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The 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly announces its 2023 Festival Honors to Patricia Clarkson,Todd Haynes and more

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NBFF Honorees Include Patricia Clarkson, Eugenio Derbez, Todd Haynes, Glenn Howerton, Jack Huston, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, William Shatner and Jesse Williams


TIFF Audience Award Winner “American Fiction” Added to the Line-up


The 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly announces its 2023 Festival Honors. This year’s honorees include:


●     Patricia Clarkson (pictured above, photo by Par Joella Marano)will be honored with the Artist of Distinction Award following a screening of her film Monica on October 13. The Artist of Distinction Award is presented to individuals known for their contribution to the arts, philanthropic endeavors, and an overriding commitment to their craft to tell unique and bold stories.

●     Following a screening of his film Radical on October 18, Eugenio Derbez will receive the Icon Award presented to an actor or actress widely admired for their contribution and iconic role(s) in the industry.

●     Director Todd Haynes will attend a screening of his newest film May December on October 15 and the festival will honor him with the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award.

●     Glenn Howerton (Blackberry) will also receive the Artist of Distinction Award, at the Closing Night Reception of the Festival on October 19.

●     Jack Huston will be honored with the Breakout Director Award following a screening of his directorial debut, Day of the Fight, on October 13.

●     Prior to a screening of their film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, on October 13, Oscar®-winning producers, Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be honored with the Maverick Award.

●     Before a screening of his film, William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill, Emmy® Award-Winning actor William Shatner will be honored with the Legend Award for his incredible legacy in the industry on October 18.

●     Jesse Williams (Take Me Out) will also be presented with the Arts Champion Award on October 16, which recognizes him for his outstanding commitment to his community and cause.


On Sunday, October 15, the festival will host a special screening of Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction. American Fiction tells the story of Monk, a frustrated novelist who's fed up with the establishment that profits from Black entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, he uses a pen name to write an outlandish Black book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. The MGM/Orion Pictures film stars Jeffrey Wright, Adam Brody, Issa Rae, Keith David, Tracee Ellis Ross and Sterling K. Brown and was directed and produced by Cord Jefferson.


The 24th edition of the festival will be held in person from October 12-19 and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world. Following is brief information on this year’s diverse slate of Newport Beach Film Festival honorees:


Patricia Clarkson (Artist of Distinction Award)

Academy Award® nominee, Golden Globe® Award, Critics’ Choice Award and Emmy® Award-winning actress, Patricia Clarkson takes on roles as varied as the platforms for which she plays them. In 2003, her role in Pieces of April earned her nominations for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, SAG, Broadcast Film Critics and Independent Spirit awards. Clarkson's continuous innovative work in independent film earned her the 2018 British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Sally Potter’s film The Party. 2019 garnered Clarkson the Golden Globe® Award and Critics’ Choice Award for her role in HBO’s Sharp Objects. Additional film credits include: Blind Date, Cairo Time, Far From Heaven, Good Night and Good Luck, Learning to Drive, Jonathan, Shutter Island, The Bookshop, The Green Mile, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Whatever Works and many more. Her most recent work includes the artistic masterpiece and timely drama Monica, directed by Andrea Pallaoro, and starring Trace Lysette, which has made history in Queer Cinema for the transgender community. Most recently announced, in April 2024, Clarkson will return to the stage in Eugene O’Neill’s “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” on London’s West End.


Eugenio Derbez (Icon Award)

SAG and Emmy® award winning actor Eugenio Derbez most recently starred in the Oscar®-winning film CODA (AppleTV+) which won two Academy Awards® including Best Picture and won him a SAG Award for Best Ensemble. In 2013, Derbez wrote, produced, starred in, and directed Instructions Not Included. The film became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever in the U.S. and the world, making $100 million on a budget of only $5 million. Derbez has also starred in hits like How to Be a Latin Lover, Overboard, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Miracles from Heaven, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold.


Todd Haynes (Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award)

Passionate about the visual arts since childhood, Todd Haynes studied art and semiotics at Brown University. In 1987, he created the short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story with Barbie dolls. Since then, Haynes has tirelessly continued to address questions of gender and identity. His first feature film Poison, inspired by Jean Genet, was released in 1991 and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. After Safe (1995), which revealed Julianne Moore, he conjured David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust period in Velvet Goldmine (1998), then paid homage to Douglas Sirk in Far From Heaven (2002). In 2006, he had six actors play Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. He then directed the mini-series Mildred Pierce (2011), before returning to feature films with Carol (2015), Wonderstruck (2017), Dark Waters (2019), followed by the documentary The Velvet Underground (2021).


Glenn Howerton (Artist of Distinction Award)

A true multi-hyphenate, Howerton is a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Drama and began his career onstage in New York. He co-created It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the longest running live action comedy in television history, which he produces, writes, directs and stars in. He also produced and starred in Peacock’s hit comedy A.P. Bio along with starring in The Mindy Project, and the first installment of FX’s original anthology series Fargo. His film work includes Blumhouse/Universal’s The Hunt, SpectreVision’s Archenemy and How It Ends, directed and produced by Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones; he also produced his first feature All the Wilderness which starred Kodi Smit-McPhee. Howerton can most recently be seen playing Jim Balsillie in IFC’s Canadian biopic film, BlackBerry. Directed by Matt Johnson, the film portrays the history of the BlackBerry line of mobile phones.


Jack Huston (Breakout Director Award)

Jack Huston is an actor and director who has distinguished himself as one of the industry’s finest talents in front and behind the camera in film, television and theatre. His directorial debut film, Day Of The Fight, which Huston also wrote and co-produced, tells the story of a once successful boxer (Michael Pitt) who takes a journey through his past and present on the day of his first fight since leaving prison. Deadline says of the film, “Jack Huston Packs An Emotional Punch With His Directing Debut.” As an actor, Huston is upcoming in Expats, the adaptation of Janice Y.K. Lee’s novel, directed by Lulu Wang. Recently, he was seen starring in Mayfair Witches, alongside Alexandra Daddario. Huston has also appeared In The Irishman for Martin Scorsese opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino and opposite Alicia Vikander in The Earthquake Bird directed by Wash Westmoreland. Huston’s additional credits include Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs, the award-winning film American Hustle (which earned him a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture”), David Chase’s Not Fade Away with James Gandolfini, Billie August’s Night Train To Lisbon with Jeremy Irons and the thriller Antebellum with Janelle Monae. Huston first gained recognition for his portrayal of ‘Richard Harrow’ in HBO’s Emmy award winning series, Boardwalk Empire, for which he earned a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.”


Phil Lord & Chris Miller (Maverick Award)

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the Academy Award-winning, multi-hyphenate duo behind some of today’s most successful content, including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie franchise The Mitchells vs. The Machines, 21 & 22 Jump StreetCloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Afterparty and Clone High. As producers they are behind recent films such as Cocaine Bear and Strays. Known for their unique sensibilities and maverick mindset as writer-producer-directors, Lord and Miller’s films have grossed over $3 billion at the worldwide box office and the duo has spent their careers pushing the boundaries of creativity to deliver fresh, unexpected perspectives with each of their projects.


William Shatner (Legend Award)

William Shatner has cultivated a career spanning over 70 years as an award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist, and equestrian. He is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable figures and a major philanthropist.. In 1966, Shatner originated the role of “Captain James T. Kirk” in the television series Star Trek. The series spawned a feature film franchise where Shatner returned as Captain Kirk in seven of the Star Trek movies, one of which he directed. Shatner played the title role in the hit television series T.J. Hooker before hosting television’s first reality-based series, Rescue 911. He won Emmys® and his first Golden Globe® for his portrayal of eccentric lawyer “Denny Crane” on both The Practice and Boston Legal. Shatner has received four more Emmy® nominations as well as other Golden Globe® and SAG Award nods. In April 2011, Shatner launched his hugely popular one-man show, “Shatner’s World” on Broadway. He toured in Australia and New Zealand, followed by tours in Canada and over 50 cities in the United States.


Jesse Williams (Arts Champion Award)

Jesse Williams is an activist, actor, entrepreneur and former high school teacher. His breakout performance as star Darren Lemming earned him a Tony Award nomination in his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning hit “Take Me Out” written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Scott Ellis. Williams has most recently been seen in Season 3 of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, alongside Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez and Meryl Streep. Williams had standout roles alongside Reese Witherspoon in the Netflix romantic comedy Your Place or Mine and with Owen Wilson in Secret Headquarters on Paramount+. Jesse came to fame playing ‘Dr. Jackson Avery’ on hit series Grey’s Anatomy and has appeared in TV and films including The Cabin in the Woods, Little Fires Everywhere, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Selah and the Spades.


The 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival will host world premieres, awards contenders, nightly special events and compelling conversations with filmmakers. Highlights for this year include Opening Night Film The Absence of Eden and Closing Night Film The Holdovers. Centerpiece films include A Whole Life, Double Blind, Frontiers, Honey Sweet, In the Name of the Father, Monster, Only the River Flows, Radical, Second Act, The First Day of My Life, Verdigris, Vietnam Live and Without Her.


For Festival passes and tickets visit


About the Newport Beach Film Festival

Recognized as one of the largest luxury lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival brings an international curated collection of films and vibrant cultural gatherings to the beautiful Southern California coast. Committed to championing the work of original storytellers from around the globe, the festival celebrates contemporary screen culture, cinematic excellence and engages the community in compelling conversations with filmmakers and artists. The Newport Beach Film Festival is sponsored in part by UCI Health, Los Angeles Times, The Macallan, Fashion Island, Aston Martin and the City of Newport Beach. For Festival passes and tickets visit


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