Festivals in NYC: From food to film, there's a festival for you

By staff

No matter your interest, there's a festival for you.

Several events are on the horizon for foodies, film nerds and those who like to partake in alcoholic beverages.

So, mark your calendars for these upcoming events happening in the city — and remember that New Yorkers buy tickets quickly.

Frigid Festival (through March 4)

This open and uncensored  theater festival directly benefits the performing artists and showcases about 250 of them around the city, including Amanda Nicastro, who will star in the solo show " I'm Just Kidneying" on Friday. 

Wild Film Festival (Feb. 21-24)

More than 30 documentaries, including one that focuses on a New York harbor, are heading to The Explorer's Club this month as part of the New York Wild Film Festival. Films about exploration, wildlife, adventure and the changing climate will be screened, such as "700 Sharks" (pictured) by director Luc Marescot about five of the most experienced underwater scientists who swam with 700 starving sharks at night for research purposes. 

MoMa's Doc Fortnight (Feb. 21-28)

MoMA's Doc Fortnight Festival celebrates innovation in nonfiction film is opening with the premiere of "Serendipity" by French-born but NYC-based filmmaker Prune Nourry, which will be followed by documentaries that showcase various global stories and issues. Closing the festival, "Buddy" from Amsterdam-based filmmaker Heddy Honigmann, paints a heart-warming picture of the bond between humans and their guide dogs.


On Air Fest (Feb. 28 - March 3)

Podcasters, radio fans and industry innovators will gather for a festival with more than 50 performances, conversations, listening parties, art installations and live podcasts this spring. Radiolab's Jad Abumrad, author Roxane Gay and BuzzFeed News host Ashley C. Ford will be among the headliners. ($79-$199, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn,

Athena Film Festival (Feb. 28 - March 3)

The ninth annual Athena Film Festival showcases films that tell the stories of fierce and fearless female leaders, including the New York premiere of "Knock Down the House," a documentary that follows people who were involved in political campaigns during the 2018 U.S. Congressional election, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Other films on the schedule include "Somebody's Someone: The Regina Louise Story," "On the Basis of Sex," "This is Personal" and more. There will also be panels from a Time's Up x2 panel to another with Jane Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's daughter. ($25-$200, Barnard College,

New York City Drone Film Festival (March 1-2)

Dedicated to the art of drone cinematography, this festival, in its fifth year, is showcasing the work of both domestic and international filmmakers, hosting various panels on tech and law, doing drone demos and drone racing and much more. ($15-$25, Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd.,

The New Colossus Festival (March 7-10)

Breaking international artists will perform at six music venues on the Lower East Side and East Village -- Berlin, Coney Island Baby, Pianos, Bowery Electric, Arlene's Grocery, and The Delancey -- during this new festival. Expect artists like The Natvral (Kip of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Thick, Pom Pom Squad, Tallies, Wooing, Das Body and more, who are breaking into the U.S. music scene for the first time. Pictured are the founders of the festival: Steven Matrick (left) and Lio Kanine and Mike Bell (right). ($50, 2 to 7 p.m.,

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival (March 7, 9)

The annual festival that honors novelist Philip K. Dick is back with a lineup of science fiction films, premieres and panels. This year's festival will showcase Saku Sakamoto's "ARAGNE: Sign of Vermillion" about a young woman's discovery of mysterious insects; the U.S. premiere of "Taking Tiger Mountain Revisited," which is the remastered version of Kent Smith and Tom Huckabee's post-apocalyptic 1983 film starring Bill Paxton; and the world premiere of "Assimilation" by John Norby about a lone survivor searching for answers after the human race vanishes. Pictured: A still from "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Extermitent Production. ($25-$50; 6 to 10 p.m. on March 7 at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 9; Producers Club, 358 W. 44th St.;

New York City Book & Ephemera Fair (March 9-10)

More than 40 artists and 100 rare book and ephemera dealers will showcase their work and wares during Rare Book Week at the fifth New York City Book & Ephemera Fair. Collectors will find first editions, rare books, autographed historical documents, vintage photographs, old maps and more. This year, the festival featuring a special exhibition of photography by the late William Mortensen (like the "Sappho The Poetess of Old Greece," which is pictured here) and launching a Brooklyn Artists' Book Fair, which is a section devoted to contemporary books. ($15 or free with student ID, Sheraton Central Park, 811 Seventh Ave.,

Death Becomes Us - True Crime Festival NYC (March 20-24)

Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder of "Serial," as well as Amanda Knox, John Douglas, Billy Jensen and others are on the lineup for the New York City edition of " Death Becomes Us." True crime fans will be able to hear from the creators of their favorite shows during this festival. Confirmed venues include Gramercy Theatre, Town Hall, Nitehawk Cinema, The Strand Bookstore and Irving Plaza. 

Architectural Digest Design Show (March 21-24)

From new designs by emerging talent to product premieres by well-known brands, the  Architectural Digest Design Show is back with HGTV star Genevieve Gorder, designer Ryan Korban, style icon and lifestyle maven Carolyne Roehm and more. Tickets include general admission to the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS' " Dining by Design" exhibit as well. ($30-$95, Piers 92 & 94,

Bloody Mary Festival (April 7)

Brunch aficionados will be able to enjoy their favorite cocktail to the extreme at this Bloody Mary-centered festival in April. Try innovative mixes by local bars and restaurants, vote for your favorite and enjoy a bagel bar, live music, get temporary tattoos and more. ($50-$65, 10:30 to 6 p.m., Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn,

AIPAD Photography Show (April 4-7)

Leading fine art photography galleries will present modern and 19th century photographs, photo-based art, video, and new media at the 2019 AIPAD Photography Show at Pier 94. In addition, the show will present a lively bookseller and publisher section; a specially-curated exhibition by Elton John; and talks with leading curators, collectors, artists, and journalists.

NYC Hot Sauce Expo (April 13-14)

Spice enthusiasts will descend upon the Brooklyn Expo Center to sample more than 50 artisanal craft hot sauces from around the world. But that's not all -- there will be a Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper pepper eating contest ($1000 Grand Prize for broken record); a chihuahua beauty contest (because why not?); a High River Sauces Slaytanic Burrito Challenge; Volcanic Peppers Spicy Pizza of DOOM Challenge; Culley's Worlds hottest ramen challenge; a Booze & Infuse cocktail competition and much more. ($10-$100, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 79 Franklin St.,

Creole Food Festival (April 27)

The best Creole chefs are gathering for the second annual Creole Food Festival, where you can taste food and drinks from the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and North America. ($25-$75, 3-8 p.m., DL Rooftop Lounge, 95 Delancey St.,

Opera Fest (April 29 - June 30)

A two-month celebration of opera is on its way with more than 20 city-based companies performing at more than 25 events around the city, with a kick-off on April 29 at Marc Scorca Hall. Highlights include "The Stonewall Operas," which will premiere at the West Village's Stonewall Inn to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,  "The Mikado," which is set in Donald Trump's White House, and a musical setting of portions of the U.S. Constitution by Vertical Player Repertory. ($25 tickets grant access to a number of the productions,