The Magnificent Seven

The seven best film festivals taking place around the Empire State this fall.


Photo by Sean Diserio

As cooler weather rolls in, the changing leaves are not the only spectacle. Get your tickets for one of the forward-thinking, innovative film festivals taking place throughout the state. From LGBTQ-centric programming to flicks focused on food, here are our picks for New York’s must-visit movie fests.


Coney Island Film Festival
Sept 14–16

Why not enjoy a heaping helping of engrossing films alongside hot dogs, snow cones, and rides? Celebrating its 18th anniversary, this adult-oriented fest focuses exclusively on local productions and is known for its rowdy opening-night burlesque celebration.


New York Film Festival
Sept 28–Oct 14

The season’s biggest affair, the New York Film Festival, now in its 56th year, takes over Lincoln Center with an exhaustive program of shorts, retrospectives, features, and talks by some of the biggest names in show business.


Hamptons International Film Festival
Oct 4–8

Stars with Hamptons homes swarm the step-and-repeat at this swanky fest. A nonprofit with 26 years under its belt, HIFF features 150 short, full-length, and documentary films — with a knack for finding future Oscar contenders while doling out more than $180,000 in prizes.


Adirondack Film Festival
Oct 18–21

The only festival in the US operated by a professional theater company, this Glens Falls fest includes panel discussions, special events, and a free family series, bridging the gap between theater and film.


Oct 24–30

With LGBTQ filmmakers garnering accolades, this boundary-breaking NYC film fest is a welcome addition to fall arts scene, with more than 70 films by LGBTQ individuals, plus panels, parties, and events.


The Food Film Festival
Oct 25–28

In NYC, The Food Film Festival gives guests a simultaneous taste of the dishes they’re watching onscreen. Along with food-paired shorts and features, the fest also hosts food-related events and parties.


Ithaca Fantastik
Nov 2–11

If fantasy and sci-fi are more your bag, drop by this 10-day film, art, and music festival specializing in supernatural, mind-bending, and just-plain-weird features. There’s also an underground concert series, live Q&As with filmmakers, and local art on display.



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