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Festival History

Founded in 1999, the Newport Beach Film Festival has emerged as the largest international cinema event in Southern California, attracting over 56,000 attendees to Orange County, CA.

The Community Outreach Program was created with the idea that film offers new perspectives and possibilities for a changing world. Each year, the Festival partners with over 40 non-profit organizations and pairs each philanthropic organization with a film that aligns with their mission. The Festival gives non-profit organizations a forum to voice their message to large audiences and spread awareness of their organization and mission through the medium of film. Areas of focus include the arts, health and human services, the environment, education, children’s causes, seniors’ and veterans’ programs, and alumni clubs.

1999

Newport Beach Film Festival founded

2001

NBFF honors Robert Wise with Lifetime Achievement Award

2002

NBFF honors composer Elmer Bernstein

2005

NBFF opens Festival with North American Premiere of ‘Crash’

NBFF hosts Jim Henson Retrospective

‘Cinema Orange’ film series launched with Orange County Museum of Art

‘Action Sports Film Series’ created

2006

Will Ferrell hosts ‘Youth Film Showcase’ as honorary chair at its launch

2007

NBFF presents ‘An Evening of Disney Animation Rarities with Roy E. Disney and Don Hahn’

NBFF hosts ‘Ten Decades of ‘The Duke’: The Official John Wayne Centennial Celebration’

2008

NBFF hosts ‘An Evening with Richard Sherman’

NBFF presents Chuck Jones Award for Excellence in Animation

2009

NBFF celebrates 10th Anniversary Cirque Du Soleil performance at Opening Night

McG named Honorary Chair

NBFF launches ‘Cinema Sage Hill’ free community film series at The Studio at Sage Hill

NBFF hosts Nickelodeon Spongebob Squarepants 10th Anniversary Celebration

2010

‘Art, Architecture + Design Film Series’ launched

2011

NBFF presents free screenwriting panel with Aaron Sorkin

2013

Richard Sherman Disney Rarities

2014

Variety Hosts their first “10 Cinematographers to Watch” at the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival

2015

NBFF and Visit Newport Beach Launches the NBFF UK Honours Program and Honors the Cast of “Imitation Game,” including Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

2016

NBFF Launches our Annual Honors program with Honorees Rita Moreno, Burt Bacharach, Kate Beckinsale and legendary screenwriter Linda Woolverton in attendance

2018

NBFF ‘Culinary Film Series’ launched

NBFF and Visit Newport Beach host Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch

2019

NBFF Celebrates it’s 20th anniversary, reaching 58,000 attendees