Diary of a Mad Newport Beach Film Festival Starring the Ghost of Wes Anderson

Mr. Kicks and Lady Megs
Things look bright for Miss India America.
What follows is some of what was observed at this year's Newport Beach Film Festival, which ended its eight-day 2015 run Thursday night.

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NBFF 2015: The Syndrome, Excellent Shaken Baby Legal Tactic Documentary, at 8 TONIGHT

Prodigy Public Relations
A woman who was under suspicion tells how difficult it was to disprove she shook a baby who was under her care in The Syndrome.
UPDATE, APRIL 30, 10:22 A.M.: Meryl Goldsmith's must-see documentary The Syndrome, which is based on her cousin Susan Goldsmith's reporting on the shaky shaken baby legal tactic that has put several people behind bars unjustly, plays tonight at 8 at Big Newport. Read more after the jump ...

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NBFF 2015: True Tales of Intrigue, Extraordinary Individuals and Adventure

Categories: Film and TV

last executioner pic.jpg
De Warrene Pictures
The Last Executioner

It's the seventh inning stretch of the Newport Beach Film Festival, and much of what remains in the line up are short films, music videos, and even some repeats of earlier feature screenings. But there are also plenty of quality feature films left to be mentioned, including a wide array of films based on harrowing, uplifting and surprising true stories you never heard of. Whether you have or haven't, these stories make for great subject matter to sink your teeth into, so enjoy reading through this list and make your way to their screenings before time runs out.

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NBFF 2015: Davids & Goliath on China's Organ Trade is on Thought-Provoking Slate TONIGHT

The first rotating banner heading on the website for the documentary Davids & Goliath reads: "This is about the most monstrous crime that I can conceive of." It's by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach). But don't let that stop you tonight from seeing the film that has also been known as Human Harvest.

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NBFF 2015: Fear No Fruit Tells the Story of Produce Pioneer Frieda Caplan

Photo by The Mexican
Frieda's Staircase of Fame

One of OC's most influential yet unheralded pioneers is Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, the founder and head of Frieda's Specialty Produce in Los Alamitos. The produce industry respects her like crazy: not only was she one of the first women in that rough-and-tumble, male-dominated, muy macho world, Frieda also proved to be one of the best produce people ever, specializing in then-obscure products like kiwifruit, jícama, habaneros, Asian pears, and so many more fruits and vegetables that we now take for granted. And her company continues to differentiate itself in the field: it's largely female-driven (Frida's daughters now run the company), they love the color purple, and employee enthusiasm makes kindergarten teachers seem like morticians.

The story of Frieda and her company are the subject of a 90-minute documentary, the awesomely titled Fear No Fruit, that's playing at the Newport Beach Film Festival TOMORROW.

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Want to Hang Out with George Clooney at Disneyland? First, Chip in $10 for Sudan Relief

Walt Disney Pictures
The Cloon, line one ...
Last year, George Clooney invited one winner drawn from a pool of folks who donated $10 to South Sudan relief to join him at the premiere of his film The Monuments Men at New York's Ziegfeld Theater. He's doing the same thing May 9 with his new movie Tomorrowland, only the venue has changed to Disneyland.

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Pump Documentary on Breaking the Oil Monopoly Rolls at UC Irvine TONIGHT

Fuel Freedom Foundation
It's a gas, gas, gas ...
UPDATE, APRIL 27, 7:42 A.M.: Updating to remind that the documentary about oil dependence Pump screens at 6 this evening in Room 134 of Steinhaus Hall at UC Irvine. For more details, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/455308817958911/.

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NBFF 2015: Los Olvidados Showcases Extraordinary Cardboard Mexicans

Courtesy of Ramiro Gomez, Jr.
Los Olvidados

Back in 2013, I reviewed Ramiro Gomez, Jr.'s extraordinary artwork that finds him either painting working-class Latinos into photos of ritzy homes, or has him put up cardboard cutouts of said trabajadores in ritzy communities. The star of the piece, though, was Los Olvidados, which depicted a group of migrants mourning the loss of one of their own who didn't survive the brutal journey across the U.S.-Mexico border. That installation took up an entire room of Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Arts Center, and included was a panorama-sized photo of Los Olvidados in the Arizona desert.

That particular installation got a short film made about it, and it'll screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival twice this week.

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Big-Time Film and TV Composers Tell You the Score at Free NBFF Seminar SATURDAY

Marvel Studios
Digging the Guardians of the Galaxy score.
Composers from hit films and television shows such as Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy, Kingsman: Secret Service, The Odd Couple and The Girl Next Door discuss how they do what they do during a free seminar presented by the Newport Beach Film Festival Saturday.

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NBFF Confidential: This, That, the Other from Newport Beach Film Fest Opening TONIGHT

What follows are some news and notes and more "Orsovations" as the eight-day 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) opens tonight with The Water Diviner at Lido Live, followed by a gala blowout at Fashion Island.

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