The U.S. premiere of Breathe, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy will be the Sunday Centerpiece of the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival in East Hampton.
Additional films featured this year include Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow, a documentary shining light on the global migrant crisis; the recipient of the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ruben Östlund’s The Square, a fictional story about the world of art starring Elisabeth Moss, Claes Bang and Dominic West; and lastly, based on her award-winning short film, the U.S. premiere of Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy!
Both Alan Cumming and Toni Collette will attend this year’s festival with new films: Vincent Gagliostro’s After Louie stars Cumming as an NYC artist with survivor’s guilt following the AIDS epidemic, and Alexandre Moors’ The Yellow Birds stars Collette as a veteran’s mother. The Yellow Birds follows two soldiers finding their way in the midst of the Iraq War, and also stars Jennifer Aniston, Tye Sheridan and Alden Ehrenreich.
“This first group of films display works that both explore the complexities of our world and some of the challenges we face, while also highlighting the resilience of the human spirit in facing such adversity,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent.
As part of the Festival’s signature programs, A Conversation With… will feature renowned Emmy-award winning actor and Oscar-nominated director Rob Reiner, director of LBJ, the upcoming drama starring Woody Harrelson as President Lyndon Johnson, which will also screen at the Festival.
U.S. Premiere | Director: Andy Serkis
For his directorial debut, Andy Serkis brings to life the inspiring true love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish (Academy Award® nominee Andrew Garfield, Golden Globe® winner Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana’s twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together—raising their young son, traveling and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients. Written by two-time Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, and shot by three-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson, Breathe is a heartwarming celebration of love and human possibility.
New York Premiere | Director: Rob Reiner
After powerful Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson) loses the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination to Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan), he agrees to be his young rival’s running mate. But once they win the election, despite his extensive legislative experience and shrewd political instincts, Johnson finds himself sidelined in the role of vice president. That all changes on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy is assassinated and Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, is suddenly thrust into the presidency. As the nation mourns, Johnson must contend with longtime adversary Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) and one-time mentor Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins) as he seeks to honor JFK’s legacy by championing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
New York Premiere | Director: Vincent Gagliostro
Still reeling from survivor’s guilt in the years following the AIDS epidemic, NYC artist Sam (Tony Award® winner Alan Cumming) spends his days working on a seemingly never-ending video tribute to the partner he lost along the way. While an intimate encounter with a younger man (Zachary Booth) at first seems like just another one-off, it soon forces Sam to re-assess his resentment for a generation he perceives to be oblivious to the political immediacy and pain of his own. Longtime activist and first-time filmmaker Vincent Gagliostro brings a knowing sensitivity to this poignant story of generational difference, all centered around Cumming’s raw and magnetic lead performance.
The Yellow Birds
East Coast Premiere | Director: Alexandre Moors
In the midst of the Iraq War, Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Murph (Tye Sheridan), two young soldiers fresh out of training camp, find themselves woefully unprepared for the realities facing them upon their deployment into active duty. What starts off as a simple mission ends in tragedy, driving one traumatized soldier to return home desperate to escape the past while the other’s parents begins their own search for the truth. Aided by stand-out supporting turns from Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette, The Yellow Birds provides a haunting look at the personal devastation facing both the soldiers on the ground and those they leave behind.
Director: Ruben Östlund
Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ruben Östlund’s provocatively anarchic The Square follows Christian (Claes Bang), the suave director of a respected contemporary art museum who sees the museum, and his career, suddenly upended when the PR campaign surrounding his latest exhibit goes off the rails. Using the same razor-sharp humor utilized in his festival favorite FORCE MAJEURE (HIFF 2014), Östlund has created another masterful social satire that playfully disassembles the hypocrisy, privilege, and self-importance of the contemporary art world. Featuring fantastic turns by Terry Notary, Elisabeth Moss, and Dominic West, The Square skillfully orchestrates one standout sequence after another, and in the process creates one of the most memorable films of the year.
East Coast Premiere | Director: Ai Weiwei
Visionary artist Ai Weiwei’s haunting new documentary follows the plight of migrants displaced from their homelands by war, poverty, and climate change. A sprawling global odyssey, Human Flow was filmed in 23 countries over the course of more than a year and examines the staggering scale of a crisis that has now reached epidemic proportions. Bearing witness to the atrocious refugee experience serves as a reminder that this is not just a refugee crisis, but rather a human crisis. The end result is a stirring and poignant essay on the profound impact and ways in which it shapes the word.
U.S. Premiere | Director: Atsuko Hirayanagi
In this delightfully offbeat tale, Oh Lucy! follows Setsuko Kawashima (Shinobu Terajima)—a lonely, chain-smoking introvert who is wasting away at her office job in Tokyo. Setsuko’s world is turned upside down when she meets the charismatic English teacher, John (Josh Hartnett), who draws her out of her shell with the help of a blond wig and the promise of a bold new identity. When John abruptly departs for Southern California, the newly emboldened “Lucy” sets out to find him on a life-altering journey of self-discovery. Based on her award-winning short film, Atsuko Hirayanagi’s charming directorial debut explores the transformative power of individualism.