Filmmakers, Film Subjects, ‘Sugar Man,’ ‘Ethel’ and ‘Knuckleball!’ Headline newportFILM’s Summer Documentary Series Newport, RI (July 10, 2012) – newportFILM announces its annual indoor/outdoor Summer Screening Series featuring seven of the industry’s best-of-festival documentaries. This year’s summer series will kick off on Thursday, July 12 with a screening of Ramona Diaz’s crowd-pleasing Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. Director Diaz and producer Capella Fahoome will be in attendance to introduce the film, which will show as part of newportFILM’s outdoor sunset film series at the scenic Newport harbor-side setting of King Park.

The second in newportFILM’s summer series is the illuminating documentary Ethel. The film will screen outdoors at the legendary International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Grass Courts on Friday, July 20 at sunset. Director Rory Kennedy will be present for a post-screening discussion moderated by Paul Kandarian of the Boston Globe. newportFILM Executive Director Terri Conners said, “Bringing our community and summer visitors together to experience this incredibly strong slate of documentaries, filmmakers and film subjects at some of Newport’s most scenic, historic indoor and outdoor landmarks is a very special thing and we are honored to be making it happen.”

One week later, newportFILM and the famed Newport Folk Festival partner to present Sundance Audience Award winning Searching for Sugar Man on Saturday, July 28 at the historic Jane Pickens Theater. The subject of the film and musician, Rodriguez, as well as Director Malik Bendjelloul will be in attendance and Rodriguez will play at the Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park on Sunday, July 29. newportFILM Founder and Artistic Director Andrea van Beuren said, “The first person I called after walking out of the Searching for Sugarman screening at Sundance was Newport Folk Festival producer Jay Sweet. I thought, what an incredible opportunity it would be for Rodriguez to be able to perform at one of the most iconic music festivals in the world, and what an incredible opportunity it would be for newportFILM and The Newport Folk Festival to be able to collaborate on the event.”

On the heels of the Folk Fest excitement, Tuesday, July 31 brings another anticipated documentary, Knuckleball! to be screened the historic Stanford White Casino Theater. The film will be preceded by a pitching clinic with the film’s subject and legendary Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield for the Newport Gulls Baseball Camp kids. Wakefield and the film’s writer and producer, Christine Schomer, will be in attendance for the film and pre-screening reception.

Thursday, August 2 continues newportFILM’s outdoor program with The Queen of Versailles to be shown in ironic juxtaposition to the fabled Elms Mansion, in its pristine gardens. Director Lauren Greenfield will be in attendance to introduce the film. This film will be shown in partnership with the Newport Preservation Society and preceded by live music by The Newport Community Orchestra as part of the Arts & Cultural Alliance’s ‘BridgeFest.’

The next film on the outdoor documentary series is Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters Thursday, August 9 on the great lawn of the Newport Art Museum. The subject of the film and artist, Gregory Crewdson, will be in attendance to introduce the film.

Wrapping up the 2012 outdoor series on Friday, September 7 is a thought-provoking environmental documentary, Chasing Ice, being shown as part of newportFILM’s Green Screen program on the picturesque Rose Island in the middle of Newport Harbor. Aquidneck Ferry will shuttle movie-goers to and from the island free of charge for the sunset screening. newportFILM will also show family-friendly short films all summer long at Sweet Berry Farm and Ballard Park as part of its newportFILMkids program.

SUMMER FILM LINEUP  (in chronological order by date to be shown): 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY – Thursday, July 12                                                           Director: Ramona S. Diaz; Producer: Capella Fahoome Brogden

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey follows the real life rock-n-roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from You Tube to become the front man for iconic American rock band, Journey, thereby becoming the latest performer to go from the Internet to real life celebrity. Having already overcome a life full of painful obstacles and now saddled with the immense pressures of leading a world-renowned band and replacing a legendary singer, the film follows Arnel on this personal journey.  

ETHEL – Friday, July 20 Writer: Mark Bailey; Director/Producer: Rory Kennedy; Producers: Jack Youngelson                 Ethel relates the remarkable story of Ethel Kennedy, told by those who know her best: her family. The film is a personal portrait of her political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, Ethel offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by compassion and wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph.  

SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN – Saturday, July 28 Writer/Director/Producer: Malik Bendjelloul; Producer: Simon Chinn

A bootleg recording by an artist known as Rodriguez found its way to apartheid South Africa, where it became the anthem of the white resistance. Rumors circulated about Rodriguez, including a bizarre tale of on-stage suicide. Two South African fans decide to track down the real Rodriguez. Featuring Rodriguez’s soulful melodies, Searching for Sugar Man is a heartwarming portrait of the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was.  

KNUCKLEBALL! – Tuesday, July 31                                                                                                                        Writer: Chris Schomer Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg Producer: Chris Schomer

Knuckleball! focuses on a handful of pitchers forced to resort to the lowest rung on the credibility ladder in baseball: throwing a ball so slow and unpredictable that no one wants anything to do with it. With extraordinary access to the Major League’s only 2011 knuckleballers, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, the film follows the players’ quest to pursue a mercurial art form in a world that values speed, accuracy, and numerical accountability.  

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES – Thursday, August 2                                                                                        Director/Producer: Lauren Greenfield; Producer: Danielle Renfrew Behrens

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the virtues and flaws of the American dream. The film opens on the triumphant construction of the country’s biggest house, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles. But then the economic crisis brings progress to a halt and plays out over the next two years in a riveting film fraught with delusion, denial, and self-effacing humor.  

GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS – Thursday, august 9                                                                   Director/Producer: Ben Shapiro

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters was filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, and provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of the artist’s images. Through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus we learn about the man behind the visual magic. There is no specific backstory, no before-and-after to Gregory Crewdson’s images, simply the moment that lends itself to mystery and intrigue. Hundreds of movie lights combine with the setting sun in a perfect moment of illumination.  

CHASING ICE – Friday, September 7 Writer: Mark Monroe; Director/Producer: Jeff Orlowski; Producers: Paula DuPre Pesmen, Jerry Aronson

With a team of young adventurers in tow, photographer James Balog travels across the brutal Arctic, risking his career and well-being in pursuit of the biggest story facing humanity. Deploying time-lapse cameras, Balog records the world’s changing glaciers. It takes him years to see the fruits of his labor—a set of hauntingly beautiful videos that capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.


newportFILM was founded in 2010 to nurture discovery and encourage community dialogue through the art of film with a focus on documentaries that increase awareness of environmental and social issues.  Each summer newportFILM partners with other arts and non-profit organizations, like the Newport Folk Festival, and often brings films out of the traditional theater setting to unique, site-specific locations! For more information, please call 401-649-2784 or visit online at

ABOUT NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL Since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has presented the very best of this country’s blues, roots, gospel, country, bluegrass, Cajun and traditional folk music. This year’s edition once again pays tribute to the great performers who wrote the proud history of the festival. As in recent years, the festival continues to welcome the next wave of folk voices. Often likened to “coming home” to the very roots of the folk-music tradition, the Newport Folk Festival is an annual favorite of fans and musicians alike. The laid back, at home feel has been known to inspire artists’ spontaneous, on-stage sit-ins as well as unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime, impromptu performances throughout the festival grounds.

In addition to Ben Solee, the Newport Folk Festival, produced by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., features My Morning Jacket, Jackson Browne, Iron & Wine, Patty Griffin, Conor Oberst, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dawes, Guthrie Family Reunion, Dawes, Wilco and many more.

For more information, call the festival hotline at (401) 848-5055 or log on to  

###   PRESS CONTACTS: Meredith Nordhem,, 773-350-0946 

Terri Conners,, 917-796-5214  

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