Daily 49er

Newport Beach Film Festival

18th annual Newport Beach Film Festival kicks off Thursday.

Samantha Diaz, Staff Writer

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Newport Beach will be hosting over 55,000 attendees while featuring over 350 films from over 50 countries at the 18th annual Newport Beach Film Festival. The event will take place from April 20-27 and show films from both independent and studio backgrounds.

Among the various countries and cultural backgrounds being featured at the festival, four of Cal State Long Beach’s film department students will show their films in the collegiate showcase.

The festival will begin on Thursday night at the Big Newport Theater with the film “Take Every Wave: the Life of Laird Hamilton” followed by the Opening Night gala. The gala is regularly attended by celebrities and directors such as Matthew Morrison, Will Ferrell and Rob Schneider and will feature performances by multiple new bands, artists and Cirque Du Soleil to kick off the festival week.

Artists will show their short films, documentaries and music videos for a chance to win the various awards given out at the end of the week, chosen by the audience themselves. This year’s film categories include an environmental film series, an action sports series, a youth film showcase and a foreign film category featuring films from European, Latino and Irish contestants.

Teddy Valentovich is one of four CSULB students entered in the festival, for his film, “The Adventures of Lucy.”

“The Adventures of Lucy” is about a young girl with leukemia who is undergoing cancer treatment. With every chemotherapy treatment, Lucy goes on creative adventures within her own imagination. All the while, villain Luke — the manifestation of her cancer — haunts her adventures.

“As a childhood cancer survivor, it is a deeply personal story and one that we strived to tell authentically,” said Valentovich. “After our festival run, we hope to share the film with children’s hospitals around the country.”

The NBFF has the ability to advance a film’s credibility and viewership through a single screening. Past films like “500 Days of Summer,” “Crash” and “Castle in the Sky,” have made their debut at this festival.

“As with any festival, it’s definitely exciting to be accepted. Newport is special to us, though. In terms of publicity, it is the largest festival we have been a part of,” said Valentovich of his film entry. “Any time that you get to display your work to an audience, it has the possibility of advancing your career. Hopefully this screening will allow a large, new audience to experience Lucy’s story.”

The festival will also feature the film “Star Trek Wars” by CSULB student Joshua Hoh, who has won multiple awards for the film department in the past for his short-film comedy about CSULB alumni, Steven Spielberg.

“Star Trek Wars” is a film where JJ Abrams and and George Lucas battle over the fate of Star Wars VII. The NBFF will be among the ten festivals that “Star Trek Wars” has been featured in.

Other CSULB students being featured at the festival are Julian Espinosa for his film “Saturday Morning After School” and Michael Priestley for his film “The Tragic Fall of Valley Rob.”

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