Checking Out the South Fork at the Oscars

Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae, left to right, star in "Hidden Figures," which was nominated for best picture and best supporting actress for Ms. Spencer. Hopper Stone

Sunday was a busy night for films associated with the South Fork at the Academy Awards. Two nominated films had direct connections to East Hampton and Sagaponack, and several others were screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival, including the best picture winner "Moonlight." Because of a mix-up with the announcement, the award was at first thought to be going to "La La Land," another HIFF film.

Jenno Topping, who grew up on her family’s horse farm in Sagaponack, was nominated as a producer of the best picture nominee “Hidden Figures.” The film was also nominated for best supporting actress for Octavia Spencer and best adapted screenplay. In an introduction to the best documentary feature film nominees, the stars of "Hidden Figures" introduced Katherine Johnson, one of the people portrayed in the film, which is about three African-American female mathematicians who helped the United States get to space in the 1960s.

Jamie Patricof, a lifelong summer and weekend resident of East Hampton, was a co-producer of “Captain Fantastic,” which was nominated for Viggo Mortensen’s acting performance.

The films that HIFF screened that were nominated for awards were “20th Century Women,” “Blind Vaysha,” “Fire at Sea,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “Joe’s Violin,” “La La Land,” “Lion,” “Loving,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight,” “The Red Turtle,” “The Salesman,” “Timecode,” “Toni Erdmann,” and “The White Helmets.”

The awards started early with a best supporting actor award for Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight," which later also won for the adapted screenplay by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney. "La La Land" began its evening with an award for production design. It then won awards for cinematography, original score, original song ("City of Stars"), director (Damien Chazelle), and best actress for Emma Stone. It had been nominated for 14 awards.

"Manchester by the Sea" won what many thought was a deserved but surprise award for Casey Affleck for lead actor. It also won an original screenplay award for Kenneth Lonergan. 

Winning for best foreign film was "The Salesman," from Iran. Asghar Farhadi, the film's director and screenwriter, had refused to come to the ceremony as a protest against the recent travel restrictions on those from his country and six other predominently Muslim countries imposed by the U.S.

"The White Helmets," by Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara, won in the documentary short category.

Making a surprise cameo in a montage of clips of favorite American films named by foreigners was the Amagansett kitchen of The Star's editor, David E. Rattray, which was featured in the 1970s Woody Allen film "Annie Hall." It has since been renovated.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from "La La Land," which was nominated for 14 Oscars and screened at October's Hamptons film festival.
Viggo Mortensen, left, was nominated for best actor for his role in "Captain Fantastic," which was co-produced by Jamie Patricof.