Newport Beach Film Festival Opens with a Gala Food Event and the U.S. Premiere of ‘The Water Diviner’

NBFF Opening night sign. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat

Chef Nikki Starr from Mesa

Chef Nikki Starr from Mesa. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

Last night, the 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival opened. The featured film for the event was Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner, making its U.S. premiere before opening in theaters today. The movie, based on historical events, is very powerful and a great film from Russell Crowe, who not only stars in the film but also debuted as Director in it. At the Opening Night Gala, amazing food from local restaurants such as the Iron Press and Mesa could be enjoyed along with a glass of Stella Artois Beer or a cocktail from Remy-Cointreau. Cirque de Soleil provided some beautiful entertainment for the evening. All in all, it was a great beginning to the Festival, which is screening over 400 films, running seminars and having many other film-related events and post-parties through April 30. For info on the Festival and its upcoming events, go to  the event website,

Photo essay after the jump 


Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco, the best Bun bo Hue in Vietnam or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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