not Dead Woman. Gere also starred in the Yet is in the running for the film Days of Heaven, directed by documentary portion of the Terrence Malick, which will also Golden Starfish and tells the be screened at the festival. story of a young musical prodigy Also receiving a Golden stricken with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Starfish Award is Ann Roth, Disease). A story of triumph and legendary costume designer courage, Jason Becker: Not Dead on such films as The Birdcage, Yet is a must-see at the HIFF Julie/Julia and The Hours. Roth, this year. Colombianos is also in who has four Academy Award Richard Gere is here! the documentary category, the nominations to her credit, also story of two brothers dealing with has been nominated for her work on Broadway, substance abuse issues. This debut film from nominated four times as well (including the director Tora Martens is a slow burn, but is also recent smash, The Book of Mormon). Three a well-told story. Emmy award nominations (recently, for her The HIFF is always an exciting time of year in work on Mildred Pierce) add to a career more the Hamptons and in the world of cinema. With than worthy of a Golden Starfish. To further multiple awards and ceremonies to keep track celebrate Roth’s career, an exhibition of her of, including the prestigious Golden Starfish, various sketches and material will be on display the HIFF is always one to Dermatology enjoy. See the full Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU for festival attendees. schedule of films at danshamptons.com Big Stock Photos
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