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‘Just Mercy,’ ‘Ford v Ferrari’ Tapped for Hamptons Film Festival

Dave McNary

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Awards contenders “Just Mercy” and “Ford v Ferrari” have been selected for showings at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

Legal drama “Just Mercy,” starring Michael B. Jordan, will be the opening night film on Oct. 10 at Guild Hall. “Just Mercy” is based on the case of Walter McMillan, an African-American death-row prisoner who was exonerated in 1993 after being convicted five years earlier for a 1986 murder in Alabama. Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, took on McMillan’s cause in 1988 in his first case as an attorney.

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Jordan stars as Stevenson while Jamie Foxx portrays McMillan in the Warner Bros.’ film. The cast includes Brie Larson, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, Rob Morgan and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. Destin Daniel Cretton directed from his adaptation of Stevenson’s memoir. “Just Mercy” will premiere at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival and open in limited release on Dec. 25.

“Ford v Ferrari” has been selected as the festival’s Saturday Centerpiece selection, screening on Oct. 12. Matt Damon and Christian Bale star with “Logan” director James Mangold helming from a script by screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth.

The Fox film follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca to build an entirely new automobile with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship in France. “Ford v Ferrari” will premiere at TIFF and be released by Disney on Nov. 15.

The festival also announced Friday that it will honor Alfre Woodard for her role in Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” in which Woodard plays prison warden Bernadine Williams dealing with the emotional strain of carrying out death row executions.

HIFF has announced the world premieres of a quartet of documentaries — Treva Wurmfeld’s “Conscience Point,” Ben Steele’s “In Memoriam”; Mark Landsman’s “Scandalous”; and Anthony Baxter’s “Flint.” The festival previously announced that it will present a  Lifetime Achievement Award to Brian De Palma.

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