Hamptons Doc Fest is back to present its annual spring programming, which will offer two days of spectacular documentaries.
The first, on Sunday, April 28, will take place at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, while the Sunday, May 5 screening will take place at Southampton Arts Center.
“We greet the new season with what we do best…screening a new crop of docs,” Jacqui Lofaro, founder/executive director of Hamptons Doc Fest, relayed. “Our 3- film series pays homage to our planet, print journalism and the primo music of Miles Davis.”
Part I at Bay Street will feature Biggest Little Farm at 1 p.m. and Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool at 4 p.m.
Directed by Emmy Award-winner John Chester, Biggest Little Farm tells the personal story of Chester and his wife Molly, two big-city foodies that embark on a new chapter in their life, leaving the city to purchase and establish their own farm, Apricot Lane Farms. The film’s eight-year journey follows the couple as they attempt to revive 200 acres of depleted and dry soil in Moorpark, California. With guidance from a unique mentor, they plant 10,000 orchard trees and more than 200 crops, raise animals of many breeds, including a pig named Emma and a rooster named Greasy, and battle obstacles such as coyotes, insects, drought and disease.
“A gorgeous and often devastating look at good intentions slamming into harsh practical challenges, The Biggest Little Farm is the rare eco-friendly documentary that reaches beyond the celebratory formula to explore the application of its environmental message in detail,” Eric Kohn of IndieWire said about the film.
After the film, the audience will hear from Scott Chaskey, Amagansett’s longtime Quail Hill Farm director, poet and author, and Amanda Merrow, a founder and farmer of Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, who will take part in a Q&A moderated by Geoffrey Drummond, executive director of The Food Lab at SUNY Stony Brook/Southampton and a producer/director of culinary programs for television and digital media.
Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Jr.’s Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool will follow at 4 p.m. Nelson, Jr., who was the Hamptons Doc Fest’s 2015 Career Achievement Award honoree, was given an unparalleled look at the Miles Davis estate, never-before-seen archival materials, Sony archives and interviews to pay homage to the iconic jazz horn player, bandleader and musician.
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and will be released globally this summer. It will also air on the PBS American Masters series. “Directed by the gifted Stanley Nelson, it’s a tantalizing portrait: rich, probing, mournful, romantic, triumphant, tragic, exhilarating, and blisteringly honest. If you were 15 years old and walked into this movie having never heard of Miles Davis, you’d walk out touching the essence of who he is (and would probably be hungry to hear a dozen different albums). If you’re a Miles Davis fanatic from way back and think you already know everything about him, the movie, with its sharply edited interviews and stunning archival reach, fills in nuances of the man that feel fresh and new. That’s what first-rate classical documentary filmmaking does: It brings a life you may already know to even greater life,” Owen Glieberman of Variety explained.
Ed German, radio host of WPPB’s Urban Jazz Experience on 88.3 FM, will take part in the talkback panel.
Part II at Southampton Arts Center will showcase Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists, presented with the Press Club of Long Island, at 5 p.m.
The HBO documentary film, directed by Jonathan Alter, John Block and Steve McCarthy, explores the lives and careers of controversial New York City newspaper columnists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill. Throughout their five-decade careers, the two journalists penned for the New York Herald Tribune, Daily News, New York Post and Newsday. The film boasts archival footage, family archives, interviews with both columnists and major figures, and footage from the Hamptons, where the writers retreated to to find solace and a quiet place to write their novels.
“Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists comes with a heavenly supply of gossip, a treasury of revered observations on life—mainly wisecracks—and a delectably detailed view of the larger world of print journalism in which its subjects thrived,” Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal noted.
The post-film Q&A will feature the film’s co-director and director of cinematography Steve McCarthy, and Jimmy Breslin’s son Patrick Breslin, in conversation with Brendan O’Reilly, a board member of the Press Club of Long Island and the features editor of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press.
Tickets to the screenings range from $10 to $15.
Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit www.hamptonsdocfest.com.