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The cast of ‘Spotlight’ (Credit: Open Road Films Courtesy)

The 23rd annual Hamptons International Film Festival, the East End’s premiere movie celebration, has released its 2015 lineup and we at northforker are pretty pumped

From Oscar frontrunners to gritty indies, the list looks stellar.

The festival will open on Thursday, Oct. 8 and will close with Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” on Monday, Oct. 12, at Guild Hall. The thriller stars Tom Hanks as an American lawyer charged with negotiating the release of a captured American during the Cold War.

“Our Spotlight and World Cinema films, from all around the world and right here in the Hamptons, make up the heart of our Festival’s line up, and we are so proud of this year’s selections,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent. “In addition, it is an honor for us to close our 23rd festival with Steven Spielberg’s new film, as he was a part of our very first edition.”

Emily Blunt, Michael Moore and Dan Rather are also expected to participate in the festival’s “A conversation with …” series.

Individual tickets for screenings go on sale Saturday, Sept. 26. For information on festival passes, visit

Our top five picks are below.

Director: John Crowley

Waving good-bye to her mother and sister in Ireland, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) sets sail to follow her American dream in 1950s Brooklyn. With the support of a kind priest, Eilis finds work at an upscale department store and enrolls in school, but it’s only after she meets Tony (Emory Cohen) that she finally feels at home and romance heals her loneliness. When an unexpected tragedy forces Eilis to return home, she finds a renewed love for Ireland. With award-worthy performances and exquisite cinematography, John Crowley’s BROOKLYN is a beautiful tale of a young woman torn between two worlds.

Screenings: 10/9 at 8:30 p.m. at Sag Harbor Cinema ($28) and 10/11 at 3 p.m. at Guild Hall ($22)

Director: Steven Spielberg

A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, BRIDGE OF SPIES is the story of James Donovan (two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Directed by three-time Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg, and written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, BRIDGE OF SPIES stars three-time Tony Award® winner Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, a KGB agent defended by Donovan; Scott Shepherd as CIA operative Hoffman; Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan as James’s wife, Mary; Sebastian Koch as East German lawyer Vogel; and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda as Thomas Watters, a partner at Donovan’s law firm. Inspired by remarkable true events, Spielberg captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.

Screenings: 10/12 at 7 p.m. at Gild Hall ($35) and 10/12 at 7:30 p.m. at Regal East Hampton Cinema ($28)

Director: Michael Moore

In an unexpected twist, Michael Moore’s (BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, SICKO) latest project, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, does not refer to American imperialism, but rather to Moore himself. Armed with a camera and a flag, the Oscar®-winning documentarian “invades” a slew of European countries in an attempt to learn more about their successful practices and programs. From Norwegian prisons to female-run Icelandic banks, to Italian employee benefits, Moore travels around the world with the intention of bringing these progressive philosophies back to the States. A surprising departure, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is a refreshingly optimistic look at the possibilities for the future.

Screenings: 10/11 at 5:45 p.m. at Guild Hall ($28) and 10/11 at 1:45 p.m. at Sag Harbor Cinema ($22)

Director: Thomas McCarthy

Oscar® nominees Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams star as the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, assigned by their newly appointed editor Martin Baron (Liev Schreiber) to investigate the allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church. For over a year, they pursued the story relentlessly, despite intense resistance from the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment. Tom McCarthy’s SPOTLIGHT examines the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered a massive web of pedophilia and systemic cover-ups within the Catholic Church. Aided by a fantastic supporting cast (Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup), SPOTLIGHT is a nuanced and thrilling procedural about the power and impact of great investigative journalism.

Screenings: 10/10 at 8:45 p.m. at Guild Hall ($35) and 10/11 at 7 p.m. at Sag Harbor Cinema ($28)

Director: Todd Haynes

With phenomenal performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara (winner of the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival) as two women entangled in an intoxicating love affair, director Todd Haynes (FAR FROM HEAVEN) illuminates the delicate intricacies of navigating forbidden desire in 1950s New York. Adapting Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical novel “The Price of Salt,” CAROL is the story of an unlikely bond between an ingenue shop girl dreaming of a better life and an older sophisticated woman trapped in a loveless marriage. A masterfully crafted love story, CAROL is an exquisite and poignant meditation on longing.

Screenings: 10/11 at noon at Guild Hall ($35) and 10/12 at 4:15 p.m. at Sag Harbor Cinema ($28)

Vera Chinese