Artscapes: Newport Beach Film Fest Will Return August 6 – 20, 2020

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The Newport Beach Film Festival at the Lido Theater during a past event. — Photo by Christopher Trela ©

This has been an endless spring for many people who have been under stay-at-home mandates due to the coronavirus.

Now that businesses, including movie theaters, are starting to reopen, the Newport Beach Film Festival intends to celebrate an endless summer with the world premiere of “A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story,” the opening night film for this year’s Film Festival that takes place August 6 through 20.

The Newport Beach Film Festival is one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States and normally screens 350 films and welcomes 50,000 movie fans over eight days at the end of April. This year’s festival was to take place April 23-30, but due to the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing social distancing restrictions, the Film Festival initially rescheduled its programming to August 6-13.

Those dates have shifted slightly. The Festival will still start on August 6, but now will run through August 20. All screenings will take place at The Lot in Fashion Island, which has seven theaters of various sizes. There may be fewer filmgoers in these smaller theaters, but the excitement level should still be palpable.

The Endless Summer movie poster

The opening night screening of “A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story” will take place on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. simultaneously in all seven cinemas at The Lot.

According to information from the Newport Beach Film Festival, “A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story” is a film from acclaimed second-generation documentarian Dana Brown in partnership with Irvine-based SCS.

Brown lends his storytelling prowess to a memorable and personal film that comes across as a love letter to his father, acclaimed surf and actions sports filmmaker Bruce Brown, whose film “The Endless Summer” paved the way for the surf film industry.

Dana started the project with his father as a long-overdue “road trip” they took together traveling up the west coast and Hawaii.

“The Film is a tribute to my father. Dad started the whole action sports film genre. He broke the mold; he broke the rules; he broke open the film category. There will never be another one like him,” said Dana Brown in a press release. “We could not think of a better fit for our world premiere then The Newport Beach Film Festival, which places such a strong focus on Action Sports programing and continually acknowledges Dads legacy in the Southern California Community.”

Bruce Brown / courtesy of NBFF

“The Newport Beach Film Festival is exceptionally proud to open its 21st edition with the world premiere of Dana Brown’s moving documentary. We are thrilled to bring the community together to celebrate and honor the legacy of Bruce Brown and his impact on documentary filmmaking and surf culture,” said Gregg Schwenk, CEO and co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival. “With the Festival’s long-standing commitment to action sports cinema and deep relationship with the Brown family, it is the ideal film to kick off two weeks of global film screenings and events here in coastal Southern California.”

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Festival, along with THE LOT and health partner, UCI Health, are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of filmmakers and patrons. In addition to abiding by California’s current social distancing guidelines, every Festival attendee will receive no contact temperature checks, sanitizing stations will be placed throughout THE LOT, theaters will be thoroughly sanitized after every screening, and food will be served in single use containers.

The Newport Beach Film Festival is sponsored by The City of Newport Beach, Visit Newport Beach, UCI Health, Fashion Island, THE LOT and Morgan Stanley.

Passes and tickets for film screenings and special events go on sale July 7. To purchase tickets and for information about the Newport Beach Film Festival, visit

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