Thursday, June 29, 2017

Clive Davis, Wendy Whelan, Rory Kennedy and Dr. Jim Yong Kim Among Guests to Attend 2017 newportFILM Outdoors Screening Series

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story to Open the Series

Screening locations include fabled Gilded Age mansions, picturesque beaches and international polo grounds

NEWPORT / NEW YORK – June 28, 2017 – newportFILM announced today an impressive line up of world-class documentaries for their annual summer series newportFILM Outdoors, with guests including Clive Davis, Wendy Whelan, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, and Rory Kennedy.  The sunset screenings kick off on June 29th and run through August 31st, with weekly Thursday night screenings, accompanied by pre-film live music and post-screening filmmaker conversations, often moderated by esteemed film and arts journalists from around the country. The series brings over 10,000 moviegoers from around the world over the course of their summer series. This marks the 8th summer season of hosting screenings at various beautiful outdoor locations, thoughtfully paired with each film, in and around historic Newport, RI.

newportFILM Outdoors kicks off with “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. The program will continue throughout the season with a notable collection of documentaries including the following highlights:

  • “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” is set to screen on the lawn of coal baron Edward Julius Berwind’s historic mansion, The Elms. A conversation with the famed music producer himself, Clive Davis, will follow. This screening will be in partnership with the iconic Newport Folk Festival™ as part of Newport Folk Presents®.

  • From Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers” takes a behind the scenes look at the story of the beloved folk-rock group. The film will be shown in partnership with the legendary Newport Folk Festival™ and as part of Newport Folk Presents®. The screening will take place on the site where Bob Dylan first “went electric” in 1965.

  • Linda Saffire and Adam Schelsinger’s “Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan” will screen on the lawn of Rosecliff, one of Newport’s most fabled and beloved mansions. A conversation with prima ballerina Wendy Whelan will follow.

  • Rory Kennedy’s “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” follows the remarkable story of an American icon, and a hard-charging athlete, who changed the sport of big wave surfing and transcended the surf genre. A conversation with Kennedy will follow the screening.

  • The emotional and epic story of the global health movement is seen through the intimate narrative of Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Jim Yong Kim in “Bending the Arc.” Set to screen on the breathtaking Ochre Court lawn, a conversation with Dr. Jim Yong Kim, 12th president of World Bank, will follow.  

  • Sandy Chronopoulos’ high fashion documentary, “House of Z”, will wrap up the season at the stunning OceanCliff Lawn. The film unveils the life and career of designer Zac Posen. A conversation with Chronopoulos & producer Cori Shepherd Sterm will follow. This event will host newportFILM’s 4th annual picnic contest.

newportFILM’s Artistic Director, Andrea van Beuren says, “Once again, we’ve been lucky enough to find and program some fantastic films. Seems like this summer we have something for everyone. We are so looking forward to introducing our audiences to the incredible lives of Hedy Lamarr, Laird Hamilton, Clive Davis, Wendy Whelan, Richard Turner, Zak Posen and the Avett Brothers.”

newportFILM has a history of bringing the most talked about award-winning films and filmmakers to the Rhode Island community. Over the years, films have included Liz Garbus’What Happened, Miss Simone?” Albert Maysles’ “Iris,” Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s“Best of Enemies,” Lauren Greenfield’s “The Queen of Versailles,” and Rory Kennedy’s “Ethel.

newportFILM Outdoors’ documentaries are screened at picturesque locations, often thematically paired with their films, for example, “The Queen of Versailles” about the largest home ever built in America, was shown on the lawn of The Elms, one of the country’s best examples of turn-of-the century opulence and Gilded age architecture. The screening events are unique and experiential, once including a curated exhibit of the heiress Doris Duke’s Dior collection and a Dior-inspired picnic contest around a screening of “Dior and I” at Doris Duke’s fabled Rough Point mansion. Each film is attended by hundreds of local residents as well as Newport’s summer visitors and guests from around the world. Film screenings are free to the public.

A full schedule of films is below.  For more information, visit

newportFILM Outdoors 2017 includes:

Thursday, June 29
Q&A with producer Adam Haggiag and film subject/executive editor of Baron’s Magazine
Location: Redwood Library and Athenæum Lawn, Newport, RI
Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr was known as the world's most beautiful woman – Snow White and Cat Woman were both based on her iconic look. However, her arresting looks and glamorous life stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved as an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work helped revolutionize modern communication. Mislabeled as “just another pretty face,” Hedy’s true legacy is that of a technological trailblazer.

Thursday, July 6
Q&A with filmmaker Jeff Orlowski & producer Larissa Rhodes
Location: St. George’s School Lawn. Middletown, RI
Chasing Coral was shot over three years, with expeditions to coral reefs around the world. The imagery is an ominous warning of the planet’s future along the current course; at the same time, it is a celebration of the most bio diverse ecosystem on the planet. ​

Thursday, July 13
Q&A with director Thomas Simmons
Location: King Park, Newport, RI
The inspiring true story of legendary American sailor and Jamestown native, Mike Plant. Spanning the decade from his arrival in professional offshore sailing in the mid 80's, the film follows Plant's daring spirit as he challenges both Mother Nature -- around the world alone on a sailboat -- and French dominance in the sport.

Thursday, July 20
Q&A with director Rory Kennedy
Location: Newport Beach House: A Longwood Venue, Middletown, RI
TAKE EVERY WAVE: The Life of Laird Hamilton tracks the remarkable life and legendary career of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Much admired by the public, though often disdained or ignored by the surf industry itself, Laird is a unique sports icon—an athlete who has refused to compete professionally yet has dominated big wave surfing as no other figure in history has ever done.

Thursday, July 27
Q&A with film subject Clive Davis & director Chris Perkel
Location: The Elms Lawn, Newport, RI
Chris Perkel’s riveting profile of legendary music man Clive Davis spans a remarkable five-decade career, providing an incredible tour of the most sensational music of the cultural revolution, from the ’60s to the rise of hip-hop.

Thursday, August 3
Location: St. Michael’s Country Day School Lawn, Newport, RI
Filmed with extraordinary access over the course of more than two years, the feature-length MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS chronicles the band, fronted by brothers Scott and Seth Avett, on the long journey from their rural North Carolina childhoods to topping the charts and selling out arenas, experiencing heartbreak, tragedy and joy along the way.

Thursday, August 10
Q&A with film subject Dr. Jim Yong Kim
Location: Ochre Court Lawn, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI
Thirty years ago, a group of improbable heroes came together on a mission that was both medical and moral, and, by everyone’s estimation other than their own, highly unlikely to succeed. Their goal was simple but daring: to make high quality healthcare available to everyone, even in the world’s poorest countries. The film is an emotionally charged, dramatic and inspiring journey with brilliant and headstrong heroes.

Thursday, August 17
Q&A with film subject Wendy Whelan
Location: Rosecliff Lawn, Newport, RI
RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company. One of the modern era’s most acclaimed dancers, Whelan was a principal ballerina for NYCB and, over the course of her celebrated career, danced numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as new works by more modern standout choreographers like Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky; many roles were made specifically for Whelan.

Thursday, August 24
Q&A with film subject Richard Turner & director Luke Korem
Location: Newport International Polo Grounds, Portsmouth, RI
Sixty-two-year-old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind. In this documentary, Richard traces his journey from his troubled childhood, when he began losing his vision, to present day as he relentlessly pursues perfection while struggling with the reality that his biggest weakness might also be his greatest strength.

Thursday, August 31
Q&A with director Sandy Chronopoulos & producer Cori Shepherd Stern
Location: OceanCliff Lawn, Newport, RI
House of Z peeks past the glamour of the runway and the red carpet to show audiences a true portrait of Posen as both an artist and businessman.

About newportFILM
newportFILM is a year-round, non-profit documentary film series in Newport, Rhode Island that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current films, curated from film festivals around the world. newportFILM’s summer season brings the film experience outdoors amongst Aquidneck Island's most beautiful open-air spaces: thriving nature preserves, sprawling ocean-front lawns, elegant mansion gardens, public parks and working farms are just a sampling of the picturesque venues used.

The newportFILM Outdoors summer series is presented by Lila Delman Real Estate International. Year round newportFILM sponsors are Franklin & Company Design Associates, Park South Hotel NYC, Kirby Perkins Construction and Lexington Partners. Pre-film music is sponsored by Kiel James Patrick and free popcorn is courtesy of St. Michael’s Country Day School.

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