New York's Film Festivals

New York's extreme diversity is what makes it a cinephile's heaven: you'll find dozens of festivals. While new releases and premieres dominate the festival scene, the city has its share of retrospective events, especially in summer.

The city's preeminent film event is the annual New York Film Festival (, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, from late September into October. The lineup is announced about a month in advance, and screenings often sell out quickly (though standby tickets are available for most events). Film venues include Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theater, and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. In January, the Film Society join forces with the Jewish Museum to produce the New York Jewish Film Festival (; in March it joins the MoMA to present New Directors/New Films (, and June brings the society's collaboration on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (, among other festivals and repertory programming throughout the year.

The Tribeca Film Festival ( takes place in mostly downtown venues for about two weeks starting mid- or late April and shows mainstream premieres along with indie flicks, television debuts, a conversation series, and more.

Fans also flock to other noteworthy annuals like the New York Asian Film Festival ( from late July to early August; and the Margaret Mead Film Festival ( in October or November and DOC NYC ( in November, two fall festivals that focus on documentaries from all over.

For kids, the year-round programs of the New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF peak in March with an extravaganza of about 100 new films for aged 3–18.

Summer in New York sees a bonanza of alfresco film; screenings are usually free (but arrive early to secure a space; screenings begin at dusk). The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival ( shows classic films at sundown on Monday, June through August. The Hudson RiverFlicks ( series in July and August has movies for grown-ups on Wednesday evening on Pier 63, as well as Family Friday for kids at Pier 46. The Upper West Side has Summer on the Hudson ( with Wednesday-night screenings on Pier 1, near West 70th Street. Rooftop Films' ( Underground Movies Outdoors is more eclectic than most other film series, with shows outdoors in summer on rooftops in all five boroughs. Check the schedule for off-season screenings as well. On Thursday evenings in July and August, check out Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park (

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