'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' to Open newportFILM Documentary Festival

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'

This year's attendees include Oscar winner Morgan Neville ('Twenty Feet From Stardom'), Matt Tyrnauer ('Valentino: The Last Emperor'), Nathaniel Kahn ('My Architect') and best-selling author Andrew Solomon ('Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity').

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

The sunset screenings in the resort Rhode Island city kick off Thursday with Morgan Neville’s crowd-pleaser Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and run through Sept. 6, with weekly Thursday night screenings, accompanied by pre-film live music and post-screening filmmaker conversations, moderated by high-profile film and arts journalists from around the country.

This year's attendees include Oscar winner Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom), Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect) and best-selling author Andrew Solomon (Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity).

The screening series attracts more than 12,000 moviegoers from around the world over the course of the summer. This year marks the ninth incarnation of the festival, which is known for screenings at historic outdoor locations throughout Newport including the Gilded Age mansion Rosecliff, featured in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, and the Newport International Polo Grounds.

“We are so thrilled with our lineup and with the incredibly talented group of directors, producers and writers that will be coming up to Newport," newportFILM artistic director Andrea van Beuren said in a statement. "It will be great fun for our audiences to meet Morgan Neville, Matt Tyrnauer, Nathaniel Kahn and Andrew Solomon. We look forward to all of our post-film discussions including the conversation with directors Cristina Constantini and Darren Foster, the winners of this year’s Sundance Audience Award. Thank you Cinetic, Focus Features, HBO, IFC, Neon, Participant and Submarine Entertainment."

newportFILM has partnered with the iconic Newport Folk Festival to present Two Trains Runnin’. The annual Picnic Contest, sponsored this year by Madewell, will feature a theme of Peace, Love and Music.

Over the years, newportFILM has screened such documentary hits as Brett Morgan’s Jane; Jeff Orlwoski’s Chasing Coral; Rory Kennedy’s Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton; Roger Ross Williams' Life, Animated; Louis Psihoyos’ Racing Extinction; Liz Garbus’ What Happened Miss Simone; and Neville and Robert Gordon’s Best of Enemies.

For more information, visit newportFILM.com.

The newportFILM Outdoors 2018 lineup follows.

Thursday, June 21
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Location: Aquidneck Park
Q&A with director Morgan Neville, moderated by David Kamp (Vanity Fair)

For over 30 years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before and there hasn’t been since. In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood. Neville pays tribute to this legacy with the latest in his series of highly engaging, moving documentary portraits of essential American artists.

Thursday, June 28
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING
Location: Newport Art Museum Lawn
Q&A with filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, moderated by Dodie Kazanijian

Exploring the labyrinth of the contemporary art world, The Price of Everything examines the role of art and artistic passion in today’s money-driven, consumer-based society. Featuring collectors, dealers, auctioneers and a rich range of artists, from current market darlings Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter and Njideka Akunyili Crosby to one-time art star Larry Poons, the film exposes deep contradictions as it holds a mirror up to contemporary values and times, coaxing out the dynamics at play in pricing the priceless.

Thursday, July 5
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
Location: Salve Regina University’s O’Hare Academic Center Lawn

Three Identical Strangers tells the astonishing true story of three men who make the chance discovery, at the age of 19, that they are identical triplets, separated at birth and adopted to different parents. The trio’s joyous reunion in 1980 catapults them to fame, but it also sets in motion a chain of events that unearths an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes far beyond their own lives — a secret that goes to the very heart of all human behavior.

Thursday, July 12
FAR FROM THE TREE
Location: The Elms
Q&A with New York Times best-selling author Andrew Solomon, moderated by Tanya Rivero Warren

Far From The Tree follows families meeting extraordinary challenges through love, empathy, and understanding. This life-affirming documentary encourages us to cherish loved ones for all they are, not who they might have been. Based on Andrew Solomon’s award-winning, critically acclaimed, New York Times best-selling non-fiction book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.

Thursday, July 19
SERENGETI RULES
Location: On the Beach at Newport Beach House: A Longwood Venue

Exploring some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth, five pioneering scientists make surprising discoveries that flip our understanding of nature on its head and offer new hope for restoring our world.

Thursday, July 26
TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’
Location: St. Michael’s Country Day School Lawn
Q&A with director Benjamin Hedin
Partner: Newport Folk Festival
Peace, Love and Music themed picnic contest sponsored by Madewell

Two Trains Runnin’ is about the search for two forgotten blues singers, set in Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement. In June 1964, hundreds of college students, eager to join the civil rights movement, traveled to Mississippi, starting what would be known as Freedom Summer. That same month, two groups of young men — made up of musicians, college students and record collectors — also traveled to Mississippi. Though neither group was aware of the other, each had come on the same errand: to find an old blues singer and coax him out of retirement. Thirty years before, Son House and Skip James had recorded some of the most memorable music of their era, but now they seemed lost to time.

Thursday, Aug. 2
STUDIO 54
Location: Rosecliff Lawn
Q&A with director Matt Tyrnauer, moderated by Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair)

Studio 54 was the epicenter of 70s hedonism — a place that not only redefined the nightclub, but also came to symbolize an entire era. Its co-owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two friends from Brooklyn, seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly preside over a new kind of New York society. Now, 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club’s hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.

Thursday, Aug. 9
SCIENCE FAIR
Location: Eisenhower House Lawn
Q&A with directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, moderated by Brent Lang (Variety)

Hailed by critics as “immensely likeable,” “brilliant and quirky” and an “ode to the teenage science geeks on who our future depends,” and winner of the audience awards at Sundance and SXSW, National Geographic Documentary Films’ Science Fair follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks and, of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair. As 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries face off, only one will be named Best in Fair. The film, from Fusion and Muck Media and directed by the DuPont Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaking team of Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, offers a front seat to the victories, defeats and motivations of an incredible group of young men and women who are on a path to change their lives, and the world, through science.

Thursday, Aug. 16
CHEF FLYNN
Location: St. George's School Lawn

Ten-year-old Flynn transforms his living room into a supper club, using his classmates as line cooks and serving a tasting menu foraged from his neighbors’ backyards. With sudden fame, Flynn outgrows his bedroom kitchen and mother's camera and sets out to challenge the hierarchy of the culinary world.

Thursday, Aug. 23
LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE
Location: Newport International Polo Grounds
Conversation with director Ron Davis and Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta from Danny & Ron’s Rescue
Partner: Potter League for Animals

Life in the Dog House tells the inspiring life stories of Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta and the remarkable work they do at Danny & Ron’s Rescue. Ten years and 10,000 dogs later, their unique approach to life and dog rescue will capture hearts and inspire millions to make the right choices when it comes to man's best friend.

Thursday, Aug. 30
BETHANY HAMILTON: UNSTOPPABLE
Location: 2nd Beach Parking Lot
Q&A with director Aaron Lieber, moderated by Tatiana Siegel (The Hollywood Reporter)

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is the athlete’s complete and untold story that follows her journey from childhood into motherhood — the ups, downs and her powerful resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers of all time. From chasing her toddler to chasing the biggest waves, Hamilton is continually rewriting the rules on being a fearless athlete and brings new meaning to the phrase “surfs like a girl.”

Thursday, Sept. 6
TBA