This year, the Hamptons International Film Festival’s (HIFF) signature “A Conversation With” series has an impressive list of Hollywood heavyweights taking part. Hilary Swank, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Laura Dern, and Joel Schumacher will headline the lectures, which will take place at Bay Street Theater.
The program kicks off with Patricia Clarkson on Friday, October 10th, at 2 p.m. Clarkson is attending the Festival on behalf of the Spotlight film “Learning to Drive,” which is making its US premiere at HIFF. The Yale School of Drama alum worked on Broadway before making the move to film. She’s had roles in “The Green Mile,” “Far From Heaven,” HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” “Dogville,” “The Station Agent,” “All the Real Girls,” “Good Night,” “Good Luck,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Cairo Time,” and “Easy A.” In 2003, Clarkson earned an Academy Award nomination for her part in “Pieces of April.”
Next up is director Joel Schumacher, who is receiving this year’s Golden Starfish Lifetime Achievement in Directing Award. Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of People and Entertainment Weekly, will lead the discussion, which will take place on Saturday, October 11th, at 11 a.m. The director’s impressive resume includes “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys,” “Falling Down,” “The Client,” “A Time To Kill,” two installments of the Batman film franchise, “8MM,” “Flawless,” “Tigerland,” “Phone Booth,” “Bad Company,” “Veronica Guerin,” and the 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “The Phantom of the Opera.” He recently returned to television to direct two episodes of Netflix’s “House of Cards.”
“A Conversation With” Laura Dern will take place on Saturday, October 11th, at 1 p.m. The daughter of actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, Laura rose to fame thanks to collaborations with director David Lynch, including “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart.” She’s also had roles in “Rambling Rose,” “Jurassic Park,” “A Perfect World,” “Citizen Ruth,” “October Sky,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” and “Inland Empire.” Dern’s latest film, “Wild,” is the Hamptons International Film Festival Southampton Opening Night Film.
Mark Ruffalo will take part in the program on Sunday, October 12th, at 12 p.m. Following minor roles in “Safe Men” and “Ride with the Devil,” Ruffalo got his big break in Kenneth Lonergan’s “You Can Count On Me.” Since then, he’s starred in several studio and indie hits including “Windtalkers,” “My Life Without Me,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Collateral,” “Zodiac,” “The Avengers,” and “Begin Again.” Currently he can be seen in the HIFF Saturday Centerpiece Film, “Foxcatcher,” alongside Channing Tatum and Steve Carell.
Hilary Swank wraps up the series on Sunday, October 12th, at 3 p.m. Variety Executive Editor Steven Gaydos will moderate the discussion, where the actress will also be honored with Variety’s Creative Impact in Acting Award. Swank began her career at only 15 years old. She is one of the few elite actresses who have won the Oscar for Best Actress twice. First for her breakout performance in “Boys Don’t Cry” and then for “Million Dollar Baby” starring Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.
The 22nd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place over Columbus Day Weekend, from Thursday October 9th, through Monday, October 13th.
Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.