By Stephen Rakower
Tickets to events and screenings at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival go on sale beginning April 1, 2012.
A preview of the film festival's offerings April 26 - May 3, 2012 show once again a slate of 350 films from 40 countries. With the festival centered in the beautiful seaside community of Newport Beach, the community goes 'all-out' with its parties and programs for filmmakers. Here's a preview of the 2012 line-up The festival has a variety of offerings where you can watch films grouped by themes, location or genre such as French, Australian, or Surfing films. Below, you can check out last year's film festival's "Asian Showcase."
By Stephen Rakower
The 2011 Newport Beach Film Festival is in full swing, April 28 to May 5 with 350 feature films, documentaries and shorts screening from 40 countries, with filmmakers attending from all over the world, free screenwriting and filmmaking seminars, and lavish After-Parties that go from 10pm to 2am - well into the late night.
On Saturday April 30, festival attendees were treated to free events including "A Conversation with Aaron Sorkin" with a personal appearance by Aaron Sorkin, award-winning screenwriter, producer and playwright, and seminars led by award-winning industry professionals on directing and film composing. On Sunday May 1, for the fourth year, Walt Disney Studios presented a collection of rarely seen animated works, hosted by Academy Award nominated film producer Don Hahn and Disney Director/Producer David Bossert.
The Opening Night film last Thursday April 28 was the world premiere of East Fifth Bliss, starring Michael C. Hall, Peter Fonda and Lucy Liu. The After-Party sponsored by Esquire Magazine at Fashion Island featured specialty cuisine from acclaimed Newport Beach area restaurants, and a fashion show by top international designers.
Tonight's Asian Showcase featured Go LaLa Go! from China, directed by Xu Jinglei, Harmony from Korea directed by Dae-gyu Kang, and Redline about underground car racing from Japan directed by Takeshi Koiki. The Asian Showcase After-Party was held in the beautiful setting of Fashion Island's Atrium Court area where rare Japanese Koi fish have been living in the ponds for years.
Award-winning restaurants, including Capital Seafood Chinese restaurant, Bamboo Bistro, S Vietnamese Fine Dining Restaurant, and East/Borough Fraiche Vietnamese Restaurant, were serving delicious hot hors d'heurves throughout the night.
Chinese teas were individually brewed and served in classical tradition from the Bana Tea Company which specializes in Pu-erh tea known as the "King of Teas."
The guests enjoyed the music and performances including the rousing Japanese drummers from the Venice Koshin Taiko group. Bartenders were pouring their signature drinks including cranberry, lemon, and acai berry with Absolut Vodka, a festival sponsor. Other festival sponsors include Stella Artois beers, Hansen's natural sodas and Perrier waters which were chilling on ice on tables throughout the event for the film festival guests. The Latino Fillm Showcase was the night before, and tomorrow and Wednesday is the French, Swedish, Australian and Irish Film Showcase with different restaurants and entertainment highlighted at the After-Parties.
On May 4, a special screening will be held at the Lido Theatre at 8:15pm for Something Borrowed, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski, with the film's After-Party at Muldoon's Irish Pub and Celtic Bar.
A special series of acclaimed Japanese films is also being presented during the festival, in partnership with Carnegie Hall and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. On May 5, the festival will screen Time Traveller, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, directed by Masaaki Taniguchi.
The Closing Night Party of the Newport Beach Film Festival will be held at the Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, between Central Avenue & Via Lido from 9pm to 1am.