Family series spotlights young talent

2008 Newport Beach Film Festival

The Family Film Series that unspools Saturday and Sunday is a festival sidebar that aims at “bridging the gap between education and filmmaking,” explains Leslie Feibleman, senior film programmer/director of special programs and outreach.

A lot of attention is devoted to local schools and special-needs kids.

Local clothing and accessories retailer Volcom is the founding sponsor for the youth film series that showcases pics by those 18 years and younger. From more than 130 submissions, 13 films were chosen. Screenings help expose youths to the festival experience, Feibleman says.

Adult-helmed films scheduled to screen include “The Adventure of Food Boy” (starring tween sensation Lucas Grabeel of Disney’s “High School Musical”) and “Cubefreak,” a feature doc that probes the Rubik’s Cube competish phenom. A shadow-puppet workshop conducted by Alan Cook and Heather Henson of the Conservatory of Puppetry Arts is Saturday’s hands-on activity.

The festival also pays homage to the local surf-and-skate community. Nonprofit org Surfrider helps with outreach, and action sports films like “Sliding Liberia” (surfing in the West African nation) and “One California Day” seem tailor-made for local auds.

“Newport Beach sits at the cultural center of Orange County,” says producer-director and O.C. native McG. “For the longest time, it was believed that Orange County made little contribution to global culture, but in retrospect, it is clear that it has acted as the genesis of youth and active lifestyle trends that reverberate around the world.”

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