The 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival Opening & Closing Night

September 21, 2023

The highly anticipated 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) has just revealed exciting details about its upcoming edition. Kicking off on Thursday, October 12, the festival's opening night will feature the Los Angeles Times Envelope screening of "The Absence of Eden," directed by Marco Perego and starring the talented Zoe Saldaña. This event will take place at Edwards Big Newport.

Continuing the cinematic journey, the festival will conclude on Thursday, October 19, at the Port Theatre, showcasing Focus Features' "The Holdovers," directed by the esteemed Alexander Payne. 

It's the 24th edition of this renowned film festival, promising an extraordinary in-person experience from October 12-19, presenting a dazzling array of 91 films from various corners of the world.

A highlight of the festival will be the presence of filmmakers for a moderated interview preceding the screening of "The Absence of Eden." This gripping film revolves around an ICE agent, portrayed by Garrett Hedlund, grappling with the ethical complexities of border security, and an undocumented woman, played by Zoe Saldaña, striving to escape a ruthless cartel. Their paths intertwine as they collaborate to rescue an innocent girl, resulting in a compelling narrative.

"The Absence of Eden" has been skillfully produced by Julie Yorn and Marco Perego, nominated for an Academy Award. Notably, it's a collaborative effort involving Robert Kravis and Karl Herrmann under Pioneer Pictures, Alexandra Milchan (also an Academy Award nominee), Martin Scorsese, and Rick Yorn, all serving as executive producers. Additionally, Zoe Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures, Ingenious Media, Ashland Hill, Sycuan Tribal, Ruben Islas, Jolene Rodriguez, and Stanley Preschutti are part of this remarkable production.

On the other hand, "The Holdovers" portrays the story of a grumpy instructor, played by Paul Giamatti, at a New England prep school who finds himself staying on campus during Christmas break to look after a few students left without plans. As the tale unfolds, an unlikely connection forms between the instructor and a troubled yet intelligent student, brilliantly portrayed by newcomer Dominic Sessa. The film also delves into a bond with the school’s head cook, grieving the loss of a son in Vietnam, portrayed by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Directed by Alexander Payne and produced by Mark Johnson, Bill Block, and David Hemingson, the film features executive producers Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov, and Thom Zadra.

The 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival is all set to be a cinematic extravaganza, promising world premieres, award contenders, engaging nightly special events, and insightful conversations with filmmakers. Notable films announced for the Centerpiece and Spotlight categories include "A Whole Life," "Double Blind," "Frontiers," "Honey Sweet," "Freelance," "Fingernails," "Gentleman," "Woken," "In the Name of the Father," "May December," "Monster," "NYAD," "Only the River Flows," "Radical," "Rustin," "Second Act," "The First Day of My Life," "Verdigris," "Live," and "Without Her."

For film enthusiasts and attendees, tickets to the Opening Night Film and Gala are available at $225, and for the Closing Night Film and Gala at $145. The gala events are exclusively open to attendees aged 21 and older. To secure your spot and explore the complete lineup, including festival passes and ticket details, visit the official festival website at NewportBeachFilmFest.com. It's an event you wouldn't want to miss, promising an immersive cinematic experience and a delightful celebration of the art of film.

Greer's OC
Blogger | Journalist

Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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