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The 19th Annual Hamptons Film Festival

Hello darlings, welcome back to Cognacs Corner Magazine and our special Red Carpet Event Interviews at the Hamptons Film Festival Edition.
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Cognacscorner Hamptons film festival Christie Brinkley and David Bailey.mpg
TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Broadway Star and Model Christie Brinkley, Directors Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass from the film "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" starring Susan Sarandon and Legendary Pho...

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Cognacscorner Hamptons film festival Oranges and Sunshine and My Reincarnation.mpg
TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Director Jim Loach from the film Oranges and Sunshine and Directer Jennifer Fox from the film My Reincarnation at the 19th Hamptons International Film Festival....

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Cognacscorner Hamptons film festival The Rum Diary.mpg
TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actor Actor Michael Rispoli from the film "The Rum Diary," Actress Breakthrough Performer Shailene Woodle from the film "The Descendants" and Actress Stine Fische...

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Cognacscorner Hamptons film festival Matthew Modine Jesus Was a Commie

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Cognacscorner Hamptons film festival Like Crazy.mpg
TV Host Entertainment Journalist Cognac Wellerlane interviews Director Nancy Buirski from the film "The Loving Story" and Director Drake Doremus from the Film "Like Crazy" and the Executive Producer...

Founder Stuart Suna, Actor Alec Baldwin, Actor Matthew Broderick and David Nugent pose for a photo-op on the Red Carpet at    Conversation with…Matthew Broderick & Alec Baldwin / Guild Hall

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Model/Broadway Actress Christie Brinkley on the Red Carpet at    Conversation with…Matthew Broderick & Alec Baldwin / Guild Hall
TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at Conversation with…Matthew Broderick & Alec Baldwin / Guild Hall

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Directors Director Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass on the Red Carpet at Opening Night Film/JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME / Guild Hall

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Legendary Swinging 1960's Photographer and Filmmaker David Bailey on the Red Carpet at Warhol & Discussion with David Bailey / UA 6 Talent: David Bailey

Filmmaker and Actress Angelique Monet poses on the Red Carpet at Warhol & Discussion with David Bailey / UA 6 Talent: David Bailey

Filmmaker Angelique Monet and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose on the Red Carpet

for a photo-op at the 
Warhol & Discussion with David Bailey / UA 6 Talent: David Bailey

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses on the Red Carpet at the 19th Annual Hamptons Film Festival

Founder David Nugent enjoys the Clarins Cocktail Party on Opening Night at the Maidstone Arms Inn

This year the  Hamptons International Film Festival celebrated its 19th year.

The festival is famous for bringing emerging filmmakers, celebrities, moviestars and award winning talent to the Hamptons.

The Hamptons International Film Festival was established to provide a platform for independent filmmakers from around the world to express their vision. The Festival is traditionally held for five days in the autumn in theater venues from Southampton to Montauk and attracts roughly over 18,000 visitors. At least twenty countries are represented in the slate of roughly 100 films that are showcased each year, with an awards package worth over $200,000. The festival continues to play a part in the awards season, with the 2010 edition earning a total of 30 Academy Award nominations (THE KING'S SPEECH, BLACK SWAN, 127 HOURS, TOY STORY 3). The 2010 edition also featured eventual Best Picture winners of the Academy Award (THE KING'S SPEECH), Golden Globe (THE KING'S SPEECH) and Independent Spirit Award (BLACK SWAN).

The festival features shorts, documentaries and narratives. The festival is also famous for presenting a variety of programs including; a Breakthrough Performers program, which showcases up-and-coming acting talent (past participants include Rooney Mara, Emmy Rossum, Emily Blunt, and Blake Lively); "A Conversation With…", an intimate Q&A session with a film luminary (past participants include Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Sharon Stone, Steve Buscemi, Alan Alda, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances McDormand, Sidney Lumet, Julian Schnabel, Isabella Rossellini, Gena Rowlands, Robert Altman, and Marty Bregman); and Films of Conflict & Resolution, which utilizes the power of cinema to increase understanding of the human realities of war and conflict.

At this year's festival I was happy to interview Directors Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass at the festival's opening night film "Jeff, Who lives at Home" starring Actress Susan Sarandon.
Directors Mark and Jay Duplass take on brotherly dynamics as well as fate and love in this delightfully hysterical comedy. Thirty-four-year-old Jeff (Jason Segel) spends his days steadily breaking the code of life's challenges and the profound mysteries of the universe … from the comfort of his mother's basement. A phone call from his exasperated mom (Susan Sarandon) pleading with him to complete a simple task shakes a disgruntled Jeff off the couch. Suddenly, the universe begins to deliver important signs that could unlock his true destiny in life. Jeff crosses paths with his disgruntled older brother (Ed Helms), who is embroiled in a crisis of his own. A funny madcap journey ensues, forcing the two very different siblings to face earth-shattering challenges together.

I also had a chance to interview Actress Shailene Woodley about the secret life of the American Teenager, "The Descendants" starring Actor George Clooney. The film depicts a family adjusting to a boating accident. After his wife is put on life support, Matt King (George Clooney) tries to re-connect with his estranged daughters, Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alexandra (played brilliantly by HIFF 2011 Breakthrough Performer Shailene Woodley). The family reunion is far from perfect. His daughter Alexandra spills the gossip that her mother had an affair with a real estate agent, Brian (Matthew Lillard). As Matt and his daughters head to Kauai to confront Brian, the family has to decide whether to sell off their land.

Actress Stine Fischer Christensen talked about her latest film "Cracks in the Shell" with me on the red carpet. Stine Fischer Christensen stars as Fine, a struggling theater student and aspiring actress whose lackluster stage performances result from a difficult home life. Fine is suddenly shocked to receive an invitation to audition for, and to be subsequently be cast in a famous director's newest production. Her new director encourages self-discovery in order to connect with her difficult role, but Fine's lack of boundaries prompts the full-scale excavation of her latent dark side. Christensen gives an extraordinary stunning performance that won her a top acting prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Actor Michael Rispoli was at the festival to promote his latest project "The Rum Diary" starring Movie Star Johnny Depp.

Thirteen years after "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Actor Johnny Depp once again channels the gonzo exploits of Hunter S. Thompson in "The Rum Diary." Actor Depp (a real life friend of Thompson) stars as Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist in the '50s who journeys to Puerto Rico for a good story. He soon realizes that he is thrown into a passionate triangle with an American woman whose fiancé is deeply involved with gangsters, illegal business, corruption and of course rum. The film is set amidst the stunning backdrop of the Caribbean islands. "The Rum Diary" is a must see that could only come from the inimitable imagination of Hunter S. Thompson.

Later in the weekend I interviewed legendary Photographer David Bailey who is famous for his avant-garde meta-biography of Andy Warhol. The eccentric film caused a veritable circus of controversy in 1973 when it was set to be released on television in the United Kingdom. British authorities declared the film "likely to offend millions." Attempting a Warholian portrait of Warhol himself, Bailey's friendship and ease with the famous faces of the Factory reveals their humor, candor and reverence for the unknowable Andy. The film is a gem both for its filmmaking style and the history it captures, Bailey's "Warhol" is essential viewing for lovers of 20th century pop art and culture.

At the Maidstone Arms Inn I was delighted to do a series of interviews with Actor Matthew Modine promoting his film "Jesus Was a Commie," Survivor Colin Goddard's film "Living for 32" and Director Jim Loach's film "Oranges and Sunshine."

"Jesus is a Commie" is an avant-garde short, co-directed by Matthew Modine. The film poses the question, was Jesus a utopian communist?

In our interview while dining on brunch at the Maidstone Inn, Director Jim Loach revealed the synopsis of "Oranges and Sunshine." This stirring drama is based on a true story. Margaret Humphreys beautifully portrayed by Actress Emily Watson is a British social worker who stumbles upon one of the largest scandals in the United Kingdom in recent memory. Humphreys uncovers the heartbreaking "home children" program which deported 130,000 youngsters from England without the knowledge or consent of their families. In the face of bureaucratic opposition, Humphreys embarks on a journey to unite these lost sons and daughters with their loved ones, often risking her own safety. "Oranges and Sunshine" is the story of a seemingly ordinary but truly courageous woman.

I also had the chance to interview Director Drake Doremus about his film "Like Crazy."
LIKE CRAZY is a dazzling exception, featuring two brilliant young actors, Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, with remarkable screen chemistry. A modern twist on star-crossed lovers, Jones plays Anna, an undergraduate from the UK studying abroad in Los Angeles. A crush on classmate Jacob (Yelchin, HIFF Breakthrough Performer) turns into an exceptional love affair.  Rash, youthful decisions and a visa debacle threaten to separate the two indefinitely, and they are thrust wide-eyed into a world of confounding adult decisions. A smartly wound love story with a soul, LIKE CRAZY is magical, as well as sincere, in its approach to newfound love. The Hamptons International Film Festival is honored to present LIKE CRAZY as our 2011 Centerpiece Film.

Director Nancy Buirski  talked to me about her new film "The Loving Story."
Director Nancy Buirski’s insightful new film follows the poignant journey of Richard and Mildred Loving through their historic lawsuit, Loving vs. Virginia. In 1958, Richard and Mildred, an interracial couple, wed in Virginia, where “mixed” marriages were not only illegal but punishable by permanent exile from the state. Removed from their home and families, the Lovings fought their case all the way to the Supreme Court, culminating in a triumphant legal victory. As told through extensive archival footage and home recordings, THE LOVING STORY provides a personal panorama to this landmark civil rights case, chronicling the Lovings’ resilience and courage with incredible intimacy.

I ended my weekend with a special interview at at the Hedges Inn in East Hampton with Executive Producer Joanna Plafskky and Director Jennifer Fox for the film "My Reincarnation."
The story depicts an exiled Buddhist Dzogchen master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Italian-born son, Yeshe and their spiritual journey together. Yeshe, acknowledged to be the reincarnation of a great Buddhist monk, struggles to reconcile the expectations placed on him with his desire for a normal life. He finally makes a revelatory decision. Ms. Fox captures the truth.

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