The Film Society of Lincoln Center is pleased to announce Pedro Almodóvar, John Waters, Tilda Swinton, and Marielle Heller as the first round of guest speakers for the 50th Anniversary Gala on Monday, April 29, 2019 in Alice Tully Hall. Reflecting and building upon the organization’s half-century introducing New York audiences to many of the industry’s most acclaimed and important filmmakers, the Gala will honor the Film Society’s legendary past and vibrant present, and look ahead as we extend our commitment to the film community.

The speakers each have a special connection to the Film Society’s history: Pedro Almodóvar’s What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) screened in New Directors/New Films, and since then he has premiered 10 films in the New York Film Festival; Marielle Heller’s directorial debut The Diary of a Teenage Girl was selected as Opening Night of ND/NF in 2015; Tilda Swinton appeared at NYFF with her films The Last of England (1987), Young Adam (2003), The Man from London (2007), and Only Lovers Left Alive (2013); and John Waters was the subject of a complete retrospective in 2014—the first in the United States.

Almodóvar, Heller, Swinton, and Waters, along with additional guest speakers to be announced, will tell the story of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s semi-centennial alongside a collection of interviews and archival footage, photographs, and film clips that will reflect upon the organization and its role in New York City film culture. In honoring the past, the evening will celebrate a film community that is helping to shape the future of our art form.

The Gala is the most important fundraising event of the Film Society’s landmark anniversary year, and all proceeds will benefit the organization in its mission to support the art and craft of cinema. The annual Chaplin Award Gala will return in 2020.

For information about attending the Gala, please contact our Patron’s Desk at or call (212) 875-5076. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact or call (212) 671-4559. If you’re interested in advertising in the Gala program or online, please contact or call 212-875-5206. Please find the rate card here.

Tickets are on sale now.

Photo credits: Swinton (Brigitte Lacombe), Almodóvar (El Deseo D.A. S.L.U., photos by Nico Bustos), Heller (Todd Williamson), and Waters (Greg Gorman).