NYC’s Fall 2016 Film Festival Guide: New York Film Festival, NewFest, More

September 21, 2016 7:50 PM

foodfilmfestival e1473686402966 NYCs Fall 2016 Film Festival Guide: New York Film Festival, NewFest, More

credit: The Food Festival / Facebook

Fall has arrived, and with it comes a slew of truly excellent film festivals — too many to list here — so we picked our favorites. Whether you’re into the latest indie flick or the scariest narrative, there’s definitely something for you. By Jessica Allen.

credit: Urbanworld Film Festival

credit: Urbanworld Film Festival

Urbanworld Film Festival

174 West 4th Street, #119
New York, NY 10014

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Since its founding in 1997, the Urbanworld Film Festival has sought to broaden the definition of both “urban” and “diversity” by showcasing a range of stories, themes, genres, and content creators. For five days this September, you can attend screenings, listen to panels, hear about the latest digital technology, be present at staged readings of screenplays, participate in Q&As, network, and dance to live performances at Urbanworld Music. September 21–25, tickets required.

credit: Architecture and Design Film Festival

credit: Architecture and Design Film Festival

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Cinépolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-5519

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“Design directs everything” goes the tagline of the Architecture and Design Film Festival, so prepare for some heavy-duty aesthetics during their multi-day event. Documentaries, shorts, and feature-length narratives will give viewers insight into how architects and designers work; the festival’s selections also discuss some of the environmental issues and creative challenges at play today. Their opening night program, for example, covers the life and output of titan Eero Saarinen, narrated in part by his adult son. September 28–October 5, tickets required.

credit: New York Film Festival

credit: New York Film Festival

New York Film Festival

Lincoln Center
165 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 875-5631

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Probably the most prestigious festival of the entire season, the New York Film Festival is where to go to see the best movies from around the world before they hit theaters near you. Debuting this year, the festival’s 54th, are films by Kelly Reichardt, Jim Jarmusch, and Pedro Almodóvar, among others. Screenings are often followed by Q&As with the filmmakers and actors—and, as a result, sell out super-fast. Check out NYFF’s retrospectives and revivals too, showing restored classics like The Battle of Algiers. September 30–October 16, tickets required.

credit: Garrett Ziegler

credit: Garrett Ziegler

Margaret Mead Film Festival

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100

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The annual Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History celebrates the spirit of pioneering anthropologist Margaret Mead. This year’s festival takes as its theme “Re:Frame,” and the featured documentaries are meant to help attendees “see the world anew.” In addition to screenings and talks, the museum is sponsoring a virtual reality showcase, displaying masks from the South Pacific, where Mead lived and researched. October 13–16, tickets required.

credit: Garrett Ziegler

credit: Garrett Ziegler

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival & Biodiversity Conference

Various venues
New York, NY
(917) 558-5205

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Calling all animal lovers, environmentalists, scientists, conservationists, and everyone else who cares about our planet and the many, many creatures who call it home! Now in its sixth year, the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival and Biodiversity Conference seeks “to inform, engage, and inspire audiences about the need for and importance of the protection of global biodiversity” through films (both shorts and feature-length) panel discussions and talks, nature walks and field trips, and receptions and parties. October 14–23, tickets required.

credit: Dog Film Festival / Facebook

credit: Dog Film Festival / Facebook

Dog Film Festival

Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-5400

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The movies being shown at the second annual Dog Film Festival range from shorts to animation to narratives, but they have one thing in common: each showcases the tremendous bond between man and his proverbial best friend. The festival itself celebrates the ways in which humans have welcomed canines into our families and lives as well as the amazing work being done by animal welfare organizations. A chunk of proceeds go to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. In a cruel but familiar twist, dogs aren’t welcome at the one-day event. October 15, tickets required.

credit: NewFest: The NYC LGBT Film Festival / Facebook

credit: NewFest: The NYC LGBT Film Festival / Facebook

NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival

Cinépolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-5519

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More than 70 documentaries, shorts, and narratives will be screened at this year’s NewFest, along with plenty more receptions, panels, Q&As with cast and crew, and parties. Since 1988, this festival has given “voice and visibility to a wide range of representations of the LGBT experience” by “nurturing emerging LGBT and allied filmmakers” from around the world; indeed, the festival’s tagline is “where films come out.” October 20–25, tickets required.

credit: The Food Festival / Facebook

credit: The Food Film Festival / Facebook

NYC Food Film Fest

Various venues
New York, NY
http://thefoodfilmfestival.com

Probably the most interactive festival on this list, the 10th annual NYC Food Film Festival lets attendees taste what they see on the screen. No, seriously. Before and after you watch movies like How to Make a Turtle Burger, about a redneck cook who makes a bacon-wrapped turtle burger, Into My Alms, about a group of Buddhist monks in Queens which is prohibited from feeding themselves, and Volcano Bread, about an Icelandic method of using geothermal heat to bake loaves of rye; you can nosh on creative dishes made by talented chefs from the U.S. and abroad. October 20–23, tickets required.

credit: New York City Short Film Festival

credit: New York City Short Film Festival

New York City Short Film Festival

Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-5400

The 12th annual New York City Short Film Festival will show short films in a range of categories, including foreign language, animation, LGBT, comedy, drama, student, and documentary — with the audience picking a winning film from each. Stick around after the screenings to mingle with filmmakers and entertainment professionals—if you have the patience to wait, that is. November 5, tickets required.

credit: DOC NYC / Facebook

credit: DOC NYC / Facebook

DOC NYC

IFC Center
323 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-7771
http://www.docnyc.net

If documentaries are your jam, then DOC NYC is your bread—and your must-attend film festival this fall. The largest doc-focused festival in the United States, DOC NYC shines a spotlight on some 200+ movies and events (including opportunities for budding filmmakers to pitch to entertainment execs) at theaters in the Village and Chelsea. November 10–17, tickets required.

credit: NYC Horror Film Festival / Facebook

credit: NYC Horror Film Festival / Facebook

NYC Horror Film Festival

Cinépolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-5519

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Sure, by the time NYC Horror Film Festival takes over Cinépolis Chelsea, Halloween will have come and gone. Focused on horror and sci-fi, this annual festival (now in its 14th year) screens both new releases and cult classics, many featuring special celebrity guests. Participating films receive awards like Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Audience Choice. Attend, if you’re not too scared. November 10–13, tickets required.

Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.

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