Newport Beach Film Festival Announces 2023 Award Winners

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NBFF opening night film

Every year the Newport Beach Film Festival screens more than 300 films during its eight-day run, which this year was October 12-19.

During the festival, there were red carpet premieres, special events, live discussions with filmmakers (including with the director of the opening night film, “The Absence of Eden”) and other signature moments that make the Newport Beach Film Festival so special.

Films screened at the festival competed for Audience, Jury, and Festival awards. After tallying the votes, the winners have been announced.


  • Best International Feature: “Radical”
  • Best U.S. Feature: “The Holdovers” & “Brave the Dark” (tie)
  • Best Action Sports Film: “One Way Ticket – The Story of Greg Lutzka”
  • Culinary Audience Award: “Food & Design”
  • Best Environmental Feature: “Green City Life”
  • Best Art, Architecture, & Design Feature: “Copyright Infringement”
  • Best Overall Documentary: “The Disappearance of Shere Hite” and “Remembering Gene Wilder” (tie)

    “Remembering Gene Wilder” won an Audience Award
  • Best Short Narrative: “Two for the Road”
  • Best Short Documentary: “Sincero”
  • Best Short Animation: “Aikane” and “Worry World” (tie)
  • Best Art, Architecture, & Design Short: “Barbara Rachko: True Grit”
  • Best Action Sports Short: “#MoCrazyStrong”
  • Best Irish Film: “Verdigris”


  • Best Feature Documentary: “The Michoacán File”
  • Best Feature: “Monster”
  • Best Screenplay: Yûji Sakamoto (“Monster”)
  • Best Director: Guy Édoin (“Frontiers” / “Frontières”)
  • Best Cinematography: Narayan Van Maele (“Double Blind”)
  • Best Actor: Eita Nagayama (“Monster”)
  • Best Actress: Pascale Bussières (“Frontiers” / “Frontières”)
  • Best Short Narrative: “Dig Deeper”
  • Best Short Documentary: “Danceable”
  • Best Short Animation: “Inglorious Liaisons”


  • Outstanding Performance: Annette Bening (“Nyad”)
  • Outstanding Performance: Colman Domingo (“Rustin”)
  • Outstanding Feature Narrative: “American Fiction” – Cord Jefferson
  • Outstanding Screenplay: “American Fiction” – Cord Jefferson
  • Outstanding Documentary: “Immediate Family”
  • Outstanding Documentary: “Williams & Mansell: Red 5”
  • Outstanding International Documentary: “I Dream in Photos”
  • Outstanding Editing Feature: “American Fiction” – Hilda Rasula
  • Outstanding Editing Short: “Numan” – Salem Salavati
  • Outstanding Short Narrative: “A Wedding Day”
  • Outstanding Short Documentary: “Eat Flowers”
  • Outstanding Youth Short: “Ovaryacting”
NBFF founders Gregg Schwenk and Todd Quartarero

Throughout the run of events, The Newport Beach Film Festival celebrated outstanding achievement in film with its slate of 2023 honorees.

On Friday, Oct. 13, at its Mayor’s Reception at the VEA Mariott Newport Beach, honorees included Patricia Clarkson (Artist of Distinction Award), Jack Huston (Breakout Director Award), Phil Lord (Maverick Award) and Chris Miller (Maverick Award).

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Festival honored Mark Ronson with its Outstanding Achievement in Music Award following a live moderated discussion at its Main Stage at Fashion Island.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, following a screening of his newest film “May December,” Todd Haynes was honored with the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award.

On Monday, Oct. 16, Jesse Williams was honored with the Arts Champion Award at the Festival’s Sunset Series: Arts Champion event at Lido Marina Village.

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Festival’s Sunset Series: Garden Party at the Sherman Library and Gardens, Eugenio Derbez (Icon Award) and William Shatner (Legend Award) were both honored.

On Thursday, Oct. 19, Glenn Howerton (Artist of Distinction Award) was honored at the Festival’s Closing Night at Balboa Bay Resort.

Other highlights of the festival included the Opening Night “Los Angeles Times Envelope” screening of “The Absence of Eden,” directed by Marco Perego Saldaña and live conversations at the Festival Main Stage at Fashion Square including Rainn Wilson and Judy Blume.

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