Best Weekend Events In NYC: Festivals, Films, Flowers, More

March 12, 2016 6:00 AM

Lots of film festivals to choose from this weekend, along with a celebration of the orchid and another focused on two unique regions of Japan. Read on for details about our picks for the best in eating, drinking, and merrymaking in NYC this weekend. By Jessica Allen.

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(Credit: Facebook)

(Credit: Facebook)

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First things first: Japan Week isn’t in fact a week long, but it does celebrate Japan. Held by the Japan National Tourism Organization, this year’s festival focuses on Hokkaido and Tohoku, both in northern Japan and both full of natural beauty and excellent food. Exhibitors and vendors will be on hand singing the praises of these two areas, and you’ll be able to partake of such goodies as Kaiten sushi (customers pick the sushi they want as it zooms by on conveyor belts) and register to win a free trip. Thursday, March 10, through Saturday, March 12, free.

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If you’ve got a young person in your life, you’ll want to go ahead and rearrange your schedule for the hugely popular International Children’s Film Festival, the largest kid-focused film festival in North America. Since 1997, this festival has shown “thoughtful, provocative, and intelligent film for children and teens ages 3–18.” This year, that means you can see 100 movies from 35 countries in 15+ languages over the festival’s four weekends. Go, go, go! Friday, February 26, through Sunday, March 20, subscribe for updates, tickets required.

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As you can see from this list, New Yorkers like to hold — and attend — film festivals. Presented with UniFrance, the annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center features Francophone movies by both up-and-coming and established directors, writers as well as performers, including Julie Delphy, Isabelle Huppert, Diane Kruger, Philippe Faucon, and Gérard Depardieu. Thursday, March 3, through Sunday, March 13, see schedule for details, tickets required.

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We can’t say it any better than the website: ReelAbilites Film Festival “brings together the community to promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities.” Founded in 2007, this is the first festival to show movies by and about people with disabilities. Now it’s held in cities across North America. All screenings are followed by discussions and Q&As. Thursday, March 10, through Wednesday, March 16, see website for details, tickets required.

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The annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden heralds spring, in all its lush, colorful, spectacular glory. “Orchidelirium,” the theme of this year’s show, harks back to the 19th century, when a single blossom sparked a passionate movement. Orchid Evenings — on select Saturdays — lets you browse the extraordinary exhibit with an adult beverage in hand. Your ticket comes with a complimentary signature cocktail, made with ginger and vodka infused with vanilla. Saturday, March 12, $35 for non-members, $25 for members, must be 21 or over.