The Newport Beach Film Festival, which will run from Oct. 12-19 this year, has announced their opening and closing night films.
Marco Perego’s “The Absence of Eden,” which stars Zoë Saldana, will open the festival on Oct. 12 at the Edwards Big Newport. Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” starring Paul Giamatti, will close the festival on Oct. 19. The 24th festival will take place in person and feature 91 films from around the world.
Filmmakers will be present for a moderated interview before “The Absence of Eden” screens. The film follows an ICE agent (Garrett Hedlund) grappling with the moral conflict of border security and an undocumented woman (Saldana) fighting to get away from a merciless cartel; the paths of these two individuals intersect as they join together to save an innocent girl’s life.
Payne’s newest comedy “The Holdovers” follows a grouchy teacher (Giamatti) at a New England prep school who must stay on campus over winter break to watch over the students that didn’t go home for the holidays. He finds himself in an unexpected trio as he bonds with a troubled but intelligent student (Dominic Sessa) and the school’s head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who is grieving the recent loss of her son in the Vietnam War.
“The Absence of Eden” is produced by Julie Yorn and Marco Perego, alongside Robert Kravis and Karl Herrmann for Pioneer Pictures, and producer Alexandra Milchan. Martin Scorsese and Rick Yorn serve as executive producers alongside Zoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, Ingenious Media, Ashland Hill and Sycuan Tribal in addition to Ruben Islas, Jolene Rodriguez and Stanley Preschutti.
From Focus Features, “The Holdovers” is produced by Mark Johnson, Bill Block and David Hemingson. The executive producers are Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov and Thom Zadra.
Previously announced Spotlight and Centerpiece films at the Newport Beach Film Festival include “A Whole Life,” “Double Blind,” “Frontiers,” “Honey Sweet,” “Freelance,” “Fingernails,” “Gentleman,” “Woken,” and many more titles. Passes, tickets and the full festival lineup can be found here.