New York City food, film, comedy festivals to look forward to this fall

The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival returns Oct. 4-6 and will feature a slew of artists, musicians and performers. Photo Credit: Giles Ashford

Fall is brimming with festival fun for foodies, film buffs and culture junkies.

The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival returns Oct. 4-6 and will feature a slew of artists, musicians and performers.
The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival returns Oct. 4-6 and will feature a slew of artists, musicians and performers. Photo Credit: Getty Images for New York Comic /Dia Dipasupil

Several festivals are on the horizon in New York City — for foodies, film nerds, those who like to partake in alcoholic beverages, and more.

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

A scene from "The Beach House" by Jeffrey A. Brown, which will be shown on the opening night of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.
A scene from "The Beach House" by Jeffrey A. Brown, which will be shown on the opening night of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. Photo Credit: Brooklyn Horror Film Festival / Jeffrey A. Brown

New York Film Festival (Through Oct. 13)

Lincoln Center’s signature cinematic event returns with a lineup that’s simply packed with eagerly anticipated movies by major filmmakers. The festival opens with Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and closes with Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn.” In between, you can find new work by everyone from Bong Joon-Ho (“Parasite”) to Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”), along with Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”). (Lincoln Center, filmlinc.org/nyff2019)

DUMBO BID’s 4th Annual Oktoberfest Under the Archway (Oct. 4-5)

The DUMBO Improvement District is again transforming the Manhattan Bridge Archway into a traditional German “beer hall” with two days of live polka music, contests, photo opportunities, and themed food and beverage offerings from Sixpoint, including beer served in limited edition beer steins, pretzels, brats, veggie brats and sauerkraut. (5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday; dumbo.is

The Chile Pepper Fest is a day of hot and spicy bites and New Orleans-inspired fun, including live music by John "Papa" Gros, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and New Orleans' queen of soul, Irma Thomas.
The Chile Pepper Fest is a day of hot and spicy bites and New Orleans-inspired fun, including live music by John "Papa" Gros, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and New Orleans’ queen of soul, Irma Thomas. Photo Credit: Liz Ligon

Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival (Oct. 4-6)

Celebrate the borough’s artists and musicians with performances, classes tours and free outdoor programming from 651 Arts, Bang on a Can, BAM, BRIC, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Music School, Center for Fiction, DanceWave, EPIC Players, Issue Project Room, Mark Morris Dance Group, MoCADA, Nikru Books, Strike Anywhere, Theater for a New Audience and UrbanGlass. (Free; 5 to 8 on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday; The Plaza at 300 Ashland, Downtown Brooklyn; dbartsfestival.org)

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival (Oct. 5)

This film festival, founded by “African Voices” magazine and Brooklyn’s Long Island University’s Media Arts Department, is back for a full day of screenings based on the theme, “#IGotYourBack: A Time for Holding Space and Healing.” (Day passes are $20; 1 to 9:30 p.m., Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 Saint Nicholas Ave., Harlem; reelsisters.com)

First-ever New York Times Food Festival (Oct. 5-6)

Join New York Times journalists, leading chefs, and some of the best restaurants in the city at this inaugural festival curated by Times editors. Enjoy tastings, live cooking demos, panel discussions and more. (Starting at $25; noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday; nytfoodfestival.com

Taste slices from 25 pizzerias from across the country, including from New York City, at what could be described as the tastiest festival ever in the Bronx's Little Italy. 
Taste slices from 25 pizzerias from across the country, including from New York City, at what could be described as the tastiest festival ever in the Bronx’s Little Italy.  Photo Credit: Brick + Wood

New York Pizza Festival (Oct. 5-6)

Taste slices from 25 pizzerias from across the country, including from New York City, at what could be described as the tastiest festival ever in the Bronx’s Little Italy. Among the dozens of parlors, you’ll be able to enjoy slices from Best Pizza (Brooklyn), Brick & Wood (Fairfield, Conn.), pictured, Brooklyn Pizza Crew (Brooklyn), Di Fara Pizza (Brooklyn), Forcella (Brooklyn), Fornino (Brooklyn) and many more. Ticket prices depend on how many slices and beer or wine you want. ($20-$100; Crescent Avenue; Belmont, Bronx; nycpizzafestival.com)

New York City Wine & Food Festival (Oct. 10-13)

It’ll be all about the city’s food scene across four days in October with favorite events like Burger Bash with Rachael Ray, Drag Brunch with Debi Mazar and Patricia Field, Grand Tasting, Oktoberfest with Andrew Zimmern, Dumplings Around the World with Molly Yeh, a new lineup of intimate dinners hosted by some of the world’s most renowned chefs like Marcus Samuelsson and others. All proceeds will benefit the Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry. The lineup and ticketing information is at nycwff.org.

New York Coffee Festival (Oct. 11-13)

Imagine an entire festival devoted to the coffee bean. It exists and it’s back for the fifth time with a Cold Brew Cocktail Bar, live music, The Lab with interactive demonstrations, the Coffee Art Project, The Village with hundreds of innovative products, live latte art, and The Chocolate Factory, an area entirely devoted to the art of chocolate-making and tasting. It will also be held in conjunction with the New York’s Best Barista competition. ($30-$150; The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., Manhattan; newyorkcoffeefestival.com)

Honk NYC! (Oct. 15-19)

Enjoy nearly an entire week of street music and brass band performances across the city featuring Frank London’s (of the Klezmatics) Shikere Kapelye aka “The Inebriated Orchestra;” Brooklyn’s own multicultural Dingonek Street Band; the 70-plus members of L Train Brass Band; the soul-meets-hip-hop six-piece Brooklyn band the Extra Syrup Horns; and the worldbeat funk-sters Dawn Drake and her ZapOte Batucada Band and more. (Free to $12 depending on venue; Brooklyn, Jersey City, Harlem and Staten Island; honknyc.com)

Queens Underground International Film Festival (Oct. 17-20)

Filmmakers, performers and entrepreneurs will have their own film festival in Jamaica, Queens, including screening categories like “short movie,” “performance video,” “commercials” and “web series episodes.” Check filmfreeway.com for more information.

The Margaret Mead Film Festival (Oct. 17-20)

The showcase for documentary films is back with 44 films from 34 countries at the American Museum of Natural History. This year, there will be 17 U.S. premieres with the theme of “Breaking the Narrative,” presenting stories that disrupt stereotypical representations of cultures, from women race car drivers in Saudi Arabia to indigenous Australian drag queens. ($12-$30; AMNH, Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan; amnh.org)

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (Oct. 17-24)

Get spooked at this film festival centered on the horror genre with Brooklyn-made, “The Beach House,” and “Daniel Isn’t Real,” as well as international flicks from Laos, Sweden, Argentina, and France, and its special “Fear In Focus” sidebar, which will shine a light on new Brazilian horror films. The festival won’t be without laughs — Gas Station Horror is taking the craziest horror flick clips and asking comedians to finish the scenes. The lineup and ticketing information is at brooklynhorrorfest.com.

New York Comedy Festival (Nov. 4-10)

More than 100 shows are planned for this year’s New York Comedy Festival, with headliners including Trevor Noah at MSG, Stephen Colbert at Carnegie Hall and Nicole Byer at BMCC TriBeCa Performing Arts Center. 

Shaye Weaver