NYFF 2017: All You Need to Know


NYTVF is holding its 13th annual television festival that aims to bring audiences the best of new and returning television programs. (Jon Bjornson/The Observer)


The New York Film Festival (NYFF), now in its 55th year, is a two-and-a-half-week event that features extraordinary films. People submit films from all over the world to this prestigious festival. Spanning genres, decades and topics, there is sure to be something for everyone at the NYFF.

When: September 28th to October 15th


1. Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center
2. Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
3. Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center, Lincoln Center


Main Slate: This section is where to find both feature length and short films, some of which are world premieres. This category offers the largest section of films, with 25 international films selected to represent different world issues and perspectives on topics such as immigration, animal activism and racial discrimination. Films in this category will be featured throughout the festival.

Top 3:

  1. “Last Flag Flying”, a United States film directed by Richard Linklater, will have its world premiere on opening night of the NYFF. Starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, this film follows three Vietnam veterans who come together to bury Doc’s (played by Carell) son. Its showtimes are 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 28.
  2. “BPM (Beats Per Minute)”, a film from France directed by Robin Campillo, will have its U.S. premiere on Oct. 8 at 8:30 p.m., with another showing on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. This film centers around the gay, HIV-positive men who stormed the government and drug agencies in France in the 1990s as part of ACT UP. This film, however, does not just reflect the period of its production, but can be applied to today’s world.
  3. “Spoor”, a film created in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, and directed by Agnieszka Holland with Kasia Adamik, offers a compelling and complicated story that brings up the issues of animal activism. This thriller takes place on the Poland/Czech border and follows a teacher who looks into the deaths of several hunters, thinking the animals they hunted may be seeking vengeance.


Spotlight on Documentary: These nonfiction films show artists’ lives, social upheaval and other real events in feature length productions. Although many films in this category were made in the United States, there are a few films from various countries and even films in which countries collaborated to create powerful masterpieces.

Top 3:

  1. “Sea Sorrow” is a British documentary directed by Vanessa Redgrave that deals with the Syrian refugee crisis. The production acts as a plea to Westerners to act in accordance with the International Human Rights Laws passed in the wake of WWII. Its North American premiere will take place Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m. and will be shown again Oct. 8 at 4 p.m.
  2. “El mar la mar”, a United States documentary directed by Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki, is about refugees in the Sonoran Desert. This setting offers one of the deadliest avenues for refugees crossing into the United States, and the documentary follows the beauty and mercilessness of the route chosen by many refugees trying to get to the United States. This production will be shown Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Oct. 1 at 8:45 p.m.
  3. “The Venerable W.”, a film from France and Switzerland directed by Barbet Schroeder, will be shown Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. This film portrays the horrific leadership of an Islamophobic Burmese monk. He has gathered hundreds of thousands of followers to take part in a violent and hate-filled campaign for ethnic cleansing.


Revivals: These films were created by renowned filmmakers and have been restored, preserved or remastered to be presented in this category. These films can span any number of topics, as the only unifying quality among them is their revision.

Top 3:

  1. “Lucía”, a Cuban film originally made in 1968 by Humberto Solás, follows three different women all named Lucía. Different registers are used for each woman, making for an exciting and vivid visual experience. This film will be shown Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.
  2. “Sansho the Bailiff”, a 1954 film from Japan directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, is a powerful film about an 11th century family who is split up. The film follows the different family members, who are sold into slavery or prostitution. This will be shown Oct. 8 at 12:30 p.m.
  3. “Hallelujah the Hills”, a United States 1963 production directed by Adolfas Mekas, will be shown Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. It pokes a bit of fun at true love, as it follows two young men who are madly in love with the same woman. The woman, however, is played by two different actresses, thus making their seemingly-devoted love less realistic.


Special Events: This section of the NYFF is just as it sounds. There will be special appearances by actresses, directors and cinematographers, as well as documentaries and reworked pieces about important figures in the cinema.

Top 3:

  1. An Evening with Ava DuVernay and… is an event wherein DuVernay, director of documentaries and films such as “13th” and “Selma”, will discuss her various accomplishments, including her involvement in documentaries and movies that deal with many issues of race. She wants to amplify the voices of people of color and women in the film industry. No date is set yet, but it seems like an amazing event.
  2. “Spielberg” is an HBO Documentary Film that traces one of the giants of cinema’s development. Through a series of interviews, his public, private and artistic life is mapped in an event that will take place Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 8:45 p.m.
  3. A Conversation with Kate Winslet is just as it sounds. On Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., Winslet will take the stage to discuss her career and experiences. This will include discussion of the NYFF film “Wonder Wheel,” which will occur on the closing night of the festival.


Talks: This category features various filmmakers who, in an intimate conversation, will discuss their works. They all have films or short pieces that will be featured during NYFF.

Top 3:

  1. On Cinema: Richard Linklater will feature Linklater discussing his opening night film “Last Flag Flying”, which is part of the festival’s Main Slate. This talk will take place on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
  2. HBO Directors Dialogues: Lucrecia Martel will feature Martel discussing her films, specifically “Zama”, her latest work. “Zama” is an adaptation of an Argentine novel about a Spanish officer who awaits a post transfer that will never come. Her talk will take place Oct. 1 at 3 p.m.
  3. HBO Director Dialogues: Hong Sang-soo will feature Sang-soo, who has been producing new films for NYFF for 5 years. He has two movies in this year’s Main Slate Category, “The Day After” and “On the Beach at Night Alone”. He will be able to talk about the films he has produced on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

The remaining categories of the NYFF are Projections, Retrospectives, Shorts, and Convergences.


Tickets:  Tickets are available on the website, by clicking on the show you would like to attend and through the Film Society of Lincoln Center app. Advance tickets are found at the Alice Tully box office and day-of tickets must be purchased through the box office of the venue hosting that film.

Ticket prices vary by the category of the film, but Student prices (listed) are available for each. Main Slate: $20

Retrospectives, Revivals, and Projections Shorts: $10

Opening Night Gala Evenings: $75

Closing Night and Centerpiece Gala Evenings: $50

Convergence, NYFF Live, Director Dialogues, and “Without a Net” Screenings: FREE!