It’s already been a whirlwind few days during the opening weekend of the 55th New York Film Festival. Highlights have ranged from sold-out screenings and VR experiences to free talks and star-studded parties with the industry’s biggest talents. This annual festival affords the New York community, including filmmakers and film lovers alike, the rare chance to meet at Lincoln Center for an 18-day cinematic extravaganza.

At a pre-festival press conference on September 27, director and NYFF veteran Noah Baumbach discussed the making of his new film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). The following day, the Walter Reade Theater held press conferences for Opening Night selection Last Flag Flying with director Richard Linklater, co-writer Darryl Ponicsan, and stars Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and J. Quinton Johnson, as well as for Cannes’ 2017 Palme d’Or winner The Square with director and NYFF alum Ruben Östlund.

The festival officially opened on Thursday, September 28 with the world premiere of Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying. Linklater himself, along with co-writer Darryl Ponicsan and stars Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and J. Quinton Johnson, introduced the film in Alice Tully Hall. Following the premiere, guests attended the opening night party at Tavern on the Green.

On Friday, September 29, the festivities continued with a press conference for Lucrecia Martel’s newest film, Zama. Additionally, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center held an opening reception for Convergence, an annual NYFF program and celebrated mainstay which showcases immersive storytelling via interactive experiences, as well as a talk on VR and the Future of Virtual Production by Lucasfilm in the Amphitheater.