The film is adapted from Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony Award-winning play "God of Carnage." Shot in Paris earlier this year, it stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly.
It's Polanski's first film since being freed last year from house arrest in Switzerland. After arresting him, the Swiss government released the 77-year-old, rejecting a request to extradite him to the United States.
He still faces an Interpol warrant in effect for 188 countries for a 1977 child sex case in California.
Polanski isn't expected to attend the New York gala.
The play "God of Carnage" is about a degenerating evening between two couples meeting after their kids were involved in a playground fight. Like the Broadway production, the film is set in Brooklyn. The original play was in French and set in Paris.
Richard Pena, selection committee chairman and program director, calls the film "a new pinnacle" for the director. Polanski's directorial debut, "Knife in the Water," screened at the first New York Film Festival.
"Carnage" will first premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. Sony Pictures Classic will release "Carnage" later this year.
The 49th annual New York Film festival runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 16.