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Lights, Camera, Action!

March 31, 2014
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
  • Newport Beach Film Festival

It’s time to get excited about this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival! To help you plan, here’s a taste of what’s coming up at the world-renowned event — from special activities to films and much more.

The Newport Beach Film Festival marches into its 15th year with a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe — along with a family-friendly film series — that are sure to make it one of the strongest festivals to date.

Scheduled for April 24-May 1, this year’s festival features more than 350 films from 50 countries shown at numerous Newport Beach venues from the Lido Regency Theater to Fashion Island’s Island Cinema. Attendees also can expect nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars, as well as opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside setting.

Look for world, North American and U.S. premieres — along with films boasting O.C. connections — including “Don’t Quit: The Joe Roth Story”; “Earthquake”; “Untouchables”; “H2mexicO”; “Land of Patagones” (Tierre De Patagones)”; “The Milky Way”; and “Out.”

Several events also will take place during the festival, including the Opening Night Gala April 24, featuring a red carpet screening of the film “Lovesick” at the Edwards Big Newport theater followed by a gala reception at Fashion Island with tastings from more than 35 of O.C’s top restaurants and surprise entertainment; Friday Night Showcase Party April 25 at Newport Beach Land Rover, celebrating U.K. Cinema and British Culture; Saturday Night Showcase Party April 26 at South Coast Village, featuring South Coast Plaza restaurants; Sunday Irish Spotlight April 27 at Muldoon’s Irish Pub; Pacific Rim Showcase April 28 at Newport Beach Land Rover, highlighting films from Australia, China, Japan and Korea; European Showcase April 29 at Via Lido Plaza, with Italian, French and Swedish Films; and Latino Showcase April 30 at Via Lido Plaza, with films from Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Rounding it all out will be the Closing Night Gala Event May 1 at 10 p.m. at Via Lido Plaza, showcasing the film “Chef” at the Lido Theater.

With more than 50,000 people expected to attend this year’s festival during its eight-day run, local hoteliers from the Balboa Bay Resort to Hyatt Regency Newport Beach and more have been working in partnership with the festival to create some special accommodations. At Balboa Bay Resort, the exclusive “Live Like a Star in Newport Beach” package is available for $1,999 and offers out-of-town guests and SoCal locals alike the chance to check out some of the festival’s 300-plus films, red carpet events and filmmaker seminars. In addition to two all-access passes to the festival, expect a one-night stay in the presidential suite, two signature spa treatments with Kashwere robes, a $200 dinner credit to Waterline Newport Beach, Veuve Clicquot champagne and valet parking. Guests will also enjoy a Duffy boat excursion on Newport Bay, complete with a bottle of wine and cheese plate; call (888) 445-7153.

Other special packages include the “Family Fun and Film” package at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, available for $199 per night and highlighting the resort’s newly re-imagined family-friendly amenities such as the Oasis pool slide and water playground, lawn games and life-sized chess set. Included are accommodations for a family of four, four tickets to a film screening, parking and free shuttle service to Fashion Island; call (949) 729-1234.

And, last but not least, the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel’sThe Star Treatment” deal starts at $1,000 and features a stay in one of its presidential suites, daily breakfast buffet for two with champagne, cinema-themed welcome amenity and two complimentary poolside cocktails; call (949) 476-2001.

For more information about the Newport Beach Film Festival, along with a complete schedule of films and events, visit www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.

Written by Wendy Bowman

Wendy Bowman is a San Clemente, Calif.-based freelance journalist. She spent 15-plus years as a writer and editor for Atlanta Business Chronicle, covering nonprofit business, homes and lifestyle, the Atlanta visitors market and more. She currently writes for Modern Luxury magazines including The Atlantan, Men's Book Atlanta, Interiors California, Interiors Atlanta and Brides California, as well as websites such as DIGS.net.

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