‘Falling’ reaches top at Hamptons

Outlaw teen romance also wins Zicherman award

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — Dani Minnick’s outlaw teen romance pic “Falling Like This” captured the top prize Sunday at the Hamptons Intl. Film Festival.

Pic stars Brian Vaughan, Megan Wilson and Patricia Clarkson in the story of a juvenile delinquent in the San Fernando Valley and the tomboy who loves him.

Minnick, a first-time helmer, will receive more than $180,000 in cash and in-kind services for her next feature. Pic also received a $5,000 Zicherman Family Foundation Award for best cinematography.

The jury also recognized Robert Forster for his perf in Dan Cohen’s “Diamond Men.”

“Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale” picked up the $10,000 award from Court TV for best documentary.

Ellie Lee’s surreal “Dog Days” won the best short prize of $5,000 from the Independent Film Channel.

In the midst of conflict in the Middle East, pics by an Israeli and a Palestinian shared the award in the Films of Conflict and Resolution division. Avi Mograbi’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi” and Najwa Najjar’s “Naim and Wadee’a” both received the $25,000 prize.

The Hamptons is one of the few festivals in the country that bestows monetary prizes to films.

Fest chairman Stuart Match Suna said the Hamptons board wants to upgrade the event to include higher profile pics. He noted that the fest, which has traditionally run for four days, may move to a two-weekend stretch.

Ed Harris brought his helming debut “Pollock” to the festival. Among the cadre of celebs who showed up for the screenings of more than 100 pics were Harry Connick Jr., Liev Schreiber, William Hurt, Danny Aiello, Rob Morrow, Fisher Stevens, Ned Beatty, Aidan Quinn, Amy Madigan, Ally Sheedy, Catherine Kellner, Marcia Gay Harden, Whit Stillman and Forster.

“The Hamptons is not so much about good films as it is about talented directors,” said attorney Steven Beer, who reps indie pics as a sales agent. “It’s a great place to find emerging talent.”

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