THE TIME BETWEEN: Film fans have a bounty of choices when it comes to renting, buying, streaming, or re-watching a DVD they already own. It's always Movie Day if movies are pretty much your whole world, or a large part of it, though there are some times of the year which are more movied-out then others. The run-up to the Oscars is one such cinema-saturated stretch, and the first few weeks of the summer blockbuster season, too. This all leads to a quieter time come the spring, when larger film events take the backseat to sportsy to-dos like March Madness and Major League Baseball's Opening Day. There is, however, 'round about Southern California, a prestigious film festival that breaks the dry spell between the Academy Awards and the real ramp-up to the summer cinema season. It's the Newport Beach Film Festival, and tickets went on sale on Wednesday, April 1.
NEW THIS YEAR: Look for a "Made in California" program, which spotlights filmmakers of the Golden State (and their 40-minutes-or-under flicks). The state is definitely front-and-center as a location in the films, so keep an eye out for places you know. As for the Opening Night Gala? That's "The Water Diviner" which was directed by (and stars) Russell Crowe. The Closing Night Gala? "No Stranger to Love" with Alison Brie. Other tempting offerings during the week-long run include "A Little Chaos" with Kate Winslet and "Slow West" with Michael Fassbender. Outside of the screenings there shall be seminars, on a whole swath of cinema-related topics, and other special happenings.
300-PLUS FILMS: It's a big calendar, typically, and a big crowd shows: Some 53,000 attendees do the attending thing, according to the NBFF people. So lining up your films, seminars, and Newport Beach days and/or nights is key. You've got a bit of time, right? With the fairly open stretch that is springtime for a film fan, from the Oscars to the summer blockbusters.