Last Thursday night at the Newport Island Theater, hundreds of people gathered for the opening night premiere of the 13th Newport Beach Film Festival. “Jewtopia”, an adapted film that pokes fun at the importance of religion within a modern day coupling, drew a bevy of film and TV stars to the red carpet. Immediately after the movie, a massive chowdown commenced at the opening night gala at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, where over 85 local restaurants offered samples of their signature dishes. One could sample peanut butter and jelly beef sliders, shrimp and avocado tacos, pad thai, filet mignon, or line up for Absolut cocktails. Filmmakers lined up with nordic actors while Sponsor representatives grabbed multiple samples at a time. When it comes to free food, nobody is greedier than anyone else: it’s a democracy.
In the midst of all the food focused commotion, a nostalgia themed 50’s band took the stage and confirmed our suspicions that indeed, Elvis was still alive and performing at film festival galas.
The festival runs through Thursday, May 3rd, ending with a Riviera Magazine-sponsored closing party at the Lido Theater Plaza.
Photography by Adriana Ramic