Film festivals are in full swing with the New York Film Festival which runs from September 24 to October 10. – The Waltonian

Festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and now the New York Film Festival are all back this year. Thousands of moviegoers will gather between Lincoln Center’s many auditoriums to watch some of the year’s best films. From big movies like “Dune” to small projects like “Bergman Island,” the New York Film Festival offers the best of the best movies you’ll probably hear about when the Oscars roll around.

Not being accredited for the New York Film Festival as a member of the press hasn’t stopped me from purchasing tickets to some of my most anticipated films of the year. I attended four screenings: “Bergman Island”, “The Lost Daughter”, “The Power of the Dog” and “Dune”.

When it was my first time taking part in a film festival, I immediately could feel that there was something unique and special about film festivals; the lights start to dim and viewers are fully focused on the film. How many times have you been to the movies and people are on the phone or talking with their friends? None of this is tolerated or seen at NYFF. During my screening of “Dune” they had security guards constantly wandering the aisles to make sure everyone was wearing their masks and not recording the movie. Maybe that’s because “Dune” was still a few weeks away from its mainstream release, but it kept everyone focused on the movie itself. It’s like going to see a Marvel movie on opening night in a packed house, but these movies are well done and are likely to win awards.

After most feature films, Q&A with selected filmmakers and actors were usually moderated by some sort of criticism. “The Lost Daughter” had one of the most positive discussions and included cast members Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal, Ed Harris and director Maggie Gyllenhaal. The crowd especially jumped for Colman, as were the wrestling fans in attendance when CM Punk debuted on AEW this summer. Even Wes Anderson, who is currently shooting his latest film in Spain, recorded himself live with other frequent collaborators to chat with some of the cast members of “The French Dispatch” who were in New York, including Jeffrey Wright and

Léa Seydoux.

All of this to say that the New York Film Festival is a special experience. From foreign films to animated feature films and Wes Anderson’s latest, the New York Film Festival offers moviegoers all kinds of opportunities to experience great cinema. Very rarely do I feel like I’m watching anything special when the credits roll, especially with the drudgery of IP-based franchise movies that we mostly get today, but seeing

a movie at the New York Film Festival will leave you feeling like you’ve just witnessed something special. Movies like “The Lost Daughter” and “The Power of the Dog” will likely be in the conversation for the awards by next spring, and you would be among the first to see movies like these if you attend the New. York Film Festival. Faced with the concern of a sort of elitism at the New York Film Festival, they are not completely against franchise films, since they are projecting “Dune”, which hopes to have a sequel across the board.

The atmosphere is also something to see. It is extremely rare to find yourself watching a movie in a movie theater among people who are all there to watch the movie up close. There isn’t the usual popcorn and soda smell in the air, and while it might not be ideal for a movie as long as “Dune,” it helps keep you focused on the movie. Plus, Lincoln Center is located in the perfect part of New York City with fantastic restaurants such as Rosa Mexicano, PJ Clarke’s on 63rd or Il Violino.

Whether you’re a casual movie buff or a diehard “movie buff,” the New York Film Festival can easily whet your appetite with its variety of films. I cannot recommend enough that if you ever get the chance to attend a screening at a film festival, jump at the chance and experience it for yourself.

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