Steve James’ Roger Ebert doc Life Itself and Al Hicks’ jazz doc Keep On Keepin’ On (pictured) are to screen as part of the Hamptons International Film Festival’s (HIFF) sixth annual SummerDocs series.
The series will screen four documentaries over the summer months, ahead of HIFF, which takes place October 9-13.
James’ Life Itself will launch SummerDocs on June 21, with actor Alec Baldwin – who co-curates the series with artistic director David Nugent – leading a Q&A with the late critic’s partner Chaz Ebert. Hicks’ Keep On will screen on July 25, with the director in attendance.
Life Itself has been a prominent part of the 2014 festival circuit, most recently playing in the Cannes Film Festival’s “Classics” section, and is now scheduled to close the Washington DC-based AFI Docs festival in June. The film will be released in the U.S. by Magnolia Pictures on July 4.
Meanwhile, Hicks’ Keep On Keepin’ On, which centres on jazz legend Clark Terry and his piano prodigy Justin Kaulflin, won the documentary audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, and was recently picked up by distributor RADiUS-TWC for worldwide and remake rights.
Last year’s SummerDocs opener was 20 Feet from Stardom, which went on to win the Oscar for best documentary.
“Steve James’ entertaining and inspiring story about Roger Ebert is a fascinating look at a film critic who truly helped to shape our culture,” said SummerDocs co-curator Baldwin in a statement. “Al Hicks’ Keep On Keepin’ On is a moving portrait of not only Clark Terry’s legacy, but of how one person’s mentorship can make a difference.”
Artistic director Nugent added: “After another year in which a SummerDocs selection has gone on to win the Oscar for best documentary, we are excited to bring what we see as some of the most exciting voices in documentary films to the Hamptons.”