Marking 50 Years of Filmmaking

Greg MacGillivray on location shooting  “Journey to the South Pacific," which screens at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Greg MacGillivray on location shooting “Journey to the South Pacific,” which screens at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Laguna Beach-based MacGillivray Freeman Films celebrates 50 years of award-winning film making at the 15th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival with events Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 and 30.

The red carpet screening of “Lovesick,” staring Matt LeBlanc, on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Dr., will open the festival, which runs April 24– May 1. A $175 per person gala reception, next door at Fashion Island, follows the screening. Tickets are available at

Overall, the fest showcases more than 350 films from 50 countries and hosts nightly special events, conversations with filmmakers and seminars.

For instance, the first MacGillivray offering, a retrospective screening of “Five Summer Stories,” capping Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray’s first decade of making surf films together, is followed by a panel discussion with surfing luminaries. The screening is slated for Tuesday, April 29, 5 p.m. at South Coast Village Theater, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez, Herbie Fletcher, Pete Townend, MacGillivray and Steve Pezman will be present.

The following night at 7:30 p.m. at Newport Beach’s Regency Lido Theatre, 3459 Via Lido, MacGillivray will take audiences on an adventure around the world during a Q&A and presentation with film clips and tales from his most memorable filmmaking expeditions, culminating with the Orange County premiere of his newest film Journey to the South Pacific– about a young boy’s adventures amid the islands of West Papua–originally produced for IMAX theatres.

The festival’s closing night film is the west coast premiere ofChef on Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m., also at the Regency Lido Theatre. A closing night party follows at Via Lido Plaza, 3417 Via Lido, Newport Beach, featuring 20 restaurants plus entertainment.

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