23 September 2019 The Irish Film & Television Network
Actors
TV
Crew
Digital
Distribution
Education / Training
Equipment
Festivals / Markets
Finance
Legal
Locations Ireland
Post Production
Production
Rep Bodies
JOBS FILMOGRAPHY NEWS WHO'S WHO DIARY GALLERY IFTA
     
NEWS IN BRIEF
Features & Interviews
Production News
Post Production News
VFX News
Animation News
Digital News
Festivals News
Training News
Cast News
Finance News
IFTA Film & Drama Awards
Galway Film Fleadh 2017
List Your Company
Daily News Bulletin
Site Map
IFTN HOME
Newport Beach Film Fest CEO Gregg Schwenk on the “over-abundance of Irish talent”
22 Apr 2016 : Seán Brosnan
‘Love and Friendship’ and ‘My Name is Emily’ will both screen at Newport this year
With the international spotlight very much on Ireland over the past year following the success of Irish films ‘Room’ and ‘Brooklyn’, there was one festival that arrived early to the party – 17 years early in fact.

The Newport Beach Film Festival, currently taking place in Southern California (April 21-28), is once again hosting their Irish Spotlight with special events this year surrounding Simon Fitzmaurice’s endearing and IFTA-nominated ‘My Name is Emily’, Whit Stillman’s period drama ‘Love & Friendship’ and Mark Noonan’s critically acclaimed ‘You’re Ugly Too’, starring Aiden Gillen.

Speaking to IFTN ahead of the Spotlight this Sunday, April 24th, CEO Gregg Schwenk said: “Since our founding 17 years ago, we have had a special interest in promoting Irish film.”

When pressed on why a festival in Southern California, over 8,000 kilometres away from our small island, would take such an interest in Irish film, Schwenk added: “We are always looking for quality film. That is the strongest mandate we have and Ireland happens to produce an over-abundance of extremely well-made and thoughtful films.”

Schwenk has also become very familiar with Irish filmmakers in recent years as he has been on the shorts jury of the annual Galway Film Fleadh. “By going there, I am able to meet and talk with Irish filmmakers and see some amazing Irish films”, says Schwenk, who also attended ADIFF this year. “It also allows me to get a much clearer understanding about the depth of Irish talent both in front of and behind the camera. This really gives us a head-start in the process of programming our Irish Spotlight.”

The Newport Beach Film Festival also has an affiliation with the Richard Harris International Film Festival in Limerick, whereby the Short Film winner of that festival (the winner of the 2015 fest was Aidan Gibson's ‘Woman of the House’) is automatically included in the Irish Short Programme of Newport – an honour that becomes all the more impressive after Schwenk explains to us the meticulous approach he and his team have to their submission process.

“The process for inclusion in the festival overall means that every submitted film is reviewed at minimum five times in its entirety before a decision is made. I don’t know any other festival in the world that spends so much time and effort in reviewing, discussing, deliberating their submitted films so that we can get the best films for our audience here in Southern California.”

3,300 films were reviewed overall in 2016 for the 350 approximate films that made it into the festival. Schwenk states that he has seen a “steady increase” of Irish submissions over the past few years. This year’s fest will also include the Irish Film Board’s acclaimed After 16 shorts.

“We are very honoured to be able to screen all those films. It is their premiere here on the West Coast and I am so excited to be able to partner with the Irish Film Board in allowing those films to shine in Southern California.”

Speaking of Southern California, how does the local audience take to the Irish Spotlight every year?

“Every year, our Irish Spotlight sells out. Last year, we had our first focused Irish Shorts Programme and we had to turn scores of people away. We put it into a bigger theatre this year. There is a very strong interest in Irish film and again I put that down to the very strong quality of Irish filmmaking. That’s what draws people to it. They know they are going to have an amazing experience and a great story.”

“We want to continue to put a spotlight on Irish film and grow our programme in the future.”


BS Visit the Newport Beach Film Festival Website for tickets and updates


BREAKING NEWS
Telegael wins Animation Investor Award at 2019 European Cartoon Forum
First-look trailer released for Northern Irish drama Ordinary Love
Gerard Mannix Flynn's feature documentary Land Without God releases in cinemas October 18
IFTN talks with Maddie Rice & Kate Kennedy, writers of new RTÉ Comedy Pilot 'Handy'

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS
IFTN talks with Maddie Rice & Kate Kennedy, writers of new RTÉ Comedy Pilot 'Handy'
Peaky Blinders director Anthony Byrne talks with IFTN ahead of the Season 5 Finale
Free Industry Newsletter
Subscribe to IFTN's industry newsletter - it's free and e-mailed directly to your inbox every week.
Click here to sign up.


RELATED NEWS
Out of Orbit's The Dig Available On Demand from July 8th
08 Jul 2019 
Cannes Round-Up: 'Vivarium' to World Premiere & Host of Irish Productions Selling at The Marche du Film
17 May 2019 
Alexandra McGuinness Drama 'She's Missing' Acquired by Vertical Entertainment
17 May 2019 
Four Irish Among the Winners at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2019
09 May 2019 
EDITOR'S PICK
Telegael wins Animation Investor Award at 2019 European Cartoon Forum
First-look trailer released for Northern Irish drama Ordinary Love
Eddie Doyle Appointed BBC Northern Ireland's Head of Content Commissioning
Chris O'Dowd picks up Creative Arts Emmy Award for State of the Union
CONNECT WITH IFTN
Find us on Facebook
Follow IFTN on Twitter
E-Newsletter Subscribe
Subscribe to RSS Feed




 
 the Website  Directory List  Festivals  Who's Who  Locations  Filmography  News  Crew  Actors
 

Contact Us | Advertise | Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Security & Privacy | RSS Feed | Twitter