By Jessica Allen

October in New York means many things, including tons of can’t miss movie festivals. Whether you’re into protecting the earth or watching it get destroyed by evil creatures, longing to learn about other cultures or devoted to diversity, the city has just the right film festival this month for you. Herewith, our picks for the best film festivals in October.

Various venues
New York, NY

The six-day NewFest promotes, features and celebrates the best in LGBTQ filmmaking, giving voice to a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This year, the festival’s 29th, more than 140 films will be shown, including a documentary about Susanne Bartsch, nightlife impresario and “champion for all things New York and queer,” a narrative about a migrant worker and farmer’s son in rural England, a panel and discussion about representations of bisexuality in the media, a drag roast, and lots more. Thursday, October 19, through Tuesday, October 24, see schedule for details, tickets required

Margaret Mead Film Festival
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th St.
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100

Pioneer anthropologist Margaret Mead changed the way we see the world, and this festival at the American Museum of Natural History honors her vast legacy. More than 40 documentaries will be screened, along with an animated art installation, discussions and conversations among notable scholars and filmmakers. New this year is the Mead Mixed Media Lounge, where you can learn more about how cutting-edge technologies are helping us tell and document stories. Thursday, October 19, through Sunday, October 22, see schedule for details, tickets required.

Food Film Festival
AMC Empire 25
234 West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-2597

“Taste what you see,” goes the tagline of the Food Film Festival. Now in its 11th year, this interactive festival takes its motto really seriously: screening this year are food porn classic Tampopo, a documentary about James Beard (the world’s first foodie?), and a stop-motion animation depicting a gastro market in Budapest as well as shorts covering the history of brunch, dry aging, and Chef José Andrés’s take on carrot cake. Afterward, you’ll be treated to creative dishes and drinks (must be 21+). Thursday, October 19, through Sunday, October 22, see schedule for details, tickets required.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival & Biodiversity Conference
Cinema Village Theater
22 East 12th St.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 924-3364

If you care about animals, if you’re worried about the planet, if you love the environment, then this is the film festival for you. The seventh annual Wildlife Conservation Film Festival & Biodiversity Conference brings together a huge range of folks concerned with global biodiversity, from scientists to photographers to educators to wildlife conservationists, and puts the spotlight on both shorts and feature-length films that showcase our glorious world. Nature walks and panel discussions too! Friday, October 20, through Thursday, October 26, see schedule for details, tickets required.

NYC Horror Film Festival
Cinépolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-5519

With October comes colorful, rustling leaves, cool, breezy days and utterly terrifying, spine-tingling tales. Just in time for Halloween, the NYC Horror Film Festival arrives, with its focus on horror and sci-fi, screening new movies and cult classics, and awarding prizes in such categories as Audience Choice, Best Sound Design, Best Actor, and Best Horror Feature Film. It’s one of the largest genre-focused film festivals in the world! We got creeped out (in a good way) just by looking at the schedule. Thursday, October 26, through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details, tickets required.