The 23rd Newport Beach Film Festival took place last week in an eight-day event with more than 350 films and celebrities, film makers and Orange County executives in attendance.
From Oct. 13 to 20, four different OC venues were used to showcase the films including The Lot at Fashion Island, Edwards Big Newport, Corona del Mar’s New Port Theater and Starlight Triangle Cinemas in Costa Mesa.
Various events and presentations also took over local hotels with more than 30 celebrities occupying the spaces of Vea Newport Beach and Balboa Bay Resort.
Reporting a budget of $1.2 million to run the week-long event, Director and co-Chief Executive Gregg Schwenk believes Newport Beach is the perfect location for an international film festival.
Schwenk pointed to the city’s proximity to Hollywood, the beach setting, incredible venues and access to luxury theaters.
“All of these things together are potent to making an incredible film fest,” he told the Business Journal.
The festival’s line up included world premieres and awards contenders for the year, and also featured local filmmakers with a category dedicated to OC.
Schwenk and his co-creator, Todd Quartararo, are both OC natives with the goal to highlight people both in front and behind the camera during the festival and bring them directly to local creatives.
Major OC sponsors for the festival include Lugano Diamonds of Newport Beach, UCI Health, Riviera magazine, Fashion Island and others. The festival continues to seek local and international partnerships to further its reach.
The two executives and their core staff of 25 will continue building the festival up based on the business model of incorporating iconic and key locations in Newport Beach, Schwenk said.
Next year the festival will also focus on the food and beverage scene by inviting celebrity chefs into the kitchens of OC’s top restaurants, Schwenk told the Business Journal.
“It’s a wonderful way to incorporate the city in the overall experience that is the Newport Beach film festival.”
“Now the festival is generating worldwide news coverage which gives our city a glamorous patina and effectively tells our story as a aspirational place to visit,” Newport Beach & Co. CEO Gary Sherwin said. “We are now on the level of a Palm Springs or even Cannes, two festivals that help define their communities.”
See below for pictures from throughout the week’s events.