top of page

24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) Announces Festival Line-up

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Culture OC. The information provided has been written by the submitting organization and not by the writers at Culture OC. We include this on our site in the spirit of sharing information about the arts and culture community in Orange County.


The 24th annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) announced Tuesday that it will screen 91 films from 19 countries - including 14 World Premieres, 14 U.S. Premieres, 6 North American Premieres, 15 West Coast Premieres, and 5 Southern California Premieres - from October 12-19, 2023. Opening and Closing Night will be announced at a later date.

“Eclectic and awe-inspiring, this year’s programmed lineup unites exciting upcoming awards contenders with that spectacle of global filmmaking which our audience treasures,” said Gregg Schwenk, CEO and Executive Director of NBFF. “We are honored to be sharing this selection of extraordinary talent and supreme storytelling with our loyal Orange County audience, and we are looking forward to announcing more events in the weeks approaching the Festival.”

Centerpiece and Spotlight Films

NBFF has selected three Netflix titles as Centerpiece films including May December, directed by Todd Haynes and starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton; NYAD directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and starring Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans; and Rustin directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Colman Domingo. Apple Original Films’ Fingernails directed by Christos Nikou and starring Jeremy Allen White, Riz Ahmed, Annie Murphy, Jessie Buckley and Luke Wilson is another Centerpiece screening. Fifteen international films are selected as part of their Spotlight section from countries including Canada, China, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Sweden. These Centerpiece and Spotlight films include:

Double Blind (Ireland), Director Ian Hunt-Duffy

The First Day of My Life (Italy), Director Paolo Genovese

Fingernails (United States), Director Christos Nikou

Freelance (United States), Director Pierre Morel

Frontiers (Canada), Director Guy Édoin

Gentleman (South Korea), Director Kyoung-Won Kim

Honey Sweet (Republic of Korea, South Korea), Director Lee Han

In the Name of the Father (Ireland), Director Jim Sheridan

Live (Vietnam)

May December (United States), Director Todd Haynes

Monster (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

NYAD (United States), Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Only the River Flows (China), Director Wei Shujun

Radical (Mexico), Director Zalla Christopher

Rustin (United States), Director George C. Wolfe

Second Act (Sweden), Director Mårten Klingberg

Verdigris (Ireland), Director Patricia Kelly

A Whole Life (Germany), Director Hans Steinbichler

Without Her (Iran/Italy), Director Arian Vazirdaftari

Woken (Ireland), Director Alan Friel

Special Events

On Saturday, October 14, the Festival will host a conversation and book signing with the award-winning actor, two-time New York Times Best Selling author, Founder of the non-profit Lidé Haiti and climate activist, Rainn Wilson for his new book “Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution.” Rainn Wilson, co-founder of the media company SoulPancake, explores the problem-solving benefits that spirituality provides to create solutions and ultimately find happiness in an increasingly challenging world. In this book, Rainn Wilson speaks to the possibility and hope for a spiritual revolution, a “Soul Boom,” to find a healing transformation on both a personal and global level. Though a serious and essential pursuit, he brings great humor and his own unique perspective to the conversation.

Director and writer Jim Sheridan will attend a special retrospective screening of In the Name of the Father on Sunday October 15th. The 1993 biographical crime drama is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings that killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson and Pete Postlethwaite.

This year, the Festival will be holding a culinary reception on Tuesday, October 17 to celebrate the premiere of Susan Feniger. Forked, a documentary film chronicling Susan’s personal journey of opening her first solo restaurant. The event features signature bites from James Beard award-winner Susan Feniger, a brief Q&A alongside her partner, filmmaker and Emmy Award winner Liz Lachman, and leads into the screening of the film.

Additionally, on Wednesday, October 18, the Festival will feature Bobby Berk, interior design expert and Emmy-nominated TV host of Netflix’s Queer Eye, at a 30-minute Q&A for his new book, "Right at Home: How Good Design Is Good for the Mind". In the book, Berk shows you how to set up your space so that it takes care of you. Learn how to follow your happiness to find your style, optimize the function of every room, organize your space, and so much more.

Film Highlights

Highlights for this year include the World Premiere of Brave the Dark directed by Damian Harris with Jared Harris and Nicholas Hamilton; the U.S. premiere of Mr. Blake At Your Service! directed by Gilles Legardinier and starring John Malkovich. Other films screening include Clawfoot directed by Michael Day with Francesca Eastwood, Milo Gibson & Olivia Culpo; the World Premiere of The Conqueror: Hollywood Fallout directed by William Nunez with Sophie Okonedo, Patrick Wayne, and Barrie Chase; the West Coast Premiere of Hard Miles directed by R. J. Daniel Hanna with Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams; the West Coast Premiere of The Hidden Power of Purpose directed by Elliot V. Kotek with Debbie Allen; Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles directed by Sally Aitken; the World Premiere of The Man in the White Van directed by Warren Skeels with Madison Wolfe, Brec Bassinger, Ali Larter and Sean Astin; The Mattachine Family directed by Andy Vallentine with Nico Tortorella, Juan Pablo Di Pace, and Emily Hampshire; Radical directed by Zalla Christopher with Eugenio Derbez; and the West Coast Premiere of William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill, directed by Alexandre O. Philippe.

The full list of films screening at NBFF include (in alphabetical order):

Advent (Ireland), Director Richard Waters (World Premiere)

Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun (Canada), Director Banchi Hanuse (Southern California Premiere)

American Star (United Kingdom), Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Asog (Canada), Director Sean Devlin

Australia’s Open (Australia), Director Ili Barv (U.S. Premiere)

Beyond Tomorrow (United States), Director Brett Ryan Bonowicz

Billie Blue (Canada), Director Mariloup Wolfe (U.S. Premiere)

Brave the Dark (United States), Director Damian Harris (World Premiere)

Brief Tender Light (United States), Director Arthur Musah (California Premiere)

Brown vs. Brown (New Zealand), Director Simon Mark Brown (U.S. Premiere)

Clawfoot (United States), Director Michael Day

The Conqueror: Hollywood Fallout (United Kingdom), Director William Nunez (World Premiere)

Copyright Infringement (United States), Director David Sabshon

The Corners of the Earth – Kamchatka (Australia), Director Spencer Thomas Frost

Crawdaddy (Canada), Directors Kassandra Voss and Daniel Rocque (U.S. Premiere)

The Disappearance of Shere Hite (United States), Director Nicole Newnham (West Coast Premiere)

Double Blind (Ireland), Director Ian Hunt-Duffy (U.S. Premiere)

Egghead & Twinkie (United States), Director Sarah Holland (California Premiere)

Exposure (United States), Director Peter Cannon (World Premiere)

Fighting Spirit: A Combat Chaplain's Journey (United States), Directors Richard Hull and Justin Roberts (World Premiere)

Final Vow (United States), Director Ruben Islas (World Premiere)

Fingernails (United States), Director Christos Nikou

Fioretta (United States), Director Matthew Mishory (West Coast Premiere)

The First Day of My Life (Italy), Director Paolo Genovese (U.S. Premiere)

Food & Design (Taiwan), Director Mu-Ming Tsai (World Premiere)

Freelance (United States), Director Pierre Morel

Frontiers (Canada), Director Guy Édoin (U.S. Premiere)

Gabriele Münter, Pioneer Of Modern Art (France), Director Florence Mauro (North American Premiere)

The Genius of the Place: The Life And Work of Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka's Premier Architect (Sri Lanka), Director Afdhel Aziz

Gentleman (South Korea), Director Kyoung-won Kim (U.S. Premiere)

Geoff Mcfetridge: Drawing A Life (United States), Director Dan Covert

The Graceless Age: The Ballad of John Murry (Ireland), Director Sarah Share

Green City Life (France), Director Manon Turina & François Marques (U.S. Premiere)

Hard Miles (United States), Director R. J. Daniel Hanna (West Coast Premiere)

The Hidden Power of Purpose (United States), Director Elliot V. Kotek (West Coast Premiere)

High Class (United States), Director Benjamin Nolot (World Premiere)

Honey Sweet (Republic of Korea, South Korea), Director Lee Han (U.S. Premiere)

Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles (Australia), Director Sally Aitken

I Dream in Photos (Ireland), Directors Gary Lennon & Ollie Aslin (North American Premiere)

I'll Be Right There (United States), Director Brendan Walsh

Immediate Family (United States), Director Denny Tedesco

In the Name of the Father (Ireland), Director Jim Sheridan

Indelible Memories (Japan), Director Shin Sonoda (West Coast Premiere)

Jailhouse to Milhouse (United States), Director Buddy Farmer

Jesszilla (United States), Director Emily Sheskin (Southern California Premiere)

John Behan: Odyssey (Ireland), Director Donald Taylor Black

A Kind of Kidnapping (United Kingdom), Director D.G. Clark (West Coast Premiere)

Let the Party Begin (Israel), Director Aki Avni

Live (Vietnam) (U.S. Premiere)

The Man in the White Van (United States), Director Warren Skeels (World Premiere)

The Man With the Silver Case (United States), Director Colin Best

The Mattachine Family (United States), Director Andy Vallentine

May December (United States), Director Todd Haynes

The Michoacan File (Mexico), Director Bernardo Arsuaga

Monster (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

The Movie Man (Canada), Director Matt Finlin

Mr. Blake at Your Service! (France), Director Gilles Legardinier (U.S. Premiere)

NYAD (United States), Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

On the Line (United Kingdom), Director Oliver Pearn (West Coast Premiere)

One Way Ticket The Story of Greg Lutzka (United States), Director Nick Amrhein (World Premiere)

Only the River Flows (China), Director Wei Shujun (West Coast Premiere)

Parachute (United States), Director Brittany Snow

Radical (Mexico), Director Zalla Christopher

Remembering Gene Wilder (United States), Director Ron Frank

A Revolution on Canvas (US), Directors Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder

Rustin (United States), Director George C. Wolfe

Seasick (New Zealand), Director Simon Mark-Brown

Second Act (Sweden), Director Mårten Klingberg

Silent Thunder (United States), Director Isaac Medeiros (World Premiere)

Stolen (Ireland), Director Margo Harkin (North American Premiere)

Sugar and Stars (France), Director Sébastien Tulard (U.S. Premiere)

Sunlight (Ireland), Director Claire Dix (U.S. Premiere)

Susan Feniger. Forked (United States), Director Liz Lachman (West Coast Premiere)

Tarrac! (Ireland), Director Declan Recks (Southern California Premiere)

This is Brighton (United States), Director Beth Aala (World Premiere)

Tokyo Cowboy (United States), Director Marc Marriott (West Coast Premiere)

Topper (United States), Director Kevin McNamara (World Premiere)

Trilogy: New Wave (United States), Director Andrew Mackenzie

Unbroken (United States), Director Beth Lane

Understanding Autism (United States), Director Scott Steindorff (World Premiere)

Verdigris (Ireland), Director Patricia Kelly (North American Premiere)

Vincent Must Die (France), Director Stephan Castang

Waiting for Dali (Spain), Director David Pujol (North American Premiere)

A Whole Life (Austria/Germany), Director Hans Steinbichler (North American Premiere)

William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill (United States), Director Alexandre O. Philippe (West Coast Premiere)

Williams & Mansell: Red 5 (United Kingdom), Director James Wiseman (West Coast Premiere)

With Peter Bradley (United States), Director Alex Rappoport (West Coast Premiere)

Without Her (Iran/Italy), Director Arian Vazirdaftari

Would You Hide Me? (United States), Director Beth Lane (West Coast Premiere)

Attracting over 50,000 attendees to Orange County, CA, the Newport Beach Film Festival is the largest international cinema event in coastal Southern California, connecting its audience with the very best in independent and international films. In addition to the programmed selection of films, the Festival also presents nightly parties and events featuring more than 60 culinary partners with their finest tastings.

For more information on the complete line-up and to purchase tickets, please visit Additional films and honorees will be announced prior to the event.



Copy of Med. Rectangle_ Subscribe.png

Support for Culture OC comes from

Copy of 13.png
Copy of 15.png
Editor Picks


The Tony-winning star sits down with the iconic radio host for a fun night of show-stopping songs, candid stories and hilarity!

Support for Culture OC comes from

bottom of page