The Hamptons International Film Festival takes place annually in October, with a number of additional events held year round in New York City and the Hamptons. Named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World as well as one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, HIFF is the premier film event on New York State's east end, and an intimate showcase of some of the year's best offerings in contemporary cinema. Recently referred to as "Telluride East" by Variety, the publication cited HIFF as "one of America's most glamorous displays of the best in cutting-edge cinema." Festival selections continue to play an important role during awards season, with a significant number of titles highlighted every year at the Academy Awards. Films in the 2020 Festival received 30 Academy Award nominations, including 4 of the Best Picture nominations. The Festival has screened the eventual Academy Award Best Picture winner 11 years in a row, the only festival in the world with such a distinction. In a recent article about HIFF, Variety noted "The Festival has grown a reputation for being able to read the Academy voting tea leaves and routinely promotes Oscar race front-runners, but has also become the place to see emerging talent before they become marquee names." Overall, films in the last 14 editions have received a total of 451 Oscar nominations.

The festival draws national film industry attendees, including representatives from a wide array of film and media companies, a range of journalists including the film trades, Oscar Bloggers, local publications as well as national journalists & New York based press. The Festival hosts multiple competitions focused specifically on early-career filmmakers, in the hopes of bolstering their work at an important juncture and helping develop a discussion around their films, both within the film community and beyond. With prizes of cash & in kind goods and services valued at more than $130,000, HIFF continues to support the artists that create some of the best films each year. The festival also features four signature programs: Films of Conflict & Resolution; Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights; Air, Land & Sea; and Views From Long Island.

Recent program highlights include NOMADLAND (Academy Award Winner), MINARI (Academy Award Winner), SOUND OF METAL (Academy Award Winner), THE FATHER (Academy Award Nominee), ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (Academy Award Nominee), COLLECTIVE (Academy Award Nominee), TIME (Academy Award Nominee), THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (Academy Award Shortlist), GUNDA (Academy Award Shortlist), AMMONITE (Academy Award Shortlist), I AM GRETA, PARASITE (Academy Award Winner; Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), MARRIAGE STORY (Academy Award Winner), JOJO RABBIT (Academy Award Winner), THE IRISHMAN (Academy Award Nominee), THE TWO POPES (Academy Award Nominee), FOR SAMA (Academy Award Nominee), THE CAVE (Academy Award Nominee), LES MISERABLES (Academy Award Nominee; Cannes Jury Prize Winner), KNIVES OUT (Academy Award Nominee), PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (National Board of Review Winner), ATLANTICS (Cannes Grand Jury Prize Winner), WAVES (Gotham Award Winner, Film Independent Spirit Nominee), ROMA (Academy Award Winner), THE FAVORITE (Academy Award Winner), SHOPLIFTERS (Academy Award Nominee, Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME (Academy Award Nominee), GREEN BOOK (Academy Award Winner), FIRST MAN (Academy Award Winner), COLD WAR (Academy Award Nominee), BORDER (Academy Award Nominee), CAPERNAUM (Academy Award Nominee), BURNING (Cannes FIPRESCI Prize Winner), THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (Cinema Eye Honors Award Winner), THE SHAPE OF WATER (Academy Award Winner), THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Academy Award Winner), CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Academy Award Winner), DARKEST HOUR (Academy Award Winner), I, TONYA (Academy Award Winner), A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Academy Award Winner), ICARUS (Academy Award Winner), THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Academy Award Nominee), THE SQUARE (Academy Award Nominee, Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), STRONG ISLAND (Academy Award Nominee), MOONLIGHT (Academy Award Winner), MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (Academy Award Winner), LA LA LAND (Academy Award Winner), THE SALESMEN (Academy Award Winner), LOVING (Academy Award Nominee), 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (Academy Award Nominee), TONI ERDMANN (Academy Award Nominee), I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Academy Award Winner), FIRE AT SEA (Academy Award Winner), THE RED TURTLE (Academy Award Nominee), and THE HANDMAIDEN (Golden Globe Nominee).

Guests & attendees of the Festival include Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, Edward Norton, Laura Dern, Riz Ahmed, Julie Andrews, Brie Larson, Jordan Peele, Steven Yeun, Frances McDormand, Richard Gere, Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Noah Baumbach, Charlie Kaufman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Todd Haynes, Holly Hunter, Damien Chazelle, Olivia Wilde, Sir Ben Kingsley, Adam Driver, Mahershala Ali, Lulu Wang, Alan Alda, Sam Rockwell, Tom McCarthy, Alfre Woodard, Madonna, Amandla Stenberg, Julianne Moore, Leslie Odom Jr., Sir Patrick Stewart, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Daveed Diggs, Bill Murray, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa Leo, Jonathan Pryce, Mark Ruffalo, Rosamund Pike, Rob Reiner, Trey Edward Shults, Sienna Miller, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Moore, Jamie Bell, Bruce Dern, Amy Ryan, Camila Morrone, Zazie Beetz, Darren Aronofsky, Nadine Labaki, Alec Baldwin, Andy Serkis, Susan Sarandon, Spike Jonze, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Aldis Hodge, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Joe Wright, Tye Sheridan, Calvin Klein, Lakeith Stanfield, Jennifer Garner, Renee Zellweger, Peter Sarsgaard, Rupert Everett, Daniel Kaluuya, Ralph Lauren, Hilary Swank, Jason Blum, Paul Giamatti, Richard Jenkins, Paul Dano, Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Alan Cumming, Peter Hedges, Mariska Hargitay, Alex Gibney, Sally Hawkins, Michael Barker, Hong Chau, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Morgan, Freida Pinto, Jamie Dornan, Brian De Palma, James Schamus, Sting, Tom Hooper, Werner Herzog, Tim Blake Nelson, Elle Fanning, Alexander Skarsgard, Patricia Clarkson, Howard Stern, Isabella Rossellini, Julian Schnabel, Chinonye Chukwu, Stanley Tucci, David Duchovny, Geralyn Dreyfus, Alessandro Nivola, Malin Akerman, Alex Winter, Neil Labute, Edie Falco, Shailene Woodley, Jane Goodall, Davis Guggenheim, Lee Isaac Chung, Christine Baranski, Don Lemon, Candice Bergen, Steve Buscemi, Marcia Gay Harden, Rufus Wainwright, Sandy Powell, Harry Belafonte, Wim Wenders, Doug Liman, Matthew Modine, Mark & Jay Duplass, Ezra Miller, Dick Cavett, Winston Duke, James Cromwell, Bill Pullman, Costa-Gavras, Christie Brinkley, Christine Vachon, Dane DeHaan, Timothy Hutton, Billy Joel, Emma Roberts, Kayli Carter, Jeff Zucker, Emily Browning, Oren Moverman, Josh Singer, Lola Kirke, Lucy Walker, and Amagansett resident Carter Burwell.

Narrative Feature Competition Award:
The Narrative Feature Competition honors emerging directors who represent cinema’s next generation of innovative film artists. Juried by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals, the winning Narrative Feature film receives a $3,000 cash prize as well as a film production package of in-kind goods and services, with a total value of over $100,000. The 2020 award was presented to THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese.
Sponsor: Hamptons International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: $3,000 USD
Value of Goods/Services: $100,000 USD

Documentary Feature Competition Award:
Featuring an array of powerful subjects, the Documentary Feature Competition honors new and distinctive voices in documentary filmmaking. Juried by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals, the winning Documentary Feature film receives a $3,000 cash prize as well as a film production package of in-kind goods and services, with a total value of over $25,000. The 2020 award was presented to COLLECTIVE (Academy Award Nominee) by Alexander Nanau.
Sponsor: Hamptons International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: $3,000 USD
Value of Goods/Services: $25,000 USD

Narrative Short Competition Award:
Featuring exceptional technique and storytelling, the Narrative Short Competition honors the fresh perspectives of up-and-coming filmmakers. Juried by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals, the Narrative Short Competition winner will take home a cash prize of $500 and qualify for Academy Award consideration. The 2020 award was presented to ENTRE TU Y MILAGROS by Mariana Saffon.
Sponsor: Hamptons International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: $500 USD

Documentary Short Competition Award:
The Documentary Short Competition celebrates new and emerging voices in the documentary film world. Juried by world-class filmmakers and industry professionals, the Documentary Short Competition winner will take home a cash prize of $500 and qualify for Academy Award consideration. The 2020 award was presented to THE GAME by Roman Hodel.
Sponsor: Hamptons International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: $500 USD

University Short Film Showcase Awards:
Selected from hundreds of submissions by a jury of industry professionals, these University Short Film Showcase highlights the extraordinary talent and achievements of exceptional students. Awarded annually to five filmmakers, the winners take home a cash prize of $500. The 2020 University Short Film Showcase Awards were presented to HEADING SOUTH by Yuan Yuan, PARACHUTE by Katherine Tolentino, ROUND 0 by Sonia Ladida Schiavone, TAPE by Jojo Erholtz, and TO THE DUSTY SEA by Héloïse Ferlay.
Sponsor: Hamptons International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: $500 USD

The Peter Macgregor Scott Memorial Award:
The Peter Macgregor Scott Memorial Award aims to continue the celebrated producer’s mentorship for a new generation of passionate filmmakers. Sponsored by Susan Macgregor Scott, this $10,000 award is specifically designed to recognize narrative short filmmakers and reward creative approaches to solving practical production challenges in the service of storytelling. The 2020 award was presented to ENTRE TU Y MILAGROS by Mariana Saffon.
Sponsor: Susan B. Macgregor Scott
Cash Award Value: $10,000 USD

The Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict & Resolution:
For the past twenty years, the Films of Conflict & Resolution section has showcased films that focus on the realities of war and human conflict around the world, and inspire discussion about the possibilities for resolution. One film from this section will be awarded $5,000 as the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award winner. Recent program highlights include FOR SAMA (Academy Award Nominee); THE CAVE (Academy Award Nominee); OF FATHERS AND SONS (Academy Award Nominee); HUMAN FLOW (Academy Award Documentary Shortlist); I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Academy Award Nominee); FIRE AT SEA (Academy Award Nominee); THE WHITE HELMETS (Academy Award Winner); and many more. The 2020 award was presented to WITH DRAWN ARMS by Glenn Kaino & Afshin Shahidi.
Sponsor: The Brizzolara Family Foundation
Cash Award Value: $5,000 USD

The Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award:
Presented to a film in the Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights section that raises public awareness and provokes discussion about contemporary issues of social concern, with a focus on the rights, as well as moral and ethical treatment of animals. The $2,500 award is presented to a film that inspires compassion, motivates action, and compels change, and is given by Zelda Penzel - a long time educator, advocate, and a volunteer at HIFF since its inception. Recent program highlights include VIRUNGA (Academy Award Nominee), UNLOCKING THE CAGE (Emmy Nominee), JANE (Academy Award Shortlist). The 2019 award was presented to WATSON by Lesley Chilcott.
Sponsor: Zelda Penzel
Cash Award Value: $2,500 USD

The Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award For Social Justice:
Presented to a film that exemplifies the values of peace, equality, global justice, and civil liberties; and named in honor of two people who spent their entire lives fighting for those values. Past winners include THE SQUARE (Academy Award Nominee), LOVING (Academy Award Nominee), and THE SILENCE OF OTHERS (IDA Award Winner). The 2020 award was presented to ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (Academy Award Nominee) by Regina King.
Sponsor: Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation
Cash Award Value: $2,000 USD


These regulations apply to all submission categories:

1. While preference will be given to films completed either on or after January 1, 2020, we understand the unprecedented challenges filmmakers faced last year and will not rule out a film whose trajectory was adversely impacted by COVID-19.
2. Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway and include a working screener accessible via FilmFreeway in order to be considered.
3. Previously submitted films are ineligible for consideration.
4. Only complete submissions (screener & application fee) will be considered.
5. The application fee is non-refundable.
6. Submitted films may not have been released theatrically or shown on television in the U.S. prior to the festival, and it is strongly preferred that films are not made available online (outside of virtual film festivals) prior to the festival.
7. HIFF prefers films to not have screened on Long Island prior to the festival's dates. If there are any questions regarding premiere status, please contact us at
8. All submissions must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition.
9. HIFF presents all films in their original language. Non-English language submissions must be accompanied by English subtitles.
10. Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for entry, but the link must be clearly marked as such. The festival will only be able to consider one version of each film submitted, and does not accept replacement cuts for consideration. Please take this into account when deciding when to submit the film.
11. HIFF is not responsible for the return of any physical submission materials: DVDs, decks, posters, etc.


Along with the above regulations, the following rules apply for submissions to be eligible to play in competition:

1. Preference is given to emerging filmmakers.
2. Preference is given to films that have at least a New York Premiere.
3. Preference is given to films that have not shown in more than a total of five US festivals prior to the HIFF dates and that have not announced US distribution.


1. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the changing landscape of exhibition in New York State, the exact nature of the 2021 Hamptons International Film Festival has not yet been finalized. Last year’s edition featured a combination of in-person, outdoor screenings, drive-in screenings and the availability of all films online via our secure web portal. We will continue to work with local health and town officials to explore all exhibition options for the 2021 edition.
2. All filmmakers will be notified of their status by September 13, 2021, via email.
3. Due to the high volume of submissions, HIFF is unable to provide feedback on any films.
4. The preferred format for submissions is a secure Vimeo link. Access to these links should be granted to HIFF for the duration of the submission period, up until the official notification date. Filmmakers are responsible for notifying the festival if their passwords have changed. If submitting a Vimeo link, it is recommended that the “Watch Later” function is enabled.
5. For any further questions, please contact us at


By submitting an application, I agree to the following terms:

1. I am authorized to submit this film to the Hamptons International Film Festival.
2. All information provided on application form is true, to the best of my knowledge.
3. If selected, grant HIFF the rights to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes in all media and on the festival’s website.
4. I hold HIFF harmless from damage or loss of the print en route or otherwise during the course of the Festival's possession of the film.
5. This agreement constitutes approval that HIFF may present the film at the 2021 Hamptons International Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Tom Van Scoyoc

    Great communication, extremely accommodating, and the screening and events were top tier. I love this festival!

    November 2021
  • Roger Sherman

    Great festival. REALLY well organized.
    Thank you!

    October 2021
  • Rashan Castro

    I honestly can't say enough about HIFF! Had a great lunch with the programmer of my section. I met and remain good friends with a few of the filmmakers I met during one of parties. And Hospitality was truly exceptional all around. Hope to make another film soon and I hope I'm able to play there again sometime in the future.

    July 2020