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New York City’s Must-See Film Festivals for Fall

This fall, New York City – and the Hamptons – will celebrate international cinematic excellence with four different festivals. Cut the lights, take a peek at these schedules, and start planning your film-going experiences for the next few months.

Urbanworld Film Festival (9/20-24)

Launched in 1997, Urbanworld, a five-day festival, presents a slate of films – and events – diverse in stories, cultures, and more. In the festival’s own words, “We fight tirelessly to expand the definition of ‘urban’ beyond ethnicity to include sensibility, culture, and proximity. We strive to be ‘the filmmakers festival’ and ‘the people’s festival,’ providing a point of intersection where creators and audiences meet to experience bold and diverse artistic works.” The festival also includes Urbanworld Digital, where industry experts share knowledge of the film industry, and Urbanworld Music, featuring DJs and live performances.  Prices range from $500 for a Global Access pass to $150 for the Student Access pass (valid student ID required).

New York Film Festival (9/30-10/16)

Established in 1963 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival (NYFF) features both established and up-and-coming talent. Over 17 days, Lincoln Center will play host to everything from Main Slate official selections to newly restored classics, special events, filmmaker talks and more. Highlights include an evening with Ava DuVernay, the director of 13TH, which opened last year’s NYFF, and a talk between festival director, Kent Jones, and Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused), whose film, Last Flag Flying, opens this year’s festival. Ticket prices range from Retrospective All Access Pass at $125 to FREE, for certain events.

Hamptons International Film Festival (10/5-9)

Going strong for 25 years, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) features long, short, fiction, and documentary Independent films, and draws over 25,000 visitors to theaters across East Hampton, Southampton, Montauk, and Sag Harbor. More than $165,000 in cash prizes are awarded at the festival, drawing a roster of top films that often go on to be Oscar nominees – or winners (Moonlight, La La Land). Box office ticket options range from Special 25th Anniversary Packages at $3500 to tickets for General Films at $15 adults/$10 seniors/$8 children.

DOC NYC (11/9-16)

DOC NYC has grown since its 2010 inception to become the largest documentary festival in America. Spread out over eight days in Chelsea and the West Village, the festival features new documentary films, panels, conversations, and connections that happen “only in New York.” Past guests and presenters include Hillary Clinton, Martin Scorcese, Michael Moore and, wait for it, Big Bird. Festival passes range from All Access for $650 ($750 after 9/21), DOC NYC Pro for $300 ($350 after 9/21), and Doc NYC Half Passes for $160 ($200 after 9/21).