Home #Hwoodtimes Newport Beach Film Festival runs Oct. 21 thru Oct. 28

Newport Beach Film Festival runs Oct. 21 thru Oct. 28

The 2021 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly announces its Opening and Closing Night Films. Set to take place in person from October 21-28, the Festival’s 22nd edition will showcase over 300 films from around the world. The Festival will host nightly special events, world premieres, awards contenders, red carpet galas and compelling conversations with filmmakers. Highlights include the 2021 Festival Honors program celebrating Variety’s ’10 Actors to Watch’, International Spotlights (UK, Ireland, Mexico, French, Swedish, Italian, German, Czech, Spain, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, Vietnam) and Special Programs (Action Sports, Art, Architecture + Design, Culinary, Environmental, Music Film Series). Films will screen at THE LOT (Fashion Island in Newport Beach), The New Port Theater (Corona del Mar), Edwards Big Newport (Newport Beach), Starlight Triangle Cinemas (Costa Mesa) and Regency South Coast Village (Santa Ana).

On Thursday, October 21 at 7:00 pm the Film Festival will kick off its eight-day run with the World Premiere of Never Catch Pigeons: And Eleven More Hard Lessons from Mr. Paul Van Doren at Edwards Big Newport (300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach). The Film tells the remarkable and honest story of the late Paul Van Doren, a self-made innovator who started Vans, the iconic shoe and lifestyle brand that inspired a global skateboarding revolution. Directed by NBFF alumni Doug Pray, the film features Paul Van Doren, legendary skateboarders Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi a Ray Barbee, action sports pros Brighton Zeuner, Hana Beaman, Dylan Graves, and Paul’s family, Steve Van Doren, Cheryl Van Doren, Kathy Van Doren, Paul Jr. Van Doren, and Janie Van Doren. Following the screening, the film festival will host a STREET PARTY presented by VANS at 9:00 pm outdoors under the stars in the parking lot behind Edwards Big Newport. The event will feature a hosted bar by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and live entertainment.


On Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 pm the Film Festival will close with the West Coast Premiere of War on the Diamond at The New Port Theater (2905 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar). Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award Winner Andy Billman and based on the award-winning book The Pitch That Killed by Mike Sowell, War on the Diamond tells the story of Ray Chapman – the only MLB player killed by a pitch – and the 100-year rivalry between two baseball teams and two cities – Cleveland and New York. A Closing Night reception will follow the screening at the The New Port Theater.

Screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival are some big, new films: Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast (Friday, Oct. 22, 7:30 pm), Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog (Friday, Oct. 22, 7:45 pm), Someone Like Me, about a gay youth escaping from Uganda (Sat., Oct. 23, 5:15 pm), Pablo Larrain’s Spencer (Sat., Oct. 23, 7:30 pm), Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter (Sunday, Oct. 24, 5:00 pm), Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God (Sunday, Oct. 24, 7:45 pm), Pieces of Us, about survivors of LGBTQ hate crimes (Sunday, Oct. 24, 8:30 pm), Oscar-winning Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s One Second (Wed., Oct. 27, 8:15 pm), Vietnamese director Mai Thu Huyen’s Kieu (Wed., Oct. 27, 8:00 pm), and Mexican director Arcadi Palerm’s Oliverio & the Pool (Monday, Oct. 25, 7:45 pm).


There is a very large selection of short films included in the festival in packages – some by topic and others representative of film student work from various local universities. “The Newport Beach Film Festival is extremely excited to be back on the big screen. We are proud to bring outstanding global cinema to our local theaters. This year’s incredible line up of narrative features, non-fiction films and curated shorts programs reflect the incredible storytelling talents of our filmmakers. We are thrilled to open and close the Festival with documentary films that have strong Orange County connections.” stated Gregg Schwenk, CEO/Executive Director of NBFF.

Tickets to Opening Night and Closing Night are $95. Event is open to attendees 21 and older. Many of the films in theatres are a more upscale affair, with after-parties and recommended cocktail attire for attendees.

For Festival passes, tickets and COVID-19 safety information, visit

Previous articleDance Theatre of Harlem: A new book celebrating 50 years
Next articleMystére by Cirque du Soleil Dazzles at Treasure Island 
Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.