Hamptons International Film Festival Honors Rising Female Stars – Jennifer Merin reports
Each year, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), the 18th edition of which takes place from October 7 to 11, 2010, recognizes breakthrough performers in its Rising Stars and Shooting Stars programs, and this year all six of the honorees are women.
2010’s Rising Stars are:
- Jessica Chastain, starring in John Madden’s The Debt, which is making its US premiere as the Centerpiece film of the festival. Chastain will next be seen starring opposite Brad Pitt in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, and has signed on to star as Desdemona in the classic play Othello opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman which will begin its run in Vienna next Spring, and come to New York next Fall.
- Freida Pinto, attending the festival alongside her Miral director Julian Schnabel for the film’s US premiere. Pinto is best known for her work in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
- Brittany Robertson, presenting the East Coast premiere of The Family Tree, in which she stars with Hope Davis and Durmot Mulroney. She also stars in another festival selection, the indie dramedy Cherry, directed by Jeffrey Fine. She is best known for her starring role as Lux on the CW’s drama Life Unexpected, and was recently seen in the film Mother and Child, directed by Rodrigo Garcia and starring Naomi Watts.
2010’s Shooting Stars are:
- Zrinka Cvitešic (Coatia) starred in On the Path by Jasmila Žbanic, Competition at this year’s Berlinale. This excellent film, to be presented at HIFF, offers a complex look at various strains of Islam in contemporary Bosnia. Zrinka moreover was acclaimed for her performance in What is a man without a Moustache by Hrvoje Hribar and Horseman by Branko Ivanda. (Supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre)
- Anaïs Demoustier (France) will present the film Sweet Evil by Olivier Coussemacq at HIFF. Her role as a fifteen year-old girl who is constantly on the move since her mother’s imprisonment, won her a Best Actress Award at this year´s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Recently, Anaïs was seen alongside Juliette Binoche in Malgorzata Szumowska´s Sponsoring. (Supported by Unifrance).
- Pihla Viitala (Finland) most recently had a role in the Aki Kaurismäki´s production Bad Family by Äleksi Salmenperä, which premiered in the Panorama section of the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival and will now be screened at HIFF. Together with Damian Lewis she will soon be playing a lead role in the UK film Man is a Wolf to Man (Santana Brothers) which is shooting in South America this Autumn. Last year she appeared in HIFF selection, Tears of April, the award winning drama by Aku Louhimies. (Supported by the Finnish Film Foundation).
HIFF’s Breakthrough Performers Program has successfully sought out and supported promising new actors in film and grown into a dynamic, enriched program which includes intimate gatherings with directors, producers, writers, veteran actors and prominent industry executives who attend the festival.
Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Devil wears Prada, Julie and Julia, The Lovely Bones) will mentor this up-and-coming talent during the 2010 festival. Past mentors have included Sharon Stone, Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, Ellen Burstyn, Robert Altman, Miranda Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances McDormand and current HIFF board member Alec Baldwin.
According to Executive Director, Karen Arikian, “This is the third year that we are partnering with European Film Promotion to present this program of up and coming international talent. I am pleased that this collaboration has been so successful, that we have been able to recognize and honor some of Europe’s most exciting young actors from EFP’s impressive roster of talent”.
“As the second decade of the Rising Stars Program nears. the focus of this program is on the shared multi-cultural talent of promising young actors,” says Lina Todd, Rising Stars Program director. “This is the first year that we are honoring an Indian actor, the exquisitely talented Freida Pinto, along with two stunning and talented Americans, Jessica Chastain and Brittany Robertson. Our exciting program with Stanley Tucci mentoring will be an influential exchange of ideas, experiences, and creativity.”