Film Scouts Diaries

1995 Hamptons International Film Festival Diaries
Looking for Steven Spielberg

by M. L. Riesman

The third annual East Hampton international Film Festival provided a great way for me to get out of New York this weekend, and away from my computer screen. It was refreshing to sample live non vr style. Yes, there is a real world out there.

The town is a akin to a Hollywood version of small town American. I almost expect "It's a Wonderful Life" to start playing before my eyes. However it would be a twisted version of a "Wonderful Life. " For example; You need a bottle of water, may I kindly direct you to the local market where the sparkling kind fetches a price of $8 per bottle.

And as for bumping into Mr. Spielberg? I will keep my eyes open. He wasn't in the market. I trust he knows better then to pay that price for water.

The festival takes place center stage, smack in the middle of East Hampton. So as I walk down Newtown Lane, beside keeping my eyes open wide for Steven, I also keep an eye out on all these tiny perfect very expensive boutique places along the main drag. Gee, everything is out of Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous. So as I move along in my ghetto NYC style sneakers, I am now starting to have the fear that I could only afford the East Hampton local hamburger joint. Gee, I hope Burger King takes a credit card?

However as luck would have it, I had kindly been invited to the main event of the festival, the awards. I was very happy to attend, especially as this function would not only take me away from the local Burger King but would perhaps help assist me in my quest for Mr. Spielberg.

The awards were held under a tent outside in the crisp fall air and presented very kindly at Nick and Toni's. The luncheon was sponsored by The William Morris Agency. The award ceremony was charming both in presentation but also in the charm of the honesty of the awards, as the festival's lineup this year included many low-budget indie fare. The majority of the awards go to young film makers and students. Toni Ross, who founded the festival, has continued in her quest to make this festival a special event for independents.

After a brief snooping around the room. There was still no Steven. A resident of East Hampton, and where was he? Being very forlorn at not being able to get a quote. I departed the Hamptons. Well OK, I had a cold and the fall air which charmed me earlier in the day was now getting into my chest was really the correct reason. By the way, I know Steven most likely showed up at the closing dinner which I missed. So I will have to wait until next year for a chance encounter in East Hampton and that quote for Film Scouts (tm). As a side note Mr. Speilberg was the noted speaker of the fest's annual "A Conversation With" for the first year of the fest. Mr. Spielberg is also a member of the fest's board of directors.

Yes the stars that I spotted were Griffen Dunne, Bob Balaban, Dina Merrill, Steven Soderburgh and John Schlesinger. And my hot picks from the festival; Rebecca Miller's Angela, John Schlesinger's Cold Confort Farm, Tattoo Boy by Larry Turner and Marleen Gorris's Antonia's Line.

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