Newport Beach Film Festival: Opening Night Gala

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Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival opened April 25 with a screening of “Broadway Idiot” at Big Newport, attended by Green Day band members. The movie was followed by the Opening Night Gala at Fashion Island, pictured above, with hosted bars by Absolut Vodka and Stella Artois, culinary tastings from 40 of Orange County’s restaurants and a special performance by “American Idol” star Taylor Hicks. The film festival selection committee reviewed more than 2,000 films for the festival, which concluded May 2. In all, more than 350 films representing 50 countries were screened, with upwards of 53,000 moviegoers attending at the festival’s six venues: Regency Lido Theater, Starlight Triangle 8 Cinemas, Island Cinemas, Big Newport Theater, The Studio at Sage Hill and The New Port Theater. Top honors went to French romantic comedy “Fly Me to the Moon (Un Plan Parfait),” which received jury awards in four categories, including best feature film, best actress for Diane Kruger’s performance, best director Pascal Chaumeil and best screenplay by Laurent Zeitoun and Youann Gromb. The American coming-of-age film “The Way, Way Back” starring Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell snagged the audience award for U.S. feature. —L.D.

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