2012 Newport Beach Film Festival
The 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival returns this month, with over 350 films from around the world set to screen. Blending the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking, the Newport Beach Film Festival enters its 13th year and aims to showcase an exclusive selection of award-winning independent and studio films representing a truly unique mix of culture and genre. The festival runs from Thursday, April 26 through Thursday, May 3. Last year, the festival attracted 52,000 attendees this year they expect even more. Tickets go on sale on Sunday, April 1 and are available on the festival website listed below.
In 2000 Todd Quartararo and Gregg Schwenk conceptualized the festival after noticing the dearth of quality film festivals in Orange County. As life-long O.C. residents and film enthusiasts, the duo put together the first line up and hoped for the best. "I remember being nervous no one would show up!" co-founder Quatararo, said of the first year. 13,000 people showed up then and attendees have been growing ever since.
The city of Newport Beach serves as the backdrop to the festival’s film screenings and special events and is featured at three of the area’s theaters: Edwards Big Newport Theater, Edward Island Cinemas, and the Regency Lido Theater.
The Edwards Big Newport Theater hosts the opening night red carpet screening. Edwards Island Cinemas is the epicenter of the festival and the Regency Lido Theater hosts the closing ceremonies and awards. Films will be shown throughout the city that boasts one of the largest movie consumer groups in the world, a rich filmmaking history as well as fine dining, shopping, and exceptional recreational activities.
"The beauty of films is that if you can pick any topic, we have a film for that topic. We pride ourselves on providing variety and having something for everyone. This festival is great not just for people in the movie industry, but for the general public," Quatararo said.
The festival has become known for its Action Sports, Art, Architecture and Design as well as their Family film series. It has also prominently featured LGBT films in its line up and this year is showcasing I Stand Corrected, a documentary about a legendary jazz musician John Leitham who disappeared and resurfaced as Jennifer Leitham. The film follows Jennifer’s journey to happiness.
Also screening is Love Free or Die, about a man whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark. Gene Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir and he has lived with death threats every day since. The film follows Robinson’s personal story as American churches debate whether or not lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of God. While our nation debates whether LGBT people are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law.
In addition, the Newport Beach Film Festival offers film goers a rare opportunity to meet the filmmakers. Directors, screenwriters and cinematographers eager to share their work will provide an exclusive inside look at the industry during post-screening Q&As.
Committed to enlightening the public with a firstclass international film program as well as providing a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films. The Festival supports the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works from both emerging and seasoned filmmakers and proudly embraces the passion, vision and independent spirit of these talented artists. With the integration of the local community and educational institutions, the Festival stimulates an interest in the study and appreciation of film and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to participate.
To purchase tickets and for a listing of all films, events and more information, visit the festival website at newportbeachfilmfest.com