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Photography by Richard Quartararo and Matthew Hulet

The 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly presented the World Premiere of JEWTOPIA as its Opening Night film last Thursday, April 26. The red carpet in front of the Edwards Big Newport was jammed packed with celebrities, community leaders, sponsors and fans.

Inspired from the international smash hit play seen by over a million people, JEWTOPIA (2012, USA, 89 minutes) stars Ivan Sergei, Joel David Moore, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jon Lovitz, Rita Wilson, Tom Arnold, Peter Stormare, Camryn Manheim, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Wendie Malick, Nicollette Sheridan, Phil Rosenthal, Christine Lakin, Hayes MacArthur and Lin Shaye. The story is about Christian O’Connell (Sergei) and Adam Lipschitz (Moore) — two childhood friends who reunite as adults to help each other land the women of their dreams. Chris wants to marry Allison (Hewitt), a Jewish girl, so that he’ll never have to make another decision for as long as he lives. Adam is on the verge of getting married to Hannah (Sigler), a woman he is not content with. When Chris enlists Adam’s help in pretending to be Jewish so that Allison will date him, cultures collide and chaos ensues!

JEWTOPIA is the directorial debut of Bryan Fogel who co-wrote the screenplay, the stage play, and the best-selling book, Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People, with Sam Wolfson. The film is produced by Courtney Mizel (Tortilla Heaven), Pavlina Hatoupis (Sassypants, Frankie Goes Boom), Andy Fickman, (director of The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain, and the upcoming Billy Crystal / Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance), Tucker Tooley, (Immortals, The Fighter, the upcoming Mirror Mirror), and Bryan Fogel.

Following the screening, the Festival hosted its spectacular Opening Night gala at Fashion Island which was presented by Fashion Island and Esquire Magazine. The gala featured culinary tastings from 35 of Orange County’s premiere restaurants and a special sneak-peek performance from the Tony® Award-winning musical, Million Dollar Quartet.

The Newport Beach Film Festival will showcase more than 400 films from 50 countries and host nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars. The Festival offers filmgoers unique opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside locale.

The NBFF is sponsored in part by Absolut Vodka, Fashion Island, Regal Entertainment Group, Lexus, Los Angeles Times and the City of Newport Beach.

Celebrated as one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the NBFF focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe.

www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com