The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival returns to Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre this weekend with 11 features, 11 shorts, and programs devoted to the cinema verité pioneers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and this year’s Filmmaker’s Choice Award winner, Lana Jokel. A panel will discuss the creative impulse prior to a screening of Alexandra Branyon’s film “Treasures From the Rubble.”
Subjects of this year’s films range from the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign to the iconic conservative Barry Goldwater; from the power of baseball in a remote Indian state to growing up as a child of Jewish refugees in Kenya during the 1950s and 1960s, and from Coney Island’s carnival attraction the Zipper to a Benedictine monastery in Bethlehem, Conn. The Young Voices program features six shorts, including one by Ross School students.
An event in observance of World AIDS Day will kick off the festival Thursday. A 7 p.m. screening of the Academy Award-nominated film “How to Survive a Plague” will be preceded at 5 p.m. by a panel discussion, “AIDS: Then and Now.” A break with light fare and a cash bar will follow the discussion. The program is free.
The festival officially opens Friday at 4 p.m. with “Hot Water,” Kevin Flint’s examination of how uranium mining, atomic testing, and nuclear energy contaminate our planet. Two films by Neil Leifer, “Portraits of a Lady,” in which former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sits for 25 portrait painters, and “The ConVENTion,” shot at a gathering of more than 500 ventriloquists, screen at 6 and 6:45, respectively. The evening concludes at 8:15 with “The Only Real Game,” Mirra Bank’s study of how baseball provides release from the daily struggles of the residents of Manipur, India.
Kenny Mann’s “Beautiful Tree, Severed Roots,” which will be screened Saturday morning at 10, tells the story of her parents’ affinity for Africa and her own search for identify, while illuminating Kenya’s colonial history. The Young Voices program includes Scott Sinkler’s “Living With Tourette Syndrome,” “Ross Goes West,” in which students discover small-town America, and four shorts from Downtown Community Television, which has been affording access to electronic media for 40 years to those not otherwise able to afford it.
“Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater,” produced and narrated by the late senator’s granddaughter and directed by Julie Anderson, will unspool at 1:15 p.m., followed at 3:15 by “All Me: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert,” Vivian Ducat’s portrait of an African-American artist’s journey from a Georgia chain gang to a gallery on Madison Avenue. “Treasures From the Rabble” tells the story of Lois Wilson, a folk artist originally from Fayette, La., who moved to Yonkers and persevered despite poverty and ill health. She gave her entire body of work to her hometown, where it became the foundation of the Fayette Art Museum.
“Treasures From the Rabble” will be preceded from 3 to 4:15 by a panel at the American Hotel on “The Unstoppable Creative Impulse.” Moderated by Faith Middleton, host of the eponymous NPR show, the panel will include Alexandra Branyon, director of the film; Edward Butscher, a poet and critic; Juliana Driever, a curator and writer; Aaron Louis, audio visual director at the Museum of Modern Art; Maria Maciak, media director at the Ross School, and Mercedes Ruehl, Academy Award-winning actress. The event is free but reservations are required and can be made by calling the hotel.
The HT2FF Gala, a tribute to Mr. Pennebaker and Ms. Hegedus, begins Saturday at 7 p.m. with a wine and light fare reception, followed by opening remarks at 7:45 by Susan Lacy, creator and longtime producer of the WNET-PBS "American Masters" series. “The War Room,” Mr. Pennebaker and Mr. Hegedus’s behind-the-scenes look at the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary and the Clinton campaign headquarters in Little Rock, Ark,, will screen at 8. Ms. Lacy will lead a conversation with the filmmakers after the screening.
“Shut Up and Look,” Maryte Kavaliauskas’s intimate portrait of Richard Artschwager, a quirky, irreverent artist who died in February, will open Sunday’s schedule at 10 a.m. Amy Nicholson’s “Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride,” which will be shown at noon, focuses on the 38-year-old carnival ride whose rented lot became the object of a power struggle between a real estate developer and New York City.
The Best Shorts program includes Mark Nickolas’s “My Life in the Canyon of Heroes,” Thanachart Siripatrachai’s “Words I Love,” and Rebecca Cammisa’s “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” the story of Dolores Hart, an actress who left Hollywood to become a nun. The shorts begin at 2 p.m.
“Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro” documents the journey of Desmond Child, a noted songwriter-producer, and Curtis Shaw, his lifelong partner, as they create a family. Combining more than 12 years of home movies and narrated by their twin 9-year-old sons, the film spans the period from preconception to the present. “Two” will start at 4 p.m.
The festival will conclude with a 7 p.m. screening of Ms. Jokel’s “Larry Rivers Public and Private."
Tickets for individual programs cost $15 ($13 for senior citizens), $30 for the Saturday night gala, and $100 for a pass to the entire festival, including the gala. They can be purchased from HT2FF.org, baystreet.org, or at the Bay Street Theatre box office.