It's going to be "all docs, all day" this weekend as the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival celebrates its fifth year of screening documentaries with, according to organizers, "a local, Montauk to Manhattan connection."
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Documentaries will be screened for three days at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor beginning Friday.
"This year we've grown again," founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro reported in a release heralding the festival. The number of festival days has been tripled and twice as many docs will be screened. Susan Lacy, who created and produces the acclaimed PBS series "American Masters" will be honored at a gala on Saturday. And almost every film will enjoy a post-screening Q&A with the filmmaker.
"Also new for 2012, HT2FF will present an Audience Award to the film and filmmaker that audiences vote to be the best in the festival," Lofaro added.
"A good story can make a good doc, but a good story told with talent and heart makes a doc you'll talk about after the theatre lights come up," she observed.
The first "good story" comes at a real good price – free. The City Dark starts the festival at 4:30 PM. Filmed partially in Montauk, it focuses on the subject of light pollution.
Light, make that lighthouses, are the subject of Mark Costello Higgins' Long May You Shine, which screens at 6:45 PM. It's followed by fuel for thought in Shelter Island: Art + Friendship + Discovery, a look at the relationship between a gas station owner and artist on Shelter Island.
Saturday's offerings run from 10 AM to 10 PM. Opening flicks are four minute student produced shorts that won the Suffolk County Film Commission's annual "First Exposure" competition.
Around noon, Tom Garber's Salt of the Sea is screened. (Visit www.indyeastend.com to see last week's story about the filmmaker and his documentary.) Ross School alumna Autumn Rose Williams explores the Indian tradition of storytelling in Shinnecock: Remember the Past, Hope for the Future, following Salt of the Sea. The afternoon concludes with films depicting Kings Park, the mental institution, and an inside look at the grief parents felt following their son's suicide.
On Sunday, six docs will be shown, each followed by Q&As. Two have a local connection. Scheduled for 3:30 PM, Harry Hellfire, tells the story of a rock musician who lives in a tent behind a graveyard in Greenport. Plimpton: Starring George Plimpton as Himself documents the life of the sometime Hamptons resident, founding editor of The Paris Review, and fireworks enthusiast.
Tickets for each film segment are $15. A full festival pass is $100, and includes admission to the gala.
Saturday's gala begins with a cocktail reception at the theatre at 6:30 PM. A tribute to Susan Lacy, a part-time Sag Harbor resident who's described as a "documentary legend," includes the screening of her favorite among the films she's written and directed -- the Emmy award-winning Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note. Bernstein's daughter Jamie will offer opening remarks, and a panel discussion with three directors from American Masters will also be featured.
Lofaro, who is a documentary filmmaker herself said, "Susan Lacy has been responsible for building an exceptional archive of more than 185 documentary films about American cultural giants and has been involved in every aspect of the series, including selecting the artists to be profiled, hiring the teams to research and direct each film, writing grants, handling budgets and making final cuts on every documentary." She's profiled media mogul David Geffen, fashion designer Richard Avedon (an East Ender), Johnny Carson, Lillian Gish, Joni Mitchel, and countless other luminaries.
Tickets for the gala are $25, available at the Bay Street Box Office or online at www.HT@FF.com.
Also this weekend, the ninth annual OLA Latino Film Festival takes place at the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill Saturday and Sunday (admission $10 each day).
Showing at 6 PM Saturday is Locas Mujeres (Madwomen) and at 8 PM Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light). On Sunday see Jardin en el Mar (Garden in the Sea) at 3 PM and Abrazo Partido (Lost Embrace) at 5 PM.
Both festivals are sponsored by Bridgehampton National Bank.