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Newport Beach Film Festival kicks off with Michael C. Hall movie

April 26, 2011 |  5:00 am


The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood isn't the only game in Southern California this weekend. The Newport Beach Film Festival, which opens Thursday evening and continues through May 5, boasts 350 full-length and short films from 40 countries, as well as numerous parties.

The movies will screen at several theaters including the Regency Lido, Starlight Triangle Square, Big Newport Theater and even Sage Hill High School.

The festivities open with the world premiere of the comedy "East Fifth Bliss," starring Michael C. Hall of "Dexter" fame, as well as Peter Fonda and Lucy Liu. Hall plays a thirtysomething who has an affair with the daughter of a former high school chum. Other narrative highlights include the West Coast premiere  of "Lucky," with Colin Hanks (son of Tom); the Slamdance Award winner "Silver Tongues"; the world premiere of the crime drama "Good Day for It," starring Hal Holbrook and Robert Patrick; and "Balls to the Wall," another world premiere starring Jenna Dewan, Christopher McDonald and Antonio Sabato Jr.

International films include the Irish drama "The Runaway," the Italian import "Basilicata Coast to Coast" and the Chinese comedy "Go Lala Go." There are three films in the Latino showcase: "Besouro" from Brazil, Mexico's "The Cinema Holdup" and Chile's "The Life of Fish."

Documentaries screening at the festival include "California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown," who was California's governor in the 1960s and was the father of current Gov. Jerry Brown, and something called "How to Boil a Frog."

The festival also includes an "Action Sports" program that features full-length and short documentaries including "2010  XXL Global Big Wave Awards," "Downhill: The Bill Johnson Story" and "Like a Lion."

For families attending the festival there are three features including the comedy "First Dog" and the Hong Kong animated film "Little Gobie."

Closing the festival on May 5 at the Lido Theatre is the comedy "A Beginner's Guild to Endings," starring Scott Caan, J.K. Simmons and Harvey Keitel, about three brothers who learn they only have a few days to live and set out on a journey to rectify mistakes they have made.

For more information, go to www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.

-- Susan King

Photo: Michael C. Hall stars in the opening-night film "East Fifth Bliss." Photo: David Livingston / Getty Images


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