The Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs series returns for the ninth year to present new and groundbreaking documentary filmmaking and thought-provoking stories to the East End. The series will kick off with a screening of Netflix’s NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS on Saturday, July 8th at 7:00PM, followed by The Orchard & CNN Films’ TROPHY on Saturday, July 29th at 7:00PM, both at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
In August the series will also screen IFC’s TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON on Friday, August 4th at 8:30PM at Gurney’s in Montauk, Showtime’s WHITNEY. “CAN I BE ME” on Thursday, August 17th at 7:00PM at Southampton Arts Center in Southampton, and close with Netflix’s ICARUS on Saturday, August 26th at 7:00PM at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
Following the screenings HIFF Co-Chairman Alec Baldwin & HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent will lead conversations with filmmakers and subjects including Director Brian Knappenberger and special guests to be announced for NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS, Directors Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz for TROPHY, Director Rory Kennedy and subject Laird Hamilton for TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON, Director Nick Broomfield for WHITNEY. “CAN I BE ME”, and Director Bryan Fogel for ICARUS.
Full Lineup of 2017 Summer Docs
NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS
Saturday, July 8th at 7:00PM at Guild Hall in East Hampton
When online tabloid Gawker posted a sex tape starring former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, a high-stakes legal battle pitting privacy rights against the First Amendment ensued. Hogan won the case and the staggering settlement he received not only bankrupted Gawker and its founder Nick Denton, but also exposed a controversial, behind-the-scenes benefactor: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
Whether you love or hate Gawker, Brian Knappenberger’s gripping polemic reveals the forces that really brought down the news portal. Taking examples like Sheldon Adelson’s purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this compelling documentary illustrates a growing, sinister trend at odds with our country’s free press. Corporate executives, titans, and billionaires are tipping the balance on the public’s access to news, posing new threats to society’s relationship to the truth. Knappenberger’s knack for capturing timely and provocative shifts in the new digital era is instinctive. Fusing exhaustive interviews with Denton, commentators, and journalists Nobody Speak weaves a disturbing, fascinating tale of power and truth with a moral that runs to the core of democracy.
Saturday, July 29th at 7:00PM at Guild Hall in East Hampton
Endangered African species like elephants, rhinos and lions march closer to extinction each year. Their devastating decline is fueled in part by a global desire to consume these majestic animals. Trophy investigates the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation. Through the eyes of impassioned individuals who drive these industries –from a Texas-based trophy hunter to the world’s largest private rhino breeder in South Africa –the film grapples with the consequences of imposing economic value on animals.
What are the implications of treating animals as commodities? Do breeding, farming and hunting offer some of the few remaining options to conserve our endangered animals? Trophy will leave you debating what is right, what is wrong and what is necessary in order to save the great species of the world.
TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON
Friday, August 4th at 8:30PM at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Spa in Montauk
TAKE EVERY WAVE: The Life of Laird Hamilton tracks the remarkable life and legendary career of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Much admired by the public, though often disdained or ignored by the surf industry itself, Laird is a unique sports icon—an athlete who has refused to compete professionally yet has dominated big wave surfing as no other figure in history ever has.
Laird’s biographical story is told against the backdrop of a winter surf season on Kauai, where El Niño storm systems threaten to bring the biggest surf in decades. Mixing never-before-seen archival footage with contemporary verité scenes shot in Southern California, Bermuda and Kauai, Take Every Wave weaves the past and present into an intimate and compelling portrait of a superstar athlete at the top of his game. Threaded throughout is a revealing, deeply personal interview with Laird, as well as conversations with the family members, friends, collaborators and detractors who know him best.
Take Every Wave provides an intimate, uncompromising look at a lifetime devoted to riding giant surf—and the price an athlete pays for greatness.
WHITNEY. “CAN I BE ME”
Thursday, August 17th at 7:00PM at Southampton Arts Center in Southampton
Whitney Houston was a sure thing, or as sure as the music industry had ever seen. A transcendent talent with pedigree and mentorship to match, she was going to be the greatest female vocalist ever. For a time, she was, and then she all-too-publicly fell short.
Documentarian Nick Broomfield and iconic music video director Rudi Dolezal offer a never-before-seen backstage look at the height of Houston’s stardom and trace with penetrating detail the forces that contributed to her shortened career and subsequent death in 2012, at age 48. Whether it be racism, religion, drugs, sexuality, self-doubt, gossip, rivalry, insufficient training, the demands of parents and the industry, a troubled marriage playing out in headlines, or the inevitable toll those stresses take from so muscular and passionate a singer, the directors leave nothing unturned. They create a picture of a remarkable woman who needed more help than she received and provide an unflinching, gripping, and wholly committed exploration of talent given and taken away, in an era obsessed with how that talent lives when the stage lights go down.
Saturday, August 26th at 7:00PM at Guild Hall in East Hampton
The ruthless worlds of international sports and politics rarely collide as spectacularly on screen as they do in Bryan Fogel’s thriller, which is sure to set off convulsions of controversy.
While investigating the furtive world of illegal doping in sports, Fogel connects with renegade Russian Scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov—a pillar of his country’s “antidoping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer, despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory.
Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. Icarus places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.