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Take 22: Annual Newport Beach Film Festival to return live and in person this October

A marquee sign with the words "Newport Beach Film Festival."
The 22nd annual Newport Beach Film Festival is scheduled to run from Oct. 21 through Oct. 28.
(Courtesy of Newport Beach Film Festival)

The annual Newport Beach Film Festival is returning for its 22nd year live and in-person this fall, according to festival organizers who announced the dates this Tuesday.

The festival will be held from Oct. 21 through Oct. 28 and is expected to return in “full force” with world premieres, afterparties, question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers and other special events throughout its eight-day run.

Last year, the festival, usually held in April, was held virtually in October after initially being rescheduled for August in light of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Orange County was classified under the red tier, which meant that movie theaters were able to operate indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever number was smaller.

Organizers at the time said they decided to pivot online instead of hosting a live festival out of an abundance of caution.

About 56,000 people attend the festival annually.

Todd Quartararo, the co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival, said Tuesday festival organizers planned a fall relaunch prior to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that the state would reopen on June 15.

Quartararo added that scheduling the festival in the fall strategically places it during Oscar season, which allows the festival to feature potential contenders in the race.

“The Newport Beach Film Festival is extremely proud and excited to bring movie going back to Southern California. We look forward to screening incredible films and hosting amazing events this fall,” said Gregg Schwenk, chief executive officer and co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival, in a statement.

Passes and tickets for screenings, galas and special events will go on sale on Oct. 1. For more information about the festival, visit newportbeachfilmfest.com.

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