The city that never sleeps has a lot to offer in terms of independent cinema, including the Tribeca Film Festival, one of the most highly attended film fests in the world. But what about the festival for the rest of us? If you’re looking for down-to-earth festivals that present a more personal atmosphere and don’t look past the little guy, here’s some options just a few subway stops away that you’ve probably never heard of.
Greenpoint Film Festival
Produced by Woven Spaces Inc, the festival celebrates themes of renewal and reclamation in a showcase of great art and film. They promose philosophical movements towards sustainability, cohesive city design, and collaboration across mediums. Featuring screenings and panel discussions, this festival is sure to entertain and educate the modern cinephile. And you’ll only have to pay about $12 per block of films.
Coney Island Film Festival
Named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, Coney Island Film Festival is as fun as the neighborhood it’s named after. Housed partially in the Coney Island Sideshow, and featuring acts like sword swallowers between films, it is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With films dipping into almost every genre, there is definitely something for everyone at this fest. Tickets will run you about $8 per one hour block of films.
Deep Focus Film Festival
Tucked away in a trendy Williamsburg bar, the Deep Focus Film Festival proves that smaller is better. Their strategy of eliminating Q&A sessions stimulates a lively atmosphere in which interpersonal networking takes the main stage. With a full bar, kitchen, and patio area, filmmakers rub elbows in between the blocks of high quality content that DFFF attracts. Their irreverence for what is traditionally done on the festival circuit has resulted in a charming and unforgettable experience. Applications are pouring in as the Deep Focus crew promises to capture lightning in a bottle for a second consecutive season, and as always, the screenings remain free and open to the public.
Manhattan Film Festival
One of MovieMaker Magazine’s “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”, MFF screens over 14 consecutive days at the beloved Cinema Village, so chances are you’ll be able to make it. Featuring a “diverse film lineup of established, emerging, and student filmmakers”, you’ll be exposed to every level of film and probably find something new you’ll enjoy! Tickets cost $12 per film or $97 for a festival-long VIP Pass.