New York Film Festival’s 50th Anniversary, the Director’s Last Hurrah
by Perry Santanachote for NYC-ARTS
The 2012 New York Film Festival begins Friday, Sept. 28 and marks the 50th anniversary of this influential film series produced by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It’s also the last lineup Program Director Richard Peña will shape. The life-long movie buff has headed the festival’s selection committee for the past 25 years, watching it grow, evolve and adapt to the digital age. He’ll continue teaching Film Studies at Columbia University and host Reel13 on THIRTEEN, but his next summer will most likely be spent in Brazil instead of the Upper West Side. Here he talks with NYC-ARTS about what’s in store for the big 5-0, how the American audience has changed, and how this shift in movie culture creates the biggest challenge films have ever faced.