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Sara Colangelo’s Maggie Gyllenhaal-starrer The Kindergarten Teacher will serve as the opening-night film of this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival, it was announced today. The movie, about an educator who uses questionable methods to cultivate the poetic talents of one of her students, also stars Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar and Gael Garcia Bernal. Colangelo is an alum of HIFF’s annual screenwriters lab.
This year’s festival will also feature works from other screenwriters lab alums: Isold Uggadottir’s And Breathe Normally and Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs. Uggadottir participated in the 2015 lab, and her film — about the relationship between two women in Iceland, an airport worker and a detained refugee — will screen in the conflict and resolution section. Yan was a 2016 lab participant and her film, screening in the world cinema narrative section, is based on true events and explores the interwoven lives of five people in Shanghai.
Other films set to screen at HIFF, announced today, include the U.S. premiere of Eva Trobisch’s All Good; Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince, starring Everett, Colin Firth and Emily Watson; Nadine Labaki’s Cannes jury prize winner Capernaum; Ali Abbasi’s Border; and docs The Last Race, from Michael Dweck, and Grit, from Sasha Friedlander and Cynthia Wade.
“We are elated to kick off our 26th edition of the festival with a film from one of our screenwriters lab alumna and to also announce an eclectic and intriguing first group of films with narratives and themes that are sure to resonate with our audiences,” said HIFF artistic director David Nugent in a statement.
HIFF executive director Anne Chaisson added, “To be able to include so many completed feature films from our prestigious screenwriters lab is truly a dream come true, especially for our opening night. For 18 years our lab has mentored over 75 screenwriters, and these three films from female directors offer diverse perspectives and have all garnered critical acclaim this year.”
The festival later announced that Damien Chazelle’s First Man will serve as its Saturday centerpiece film and Joel Edgerton’s gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased — starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Edgerton himself — will serve as HIFF’s closing night film.
The festival will also feature the world premiere of upcoming documentary The Panama Papers, directed by Alex Winter, narrated by Elijah Wood and produced by Glen Zipper, Laura Poitras and Robert Friedman. And HIFF revealed the titles set to screen in its spotlight section: Ben Is Back, To Dust, Everybody Knows, Green Book, The Hate U Give, A Private War, The Public, Wildlife and ROMA.
The 26th Hamptons International Film Festival is set to run Oct. 4-8. The Long Island event holds the distinction of being the only East Coast film festival to have screened the eventual best-picture winner at the Oscars for the past eight years.
Sept. 16, 9:54 p.m.: This story has been updated with additional films set to screen at this year’s Hamptons Film Festival.
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