Fab Flicks: Newport Beach Film Festival

International flicks shine in the swanky ocean-close burg.

WHAT'S A FILM FESTIVAL? While the showing of movies over a single starry week has become quite the tried-and-true tradition over the last few decades, and a wide array of festivals cover all points of the map, we can be rather guided by times of the year and, well, Sundance. Snow and cinema go together in many a mind, as does January and February, which happens to be the thick of awards season. So it makes sense that when we hear of a nifty line-up of movies, quirky indies and top-tier treats, our minds alight on Park City and they alight on winter. But, of course, there's been a longtime cinema stalwart that's all about the springtime, and the ocean, and a little glamour, and some great films.

YES... we could indeed be talking about Cannes, that titan of the May film calendar, but we are also, simultaneously, referencing the Newport Beach Film Festival. Nope, there's no snow, no heavy parkas, no award season campaigning, but there is the water-pretty scenery and chillaxed hobnobbing and palm trees and great movies. And while we do love a certain snowy cinema treat, surely palms and ocean are as iconic a setting for a film festival? If you're tempted then make for the burg from...

APRIL 24 THROUGH MAY 1: "Lovesick" with Matt LeBlanc is the festival opener, "Chef" with John Leguizamo is the closer, and the gems running between the two? "Belle," "Jadoo," and "God Help the Girl" will screen during the UK Spotlight nights, and films like "Cas & Dylan" and "Life's a Breeze" festoon the grid. These are some of the flicks gaining buzz, so before they head for the awards circuit at the end of the year, see them in Newport Beach. And if you can soak in some rays, have some chardonnay, and enjoy La Dolce Vita, so much the better. Truly, given that setting is so important in a film, we think Newport Beach makes a most excellent case for being one of the most cinematic settings around.

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