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8 Movies for Theater Fans at the 2016 New York Film Festival

The 2016 New York Film Festival is a big draw for the city’s movie lovers — and this year, it may attract a crowd of theater fans, too. From the premiere of a “Hamilton” documentary to an immersive, multiplatform storytelling experiment with live actors, here’s what theater lovers and performing-arts avids should check out at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual fest, which runs through Oct. 16.

1. Hamilton’s America
Oct. 1, 2, 15, 16
Can’t wait until this documentary, about Lin-Manuel Miranda and the road to “Hamilton,” debuts on PBS Great Performances Oct. 21? Festivalgoers will get a sneak peak of Alex Horwitz’s film in world premiere screenings at NYFF. Expect special guests Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

2. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
Oct. 9, 10, 16
This one’s catnip for stage diehards. A new documentary about “Merrily We Roll Along,” the ambitious Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical that flopped on Broadway in 1981 but went on to become a musical-theater landmark. Lonny Price, a member of the original cast, directs, and Sondheim himself will show up for a Q&A with Price Oct. 9.

3. Hermia and Helena
Oct. 9, 11, 16
The title’s a giveaway: Matias Pineiro’s movie, combining American actors with members of the Argentinian director’s repertory company in Beunos Aires, takes its inspiration from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Agustina Munoz stars as a theater director visiting New York to work on a Spanish-language translation of “Midsummer.”

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4. The Rehearsal
Oct. 5, 6
Set mostly in a drama school, Alison Maclean’s adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s novel centers on a group of theater students putting on a class project about a school sex scandal.

5. Manchester by the Sea
Oct. 1, 2, 11
This buzzy drama, starring a heavyweight cast (Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams), looks sure to be a major player come awards season — and it’s the work of writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, the playwright behind “This Is Our Youth,” “Lobby Hero” and the recent “Hold On To Me Darling.”

6. Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
Oct. 9, 10, 13, 16
Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s documentary follows Whelan, a former New York City Ballet principal dancer, as she faces the transitions of age.

7. Kekszakallu
Oct. 4, 5
Argentinian director Gaston Solnicki’s movie, about a group of young women facing adulthood, takes its inspiration from Bela Bartok opera “Bluebeard’s Castle.” Musical passages from the opera recur throughout the film.

8. Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things
Oct. 1
This immersive story experiment, part of the festival’s Convergence series of multiplatform programming, sounds a bit like an elaborate party game, in which audiences interact with digital devices and a team of 20-30 technologists, production crew members and actors to solve a mystery in a “massive online/offline collaboration.”

 

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