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Iraq at center of Hamptons opening with The Situation

The 14th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, October 18 - 22, is proud to announce this year’s selection for Opening Night film: The World Premiere of Philip Haas’ compelling drama, THE SITUATION.

Combining elements of thriller, romance and war movie, THE SITUATION, the first U.S. feature film dealing with the war, set exclusively in Iraq, is a dramatization of one of the countless human stories that lie behind the headlines of present-day Iraq. When some American soldiers throw an Iraqi boy off a bridge in Samarra, it sets off a chain of events that exposes the deep rifts among the Iraqis in Samarra and results in yet another cycle of violence between the insurgents and the corrupt Iraqi police.
Anna (Connie Nielsen) is an American journalist who decides to write a story about the assassination of an Iraqi leader whom she admires. At the same time, she is pulling away from a relationship with Dan (Damian Lewis), an American intelligence official who thinks the war can be won with hearts and minds, and towards Zaid, a young Iraqi photographer, who shows her there are people, rather than sides, in the conflict. As she tries to make sense of the half truths of Iraq, she gets caught up in the violence and finds her life in danger.

THE SITUATION: Directed by Philip Haas (Angels & Insects), Written by Wendell Steavenson, Produced by Liaquat Ahamed, Michael Sternberg, Neda Armian, US Distribution: Shadow Distribution.
“Philip Haas and his tremendous cast and crew have captured the desperation and chaos of contemporary Iraq in a nuanced and thrilling work of cinema,” stated Festival Artistic Director Rajendra Roy. “It is an honor to premiere this vital film as our Opening Night selection”

"We're thrilled to have the Hamptons' audiences be the first to share this extraordinary film with us," said Shadow President Ken Eisen. (SHADOW DISTRIBUTION will be releasing THE SITUATION in early 2007. Among its successful releases are the current hit “Heading South” with Charlotte Rampling, Oscar nominees “The Weather Underground” and "Under the Sun," National Society of Film Critics Award winner "Latcho Drom" and the surprise documentary hit "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill").


The heart of the Hamptons International Film Festival has always been its Golden Starfish Award and the films in the competitions for Best Narrative Feature (over $190,000 in goods and in-kind services) and Best Documentary Award ($10,000 in cash and in-kind services). This year marks the most diverse selection of international films in the Golden Starfish competition to date. Pulling from around the globe, the films include some of the most innovative and culturally diverse cinema produced.

The Conflict & Resolution Competition and program aims to increase awareness and understanding of the human realities of war and conflict around the globe. The Brizzolara Family Award for Films of Conflict and Resolution includes a cash prize of $5,000.

“When we began this C& R program 6 years ago,” remarked Festival Executive Director Denise Kasell, “the realities of war and Terror were not continuously bombarded on all our media outlets and while coverage of some conflicts has increased we remain steadfast in our conviction to bring our audiences stories that often remain untold.”

Below is a list of this year’s selection for The Golden Starfish competition for Narrative and Documentary as well as the Conflict & Resolution competition.

The Golden Starfish Feature Competition

GSA Narrative
1) BLACK IRISH (US, World Premiere). Dir., Brad Gann.
2) THE BOTHERSOME MAN (Norway, US Premiere). Dir., Jens Lien.
3) EMMA'S BLISS (Germany, North American Premiere). Dir., Sven Taddicken.
4) HOLLY (US, East Coast Premiere). Dir., Guy Moshe.
5) THREE MOTHERS (Israel, North American Premiere). Dir., Dina Zvi-Riklis.
6) VANAJA (US/India, US Premiere). Dir., Rajnesh Domalpalli.

GSA Documentaries

1) CHASING GHOSTS (US, World Premiere). Dir., Lincoln Ruchti.
2) DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX (US, East Coast Premiere). Dir., Sara Lamm.
3) NO PAST TO SPEAK OF (Canada, US Premiere). Dir., Jeremy Gans.
4) NOTE BY NOTE (US, World Premiere). Dir., Benjamin Niles.
5) SUMMERCAMP! (US, East Coast Premiere). Dir., Bradley Beesley & Sarah Price.
6) VOYAGE IN G MAJOR (France, US Premiere). Dir., Georgi Lazarevski.

Films of Conflict & Resolution:

1. ABOUT THE BODY ­ (Israel, East Coast Premiere). Dir., Keren Yehezkely-Goldstein & Alona Seroussi.
2. THE FRONT LINE (Ireland, World Premiere). Dir., David Gleeson.
3. INHERITANCE (US, East Coast Premiere). Dir.,­ James Moll.
4. MOTHERLAND AFGAHNISTAN (US, World Premiere). Dir.,­ Sedika Mojadidi.
5. ONE TO ONE ­(Denmark, US Premiere). Dir., Annette K. Olesen.
6. WHAT REMAINS OF US ­(Canada, NY Premiere). Dir., Hugo Latulippe & François Prévost.

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