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Best Film Festivals In NY This November

By Jessica Allen

Love movies? You've come to the right place. Literally. New York City offers a film festival pretty much every week of the year. Below are our picks for November. Whether you're into big-budget movies or independent cinema, adore horses or want to hear other voices, we've got a film festival that's right for you.

Architecture and Design Film Festival
Cinépolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-5519

Taking as its philosophy the idea that "design directs everything," the annual Architecture and Design Film Festival features movies that go way, way beyond films about starchitects (though there are a few about those, understandably). The selections this year range from a short, dreamy meditation about the past and the future to a documentary about the demise of World's Fairs to a naturalistic narrative about the way physical space impacts mental states. Wednesday, November 1, through Sunday, November 5, see schedule for details, tickets required.

Big Apple Film Festival
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592-2980

The Big Apple Film Festival keeps it homegrown by focusing on directors, actors, producers and others in the local indie community. Honors are distributed in a number of categories, among them Best Feature, Emerging Talent, NYC Cityscape, and Animation. It's up to the judges, of course, but we're particularly excited about The Bracket Theory, which theorizes that logic can be applied to romantic love, and Taking Back the Bronx, about a coalition of activists in that borough. Wednesday, November 1, through Saturday, November 4, see schedule for details, tickets required.   

The Other Israel Film Festival
Various venues
New York, NY
(646) 505-4444

At its core, the Other Israel Film Festival seeks to expand cultural understanding and build social awareness. It does so by focusing on narratives and documentaries that portray the experiences of Israel's minority populations, especially Arab citizens, who are often ignored or marginalized. Along with movie screenings, the festival puts on panels and lectures. In these days of deep division, it's refreshing to hear about a film festival that strives to make sure multiple perspectives are portrayed. Thursday, November 2, through Thursday, November 9, see schedule for details, tickets required.

IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-7771

The largest documentary-focused festival in the United States, DOC NYC returns for its eighth year of compelling truth-telling, community-building, and networking. Indeed, along with screening 200+ films, the festival seeks to bring together like-minded folks to share strategies, offer support, and create new audiences for documentaries. Filmmakers and subjects are expected to attend many of the screenings, giving you the chance to learn more and explore. Thursday, November 9, through Thursday, November 16, see schedule for details, tickets required.

Equus Film Festival
Helen Mills Event Space and Theater
137 West 26th St.
New York, NY 10001
(630) 272-3077

The aptly named Equus Film Festival "highlights and rewards the diverse and creative efforts of those who pay artistic homage to the horse." Put another way, this festival showcases films by horse lovers for horse lovers. Among the projects being screened this year are docs, commercials, training and educational materials, shorts, feature films, and music videos. The festival also offers attendees the chance to tour nearby stables and hang out in a pop-up art gallery. Friday, November 17, through Sunday, November 19, see schedule for details, tickets required.

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