The Jackson Hole International Film Festival (JHIFF) announced today, in collaboration with Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), a three-day event that will take place from December 8-10, 2023 in Jackson, Wyoming. Founded by local Jackson Hole resident Stuart Suna, who is also a founder of HIFF, the festival celebrates the art and science of cinema and shares the power of film in educating, engaging, and inspiring the community. The 3-day festival will program eight films, including narrative and documentary feature films from around the globe, and a peek at some of this year’s Oscar hopefuls. The films are all selected by Hamptons International Film Festival Artistic Director David Nugent.
The inaugural festival will open on Friday, December 8 with Brendan Walsh’s I’LL BE RIGHT THERE, which hosted its World Premiere at HIFF earlier this year. The film, starring Edie Falco, Jeannie Berlin, Kayli Carter, Charlie Tahan, and Bradley Whitford, and executive produced by Falco and Jesse Eisenberg, is a heartfelt comedy about a family falling apart and one mother’s role in bringing it all together. Walsh is scheduled to attend the festival with the film.
“A film festival is a great way to stimulate artistic imagination and contribute to the culture of the community. I can’t think of a better way to start this now annual event than with Brendan Walsh’s moving I’LL BE RIGHT THERE” said Suna, Founder and Chair of Jackson Hole International Film Festival and Co-Founder and Chair Emeritus of Hamptons International Film Festival.
On Saturday, December 9, the festival will host a screening of Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut AMERICAN FICTION as its Centerpiece presentation. Set to be released by Amazon MGM Studios later this year, the film stars Jeffrey Wright as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. AMERICAN FICTION premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the festival’s People’s Choice Award.
Over the course of the three-day event, the festival will also host screenings of Jean Shim’s A GREAT DIVIDE, following the Lee family as they leave the Bay Area for a fresh start in the rural expanses of Wyoming, only to encounter hostility and xenophobia in their new community; Irene Taylor’s TREES AND OTHER ENTANGLEMENTS, an HBO Documentary Films release that tells a contemporary tale of our connection to the natural world and to one another; J. A. Bayona’s SOCIETY OF THE SNOW, a Netflix release retelling the true story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which in 1972 crashed in the heart of the Andes and trapped a team of rugby players in one of the most hostile and inaccessible environments on the planet; Tran Anh Hung’s THE TASTE OF THINGS, distributed by IFC Films and following Dodin Bouffant, a chef living with his personal cook and lover Eugénie in France in 1889; Patricia E. Gillespie’s THEY CALLED HIM MOSTLY HARMLESS, a Max Original in which a mystery unravels when an unidentified hiker is found deceased in the Florida wilderness; and Finn Taylor’s AVENUE OF THE GIANTS, which tells the true story of Herbert Heller, a 74-year-old man carrying a traumatic secret who befriends an isolated teenager in an emotional story of multigenerational healing.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Jackson Hole International Film Festival on their inaugural festival. The expansion of the HamptonsFilm footprint partnering with a like-minded resort community has been a dream for many years,” said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of the Hamptons International Film Festival.
“As we embark on our inaugural three-day event, our hope is to celebrate the art and science of cinema, while also exploring the magic of storytelling as a powerful tool to expand world views,” says Marni Walsh, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole International Film Festival. “We are grateful to our partnership with HIFF in making it possible to share some of this year’s most anticipated projects with our audiences.”
Along with Chair Stuart Suna, the Jackson Hole International Film Festival Board will also include Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Jimmy Chin, as well as Emmy Award®-nominated cinematographer Danny Moder. Films will be screened at The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY. JHIFF will kick off Friday, December 8th, with a daytime and opening night film, followed by three films each on Saturday, December 9th and Sunday, December 10th. In addition to screenings, the festival will also include Q&A sessions with filmmakers and networking events.
Festival passes and tickets are on sale now and are available for purchase at JHIFF.org. 2023 Jackson Hole International Film Festival Lineup:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8
I’LL BE RIGHT THERE
Opening Night Film
dir. Brendan Walsh (USA), 2023
Emmy Award® winner Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie) delivers an affecting performance as Wanda, a woman who barely has time for herself, not that she would know what to do with it anyway. Her very pregnant daughter (Kayli Carter, Mrs.. America) wants a wedding, which her ex-husband (Emmy Award® winner Bradley Whitford) is flaking on paying for. Her mother (Jeannie Berlin) thinks she’s dying. Her son (Charlie Tahan, Ozark) is going into either rehab or the army. And her boyfriend (Michael Rapaport) doesn’t excite her, but neither does her new girlfriend (Sepideh Moafi). I’LL BE RIGHT THERE is a heartfelt comedy about a family falling apart and one mother’s role in bringing it all together.
A GREAT DIVIDE
dir. Jean Shim (USA), 2023
A Korean American family, the Lees, leave the Bay Area for a fresh start in the rural expanses of Wyoming, only to encounter hostility and xenophobia in their new community. The small town’s local kingpin sets in motion a plot to oust the Lees that puts teenaged Benjamin (Emerson Min), his visiting best friend Ellie (Miya Cech) and his parents Isaac and Jenna (Ken Jeong, Jae Suh Park) in dire jeopardy. The key to their salvation may lie with Grandma Shim (MeeWha Alana Lee), who seeks to impart a vital lesson to her beloved grandson before it’s too late. A GREAT DIVIDE recently won Best Feature at 2023 Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival. Ken Jeong and Jae Suh Park won People’s Choice Best Performance at 2023 Vancouver Asian Film Festival.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9
dir. Cord Jefferson (USA), 2023
AMERICAN FICTION is Cord Jefferson’s hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW
dir. J.A. Bayona (Spain), 2023
In 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which had been chartered to fly a rugby team to Chile, crashed in the heart of the Andes. Only 29 of its 45 passengers survived the accident. Trapped in one of the most hostile and inaccessible environments on the planet, they have to resort to extreme measures to stay alive. A Netflix release.
TREES & OTHER ENTANGLEMENTS
dir. Irene Taylor (USA), 2023
The entangled lives of people and trees they love grow into a contemporary tale of time, our connection to the natural world and to one another. A young boy stolen and hidden amongst trees; an artist refining American bonsai; a photographer who artfully observes trees and a man who steadfastly plants them; family trees and stolen trees – their stories unfold as an arboreal, and deeply human, thriller. An HBO Documentary Film release.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10
AVENUE OF THE GIANTS
dir. Finn Taylor (USA), 2023
Herbert Heller (Stephen Lang, AVATAR) carries a traumatic secret: now the beloved owner of a toy store in Northern California, Herbert is a Holocaust survivor. The Nazis forced him into the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at age 12, but he managed to escape and kept the secret from everyone—including his own children—for 60 years. When Herbert is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he befriends Abbey (Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE), an isolated teenager whose own struggles inspire him to open up. Based on a true story, AVENUE OF THE GIANTS is a tender depiction of an intergenerational friendship that offers the unlikely pair a path toward healing.
THE TASTE OF THINGS
dir. Tran Anh Hung (France), 2023
Set against the deliciously vibrant backdrop of 1889 France, THE TASTE OF THINGS follows the life of Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel, THE PIANO TEACHER), a brilliant chef living with his personal cook and lover Eugénie (Academy Award® winner Juliette Binoche). When Eugénie refuses to marry Dodin, he decides to do something he has never done before: cook for her. Winner of the Best Director Award at Cannes, Tran Anh Hung tells the story of a couple tied together by gastronomy and love, immersing audiences in a romantic, sumptuous visual feast in this celebration of the way food brings us together. An IFC Films Release.
THEY CALLED HIM MOSTLY HARMLESS
dir. Patricia E. Gillespie (USA), 2024
When the emaciated body of an unidentified hiker is found in the Florida wilderness next to plenty of cash and food, mystified authorities release a sketch that sparks internet fascination, leading to a viral 2020 article in WIRED. Multiple hikers call in claiming to have met the man on trails from Florida to Appalachia, but there’s one problem: he never told them his name. It would take two years, thousands of devoted internet sleuths, and a miracle of science to identify him—and that’s only the beginning of the story. True crime veteran and HIFF alum Patricia E. Gillespie (THE FIRE THAT TOOK HER) returns with a character-centric reimagining of a classic genre. A Max release.
ABOUT THE JACKSON HOLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Jackson Hole International Film Festival (JHIFF), a non-profit arts organization, is a hub that connects the community with screenings of some of the year’s best offerings in contemporary cinema, spanning genres from narrative to documentary films. Founded by Stuart Suna, former owner of Silvercup Studios and Chair Emeritus of Hamtpons International Film Festival, JHIFF aims to share the power of film to educate, engage, and inspire our community by showcasing world-class films from various genres and inviting the people who create them for stimulating conversations. JHIFF will provide innovative and accessible educational film programs for all ages.
HamptonsFilm, home of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) was founded in 1992 to celebrate the art of film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. A non-profit organization with year-round screenings of global narrative and documentary films, an annual Screenwriters Lab, a summer documentary showcase, and extensive educational initiatives, HamptonsFilm offers programs that enlighten, educate, and provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers, while also providing the East End of Long Island with an educational and cultural experience that enriches the lives of its citizens and contributes to the local economy. HIFF, celebrating its 31st year, is an annual premiere film event in New York State, and an intimate showcase of some of the year’s best offerings in contemporary cinema from around the world. Awarding prizes to filmmakers in cash and goods and services of over $130,000, each year, with over $5 million awarded in competition funds and services over the decades, our program continues to play an important role during awards season. For more information, please visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.