Main Slate announced: See the films of the 2019 NYFF

Monday, August 12, 2019

NEW YORK -- The 2019 New York Film Festival's Main Slate is now out - showcasing films from 17 different countries, including new titles from celebrated auteurs, extraordinary work from directors making their NYFF debuts, and captivating features that earned acclaim at international festivals. Nine films in the festival were honored at Cannes.

NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, "Cinema is the domain of freedom, and it's an ongoing struggle to maintain that freedom. It's getting harder and harder for anyone to make films of real ambition anywhere in this world. Each and every movie in this lineup, big or small, whether it's made in Italy or Senegal or New York City, is the result of artists behind the camera fighting on multiple fronts to realize a vision and create something new in the world. That includes masters like Martin Scorsese and Pedro Almodóvar and younger filmmakers coming to the festival for the first time like Mati Diop and Angela Schanelec."

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The Irishman Martin Scorsese 2019 USA Opening Selection · World Premiere

Here is more about the Main Slate, in a press release from the Film at Lincoln Center.


The films featured in this year's event which were honored at Cannes include Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or-winner Parasite; Grand Prix-winner Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story, directed by Mati Diop, an alum of annual FLC series Art of the Real and winner of the 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist award; Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire, NYFF's Film Comment Presents selection and winner of both the Queer Palm and the Best Screenplay prize; Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory, awarded Best Actor for Antonio Banderas; Kleber Mendona Filho and Juliano Dornelles' Jury Prize-winner Bacurau; Young Ahmed, which brought home the Best Director prize for Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; and three Un Certain Regard winners, including Oliver Laxe's Jury Prize-winner Fire Will Come, Albert Serra's Special Jury Prize-winner Liberté, and Kantemir Balagov's Beanpole, which collected the Best Director prize. Top prize winners from the Berlinale will also appear in the Main Slate: Nadav Lapid's Golden Bear-winner Synonyms and Angela Schanelec's I Was at Home, But..., which won the Silver Bear for Best Director.

Olivier Assayas makes his 10th appearance at the festival with Wasp Network, while other returning filmmakers include Arnaud Desplechin, Kelly Reichardt, Corneliu Porumboiu, Bertrand Bonello, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Marco Bellocchio, Pedro Costa, and Agns Varda, whose final film Varda by Agns will screen posthumously. Making their New York Film Festival debuts are New Directors/New Films alum Pietro Marcello, Lou Ye, and Federico Veiroj, whose work has also screened in FLC's Neighboring Scenes series, and additional filmmakers new to the festival include Diao Yinan, Koji Fukada, and Justine Triet, an alum of FLC's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.

This year's New York Film Festival poster is designed by Main Slate director Pedro Almodóvar, whose film Pain and Glory marks his 11th NYFF appearance. Speaking about his inspiration for the design, Almodóvar said, "For the basis of this year's New York Film Festival poster, I used a photo of a still life that I exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery. The masses of color on which the text is printed are reminiscent of an animated sequence that appears in my latest film, Pain and Glory, though for this version I have chosen less bright colors, using muted shades of red, blue, green, and mauve. These colors correspond to the palette in which I seem to move lately."

As previously announced, the NYFF57 Opening Night is Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story is Centerpiece, and Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn will close the festival.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Opening Night

The Irishman

Dir. Martin Scorsese

This richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity, stars Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino; Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa; and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film's incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.


Marriage Story

Dir. Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach's new film is about the rapid tangling and gradual untangling of impetuosity, resentment, and abiding love between a married couple-played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johannson-negotiating their divorce and the custody of their son. It's as harrowing as it is hilarious as it is deeply moving.

Closing Night

Motherless Brooklyn

Dir. Edward Norton

Writer-director-producer Edward Norton has transplanted the main character of Jonathan Lethem's best-selling novel Motherless Brooklyn from modern Brooklyn into an entirely new, richly woven neo-noir narrative: a multilayered conspiracy that expands to encompass the city's ever-growing racial divide, set in 1950s New York.

Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story

Dir. Mati Diop

Winner of the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Mati Diop's gripping, hallucinatory Senegal-set drama skirts the line between realism and fantasy, romance and horror, and, in its crystalline empathy, humanity, and political outrage, confirms the arrival of a major talent.


Dir. Kleber Mendona Filho and Juliano Dornelles

In this wild shape-shifter, a vibrant, richly diverse backcountry Brazilian town finds its sun-dappled day-to-day disturbed when its inhabitants become the targets of a group of marauding, wealthy tourists. Bacurau is a vividly angry power-to-the-people fable like no other.


Dir. Kantemir Balagov

In this richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war, two women, Iya and Masha (astonishing newcomers Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina), attempt to readjust to a haunted post-WWII Leningrad.

Fire Will Come

Dir. Oliver Laxe

The beauties and terrors of nature-human and otherwise-drive the extraordinary, elemental new film from Oliver Laxe, in which the verdant Galician landscape becomes the setting for the powerful story of Amador, who has recently served time in prison for arson and has come home to live with his elderly mother.

First Cow

Dir. Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early 19th-century way of life for this tale of a taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) who has joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, but only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune.

A Girl Missing

Dir. Koji Fukada

Middle-aged Ichiko-played by the extraordinary Mariko Tsutsui-works as a private nurse in a small town for a family; when one of the girls disappears, Ichiko gets caught up in the resulting media sensation in increasingly surprising and devastating ways. Tsutsui and director Koji Fukada have created one of the most memorable, enigmatic movie protagonists in years.

I Was at Home, But...

Dir. Angela Schanelec

An elliptical yet emotionally lucid variation on the domestic drama, the latest film by German director Angela Schanelec intricately navigates the psychological contours of a Berlin family in crisis.


Dir. Albert Serra

In the 18th century, somewhere deep in a forest clearing, a group of bewigged libertines engage in a series of pansexual games of pain, torture, humiliation, and other dissolute, Sadean pleasures. Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra's latest is easily his most provocative yet.

Martin Eden

Dir. Pietro Marcello

In this enveloping adaptation of a Jack London novel from Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello, Martin Eden is a dissatisfied prole with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student.

The Moneychanger

Dir. Federico Veiroj

Leading light of contemporary Uruguayan cinema Federico Veiroj's new film is his most ambitious, political, and forceful yet, starring Daniel Hendler as Humberto Brause, who takes advantage of Uruguay's poor economy by specializing in shady offshore investing.

Oh Mercy!

Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Arnaud Desplechin shows a different and no less impressive side of his mastery with this taut policier, based on a true murder case in his hometown of Roubaix, where, during a somber Christmas season, a French-Algerian detective is investigating the fatal strangulation of a poor, elderly woman in her apartment, with suspicion falling on her next-door neighbors.

Pain and Glory

Dir. Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodóvar taps into new reservoirs of introspection and emotional warmth with this miraculous, internalized portrayal of Salvador Mallo, a director not too subtly modeled on Almodóvar himself and played by Antonio Banderas, who deservedly won Best Actor at this year's Cannes Film Festival.


Dir. Bong Joon-ho

In Bong Joon-ho's exhilarating, Palme d'Or-winning film, a threadbare family of four struggling to make ends meet gradually hatches a scheme to work for, and as a result infiltrate, the wealthy household of an entrepreneur, his seemingly frivolous wife, and their troubled kids.

Film Comment Presents

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Dir. Céline Sciamma

On the cusp of the 19th century, young painter Marianne travels to a rugged, rocky island off the coast of Brittany to create a wedding portrait of the wealthy yet free-spirited Héloise. An emotional and erotic bond develops between the women in Céline Sciamma's Cannes-awarded subversion of the story of an artist and "his" muse.

Saturday Fiction

Dir. Lou Ye

The incomparable Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern) gives a mesmerizing, take-no-prisoners performance in Saturday Fiction, a slow-burn spy thriller set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai on the cusp of World War II, directed by Lou Ye.


Dir. Justine Triet

In Justine Triet's intricate, highly entertaining study of the professional and personal masks we wear as we perform our daily lives, a psychotherapist (Virginie Efira) abruptly decides to leave her practice to restart her writing career-only to find herself increasingly embroiled in the life of a desperate new patient (Adle Exarchopoulos).


Dir. Nadav Lapid

Disillusioned Israeli Yoav (Tom Mercier), who has absconded to Paris following his military training and has disavowed Hebrew, falls into an emotional and intellectual triangle with a wealthy bohemian couple in Nadav Lapid's powerful film about language and physicality, masculinity and nationhood.

To the Ends of the Earth

Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's penetrating depiction of the alienation and anxiety experienced by a young reality TV host-played by former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda-while traveling for work in Uzbekistan pushes the director's craft into new, mysterious, and enormously emotional realms.

The Traitor

Dir. Marco Bellocchio

In Marco Bellocchio's compelling, decades-spanning drama, Pierfrancesco Favino commands the screen as real-life figure Tommaso Buscetta, the mafia boss turned informant who helped take down a large swath of organized crime leaders in Sicily in the eighties.

Varda by Agns

Dir. Agns Varda

In her final work, partially constructed of onstage interviews and lectures, interspersed with a wealth of clips and archival footage, Agns Varda guides us through her career, from her movies to her remarkable still photography to the delightful and creative installation work.

Vitalina Varela

Dir. Pedro Costa

Pedro Costa's latest, a film of deeply concentrated beauty, stars nonprofessional actor Vitalina Varela in a truly remarkable performance, reprising and expanding upon her haunted supporting role from Costa's Horse Money. She plays a Cape Verdean woman who has come to Fontainhas for her husband's funeral after being separated from him for decades.

Wasp Network

Dir. Olivier Assayas

In the early nineties, a small group of Cuban defectors in Miami established a spy web to infiltrate anti-Castroist terrorist groups carrying out violent attacks on Cuban soil. Olivier Assayas brings his customary style and urgency to this unexpected subject in an epic saga starring Penélope Cruz, Édgar Ramírez, and Gael García Bernal.

The Whistlers

Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

Leading Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu has made his first all-out genre film-a playful, swift, and elegant neo-noir about an easily corruptible Bucharest police detective who must learn a clandestine, tribal language, improbably made entirely out of whistling.

The Wild Goose Lake

Dir. Diao Yinan

Small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong (the charismatic Hu Ge) is desperate to stay alive after he mistakenly kills a cop and a dead-or-alive reward is put on his head. Chinese director Diao Yinan deftly keeps multiple characters and chronologies spinning, all the while creating an atmosphere thick with eroticism and danger.

Young Ahmed

Dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

The Dardenne Brothers won this year's Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this brave new work, another intimate portrayal-in-furious-motion, about a Muslim teenager in a small Belgian town who is gradually being radicalized into extremism.

Zombi Child

Dir. Bertrand Bonello

Bertrand Bonello injects urgency and history into the well-worn walking-dead genre with this unconventional plunge into horror-fantasy, moving fluidly between 1962 Haiti, where a young man known as Clairvius Narcisse is made into a zombie by his resentful brother, and a contemporary Paris girls' boarding school attended by Clairvius's direct descendant.


NYFF Special Events, Spotlight on Documentary, Convergence, Shorts, Retrospective, Revivals, and Projections sections, as well as filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night. Learn more at