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From Chile to the Deep on Film

Mon, 06/05/2023 - 16:57
"The Eternal Memory," first up in HamptonsFilm's SummerDocs series, will be screened at East Hampton Cinema on Friday, June 16.

HamptonsFilm has announced its summer movie schedule, including three in its annual SummerDocs series to be shown at East Hampton Cinema and a free outdoor series of summer family classics at Herrick Park and Main Beach in East Hampton.

On Friday, June 16, Marie Alberdi's "The Eternal Memory" will be screened at 7 p.m. Focused on a couple confronted with Alzheimer's disease, it won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Augusto Gongora, a Chilean journalist and cultural commentator, and his wife, Paulina Urrutia, who was an actress and a Chilean minister of culture, have spent 25 years together. When Mr. Gongora was diagnosed eight years ago, he decided to devote the same energy to his own memories that he had put toward making sure his countrymen never forgot the horrific regime of Augusto Pinochet. Ms. Urrutia stays by his side, using humor and warmth to meet the everyday challenges of the illness.

The film was purchased by MTV Documentary Films after it was screened at Sundance. It will be released in theaters in August, and The Hollywood Reporter said in January that MTV plans a "robust awards campaign later this year." Critical reception has been positive: It has been called moving and beautiful, albeit slow-paced.

The July 8 SummerDoc will be Laura McGann's "The Deepest Breath," an examination of the freediving world through two people who form an immediate bond as a freediver and a safety diver.

Alessia Zecchini began pursuing freediving as a child in Italy, training and competing in pools and open water, pushing the low end of the legal age requirements in an extremely dangerous sport. At 18 she broke her first world record. Stephen Keenan is the safety diver, someone who coaches and assists freedivers in their training and competition. They are immediately drawn together by their need to push the limits of their bodies and the sport.

This is seen in actual underwater dive footage and recreations. The film also uses childhood home movies to round out the interviews. The director builds suspense through the footage and storytelling, making for a twisty journey while capturing the exhilaration and mortal danger of the dives. This is a film that will no doubt be made more dramatic and immersive by a full-screen experience. It will be released by Netflix to stream on July 19.

David Nugent, the HamptonsFilm artistic director, will moderate discussions after the screenings with the directors and their subjects, including Ms. Urrutia and Ms. McGann, with others to be announced. A third documentary, set for July 22, will be announced soon. 

To mark its 15th anniversary this year, SummerDocs will bring back its audience award to "recognize one of this year's strongest documentaries" highlighted in its programming. 

"Further involving our documentary-loving community in awarding one of these filmmakers with an additional honor," Anne Chaisson, HamptonsFilm's executive director, said, "shines a light on the issues and challenges these films bring to all of our attention."

Tickets for the SummerDoc films are $35 for each screening and can be purchased on the HamptonsFilm website.

The free summer outdoor features will be "Goonies" on June 28, "Back to the Future" on July 19, "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" on July 26, "Splash" on Aug. 2, and "Jaws" on Aug. 16. "E.T." and "Splash" will be shown at Herrick Park; the others will be shown at Main Beach, all beginning at sunset.

HamptonsFilm will also offer in-person film camps for students ages 8 to 15 from July 10 to 14 in East Hampton, and from Aug. 7 to 11 at the Southampton Arts Center.                                                                                                                

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