In his opening remarks as master of ceremonies for the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Golden Starfish Awards ceremony, Alan Cumming quipped that “Golden Starfish sounded like an S.T.D. It seems a little dirty.” Yet the ceremony was an overall sober affair that recognized and expressed gratitude for the festival’s 20th year while bestowing the traditional honors and several new awards for this year.
Included in the new awards was the Jeremy Nussbaum Prize for Provocative Fiction, which recognizes “uncompromising stories that have an undercurrent of politics and philosophy” and “edgy films that demand intellectual engagement.” Mr. Nussbaum, who lived in Amagansett and was an owner of BookHampton, died this year. His son, Gabriel, who is a filmmaker, presented the award to Cate Shortland’s “Lore” on Sunday, saying that his father had little patience for fiction that was read simply for pleasure, even on the beach in the summer.
Another new award this year was the Zelda Penzel Award: Giving Voice to the Voiceless. Ms. Penzel presented the award to “One Nation Under Dog” by Jenny Carchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent, and Amanda Mitchell. The award recognizes films that address contemporary social issues such as the ethical treatment of animals and environmental protection. Ms. Penzel also received an award from the festival in recognition of her years of volunteer work for it.
The audience awards went to David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” for narrative film, “No Place on Earth” by Janet Tobias for best documentary, and “Growing Farmers” by Michael Halsband for best short film.
Umat Dag’s “Kuma” and Ms. Shortland’s “Lore” tied for the Golden Starfish Narrative Feature Award. The Golden Starfish Award for Best Documentary went to “Colombianos,” directed by Tora Martens.
The juries for both the Golden Starfish documentary and narrative categories gave special mention to additional films. The narrative jury, which consisted of Rachael Horovitz, Joshua Rothkopf, and Trudie Styler, awarded Carlos Vallarino with a special prize for his performance in “La Demora,” which was directed by Rodrigo Pla. The documentary jury, which consisted of Thelma Adams, Chris Hegedus, and Susan Lacy, gave a special prize for inspiration to “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet,” directed by Jesse Vile.
The Kodak Award for Cinematography was given to Adam Arkapaw for “Lore.” “The Curse,” directed by Fyzal Boulifa, won the Golden Starfish Award for Best Short. A new award this year for curatorial excellence went to Ian Birnie, who was until last year the film curator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice went to “Call Me Kuchu” by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall.
Previously announced awards included the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution, presented in partnership with REACT to FILM. The award went to “Rising From Ashes” by T.C. Johnstone. This year’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize went to “Future Weather” by Jenny Deller.