Newport Beach Film Happening lineup includes 350 videos representing 50 countries

Jacob McCarthy takes on a teen with Asperger?s symptoms in the film, “The Drummer and the Keeper” has been included in the Newport Beach Film Celebration.

NEWPORT BEACH — In the movie “Michael Inside,” an 18-year-old man is sentenced to 3 years in jail for a criminal offense he didn’t commit. Once he’s behind bars he is befriended by a mature drug seller and subjected to assault and intimidation.

The film, directed by Frank Berry, is among three Irish productions that kick off the International Spotlights series at the 19th gross annual Newport Beach Film Festivity, opening Thursday, Apr 26 and running right through May 3.

The two other Irish videos on this program are “Maze” — based on the true account of the 1983 breakout of 38 prisoners from the Maze High Security Prison — and “The Drummer and the Keeper” — in regards to a friendship that grows between a rock drummer with bipolar disorder and a teen with Asperger’s symptoms.

All three films will be shown Sunday, Apr 29, at Edwards Big Newport. A post-screening celebration is planned for Muldoon’s Irish Pub.

In all, you will see 350 films offered from 50 countries.

You start with the film festival’s opening night program and the Western Coastline premiere of the U.S. production “American Animals” there will be nightly special occurrences, red carpet galas, interactions with filmmakers, and training seminars.

The celebration is likely to draw more than 55,000 visitors to three theaters in Newport Beach and one in Costa Mesa. Movies will be shown from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at The Lot popular Island, The Lido on Balboa, The Triangle in Costa Mesa and Edwards Big Newport.

Categories this season include an action-sports series presenting skate, browse and snowboarding films. There’s also an architect and design series and, for the very first time, a culinary series showcasing foodie and epicurean motion pictures that teach the viewer specific things like how whiskey is manufactured and how a restaurant gets a Michelin star for excellence.

“The film festival celebrates the wealthy variety,” Gregg Schwenk, creator of the Newport Beach Film Celebration, said. “We’ll possess the best lineup in 19 years.”

“American Pets,” to be shown with the Lot, tells the true history of four friends living an ordinary existence who attempt to execute an art heist. But as the fraud unfolds through each of the perspectives, they learn to question whether their attempt to inject excitement into their lives is very more an effort at attaining the American aspiration.

The festivity is likely to attract major distributors and many from the creative community.

“We’re here to show how films are created, who makes motion pictures and the actual creative process is similar to,” Schwenk said. “That is a unique chance to see amazing films. We take heading to the movies and make it lively.”

If you go
What: 19th total annual Newport Beach Film Festival

Opening night, Thursday, Apr 26: “American Animals” monitors at 7:30 p.m. at Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Drive; a gala reception will observe at the Bloomingdale’s Courtyard, Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Drive. Cost is $225 for the film and gala; $175 for the gala only.

The Irish Spotlight series, Sunday, April 29: Films display at Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Drive: “Maze,” 6 p.m (screen 5); “The Drummer and the Keeper,” 6:15 p.m. (screen 4); and “Michael Inside,” 6:30 p.m. (screen 6). There will be a post-screening celebration at 8 p.m. at Muldoon’s Irish Pub, 202 Newport Centre Drive, Newport Beach. Cost for just one of the movies and the get together is $25