'Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You' to Screen at newportFILM Outdoors

Omar Mullick/Courtesy of Sundance
'Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You'

The summer series, now in its seventh year, also will include Roger Ross Williams autism doc 'Life, Animated' and Morgan Neville’s 'The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble.'

newportFILM on Thursday unveiled the lineup of documentaries for its annual summer series newportFILM Outdoors.

The sunset screenings kick off June 30 and run through Sept. 1, with weekly Thursday night events that are accompanied by filmmaker conversations and pre-film live music. This year marks the series’ seventh summer of screenings at various outdoor locations around Newport, R.I.

newportFILM Outdoors will kick off with the opening-night showing of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You in the heart of downtown Newport in the Maya Lin-designed Queen Anne Square.

This year’s screenings also include:

• Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble against the backdrop of the historic Gilded Age Mansion Marble House, one of the Vanderbilt family’s summer homes. A conversation with Silk Road Project’s CEO and executive producer Laura Freid will follow that screening.

• Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams Life, Animated on the grounds of St. Michael’s Country Day School, designed by world-renowned architect Irving Gill. A conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author Ron Suskind, his wife Cornelia and their son Owen, the film’s subject, will follow the screening.

• Ted Braun’s Betting on Zero on the lawn of Ochre Court, the historic chateau-esque Gilded Age mansion, followed by a conversation with Braun and activist-investor Bill Ackman and director Braun.

• Brian Oakes’ Jim: The James Foley Story on the grounds of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, America’s oldest continuous-use lending library, followed by a conversation with director Oakes.

• Bernardo Arsuaga’s The Weekend Sailor against the backdrop of Newport harbor amongst legendary racing yachts at the Newport Shipyard, New England’s yachting hub. The film will be followed by a conversation with some of the world’s top sailors.

• Daniel Gordon’s Don’t Look Down on the lawn of the fabled Rosecliff Mansion, designed after the Grand Trianon by Stanford White.

• Anthony Wonke’s Being AP about the great horse racing jockey AP McCoy on the historic grounds of the Newport International Polo Club, home of the first Polo Club in the U.S. There also will be a post-film conversation with producer Nick Ryle.

newportFILM will move indoors for one night in July when it teams up with the legendary Newport Folk Festival during Folk Fest weekend to show a sneak peek of William Miller’s work-in-progress documentary Straight Into the Storm, which focuses on cult folk-rock band Deer Tick, who will be in attendance for the screening.

“Now in its seventh summer, the newportFILM outdoor series remains one of the most popular and well-attended events of our year-round program,” said newportFILM’s artistic director, Andrea van Beuren. “The newportFILM team has curated a lineup of some of the strongest documentaries on the festival circuit, and we will again be bringing filmmakers, film subjects and members of the industry and press to Newport to engage in post-screening discussions. I'm always inspired by the incredibly fresh perspective and important stories that documentary filmmakers offer up each year and the conversations they ignite.”

newportFILM has a rich history of bringing award-winning films and filmmakers to the summer resort destination. Previous pics screened include 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.

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

newportFILM Outdoor 2016 includes:

Thursday, June 30 


Location: Queen Anne Square, Newport

Arguably the most influential creator, writer, and producer in the history of television, Norman Lear brought primetime into step with the times. Using comedy and indelible characters, his legendary 1970s shows such as All In the FamilyMaude, Good Times and The Jeffersons boldly cracked open dialogue and shifted the national consciousness, injecting enlightened humanism into sociopolitical debates on race, class, creed, and feminism. Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is the definitive chronicle of Lear’s life, work, and achievements, but it is so much more than an arm’s-length, past-tense biopic; at 93, Lear is as vital and engaged as he ever was.

Thursday, July 7 


Post-film conversation with executive producer Laura Freid

Location: Marble House, Newport,

From the director of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom and the critically acclaimed Best of Enemies, the new film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by the legendary cellist.

Thursday, July 14 


Post-film conversation with World Champion Sailors, TBA

Location: Newport Shipyard, Newport

The Weekend Sailor tells the exciting and often harrowing true story of a Mexican team’s unlikely win in the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1974. Organized by the United Kingdom, the race was designed as the first head-to-head around-the-world sailing race. A Mexican team, inexperienced and led by self-made millionaire Ramon Carlin, defied all odds and won the inaugural race, known today as the Volvo Ocean Race. Interspersing interviews with period footage, the doc tells an inspiring and long-forgotten story.

Location: Newport Shipyard, Newport

Thursday, July 21 


Post-film conversation with Ron and Cornelia Suskind

Location: Saint Michaels Country Day School, Newport

From Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence.

Sunday, July 24 


Introduction by the band Deer Tick and Q&A with director William Miller

Location: Jane Pickens Theater, Newport

In partnership with the legendary Newport Folk Festival, Straight Into a Storm is centered around Deer Tick's tenth anniversary run in New York City in 2015. A portrait of a hard-rocking band known for their substance-fueled live performances on their evolutionary journey to become one of the greatest cult rock bands of our time.

Thursday, July 28 


Q&A with director Brian Oakes

Location: The Redwood Library & Athenaeum, Newport

On Thanksgiving Day 2012, American photojournalist James “Jim” Foley was kidnapped and went missing for two years before the infamous video of his public execution sent shockwaves and introduced much of the world to ISIS. Jim: The James Foley Story, by close childhood friend Brian Oakes, tells the story of his life through intimate interviews with his family, friends and fellow journalists — while fellow hostages reveal never-before-heard details of his captivity with a chilling immediacy that builds suspense. Made with unparalleled access, the film is a harrowing chronicle of bravery, compassion and pain at the dawn of America’s war with ISIS.

Thursday, Aug. 4 


Location: Ocean Cliff Resort, Newport

Thursday, Aug. 11


Post-film conversation with Bill Ackman and director Ted Braun

Location: Ochre Court, Newport

Allegations of corporate criminality and high-stakes Wall Street vendettas swirl throughout this riveting financial docu-thriller from Darfur Now writer-director Ted Braun. Controversial hedge-fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history, while Herbalife execs claim Ackman is a market manipulator out to bankrupt them and make a killing off his billion-dollar short. Caught in the crossfire are middle Americans forging their financial future, working-class Latinos seeking justice and a business model affecting the lives of millions around the world. Betting on Zero weaves deception, hubris, intrigue and greed in a surprising, deeply emotional dive into the world of money, fraud and the American Dream.

Thursday, Aug. 18


Location: Rosecliff, Newport

Don't Look Down reveals the real story behind Richard Branson’s daring adventures in the 1980s and 1990s trying to break world records for flying in a hot air balloon. While Branson is a world-famous name and many have heard about his ballooning, the real story of this incredible adventure has never been told. Using intimate interviews with Branson and his team at the time, never-before-seen archival footage (including from inside the balloon, shot in real time) and beautifully designed dramatic reconstructions, the doc tells a story of courage, determination, despair and ultimate triumph.

Thursday, August 25 


Post-film conversation with producer Nick Ryle

Location: Newport International Polo Grounds, Portsmouth

Being AP takes an intimate but epic look at one of the world’s greatest sportsmen, AP McCoy. Aging but fearless, nearing the end of his career yet still willing to sacrifice everything to achieve his dream in a competitive and dangerous sport. Through this intimate portrait, we are immersed in the colorful, dramatic and rich world of horse racing.