Tim Roth, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Naimo Watts in Luce by Julius Onah |
photo by Larkin Seiple

The 20th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is set to open on Thursday, April 25 with the screening of Luce by Julius Onah, with the film’s star-studded cast of Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Tim Roth, all expected to be in attendance on the evening.

Naomi Watts at Cannes Film Festival in 2010 | Photo: Georges Biard

Luce tells the story of a former child soldier from Africa, adopted by white parents and naturalized in America, who becomes a star athlete and top student in his suburban Virginia high school. Eventually, he finds his close-knit family life and impeccable academic record challenged by a teacher after she discovers unsettling political views in a homework assignment.  

Following the screening, the festival will host an opening night gala at Fashion Island presented by by Pacific Sales, sponsored in part by Tito’s Vodka, Fashion Island and the City of Newport Beach. The gala will feature culinary tastings from 30 of Orange County’s premiere restaurants with a special performance by Side Deal, featuring Grammy Award-winning musicians. Formed in 2016, Side Deal is the new band from Grammy winner Charlie Colin (Train), multi-platinum artists Stan Frazier and Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers) and the Pawn Shop Kings (Rolling Stone Magazine’s “New Bands to Watch”).

From April 25 to May 2, Newport Beach Film Festival, with this year’s theme exploring “The Power of Ideas,” will showcase more than 350 films from 50 countries and host nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars.  

Tickets available at www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com

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