NYFF51: Official Selection
Founded in 1963, as the auteur theory and European cinematic modernism were crashing upon the shores of American film culture, the New York Film Festival continues to introduce audiences to the most exciting, innovative and accomplished works of world cinema. Join us as North America’s second oldest film festival marks its 51st edition with 17 days of exciting world premieres, award winners from Cannes, Berlin and Venice, retrospective screenings, spotlights on emerging filmmakers, panels, galas and much more!
Opening Night! World Premiere!
Director Paul Greengrass and star Tom Hanks in person!
Paul Greengrass has crafted an edge-of-your-seat thriller based on the true story of the seizure of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship in 2009 by four Somali pirates, with remarkable performances from Tom Hanks and four first-time actors, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahet M. Ali.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Centerpiece Gala Presentation! World Premiere!
Ben Stiller stars in and directs this sweet, globe-trotting (but New York-based) comic fable about an up-to-the-minute everyman, co-starring Kristen Wiig as the woman of his dreams, Sean Penn as a legendary photographer and Shirley MacLaine as Walter’s mother.
Closing Night! World Premiere!
Director Spike Jonze and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara in person at Alice Tully Hall screenings!
In Spike Jonze’s magical, melancholy comedy of the near future, lonely Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his new all-purpose operating system (the voice of Scarlett Johansson), leading to romantic and existential complications.
Director Richard Curtis and stars Bill Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson in person for Q&A on October 1!
Richard Curtis adds a touch of time-travel to this hilarious romantic comedy, a perfect vehicle for the comic talents of Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Duncan, and emerging star Domhnall Gleeson.
Abuse of Weakness
Director Catherine Breillat and star Isabelle Huppert in person for Q&A on October 6!
Catherine Breillat’s haunting film about her 2004 stroke and subsequent self-destructive relationship with star swindler Christophe Rocancourt, starring Isabelle Huppert.
Star Steve Coogan in person for Q&A on September 28 and director Declan Lowney in person on October 7th!
In the long-awaited big screen debut of Steve Coogan’s singular comic creation, the vain and obliviously tactless Alan Partridge must serve as an intermediary when Radio Norwich is seized at gunpoint by a down-sized DJ.
All Is Lost
Director J.C. Chandor and star Robert Redford in person on October 8!
Robert Redford as you’ve never seen him before, gives a near-wordless all-action performance as a lone sailor whose yacht sinks after a collision with a discarded shipping container in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson in person for Q&A at both screenings!
Brooklyn filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson follow their son Idris and his friend Seun from their enrollment in the Dalton School as children through their high school graduations in this devastating, years-in-the-making documentary.
Director Frederick Wiseman in person for Q&A on Septeber 28!
Another masterfully constructed documentary from Frederick Wiseman, examining the University of California, Berkeley from multiple angles - the administrators, the students, the surrounding community - to arrive at a portrait that is as rich in detail as it is epic in scope.
Director Claire Denis in person for Q&A on October 6!
Claire Denis’s jagged, daringly fragmented and deeply unsettling film inspired by recent French sex ring scandals is the rarest of cinematic narratives—a contemporary film noir, perfect in substance as well as style.
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Director Abdellatif Kechiche in person for Q&A on October 11!
The sensation of this year’s Cannes Film Festival is an intimate - and sexually explicit - epic of emotional transformation, featuring two astonishing performances from Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux.
Director Agnieszka Holland and star Tatiana Pauhofova in person for Q&A on October 4!
A passionately brilliant Czech mini-series from Agnieska Holland about the events that followed student Jan Palach’s public self-immolation in protest against the Soviet invasion after Prague Spring.
Child of God
Writer/Producer Vince Jolivette and Actor Scott Haze in person on September 29!
James Franco’s uncompromising excursion into American Gothic, adapted from a 1973 Cormac McCarthy novel, about an unstable sociopath in early 60s rural Tennessee who descends into an animal-like state - not for the faint-hearted.
Director Sebastian Lélio and star Paulina García in person for Q&A at 10/6 and 10/7 screenings!
A wise, funny, liberating movie from Chile, about a middle-aged woman who finds romance but whose new partner finds it painfully difficult to abandon his old habits.
Director James Gray in person for Q&A on October 9!
In James Gray’s richly detailed period tragedy, set in a dusty, sepia-toned 1920s Manhattan, a young Polish immigrant (Marion Cotillard) is caught in a dangerous battle of wills with a shady burlesque manager (Joaquin Phoenix).
Inside Llewyn Davis
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen, composer T-Bone Burnett, and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, John Goodman, and more in person on September 28!
Joel and Ethan Coen’s picaresque, panoramic and wryly funny story of a talented and terminally miserable folk musician is set in the New York film scene of the early 60s and features a terrific array of larger-than-life characters and a glorious score of folk standards.
The Invisible Woman
Director Ralph Fiennes and star Joanna Scanlon in person!
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars as Charles Dickens in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s revelatory 1992 biography, which brought the upright Victorian author’s secret 13-year affair with a young actress to light.
Star Louis Garrel in person for Q&A on October 3!
Another intimate, handcrafted work of poetic autobiographical cinema from French director Philippe Garrel, in which his son Louis and Anna Mouglalis star as actors and lovers trying to reconcile their professional and personal lives.
Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
Arnaud Desplechin and Mathieu Almaric in person on October 1 + 2, Benicio Del Toro in person on October 1!
In Arnaud Desplechin’s intelligent and moving depiction of a successful "Talking Cure", the encounters between patient (Benecio del Toro) and therapist (Mathieu Amalric) are electric with discovery.
The Last of the Unjust
Director Claude Lanzmann in person for Q&A on September 29!
This moral and cinematic tour de force from the creator of Shoah will cause you to reconsider your understanding of Adolph Eichmann and of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish elder of Thereisenstadt and the film’s central figure.
Like Father, Like Son
Director Kore-eda Hirokazu in person for Q&A on September 30!
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s sensitive drama takes a close look at two families’ radically different approaches to the horribly painful realization that the sons they have raised as their own were switched at birth.
The Missing Picture
Filmmaker Rithy Panh’s brave new film revisits his memories of four years spent under the Khmer Rouge and the destruction of his family and his culture; without a single memento left behind, he creates his "missing images" with narration and painstakingly executed dioramas.
My Name Is Hmmm…
agnès b in person at October 7 screening!
In this deeply personal, incandescent first feature from designer agnès b, a young girl holding her family together and bearing the weight of sexual abuse runs away from home and enjoys a carefree idyll with a kindly Scottish trucker.
Director Alexander Payne and stars Bruce Dern and June Squibb in person on October 8!
This masterful film from Alexander Payne, about a quiet old man (Bruce Dern) whose mild-mannered son (Will Forte) agrees to drive him from Montana to Nebraska to claim a non-existent prize, shades from the comic to multiple hues of melancholy and regret.
Nobody’s Daughter Haewon
A young student at loose ends after her mother moves to America tries to define herself one encounter and experience at a time, in reality and in dreams, in another deceptively simple chamber-piece from South Korean master Hong Sang-soo.
Norte, The End of History
Producer/Actress Moira Lang in person on September 29!
Filipino director Lav Diaz’ twelfth feature - at four-plus hours, one of his shortest - is a careful rethinking of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, whose tortured anti-hero is a haunting embodiment of the dead ends of ideology.
Director Hany Abu-Assad in person for Q&A on October 11!
A tense, gripping, ticking clock thriller about betrayal, suspected and real, in the Occupied Territories, from Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now).
Only Lovers Left Alive
Director Jim Jarmusch and actors Tilda Swinton and Jeffrey Wright in person on October 10!
Jim Jarmusch’s wry, tender and moving take on the vampire genre features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as a centuries-old couple who watch time go by from multiple continents as they reflect on the ever-changing world around them.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first feature since 2008’s Tokyo Sonata, his most romantic movie yet, is an exquisitely crafted sci-fi fable about young love, marriage, and the merging of two psyches in the face of death.
Director Jehane Noujaim in person for Q&A!
Jehane Noujaim’s tense, vivid verité portrait of events as they unfolded in Tahrir Square through Arab Spring and beyond, in a newly revised, up-to-the-minute version.
Stranger by the Lake
Cinematography by Claire Mathon
Mathon captures naked bodies and hardcore sex with the same matter-of-fact sensuousness that they bring to ripples on the water and the fading light of dusk in this exploration of death and desire around a gay lakeside cruising spot.
Stray Dogs (NYFF)
Tsai Ming-liang’s fable of a homeless family living the cruelest of existences on the ragged edges of the modern world is bracingly pure in its anger and its compassion, and as visually powerful as it is emotionally overwhelming.
A Touch of Sin
Director Jia Zhangke and star Zhao Tao in person for Q&A at both screenings!
Jia Zhangke’s bloody, bitter new film builds a portrait of modern-day China in the midst of rapid and convulsive change through four overlapping stories of marginalized and oppressed citizens pushed to murderous rage.
Director Roger Michell, Producer Kevin Loader, and stars Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent in person on September 29!
A magically buoyant, bittersweet comedy drama about a middle-aged and middle class English couple who go to Paris for a weekend holiday, starring two of Britain’s national treasures, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.
When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism
Director Corneliu Proumboiu in person for Q&A on October 1!
A rigorously structured and fascinatingly oblique new film from Corneliu Porumboiu that examines the life of a film director during the moments on a shoot when the camera isn’t rolling.
The Wind Rises
The great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s new film is based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter. An elliptical historical narrative, The Wind Rises is also a visionary cinematic poem about the fragility of humanity.