April 17, 2014

Lights, camera, action! It'€™s that time of year when Hollywood cruises down the 405 straight into Orange County for the annual Newport Beach Film Festival. This star-studded event is much more than just parties and red carpets; it'€™s a unique opportunity to see some of the best cinematic works of art from the past year.

Kicking off April 24 and ending May 1, the Newport Beach Film Festival is now in its 15th year, and attracts more than 50,000 people to Orange County with its line-up of more than 300+ films. As if the films weren'€™t enough to draw people from near and far, the gorgeous locale of Newport Beach never fails to disappoint when outside the theater'€™s four walls.

So, now that we'€™ve convinced you to go, what should you see? Here are three exceptional films that are definitely not to miss:


Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Regency Lido Theatre

Starring big names like John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr., and actor/director Jon Favreau, '€œChef'€ is about a chef that loses his job at a prominent restaurant in L.A. and finds himself opening a food truck. This indie flick has been getting huge buzz around the festival circuit all year. If you don'€™t see it at the festival, chances are you can catch it on the big screen, but isn'€™t it always fun to be first?

'€˜God Help the Girl'€™

Friday, April 25 at 8:15 p.m.
The Triangle 4

This film was the project of indie band Belle & Sebastian'€™s frontman Stuart Murdoch, and was funded largely by fans and supporters on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The musical feature film is, in the words of producer Barry Mendel, '€œ a simple story about the brief moment after you'€™ve realized what you want to do with your life, before your dream settles into becoming your job, when you'€™re filled with enthusiasm, meeting like-minded friends and the possibilities are endless.'€ If you dig indie music and indie films, don'€™t miss this one.

'€˜Una Vida: A Fable of Music & the Mind'€™

Saturday, April 26 at 8:15 p.m.
South Coast Village 1
View the trailer

We would be remiss if we didn'€™t add a contemplative tear-jerker in the mix, and '€œUna Vida: A Fable of Music & the Mind'€ is just that. A part of the music spotlight, the story is based on the novel by Nicolas Bazan about a doctor that has spent his life dedicated to Alzheimer'€™s research, which took the life of his mother. He meets a jazz musician in New Orleans, Una Vida, who is also suffering from the disease. Motivated by compassion and the controlling force of his dreams, he seeks to unravel the mystery of her past, and in the process finds redemption before the music stops.

Headed to the Newport Beach Film Festival this year? Which films are you most excited to see?