Spring is almost here, bringing with it balmy temperatures, beautiful buds and a slew of film festivals worth your time (and cash). Below find our picks for the best film festivals of the season.

CineKink
Various venues
New York, NY
www.cinekink.com

Keep in mind this festival’s tagline—the “kinky film festival”—when deciding who you might wish to invite to join you at such screenings as Tie Me Up! A Shibari Documentary, Sock Puppet, and Schwinging. Now in its 15th year, CineKink features “films and videos that celebrate and explore the wide diversity of sexuality, with offerings drawn from both Hollywood and beyond . . . from documentary to drama, camp comedy to artsy experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit—and everything in between.” Wednesday, March 14, through Sunday, March 18, see schedule for details, tickets required.  

New Directors / New Films
Various venues
New York, NY
www.filmlinc.org

Jointly sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of the Modern Art, the New Directors / New Films reflects the open-minded, boundary-pushing philosophies of both. A documentary about performer MIA opens the festival, which also includes a three-hour “neorealist musical,” a lyrical meditation on motherhood, and a feature about an adolescent girl in Iran. New Directors / New Films “celebrates filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema, daring artists whose work pushes the envelope in unexpected ways.” Wednesday, March 28, through Saturday, April 8, see schedule for details and ticket info.  

Havana Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
www.hffny.com/2018

Celebrating its 19th anniversary in 2018, the Havana Film Festival seeks to expose audiences to the best and brightest work coming out of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as to Latino filmmaking in the United States. Some 40 films are scheduled to be screened this year, ranging from acknowledged classics to new releases, animation to full-length narratives. In addition, there will be talks, panels, Q&As with filmmakers, and masterclasses led by legends like Senel Paz. Friday, April 6, through Tuesday, April 17, see schedule for details, tickets required

Tribeca Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
www.tribecafilm.com

Of all the festivals on this list, the Tribeca Film Festival is the one where you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a celeb or seven. Created in the aftermath of 9/11, this festival sought to revitalize a downtrodden neighborhood (and city). It succeeds spectacularly, and now draws a slew of independent, quirky, and mainstream movies. Check out the Virtual Arcade to see 20+ augmented reality and virtual reality pieces, using cutting-edge technology that very well may be the future of cinema as we know it. Talks, interviews, music, and more. Wednesday, April 18, through Sunday, April 29, see schedule for details and ticket info.

Brooklyn Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
www.brooklynfilmfestival.org

The Brooklyn Film Festival seeks to shine a spotlight on the city’s hippest borough, as well as “to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure.” This year, 130 feature-length narratives, documentaries, and shorts are on tap, along with a free afternoon of panels (at Kickstarter’s HQ) and a related KidsFilmFest for the little dudes. The theme of the whole shebang is “threshold.” Prepare to be challenged, amazed, awed, and impressed. Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 10, see schedule for details, tickets required.

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