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‘Nyad’ to Open the Hamptons International Film Festival

More festival news to share with you all! The Hamptons International Film Festival (also known as HIFF), announced this afternoon that the fest will kick off with the East Coast Premiere of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s movie Nyad. The biographical film stars Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans. More below:

Here is the HIFF press release:

HamptonsFilm, the home of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), announced today that the festival will open on Thursday, October 5, with the East Coast Premiere of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s NYAD, sponsored by AUDI. The film, which is set to be released by Netflix later this year, marks the narrative feature directorial debut for the Academy Award®, BAFTA® and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaking duo Vasarhelyi and Chin.  The 31st annual edition of HIFF will take place October 5-12, 2023, with in-person screenings and events across the Hamptons. 

NYAD, which stars Academy Award® nominee Annette Bening, Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans, tells the remarkable story of American marathon swimmer Diana Nyad (Bening), and is based on Nyad’s 2015 autobiography Find a Way. Nyad, at the age of 64, became the first person to complete the “Everest of swims,” executing a 53-hour, 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, through dangerous open ocean, without a shark cage. Vasarhelyi is scheduled to attend the festival and will participate in a post-screening conversation on the film. 

Vasarhelyi and Chin’s previous works include WILD LIFE (2023), RETURN TO SPACE (2022), THE RESCUE (2021), and FREE SOLO (2018), the latter of which was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards. 

“After welcoming Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s incredible documentary film THE RESCUE at the 2021 edition of our festival, it is an honor to celebrate their narrative debut as this year’s Opening Night presentation,” said HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent. “Vasarhelyi and Chin are two of this generation’s most compelling storytellers, and NYAD is further proof that their creativity and eye for filmmaking knows no bounds. We are thrilled to share their story with our audiences.” 

“Following another successful summer of programming, it is with great enthusiasm that we begin to unveil the lineup for this year’s 31st annual festival,“ said HamptonsFilm Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “We are grateful to our audiences out East for their continued support and we look forward to bringing the community another diverse, engaging, and entertaining festival curation.” 

Passes and packages for the 31st edition of HIFF will be on sale beginning September 5, 2023, at the HamptonsFilm website. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks. 

The 31st annual Hamptons International Film Festival will run as a live and in-person event from October 5-12, 2023. HIFF thanks the supporters for this year’s festival, including returning Premiere Sponsor Audi; Signature Sponsors Macallan and Variety; Supporting Sponsors Naturopathica, Dragon Hemp, Netflix, Silvercup, and Regal Cinemas; as well as official Media Sponsors WNBC, The East Hampton Star, The Purist, and new Signature Sponsor The Atlantic; and long term support from New York State Council on the Arts, and Suffolk County Film Commission. For more information, please visit

2023 Hamptons International Film Festival Lineup
OPENING NIGHT FILM Sponsored by Audi


East Coast Premiere dir. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (USA), 2023 Based on a remarkable true story, NYAD marks the feature directorial debut of Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo, The Rescue). By 2010, Diana Nyad (four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening) had long been a singular success, breaking records and becoming a national sensation 35 years earlier with notable swims around Manhattan and from the Bahamas to Florida before enjoying a prominent career as a sports journalist. But after three decades away from the water, the former marathon swimmer finds herself consumed with completing the excursion that had always eluded her: the 53-hour, 110-mile trek from Cuba to Florida popularly known as the “Mount Everest” of swims. Together with her best friend and coach Bonnie Stoll (two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster), the sixty-year-old Diana begins what would become a harrowing four-year journey of intense training amongst unpredictable setbacks. Determined to become the first person to complete the swim without a shark cage for protection, Diana works with Bonnie to recruit a dedicated team that navigates the dangerous open ocean, unrelenting weather, and emotional obstacles that threaten to derail a lifelong dream. A moving testament to the power of will, friendship, and the glory of teamwork, NYAD also stars Rhys Ifans; the film is produced by Andrew Lazar, p.g.a. and Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a. with a screenplay by Julia Cox, adapted from the book “Find a Way” by Diana Nyad.


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