Newport Beach Film Fest Goes Virtual Oct. 1 – 11

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NBFF marquee. Photo by Erik S. Neldner/NBFF/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 2004 by Erik S. Neldner/NBFF

Always innovative, always creative, always thinking out of the box, the annual Newport Beach Film Festival is always one of the most anticipated and exciting arts events in Southern California.

This year’s Film Festival was originally scheduled for last April, but was postponed to August 6 – 20 due to the coronavirus closures. Movie theaters were eventually allowed to reopen and it looked like the Festival was back on track, but then movie theaters were forced to close again and the Festival had to pivot and plan its next move.

That move was a screening of the world premiere of” A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story,” the film originally scheduled to be the opening night premiere for the 2020 Film Festival. The film was shown in an outdoor drive-in format on the upper level of the parking structure located between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom at Fashion Island on August 13.

At the same time, actor Eugene Levy – whose won an Emmy for his starring role in the series “Schitt’s Creek” – was honored with the Newport Beach Film Festival’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. The entire Schitt’s Creek cast, along with special guests including Steve Martin, Jason Biggs and Jennifer Coolidge, celebrated Eugene Levy during a Virtual Award Celebration where he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now comes an announcement that the 2020 Newport Beach Film Festival will be held October 1 through 11, but like most other events this year, the festival has gone virtual.

According to information from the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Festival will showcase an international slate of 40 feature-length narrative and documentary films and 231 short films, along with virtual filmmaker conversations and Industry Talks.

Among the virtual Festival highlights:

“Fully Realized Humans” which tells the story of Jackie and Elliot who embark on a madcap odyssey of self-discovery before their first child arrives in attempt to rid themselves of the inherited dysfunction of their own upbringings.

“Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke (“Ready Player One”) and Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”) follows a couple who fights to hold their relationship together as a memory loss virus spreads and threatens to erase the history of their love and courtship.

The family comedy “Breaking Them Up” in which 15 year-old Damien decides that his parents are all wrong for each other and enlists best friend Erin to help him set them up with other people.

The highly anticipated film “Stardust” which tells the story of a young David Bowie’s first visit to the US in 1971—a trip that inspired the invention of his iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust

The Festival will present Industry Talks, a series of virtual conversations with film industry leaders. Cinematography From Set to Screen presented by Panavision will feature Cinematographer Don Burgess ASC (“Forrest Gump,” “Contact,” “Cast Away,” “Spider-Man,”) and Light Iron Senior Colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz (“Allied,” “Wonder” and “The Christmas Chronicles”). A Conversation with Cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC presented by Zeiss will feature the Director of Photography who is known for “Lovecraft Country,” “Game of Thrones,” “Westworld” and “Ray Donovan.”

Additional Industry Talks will be released soon. Industry Talks are free and open to the public. Participants can RSVP on the Festival’s website.

Tickets and passes are on sale now at

All-Access Pass are available for $75. Tickets to individual screenings are $10.

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

Dates for the 21st annual Newport Beach Film Festival, to be held in April 2021, will be released at a later time.

About the Newport Beach Film Festival: Celebrated as one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the NBFF focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe.

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