The Film Society of Lincoln Center is pleased to announce that Film Comment magazine is launching a monthly series of Free Talks. These talks will engage filmmakers and magazine contributors in conversations about movies and provide a forum for discussing ideas central to contemporary film culture—political, aesthetic, and beyond. The talks will kick off with Paul Schrader (First Reformed) in May, Ari Aster (Hereditary) in June, and Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You) in July; dates to be announced. These in-depth discussions, which will focus not only on the filmmakers’ new films but on ideas about the landscape of contemporary and classic cinema, will later be featured as special episodes of the popular Film Comment Podcast.

The magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold announced the new series last night at the Film Society, during a special Film Comment Presents sneak preview of Claire Denis’s latest film Let the Sunshine In, followed by a discussion with Denis. This evening was sponsored by IFC Films, who will sponsor three more talks this year.

“The art of cinema is partly an art of conversation—reacting to the world, to each other, to other films and artists,” said Rapold. “The Film Comment Free Talks will feature filmmakers in thoughtful and lively discussion at a time when I think everyone feels a hunger for substance and community, always prime values at Film Comment and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.”

Though this is the first time the magazine has formalized such free public talks, Film Comment has held live discussions in the past, most recently a February panel on Race and Representation featuring Hale County This Morning, This Evening director RaMell Ross, Life and Nothing More director Antonio Méndez Esparza, and professor and Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture author Racquel Gates. Past live Film Comment events have also featured Denis, Olivier Assayas, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Kevin Jerome Everson, Joachim Trier, Farihah Zaman, and others.