About Us

America’s pre-eminent film presentation organization, the Film Society of Lincoln Center was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new filmmakers, and to enhance awareness, accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film going audience.

As an independent constituent of the world’s foremost performing arts center, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents year-round programming that includes premieres of new films from an international roster of established and emerging directors, major retrospectives, in-depth filmmaker talks, and high profile events. The Film Society is one of those rare institutions whose stature is matched by its popularity, each year welcoming an aggregate audience of more than 200,000 film aficionados, filmmakers, and industry leaders of every nationality, age, economic, and ethnic group. The organization has been a pioneer among film institutions and one of the film world’s most respected and influential arbiters of cinematic trends and discoveries. Martin Scorsese, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Agnès Varda, Wong Kar-Wai, Pedro Almodóvar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson—over the last four decades there is scarcely a major director who has not been introduced to American audiences by the Film Society.

The Film Society is best known for two world-class international festivals—the New York Film Festival (the most famous and prestigious in the country), and New Directors/New Films (celebrating new cinematic artists). It runs two state-of-the-art, year-round cinemas, the Walter Reade Theater (268 seats) and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center—Francesca Beale Theater (150 seats), Howard Gilman Theater (90 seats), and Amphitheater (75 seats)—and publishes the country’s most respected cinematic journal, Film Comment. Each year the organization presents its annual Chaplin Award Gala Tribute honoring legendary stars and industry leaders of our generation at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. At various times of the year, the Film Society partners with Hollywood studios to present premieres and special live appearances.

Film Society of Lincoln Center is a proud supporter of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).