NYAD. Annette Bening as Diana Nyad in NYAD. Cr. Liz Parkinson/Netflix ©2023

The 2023 Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) will open on Thursday, October 5, with the East Coast Premiere of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s Nyad. The film, which is set to be released by Netflix later this year, marks the narrative feature directorial debut for the Academy Award®, BAFTA® and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaking duo Vasarhelyi and Chin.

Nyad, which stars Academy Award® nominee Annette Bening, Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans, tells the remarkable story of American marathon swimmer Diana Nyad (Bening), and is based on Nyad’s 2015 autobiography Find a Way. Nyad, at the age of 64, became the first person to complete the “Everest of swims,” executing a 53-hour, 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, through dangerous open ocean, without a shark cage. Vasarhelyi is scheduled to attend the festival and will participate in a post-screening conversation on the film.

Vasarhelyi and Chin’s previous works include Wild Life (2023), Return to Space (2022), The Rescue (2021), and Free Solo (2018), the latter of which was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

“After welcoming Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s incredible documentary film The Rescue at the 2021 edition of our festival, it is an honor to celebrate their narrative debut as this year’s Opening Night presentation,” said HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent. “Vasarhelyi and Chin are two of this generation’s most compelling storytellers, and NYAD is further proof that their creativity and eye for filmmaking knows no bounds. We are thrilled to share their story with our audiences.”

The 31st annual edition of HIFF will take place October 5-12, 2023, with in-person screenings and events across the Hamptons.


East Coast Premiere
dir. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (USA), 2023
Based on a remarkable true story, NYAD marks the feature directorial debut of Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo, The Rescue). By 2010, Diana Nyad (four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening) had long been a singular success, breaking records and becoming a national sensation 35 years earlier with notable swims around Manhattan and from the Bahamas to Florida before enjoying a prominent career as a sports journalist. But after three decades away from the water, the former marathon swimmer finds herself consumed with completing the excursion that had always eluded her: the 53-hour, 110-mile trek from Cuba to Florida popularly known as the “Mount Everest” of swims. Together with her best friend and coach Bonnie Stoll (two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster), the sixty-year-old Diana begins what would become a harrowing four-year journey of intense training amongst unpredictable setbacks. Determined to become the first person to complete the swim without a shark cage for protection, Diana works with Bonnie to recruit a dedicated team that navigates the dangerous open ocean, unrelenting weather, and emotional obstacles that threaten to derail a lifelong dream. A moving testament to the power of will, friendship, and the glory of teamwork, NYAD also stars Rhys Ifans; the film is produced by Andrew Lazar, p.g.a. and Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a. with a screenplay by Julia Cox, adapted from the book “Find a Way” by Diana Nyad.

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