The New York Film Festival unveiled the main slate for its 58th edition on Thursday.

This year’s selections showcases titles from 19 different countries and spotlights both emerging and veteran talent. A number of documentaries will debut at the festival, including Gianfranco Rosi’s “Notturno,” an immersive look at war-torn countries Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon; Frederick Wiseman’s “City Hall,” exploring the scenes of Boston’s local government; and Garrett Bradley’s “Time,” an intimate portrait of mass incarceration in America.

The festival is lacking participation from many major studios, such as Warner Bros. and Netflix, partly due to the fact that coronavirus has upended awards season. Last year’s edition included screenings of such major Oscar contenders as “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman,” and nothing on this year’s slate seems to be equally buzzy.

As previously announced, Steve McQueen’s “Lovers Rock” is the opening night film, Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” with Frances McDormand is the centerpiece film and Azazel Jacobs’ “French Exit” starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges will close the festival. Two other titles from McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology, “Mangrove and Red” and “White and Blue,” will also play in the main slate.

New York Film Festival will run from Sept. 17 through Oct. 11. The annual gathering is commencing one week earlier than usual to accommodate drive-in screenings and other safety measures, to make sure the event is coronavirus-compliant.

“The disorientation and uncertainty of this tough year had the effect of returning us to core principles,” said Dennis Lim, director of programming for NYFF. “To put it simply, the Main Slate is our collective response to one central question: which films matter to us right now? Movies are neither made nor experienced in a vacuum, and while the works in our program predate the current moment of crisis, it’s striking to me just how many of them resonate with our unsettled present, or represent a means of transcending it.”

See the 58th New York Film Festival’s main slate:

Opening Night

Lovers Rock

Dir. Steve McQueen



Dir. Chloé Zhao

Closing Night

French Exit

Dir. Azazel Jacobs

Atarrabi and Mikelats

Dir. Eugène Green


Dir. Dea Kulumbegashvili

“The Calming”

Dir. Song Fang

City Hall

Dir. Frederick Wiseman


Dir. Tsai Ming-liang

The Disciple

Dir. Chaitanya Tamhane


Dir. Victor Kossakovsky

I Carry You with Me (Te Llevo Conmigo)

Dir. Heidi Ewing


Dir. Matías Piñeiro


Dir. Cristi Puiu


Dir. Steve McQueen


Dir. Sam Pollard

Night of the Kings (La Nuit des Rois)

Dir. Philippe Lacôte


Dir. Gianfranco Rosi

Red, White and Blue

Dir. Steve McQueen

The Salt of Tears (Le sel des larmes)

Dir. Philippe Garrel

Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue

Dir. Jia Zhangke


Dir. Garrett Bradley

Tragic Jungle (Selva Trágica)

Dir. Yulene Olaizola

The Truffle Hunters

Dir. Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw


Dir. Christian Petzold

The Woman Who Ran

Dir. Hong Sangsoo