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Newport Beach Film Festival Announces 2006 Family Film Series Line-up.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- The seventh annual Newport Beach Film Festival will present an outstanding line-up of family films from around the world, including several premieres and award-winning works. The 2006 Family Film Series will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 22nd and 23rd, 2006 at Edwards Island Cinemas, located in Fashion Island at 999 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. The series will showcase a diverse selection of independent and studio family features, short and animated films crafted to entertain and inspire festival-goers of all ages, from pre-school aged toddlers to teens. Billed as Orange County's largest celebration of independent family films, the two-day event will include live entertainment, interactive workshops and children's activities.

"The Festival is thrilled to bring to our community an international collection of innovative and entertaining family films that demonstrate excellence in artistry and a refreshing independent spirit. The screenings and workshops offer children and their families a unique opportunity to participate in the Festival and meet the talented filmmakers behind the camera," stated Leslie Feibleman, Director of Outreach and Special Programs at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

"The Derby Stallion" will make its Southern California premiere on Saturday, April 22nd at 1:30 p.m. "The Derby Stallion" is a heartwarming film about a teenage boy who beats the odds to become a steeplechase jockey. The film features a talented ensemble cast, including the popular teen star, Zac Efron ("Summerland"), actors William Moses ("Mystic Pizza," "Falcon Crest"), Bill Cobbs ("Demolition Man," "I Know What you Did Last Summer") and actress Tonia Walker ("General Hospital," "Guiding Light").

With the generous support of The William Gillespie Foundation, the Festival will present a unique collection of live action and animated shorts, Shorts for Shorties on Saturday, April 22nd at 11 a.m. This multi-themed showcase of kid-friendly shorts will feature fourteen short films from around the globe from far-off places such as India, Antarctica and Uzbekistan. Computer-generated and hand-drawn animated films will spark the imagination of filmgoers of all ages: "Moongirl," directed by award-winning filmmaker Henry Selick ("The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach"); Chapman University alumni Chris Mais' toy room adventure, "Smile"; Paul Yan's film about an egg-balancing race, "Egghunt"; Agoura High School junior Carolyn Chrisman's captivating and operatic "Envious Heart"; Lola Kamaolva's humorous "Bibi"; Fill Marc Sagaraca's playful "Second Banana"; Dennis Tal's visually poetic "The Orchid and the Rose"; and Caleb Hystad's Native American tale, "The Big Rock Story." Darrell Van Citters' "This Pretty Planet" teaches children about the importance of respecting the environment. Orange County filmmaker Jonathan Ficcadenti's adventurous short "Game Boyz" will make its World Premiere with a sci-fi bang. Two "Going to School in India" titles based on the children's books from Shakti for Children, a program of the Global Fund for Children, chronicle the hopes and challenges of India's school-age children that live on the mountaintop and in the desert. Two shorts bring to life the wonders of nature, documenting the lives of animals: Steve Furman's humorous "Ride of the Mergansers" and teen filmmaker Mike Wham's "Penguins of Antarctica."

Shorts for Shorties will screen again on April 29th at 1:30 p.m. and on May 7th at the Orange County Museum of Art, as part of the "Imagination Celebration," a countywide cultural presented by Arts Orange County, the nonprofit countywide arts council.

As part of the Henson Spotlight, the Festival will present a special retrospective screening of Jim Henson's comedic musical narrated by Kermit the Frog, "Tales from Muppetland: The Muppets Musicians of Bremen" (1972) on Saturday, April 22nd at 10:30 a.m.

Ideal for children aged three and up, "Kids Shorts" will screen on Saturday, April 22nd at 10:30 a.m. and will spotlight independent titles, as well as popular PBS Kids cartoons. The World Premiere of Educational Adventures' "Danger Rangers" episode, "The Great Race" humorously teaches kids the importance of safety. "Maya and Miguel: Cinco De Maya: The Adventure of Bird Man" follows Maya and Miguel on their quest to design a comic book. Other cinematic works include Roger Blonders's environmentally-themed "Wonder Water Web," Seong Joon Lee's "Paper Willy," a short about the life of a 2D character in a 3D world, Edward Mensore's baby adventures "The Birthday Boy" and Mike Wham's "Reptiles and Amphibians of Costa Rica."

On Saturday, April 22nd at 4 p.m., the Festival will present its inaugural "Tween Shorts," an international selection of live action and animated short films for filmgoers eleven years old and older. The showcase spotlights the ambitious works by four teenaged filmmakers: Jake Sawyer's comedy "Shoes"; Jeese Hlebo's jazzy music video "In the City of God"; Beyond Borders' filmmaker program's documentary from Colombia, "Rapping at Fear"; and the world premiere of ten-year-old Joseph Procopia's golf parody, "Green Tee." Two of the films, Jeff Stearn's "What are You Anyways" and Linda Barry's "Fishbowl," explore Asian cultures, while Bobby Heaney's "Mbiya and his Cow" takes us on a journey to the farms of South Africa. The action-packed animated film "Surly Squirrel" steals us away on a humorous romp with the animals in search of pizza.

On Sunday, April 23rd at 11 a.m., the Festival will host the theatrical premiere of "Axtelevsion: Come Outta That Shell." This wacky and inspirational film follows puppet designer Steve Axtell along with his talented crew and a bunch of creative kids as they make a movie together. A real show is conceived, written, puppet characters are designed and built, special effects and animation progress, music is crafted and the movie is shot right before your eyes. Filmmaker, ventriloquist and entertainer, Steven Axtell, along with his team of puppeteers will host an interactive workshop after the screening.

Newport Beach will be the exclusive location for the U.S. premiere of the highly-anticipated movie, "The Barbie(TM) Diaries" from Mattel and Lionsgate Entertainment, on Sunday, April 23rd at 1:30 p.m. Barbie(TM) stars as a real-life teenager in an awesome movie filled with friendship, magic, super cool music and stylish fashion, featuring the music of pop star Skye Sweetnam.

On Sunday, April 23rd at 4 p.m., the Festival will present the World Premiere of "The Tillamook Treasure," starring Brain McNamara ("Arachnophobia," "Caddyshack 2"), Brian Thompson ("X-Files," "The Terminator," "Dragonheart"), Julia Campbell ("Santa Barbara," "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion") and Max Gail ("Barney Miller," "Sons and Daughters"). Filmed on location at the Oregon Coast, the film follows the adventure of a 14 year-old girl as she discovers a local treasure legend. The film features master puppeteers, the Phillip Huber Marionettes and original Native American music. A question and answer session with director Jane Hall and the cast will follow the screening.

The Southern California Premiere of the documentary "Sofia," featuring 2004 World Champion of Professional Women's Surfing Sofia Mulanovich of Peru. "Sofia" will screen on Sunday, April 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at the Regency Lido Theater in Newport Beach. The film follows world champion teenaged surfer Sofia as she competes around the world and serves as a role model and inspiration to the young people in Peru.

On Sunday, April 23rd, the Festival will present the Italian film, "My Brother's Summer" ("L'Estate Di Mio Fratello"), directed by Pietro Reggiani. Set in Verona, Italy in 1970, the film tells the story of young Sergio, who daydreams his way into several adventures with his imagined brother while vacationing on the countryside with his family.

The Festival is proud to collaborate on this event with KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival, an organization that is dedicated to promoting excellence in children's films and engaging children as film critics, curators and filmmakers.

Tickets and information are available online at the Festival's website,, or by calling 866-NBFF-TIX. Admission to each screening will be $10 for adults and $5 for children. The seventh annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs April 20-30, 2006 and will highlight more than 350 films from nearly 40 countries, including features, shorts, documentaries and animation.
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Date:Apr 10, 2006
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