Skip to main content

HIFF's SummerDocs Returns for Another Season

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 03:52
"Maiden," about the first all-female crew to compete in the World Race, will open the SummerDocs film series this year.

One of the high season's traditions for fans of the documentary film genre, the Hamptons International Film Festival's SummerDocs series returns for its 11th year on June 29 with a screening of the "Maiden" by Alex Holmes. It will continue with Mads Brugger's "Cold Case Hammarskjold" in July and Rachel Mason's "Circus of Books" in August. All three screenings, which typically sell out, will include discussions of the films. They take place at Guild Hall.

"Maiden" takes as its subject, Tracy Edwards, and her all-female sailboat crew as it competed the World Race, a 32,000-mile trek around the globe. In her second-hand racing yacht, she and her crew were the first of their gender to compete for the Whitbread Round of the race and continue to the finish. At the age of 25, she was named Yachtsman of the Year for 1990, the first woman so honored. She was also named a Member of the Order of the British Empire." 

"Cold Case Hammarskjold" concerns the mysterious 1961 crash of the United Nations secretary general Dag Hammmarskjold's plane. The crash killed Hammarskjold and most of the crew. Mr. Brugger, a Danish journalist and filmmaker, returns to the unsolved case to lead viewers on an agitprop-styled journey of "false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews" that eventually uncovers something even he wasn't expecting.

"Circus of Books," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, is the filmmaker's very personal look at her parents' gay bookstore in Los Angeles, from its own beginnings to when her parents took it over until its ultimate demise in the era of internet porn. The film looks at gay culture during those decades and how the Mason family reconciled its middle class lifestyle and observance of its Jewish faith with the practicalities of distributing pornography in the community.

"With fascinating documentaries that showcase topics including a brave group of female sailors, a wild and intriguing investigation into a plane crash from over 50 years ago, and a straight couple's story of owning a gay porn shop, our audience will once again get a peek at some of the best nonfiction work of the year," said David Nugent, the HIFF artistic director. 

Saturday at 8 p.m., "Framing John DeLorean," starring Alec Baldwin and directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, will be will be screened at Guild Hall. Following the screening, Mr. Baldwin, a co-chairman of the festival, Mr. Nugent, and the directors will discuss the film. Tickets are $25 and $23 for HIFF or Guild Hall members. On Tuesday, "Blue" by Karina Holden will be screened as part of HIFF's "Air, Land + Sea" special series of films dealing with the environment. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the East Hampton Cinema. Tickets are $14.

All SummerDocs screenings begin at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and $23 for members. The outdoor screenings at Southampton Arts Center start at 8:30 and are free.