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Film Fest Fight in the Hamptons

Weekly papers square off.

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The bitter East Hampton newspaper war continues: Jerry Della Femina, owner of the upstart Independent, just stole from Helen Rattray’s Star the rights to publish the program guide of the Hamptons International Film Festival in late October. For the past seven years, the guide has been the province of the Star. This summer, Della Femina offered the festival a cut of the ad sales (which the Star didn’t do). In response, Rattray wrote a heated letter to the festival’s board accusing Della Femina of donating money to the festival in order to obtain the rights to the guide. “My paper sponsors the festival, but I don’t give any money, personally,” Della Femina says. Still, his wife, Judy Licht, is on the festival’s board, and every year he hosts a big party for it at their home. Della Femina considers these concerns nonsense. “Listen, instead of complaining, the Star should be getting its circulation up,” he advises. “And good for them if they win the guide next year— I won’t be writing any letters to the board about it!”

Next: Rathergate: The Footnotes


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