New York Film Festival Director Eugene Hernandez on Why the 60th Edition Is a “Culmination”


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The 2022 New York Film Festival is each the 60th edition of the event and the final one for executive director Eugene Hernandez. Before he departs to go up the Sundance Film Festival, the movie trade veteran spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his best reminiscences from overseeing NYC’s landmark film convention and shares what to anticipate from this year’s lineup.

How do you are feeling about this being your final New York Film Festival?

It’s emotional. My relationship with this festival goes back 28 years. The organization [Film at Lincoln Center] and the festival really shaped, educated, knowledgeable and entertained me. The New York Film Festival has been such a formative part of my professional life and my life as a cinephile in New York. The final three years have been tough. They’ve been super onerous for everyone, on organizations, on leaders, and this year’s festival looks like a culmination of one thing.

The past two years have been fraught — 2020 was a mix of drive-in and virtual screenings and final year’s was a bit overshadowed by the delta variant.

When I took over this new management role beginning in 2020, we began talking about, “How can we be New York’s film festival?” Little did we know that when the pandemic actually settled in that we would have to reboot the competition outside of Lincoln Center. Last year was coming back differently as a result of it wasn’t our full viewers — that’s why this year feels extra like a end result.

What made White Noise, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed and The Inspection right because the respective opening-night, centerpiece and closing-night films?

These three movies are among the strongest works of cinema of the 12 months. With the centerpiece, [Bloodshed‘s] Laura Poitras is at just a peak of her craft and her work. It’s going to be a nice homecoming. The Inspection is a really moving movie because it’s Elegance Bratton’s story. We knew we had witnessed an arrival. To conclude our 60th year with a first function is, to us, a sign and a nod to the lengthy run. [White Noise] is fun; it’s sharp. They all have a powerful New York connection.

Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s ‘White Noise’ (Netflix) and Jeremy Pope as a homosexual man who joins the Marines in ‘The Inspection’ (A24).

Courtesy of WILSON WEBB / NETFLIX; A24

What about world premieres She Said and Till — why did you wish to convey those to the festival?

In the case of She Said, film festivals are on the coronary heart of Harvey Weinstein’s horrible actions — to look at it and contemplate it for the pageant was a grounding and heavy experience. It’s a fantastic New York movie, these two lead performances, portraying these two superior journalists from The New York Times. They’re out on the streets of New York doing every little thing attainable just to get this story.

It’s a serious movie that’s also a reminder of what great work these two journalists have done to boost awareness and maintain someone who was a giant figure in our business to account. [With Till,] we know the story and it’s heavy and we’re watching a true and tragic piece of our own country’s historical past and Chinonye [Chukwu] directs it with such assurance that, as hard because the film may be, you’re at all times within the hands of a confident and true artist. 

With the lineup, is it essential to have premieres over films debuting at other festivals?

We’re very agnostic to the world premiere conversation. Everything we show is brand-new to New York, to our viewers, and that’s our tenet.

The 60th New York Film Festival runs from Sept. 30-Oct. 16.

Interview edited for length and clarity.


5 NY Film Fest Must Sees


(Opening Night)

NYFF common Noah Baumbach debuts his Don DeLillo adaptation starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. The movie, which had its world premiere at Venice, is “both witty and incisive,” Hernandez says. 


(World Premiere)

Director Chinonye Chukwu helms the story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s quest for justice after the lynching of her son, Emmett Till. The film, Hernandez says, is a “knockout.” 



Laura Poitras’ Golden Lion-winning All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, which Hernandez calls “astonishing and magnificent” explores the opioid epidemic through interweaving narratives concerning the downfall of the Sackler household and the life and career of pageant poster artist Nan Goldin.  


(World Premiere)

Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan star in Maria Schrader’s retelling of the New York Times’ exposé of Harvey Weinstein. Hernandez calls the film, “the e-book come to life in a method that’s actually participating and thrilling.” 

Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) in She Said.

Courtesy of JoJo Whilden/Universal Pictures


(Closing Night)

Elegance Bratton makes his narrative characteristic debut, Hernandez says, “with such magnificence, grace and confidence,” with this film based mostly on Bratton’s personal experiences as a homosexual man within the Marine Corps primary coaching.

This story first appeared within the Sept. 28 problem of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.


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