This year, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) will be the first major event of its kind to add a separate animal-rights category to its roster of programs. The new signature program, entitled “Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights,” was added as “a platform for filmmakers to share meaningful information, stories of inspiration, and tools for creating a safe and humane world for animals.” This inaugural program will feature several films focused on animal rights, including The Champions, a story about the rescued dogs from NFL player Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. Furthermore, Alec Baldwin, a vocal animal activist in recent issues such as abuses at SeaWorld and the cruelty of New York’s horse carriages, is the HIFF’s newly-appointed Chairman of the Board. The 23rd Annual festival takes place October 8–12, during which the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Prize will be awarded.
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