If fall means scary movies to you, don't worry: We have a whole section on those too. But if you'd rather read subtitles than shriek at jump scares, this season's schedule of film festivals should give you more independent and world cinema than you could possibly digest. Enjoy it while it lasts; 900 screenings of A Christmas Story are right around the corner.
Manhattan Short Film Festival
Monday, Oct. 2; Enzian Theater, enzian.org; $11
This one-day festival is actually the final round of the Manhattan Short Film Festival. Rather than relying on a jury to decide the winners, the festival sends its picks out to theaters across the country and asks each audience to vote. With shorts from Spain, New Zealand, Latvia and other countries, the program is a bite-size glimpse into the current state of world cinema.
South Asian Film Festival
Oct. 7-9, Enzian Theater, enzian.org; $11-$50
Hotel Salvation This Indian comedy follows the journey of 77-year-old Daya and his adult son, Rajiv, to the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges River. Daya has decided he's ready to call it quits and shuffle off his mortal coil, but once the father and son check into the titular Hotel Salvation, he seems to get a second wind. (11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7)
Chhota Cinema: New Indian Shorts This program of short films draws from the subcontinent as well as Indian diaspora in Sweden and the U.S. Topics include a marathon runner in Mumbai, a professional mourner in Rajasthan, a washed-up Bollywood star and an incongruous cowboy rescuing a young bride in an Indian desert. (1:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7)
A Suitable Girl This documentary follows the lives of three young women in India over the course of four years as each of them face intense pressure to get married, even though they've grown up in a world that affords them more opportunity and autonomy than previous generations. (11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8)
Khoj (The Lost) When a doctor claims that his wife has gone missing, but can only produce a single photo of her, a police inspector begins unearthing secrets that shock the surrounding town. (2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8)
Viceroy's House This historical drama stars Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, the last British viceroy of India, who discovered that negotiating peace between differing factions of Indians is a lot more complicated than they'd thought. (6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9)
Orlando Film Festival
Oct. 19-26, Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, orlandofilmfest.com, $20-$300
Growing bigger every year, the downtown Orlando Film Festival has positioned itself as the fall counterpoint to spring's illustrious Florida Film Festival. This year's slate brings in more than 400 shorts and features from almost every conceivable genre, along with celebrity appearances (Richard Kind! Malcolm McDowell ... maybe!), parties, a music showcase, award ceremonies, filmmaker panels and seminars, and more.
Jewish Film Festival
Nov. 4-6; Enzian Theater, enzian.org; $11-$75
The slate for the Central Florida Jewish Film Festival
hasn't been announced yet, but if previous years are any indication, expect representation from a variety of countries over the three-day festival. With the disturbing rise in the profile of white nationalism in this country in recent months, this year's festival might have something important to say about the dangers of such rhetoric.
UPDATE: We just heard from Enzian programming director Matthew Curtis, who gave us this year's JFF schedule. We'll post more information on these films as we receive it.
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Orlando Science Center: The Pickle Recipe (97 minutes) preceded by The Chop (17 minutes)
11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, Enzian Theater: 1945 (91 minutes)
1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, Enzian Theater: One Week and a Day (98 minutes)
4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, Enzian Theater: Big Sonia (93 minutes)
7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, Enzian Theater: Shelter (93 minutes)