newportFILM Unveils Documentary Lineup for Summer Series

'Racing Extinction'

Louie Psihoyos’ 'Racing Extinction' and Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s 'Best of Enemies' and 'The Mask You Live In' are among the hot docs that will screen during the festival.

The 5-year-old newportFILM has unveiled its lineup of documentaries for its annual summer series, newportFILM Outdoors.

Louie Psihoyos Racing Extinction about the fight to save endangered species and Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s Best of Enemies, which chronicles the explosive 1968 televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr., are among the hot docs that will screen during the festival, held on the resort New England island. The sunset screenings kick off July 2 and run through Sept. 10, with weekly Thursday night events accompanied by filmmaker Q&As. For the first time, top national film writers and critics will moderate many of the post-film conversations.

newportFILM Outdoors’ opening night will feature a special screening of Sunshine Superman in downtown Newport’s historic Queen Anne Square, followed by a Q&A with director Marah Strauch. The program will continue throughout the season with a notable collection of documentaries including Chai Vasarheyli’s Meru, David Holbrooke’s The Diplomat, George Butler’s Tiger, Tiger and Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s The Mask You Live In. Eleven films in total will be shown during the course of the summer in 11 different al fresco “theaters,” with filmmakers on hand.

“We bring the newest and best documentary films to Newport with the goal of engaging and inspiring our extremely diverse and discerning audiences," newportFILM’s artistic director Andrea van Beuren said. "As home to a large global sailing community, many exceptional universities -- including RISD and Brown -- and the Naval War College, Newport has an incredibly dynamic, ever-changing portion of residents. We also have a huge international tourist base and have people visiting the island from not only all over the country but all over the world. We choose to offer programming every week throughout the summer so that no matter what week you decide to visit Newport, you’ll have the opportunity to attend an event."

This year, newportFILM will host a tribute to the late Albert Maysles with a special screening of Iris at the Marble House mansion, to be followed by a conversation with subject Iris Apfel and producer Jennifer Ash Rudick. In addition, newportFILM will screen Maysles' newly remastered Grey Gardens at the historic Jane Pickens Theater the night before the tribute.

Other highlights include a screening of Nina Simone doc What Happened, Miss Simone? at Doris Duke’s Rough Point mansion, followed by a Q&A with director Liz Garbus; a screening of Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict on the lawn of the Newport Art Museum, followed by a Q&A with director Lisa Immordino Vreeland; and a screening of Harry & Snowman at the Newport International Polo Grounds. What Happened, Miss Simone? is being shown in partnership with the world-renowned Newport Jazz Festival.

“Paying tribute to Albert Maysles and showing our community the remastered Grey Gardens is the highlight of our summer, not only because we will have the wonderful Iris Apfel in town but because Maysles represents all that is innovative, important and exciting about documentary filmmaking,” executive director Terri Conners said.

Past newportFILM titles include such Oscar winners and nominees as Searching for Sugarman, Wasteland, If a Tree Falls, Ethel, Finding Vivian Maier, Virunga, Undefeated and Gasland.

A schedule of newportFILM Outdoor 2015 screenings and events can be found below:

Thursday, July 2
Q&A with Marah Strauch, Director
Location: Queen Anne Square, Newport, RI
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE-jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular –and dangerous– feats of foot-launched human flight. Director Marah Strauch.

Thursday, July 9
Q&A with Chai Vasarheyli, Director
Location: St. George’s School Lawn, Middletown, RI
MERU is the story of three friends journey to climb Mount Meru. A story of friendship, sacrifice, hope and obsession. Directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Thursday, July 16
Q&A and tribute to Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel & Jennifer Ash Ruddick, Producer
Location: Marble House, Newport, RI
“Grey Gardens” will be shown as part of tribute Wednesday, July 15 at Jane Pickens Theater, Newport
The latest film from legendary documentarian Albert Maysles, IRIS pairs the late 88-year-old filmmaker with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. Director Albert Maysles.

Thursday, July 23
Q&A with David Holbrooke, Director
Location: The Elms Mansion Garden, Newport, RI
The Diplomat tells the remarkable story of the life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose singular career spans fifty years of American foreign policy from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Told through the perspective of his eldest son David, the documentary takes you behind the scenes of high stakes diplomacy where peace is waged and wars are ended. The film will be released in 2015, the 20th anniversary of Holbrooke’s crowning achievement: the Dayton Peace Accords which ended the war in Bosnia. Director David Holbrooke.

Thursday, July 30
Q&A with Liz Garbus, Director
Location: Doris Duke’s Rough Point, Newport, RI
Partner: Newport Jazz Festival
Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time. Director Liz Garbus

Thursday, August 6
Q&A with Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Director
Location: Newport Art Museum Lawn, Newport, RI
Peggy Guggenheim - Art Addict is a portrait of a patron of the arts extraordinaire who transformed a modest fortune into one of the premiere collections of twentieth century modern art. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland

Thursday, August 13
Q&A with Robert Gordon, Co-Director
Location: The Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, RI
Best of Enemies is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive 1968 televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and their rancorous disagreements about politics, God and sex. Directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Thursday, August 20
Q&A with Louie Psihoyos, Director
Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (THE COVE) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, RACING EXTINCTION reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world. Director Louie Psihoyos

Thursday, August 27
Location: Newport International Polo Grounds, Middletown, RI
HARRY & SNOWMAN is a feature length documentary that tells the remarkable life story of international show jumping legend Harry deLeyer, whose career was launched by his famous show jumping horse Snowman. Directed by Ron Davis.

Thursday, September 3 – newportFILM Outdoors closing film
Location: Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown, RI
Set in one of the least known landscapes left on earth, Tiger, Tiger is the story of a man with numbered days seeking to save the tiger, an animal whose days may also numbered. Director George Butler.

Thursday, September 10
Location: Miantonomi Park, Newport, RI
The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America's narrow definition of masculinity. Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom.