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Events: the Past 7 Years

Lights, camera, action! The New York Monthly Film Festival, one of the most prestigious events in the world of cinema, has been a platform for remarkable storytelling, exceptional performances, and groundbreaking filmmaking. As we gear up for the upcoming festival, let’s take a moment to celebrate the outstanding winners from the past three years. These films have left an indelible mark on the industry and captivated audiences with their brilliance. Join us as we shine a spotlight on the cinematic masterpieces that have graced the New York Montly Film Festival stage.

Last Year / 2023: New York Monthly Film Festival

TLDR: We changed how we celebrate our films by focusing on independent short films.

Change is the essence of progress, and in our continuous quest to elevate the New York Film Festival, we have embarked on a transformative journey. In the past, our esteemed critics meticulously watched popular films and handpicked a winner, recognizing excellence in storytelling. However, we have decided to expand our horizons and embrace a more inclusive approach.

2015-2022 Monthly Critics Selections

Until 2022, we only had critics selections of feature films.


In a year marked by extraordinary storytelling and captivating performances, the New York Film Festival’s jury found itself spellbound by “Carol,” directed by Todd Haynes. This beautiful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, “The Price of Salt,” transported audiences to the enchanting world of 1950s New York City, where forbidden love blossoms between two women. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara delivered stunning portrayals, drawing audiences into a deeply moving narrative of love, longing, and societal constraints. “Carol” left an indelible mark on the festival and secured its place as a modern cinematic gem.

January 2015:

  • Film: “Birdman” Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

February 2015:

  • Film: “Whiplash” Director: Damien Chazelle

March 2015:

  • Film: “Ex Machina” Director: Alex Garland

April 2015:

  • Film: “Mad Max: Fury Road” Director: George Miller

May 2015:

  • Film: “Inside Out” Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen

June 2015:

  • Film: “The Lobster” Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

July 2015:

  • Film: “Amy” Director: Asif Kapadia

August 2015:

  • Film: “Straight Outta Compton” Director: F. Gary Gray

September 2015:

  • Film: “Sicario” Director: Denis Villeneuve

October 2015:

  • Film: “The Martian” Director: Ridley Scott

November 2015:

  • Film: “Spotlight” Director: Tom McCarthy

December 2015:

  • Film: “The Revenant” Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu


Amidst a diverse and compelling selection of films, the jury’s hearts were captured by “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins. This poignant and intimate coming-of-age drama explored the struggles of identity, self-discovery, and acceptance in a tough Miami neighborhood. With its innovative narrative structure and powerful performances from a talented ensemble cast, “Moonlight” left an enduring impact on both critics and audiences alike. Jenkins’ masterful direction and the film’s exploration of complex themes made “Moonlight” a timeless classic that earned the highest honor at the New York Film Festival.

January 2016:

  • Film: “La La Land” Director: Damien Chazelle

February 2016:

  • Film: “Moonlight” Director: Barry Jenkins

March 2016:

  • Film: “Zootopia” Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

April 2016:

  • Film: “The Jungle Book” Director: Jon Favreau

May 2016:

  • Film: “Captain America: Civil War” Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

June 2016:

  • Film: “The Nice Guys” Director: Shane Black

July 2016:

  • Film: “Swiss Army Man” Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

August 2016:

  • Film: “Hell or High Water” Director: David Mackenzie

September 2016:

  • Film: “Sully” Director: Clint Eastwood

October 2016:

  • Film: “Arrival” Director: Denis Villeneuve

November 2016:

  • Film: “Manchester by the Sea” Director: Kenneth Lonergan

December 2016:

  • Film: “La La Land” Director: Damien Chazelle


Year 2017 marked the triumphant return of the New York Film Festival with “The Shape of Water,” directed by Guillermo del Toro, dominating the jury’s selection. This mesmerizing and visually stunning fairy tale took audiences on an enchanting journey to a secretive government laboratory where an otherworldly love story unfolds. Sally Hawkins delivered a remarkable performance as a mute woman who forms a deep connection with a mysterious aquatic creature, portrayed by Doug Jones. Del Toro’s visionary direction and the film’s seamless blend of fantasy and emotion earned “The Shape of Water” accolades from critics and the prestigious Grand Prize at the festival.

January 2017:

  • Film: “Moonlight” Director: Barry Jenkins

February 2017:

  • Film: “Get Out” Director: Jordan Peele

March 2017:

  • Film: “Logan” Director: James Mangold

April 2017:

  • Film: “The Fate of the Furious” Director: F. Gary Gray

May 2017:

  • Film: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Director: James Gunn

June 2017:

  • Film: “Baby Driver” Director: Edgar Wright

July 2017:

  • Film: “Dunkirk” Director: Christopher Nolan

August 2017:

  • Film: “Logan Lucky” Director: Steven Soderbergh

September 2017:

  • Film: “Blade Runner 2049” Director: Denis Villeneuve

October 2017:

  • Film: “The Florida Project” Director: Sean Baker

November 2017:

  • Film: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Director: Martin McDonagh

December 2017:

  • Film: “The Shape of Water” Director: Guillermo del Toro


2018 The New York Film Festival celebrated another triumphant year in 2018, with the jury recognizing the brilliance of “Roma,” directed by Alfonso Cuarón. This black-and-white masterpiece offered a deeply personal and evocative portrayal of a domestic worker’s life in 1970s Mexico City. With its breathtaking cinematography and heartrending storytelling, “Roma” touched the hearts of audiences worldwide. Cuarón’s tender exploration of memory, love, and societal change resonated deeply, securing the film’s well-deserved place as the festival’s top jury selection.

January 2018:

  • Film: “Phantom Thread” Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

February 2018:

  • Film: “Black Panther” Director: Ryan Coogler

March 2018:

  • Film: “A Quiet Place” Director: John Krasinski

April 2018:

  • Film: “Avengers: Infinity War” Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

May 2018:

  • Film: “Deadpool 2” Director: David Leitch

June 2018:

  • Film: “Hereditary” Director: Ari Aster

July 2018:

  • Film: “Eighth Grade” Director: Bo Burnham

August 2018:

  • Film: “BlacKkKlansman” Director: Spike Lee

September 2018:

  • Film: “A Star is Born” Director: Bradley Cooper

October 2018:

  • Film: “First Man” Director: Damien Chazelle

November 2018:

  • Film: “The Favourite” Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

December 2018:

  • Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Directors: Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti


In the challenging year that was 2020, the New York Film Festival persevered, bringing forth an incredible lineup of films that enthralled audiences from around the globe. The Grand Prize went to “Nomadland,” directed by Chloé Zhao, a film that swept audiences off their feet with its poignant portrayal of modern-day nomads and the triumph of the human spirit. Zhao’s direction and Frances McDormand’s mesmerizing performance received critical acclaim, making “Nomadland” a masterpiece that resonated deeply with audiences.

January 2020:

  • Film: “Jojo Rabbit” Director: Taika Waititi

February 2020:

  • Film: “Parasite” Director: Bong Joon-ho

March 2020:

  • Film: “Onward” Directors: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin

April 2020:

  • Film: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Director: Eliza Hittman

May 2020:

  • Film: “Da 5 Bloods” Director: Spike Lee

June 2020:

  • Film: “The King of Staten Island” Director: Judd Apatow

July 2020:

  • Film: “Palm Springs” Director: Max Barbakow

August 2020:

  • Film: “Tenet” Director: Christopher Nolan

September 2020:

  • Film: “Nomadland” Director: Chloé Zhao

October 2020:

  • Film: “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” Director: Jason Woliner

November 2020:

  • Film: “Mank” Director: David Fincher

December 2020:

  • Film: “Soul” Directors: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers


As the world began to recover and the cinematic landscape evolved, the 2021 New York Film Festival delivered a diverse selection of thought-provoking films that pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo. One film that stole the spotlight and took home the Grand Prize was “The Power of the Dog,” directed by Jane Campion. This gripping drama, based on the novel by Thomas Savage, captivated audiences with its mesmerizing performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and Jesse Plemons. Campion’s skillful storytelling and the film’s exploration of power dynamics left a lasting impact on festival-goers.

January 2021:

  • Film: “Minari” Director: Lee Isaac Chung

February 2021:

  • Film: “Nomadland” Director: Chloé Zhao

March 2021:

  • Film: “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” Director: Zack Snyder

April 2021:

  • Film: “Another Round” Director: Thomas Vinterberg

May 2021:

  • Film: “A Quiet Place Part II” Director: John Krasinski

June 2021:

  • Film: “The Sparks Brothers” Director: Edgar Wright

July 2021:

  • Film: “The Green Knight” Director: David Lowery

August 2021:

  • Film: “The Suicide Squad” Director: James Gunn


Last year, the New York Film Festival brought us another exceptional lineup, showcasing the best of contemporary cinema. Standing tall amongst the remarkable films was “Drive My Car,” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, which secured the Grand Prize. This Japanese drama, adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short story, delved into themes of loss, healing, and the power of art. With its meticulously crafted narrative and powerful performances, “Drive My Car” left a profound impression on both critics and audiences alike.

July 2022: Monthly announcements are to be updated here.

Looking Ahead: As we reflect on the past three years, it becomes clear that the New York Film Festival has continuously elevated the art of filmmaking and celebrated visionary talent. These award-winning films have not only entertained but also provoked conversations, ignited emotions, and expanded our understanding of the world. We eagerly anticipate the upcoming festival, where new narratives will unfold, and the next generation of cinematic excellence will emerge.