By Jessica Allen

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the films on screen are delightful. OK, so maybe that’s not the catchiest tune in the world, Nevertheless, NYC offers some incredible cinema experiences during nature’s coldest months. Here are our picks for the top film festivals this winter.

Ingmar Bergman Centennial Retrospective
209 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 727-8110
filmforum.org

Winter seems like the perfect time to hunker down with a snack, a beverage, and a black-and-white drama set in Sweden. Commemorating Ingmar Bergman’s 100th birthday, this multiweek retrospective includes 40 new restorations. It kicks off with The Seventh Seal, gets going with Wild Strawberries and Persona, and ends with Smiles of a Summer Night. A once-in-a-lifetime event. Wednesday, February 7, through Thursday, March 15, see schedule for details and ticket info.

Stranger than Fiction
IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-7771
stfdocs.com

Stranger than Fiction showcases the best in nonfiction storytelling—also known as documentaries. The series features new releases as well as old favorites (and cult classics), with most screenings followed by discussions with filmmakers. Scheduled docs this year include This Is Congo, “a highly-immersive, unfiltered look into one of the longest conflicts in the world.” Tuesdays at 7 pm, from February 6, through March 27, see schedule for details and ticket info

New York Wild Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
nywildfilmfestival.com

Calling all environmentalists, conversationalists, and nature lovers! The fifth annual New York Wild Film Festival takes as its tagline “Explore, Discover, Protect,” and puts the spotlight on films designed to do all three. The documentaries share different goals and subjects, but each seeks to inspire a love for the planet in its viewers. There’s a kid-friendly slate too, including a movie called Owl Dance-Off Part II. Thursday, February 22, through Sunday, February 25, see schedule for details and ticket info.

Winter Film Awards International Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
winterfilmawards.com

The Winter Film Awards International Film Festival might have a rather prosaic name, but it has an incredibly laudable mission: “to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers in all genres from around the world.” This year, that means 90+ films, including many created by people of color and women. Discussions, networking events, and lectures will help anyone who aspires to see his or her work on screen someday too. February 22 through Saturday, March 3, see schedule for details and ticket info

New York International Children’s Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
nyicff.org

With February come icy winds, slick sidewalks, and the largest child-focused film festival in North America. Now in its 21st year, this wildly popular festival brings the magic of the movies to those just barely able to see over the seat in front of them. More than 125 movies will be screened during the course of the four weeks, from some 30 countries and in 15 different languages. Your budding cinéaste is guaranteed to be exposed to something amazing. Friday, February 23, through Sunday, March 18, see schedule for details and ticket info

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