Gael Garcia Bernal in "No"
Gael Garcia Bernal in "No"

The New York Film Festival always leans heavily on the Cannes Fest, and sure enough of the 32 titles they've selected for the main slate of the 50th fest (September 28-October 14), many are from Cannes, including Michael Haneke's "Amour," which won the Palme d'Or. The opening night film by Ang Lee, "Life of Pi," has already been announced, along with closing nighter "Flight," from Bob Zemeckis, and centerpiece gala "Not Fade Away," from rookie director David Chase. Haneke, like many of the directors invited to NY, is a returning filmmaker, having shown "The White Ribbon" in 2009.

The main program features include films by Olivier Assayas, Noah Baumbach, Leos Carax, Brian De Palma, Abbas Kiarostami, Cristian Mungiu, Sally Potter, Alain Resnais, Roger Michell, and Raul Ruiz, among others. Four women directors are represented in the line-up.

Notably missing is "Rust and Bone" from Jacques Audiard (Sony Pictures Classics), as well as Walter Salles' "On the Road" (IFC).

Christian Petzold’s Cold War thriller "Barbara" won the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; returning filmmaker Cristian Mungiu’s anti-religion drama "Beyond the Hills" stars newcomers Flutur and Stratan who shared the Best Actress prize at Cannesl, while Mungiu took home the Best Screenplay award. (TOH's interview with Mungiu is here.)
Two debut features include Antonio Mendez Esparza’s film set on the US/Mexican border, "Here and There," the winner of the Grand Prize at this year’s Critics Week in Cannes, and Song Fang’s film about a woman that travels from Beijing to Nanjing to visit her family, "Memories Look at Me," the winner of the Best First Feature prize at this year’s Locarno Film Festival. Pablo Larrain’s political thriller "No," starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was the winner of the top prize in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes (here's my interview with Bernal and Larrain), and Miguel Gomes’s surrealist "Tabu" was the winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize (for a work of particular innovation) and FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Additional returning NYFF filmmakers are João Pedro Rodrigues with "The Last Time I Saw Macao," Olivier Assayas with "Something in the Air," Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, with "Leviathan," Abbas Kiarostami with "Like Someone in Love," and 90-year-old Alain Resnais (whose "Muriel, or the Time of Return" screened at the first New York Film Festival) with "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet."
World Premiering in the main slate along with the opening, closing and centerpiece films is Alan Berliner’s essay on being human, "First Cousin Once Removed."

Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said:

“The films making up the main slate of this year's NYFF, have in common a general quality of fearlessness" that unites otherwise very disparate works. These are films that go all the way, works willing to take the risk or chance that by doing so they may be bringing audiences to places they might rather not go.”

Additional special events, sidebars, panels and first–time programs are still to be announced. The selection committee headed by Peña includes: Melissa Anderson, Contributor, Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Todd McCarthy, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

 Full line-up is below: