58th New York Film Festival sticks to core mission despite COVID pandemic changes

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – The 58th New York Film Festival officially begins this week, but like so many other events in New York City, the pandemic has brought about big changes for this event. This year’s diverse selection of films will be shown on a virtual platform and in drive-ins located in three of the five boroughs.If show business is always a balance between art and commerce, then the New York Film Festival is back squarely on the cinema side: the best films of yesterday and today selected without regard to box office prospects. . “All of us who are on the selection committee have spent all summer watching movies and talking about movies,” said NYFF director Eugene Hernandez. “We thought which movies made sense to our audiences right now. ”

But this year the festival may not have traditional premieres like the one that launched “The Irishman” in the Oscar race last fall.

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One of the highlights of the last year for me was watching the movie and talking about it directly afterwards with star Robert De Niro, who told me he enjoyed the experience so much of doing it. with old pal Martin Scorsese that he “would have loved it if we were to shoot for another six months.” ”

NYFF’s programming is always diverse and that has certainly not changed.

A film from Steve McQueen’s “Small Ax” anthology series opens this year’s event, which will also feature “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” directed by Spike Lee.

Sofia Coppola’s latest film, “On the Rocks,” reunites the director with Bill Murray, the star of her Oscar-winning movie “Lost in Translation”.

The films aren’t showing at Lincoln Center this year, but many will be available on a virtual platform to be shown in the homes of ticket buyers.

“It wasn’t about changing the central idea, the mission, the heart of the Festival,” said NYFF Program Director Dennis Lim. We have always done what we do every year. ”

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The need for social distancing has led to a drive-in renaissance, so the NYFF is showing films outdoors in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens in partnership with the non-profit Rooftop Films.

The New York Film Festival runs until October 11.

WABC-TV is a proud media sponsor of the event, and tickets for many events are still available.

Click here for more information.

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