Past and present NYFF Selection Committee members Melissa Anderson, David Ansen, Phillip Lopate, Wendy Keys, Scott Foundas, Todd McCarthy, Amy Taubin, Richard Peña, and moderator James Schamus. Photo by Gordon West.

After our special NYFF Live event 50 Years of Film Culture with the NYFF Selection Committee, we debuted a short video directed by Jamie Stuart entitled Memories, which gathers some thoughts on the history of the New York Film Festival. Participants in this special tribute include the likes of NYFF veterans such as Michael Moore and Noah Baumbach, Film Society Executive Director Rose Kuo and Program Director Richard Peña, and many more.

The video begins by tracing the early stages of the festival with the late Martin E. Segal, one of the co-founders of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Martin Scorsese, whose Mean Streets debuted at NYFF in 1973. Both point to the creation of the New York FIlm Festival as a marker of film's acceptance as an art form. “What was an early, beginning appreciation,” says Segal,”became an overwhelming interest for many people.” One of those people certainly was Scorsese, who describes NYFF as a “feast” after rattling off the now-legendary filmmakers who were included in the festival's early years.

Created by Jamie Stuart (Idiot with a Tripod)Memories is both a special look into how influential NYFF has been for some of our favorite filmmakers and critics, and an important document of the importance the New York Film Festival holds in regards to film being considered an art form—once an opinion held by few, now an undeniable fact. 

Watch Memories below:

And check out the fascinating Q&A with past and present members of the NYFF Selection Committee: