Tickets on sale for Newport Beach Film Festival – 9 recommendations

If you’re lucky enough to have a film festival in your hometown then you have to support it, because they are tons of fun.

For me that means the Newport Beach Film Festival with several hundred movies and a focus on sports, like surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding.

It’s pretty awesome, though, I do wish there were more films about global concerns like the Environmental Film Festival has in Washington D.C. (my former hometown festival).

Still, I have a pretty good lineup for the festival days, April 26 – May 3, with everything from quirky comedies to surf film premieres, a 3,000-person rugby game and a college for comic books.

Here are the descriptions and trailers for all those movies.


Free Samples

Jillian is having a bad day. She’s got a raging hangover, she’s starting to think dropping out of Stanford Law to become an artist wasn’t the best career move, and things are weird with her faraway fiancé. Can spending the day parked in an ice cream truck doling out samples and a good dose of sass to oddball Angelenos shake her out of her quarter-life crisis? Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jason Ritter star in this quirky comedy.

Manufacturing Stoke

Visiting surfing legends and newcomers alike, filmmakers travel across the California coast while highlighting the surfing community’s shift from petroleum-based products to more organic and responsible components. No other sport is as intrinsically linked to nature, so why are a majority of the materials used environmentally toxic?


Surfing the Wild East

In an attempt to expose new surf territory with a fever for adventure and foreign land, a group of professional surfers set out on a three-week adventure through the Caucasus Eurasia to surf the Caspian Sea.

Lost and Found

LOST AND FOUND is the amazing story of the discovery of 30,000 long-lost negatives of old black-and-white photos of surfers at a flea market in Pasadena. After realizing what he had stumbled upon, Doug Walker begins a 3-year journey to find the origin of the photos. The journey takes him through the history of surf photographers, discovering what they meant to the sport and what the sport meant to them. Along the way, the film touches on the very soul of early surfing and the nature of memory. As Gerry Lopez says in the film, “You know the stories are the best part of it,” and this film tells all of those stories beautifully.

Cartoon College

CARTOON COLLEGE follows a group of students at one of the most selective and grueling art schools in America: The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. A thoughtful and funny look into the world of aspiring indie cartoonists and graphic novelists, CARTOON COLLEGE is an examination of the creative process in action, demonstrating the passion and fortitude it requires when a person chooses their art over all else.


An exciting journey with seven of the world’s greatest stand up paddlers as they travel to Indonesia to paddle its most famous surf breaks. The result is a personal and compelling look at these seven athletes and the world’s fastest growing sport.

Wild in the Streets

One game. Two days. Three thousand players. For two days each year, the people of Ashbourne, England gather in the center of town to renew the longest running sports rivalry on earth, Shrovetide Football. Today, the teams are known as the Upíards and Downíards. The field of play is the town itself. There is no referee and few rules. The object of the game is simple: get a four pound ball to one of two goals that lay three miles apart. For the past thousand years, kings, revolutions and wars have tried to stop this ancient tradition. Against all odds, a passionate Shrovetide community has kept alive a meaning of life not valued in pounds or dollars but in sportsmanship and friendship.

Disney Rarities

For the past four years, the “Disney Animation Rarities” has been a wildly successful event. Now in its fifth year, we are privileged to once again offer a very special screening of Disney film magic. Join Academy Award nominated film producer Don Hahn and Disney director/producer David Bossert from the Walt Disney Studios for an equally unforgettable event as they present a collection of rarely seen Disney animated treasures. Audiences can look forward to seeing seldom screened films.

Behind the Orange Curtain

An in-depth look at the epidemic of prescription drug addiction plaguing teens and adults throughout Orange County and its heartbreakingly personal consequences as families are being shattered by something legal, available, and as close as their medicine cabinets.

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