The Hamptons International Film Festival has announced a new special program for the 23rd annual festival, which will run Oct. 8-12.
First, the compassion, justice and animal rights program will include three narrative or documentary films focusing on social justice issues and animal rights. One of the three will receive the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” award. This year the festival will premiere Darcy Dennett’s “The Champions,” which follows the pit-bulls rescued from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s fighting ring.
“Billions of animals continue to be abused every day and denied their basic right to life and protection against violence and cruelty,” said the festival’s artistic director, David Nugent. “This new signature program will allow the festival to join the important film movement that brings justice to animals.”
The festival also announced that its morning talks will now be called Winick Talks at Rowdy Hall, naming the series after director-producer Gary Winick, a longtime fest supporter whose film “The Tic Code” won the audience award in 1999. During the 2015 festival, the talks will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10-11 a.m.
Finally, partnerships with local students will extend between the festival and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and International Organization for Migration. Each year about 25 student films are chosen to be screened during the festival.