Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) is an annual film festival in Newport Beach, California, typically held in late April.[1][2]

Newport Beach Film Festival
LocationNewport Beach, California, United States


The Newport Beach Film Festival was established in 1999 after the failure of an earlier film festival series in the same location.[3][4] This festival presents a multi genre, international range of independent and studio films. The Newport Beach Film Festival features World, North America, U.S. and West Coast premieres as well as International Spotlight Series celebrating foreign language films.[1]

In 2013 the Newport Beach Film Festival announced a new partnership with the Orange County Music Awards; which has produced the launch of the Music Video Showcase in the festival. 2013 was the first year this genre was included in the festival.[1]

Gregg Schwenk, co-founder of the festival, serves as the executive director-CEO. During the fest’s nascent stages, he found that “there is no better destination or backdrop for an international film festival than Newport Beach.”[5]

Growth of the Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival attracts people from beyond the surrounding beach communities, with 30%-40% of its audience coming from outside the Orange County metro area. In 2015, the film festival programmed more than 350 films from 50 countries based on more than 3,000 submissions. According to Schwenk, the number of film buyers, sales agents and distributors — both domestic and international — who attend “has grown exponentially."[5] In 2014, the festival reported record attendance of about 54,000.[6]

Types of Films

The Newport Beach Film Festival is divided into eight competitive sections, in which filmmakers can submit their pieces to. The film categories that are shown in this festival include:[1]

  • Action Sports Films
  • AA+D (Art, Architecture and Design Film Series)
  • Documentaries
  • Environmental Films
  • Family Films
  • Music Films
  • Short Films
  • Youth Films

Due to the coastal location of the festival, many of the films are connected to the history of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. This suggests the Newport Beach Film Festivals audience base is largely dedicated to the Action Sports Cinema category.[2]

Sponsors of the Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival draws its sponsors through the local community and partner organizations. The founding sponsor of the festival is the city of Newport Beach, California. The festival works with premiere sponsors (which help exhibit the films), event sponsors, media sponsors, production sponsors, supporting sponsors, hotel and restaurant sponsors, as well as community and cultural partnerships.[1]

The festival also works with several colleges in Southern California to put together a showcase of student made films. The Newport Beach Film Festival has multiple partner schools including: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), Cal State University Fullerton, Cal State University Long Beach, and Chapman University.[1] These collegiate showcases are exclusively screened at the Studio at Sage Hill and the Lido Theater.[1] These screenings have proved to be grounds for the new voices of independent cinema.

The Newport Beach Film Festival also partners with art and education organizations to bring events and notable cinematography to Orange County. Events feature conversations with filmmakers, pre screenings, exhibit tours, musical performances, and book signings.[1]

The most recent partnership, which was established in 2013, is between the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Orange County Music Awards.[1]


  1. "Newport Beach Film Festival". Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  2. Miller, Jason (19 April 2011). "12th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival". Surfing Magazine. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  3. Cohen, Alison (October 13, 1999), "Film Festival Gets Renewed Push; Newport Beach officials vote to resurrect drive after demise of international event. Educational facet is discussed", Los Angeles Times.
  4. "Newport Beach Film Festival marks 10th year", Long Beach Press-Telegram, April 22, 2009.
  5. Chagollan, Steve. "Newport Beach Film Fest Fills Bill for Underserved O.C. Art House Market". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  6. Coker, Matt. "The Sublime and Beautiful, Kickstarted Drama, is Big Newport Beach Film Fest Award Winner". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
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