Press Contact: Meredith Nordhem

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NEWPORT / NEW YORK – June 12, 2015 – newportFILM, celebrating its 5TH year anniversary, today announced an impressive line up of world-class documentaries for their annual summer series, newportFILM Outdoors. The sunset screenings kick off on July 2nd and run through September 10th, 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 showing 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,” Louie Psihoyos’ “Racing Extinction,” George Butler’s “Tiger, Tiger,” Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s “Best of Enemies” and Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s “The Mask You Live In.” Eleven films will be shown this summer in eleven different thoughtfully chosen al fresco “theaters,” with filmmakers on hand.

newportFILM’s Artistic Director, Andrea van Beuren says “We bring the newest and best documentary films to Newport with the goal of engaging and inspiring our extremely diverse and discerning audiences. 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 a newportFILM event and bring that experience back home with you.”

This year, newportFILM will host a tribute to Albert Maysles with a special screening of “Iris” at the elegant Marble House mansion to be followed by a conversation with 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 “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 iconic, 61-year-old Newport Jazz Festival.

Executive Director, Terri Conners says “Paying tribute to Albert Maysles at the “Iris” screening in July and showing our community the remastered “Grey Gardens” the night before, 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.”

Past newportFILM titles include many Oscar nominees like “Searching for Sugarman,” “Wasteland,” “If a Tree Falls,” “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Virunga,” “Undefeated,” “Gasland,” and more.

newportFILM Outdoors’ documentaries are screened at picturesque locations, often thematically paired with their films, for example, “The Queen of Versailles” about the largest home ever built in America, was shown on the lawn of the Marble House Mansion, one of the country’s best examples of turn-of-the century opulence and Gilded age architecture. The screening events are unique and experiential, including a curated exhibit of the heiress Doris Duke’s Dior collection and a Dior-inspired picnic contest at last year’s screening of “Dior And I” at Doris Duke’s fabled Rough Point mansion. Each film is attended by hundreds of local residents as well as Newport’s summer visitors and guests from around the world. Film screenings are free to the general public.

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

newportFILM Outdoor 2015 includes:

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 Rudick, 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 Redwood Library and Athenaeum, 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 Elms Mansion Garden, 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

Location: TBD

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 – bonus screening


Location: The Great Friends Meeting House, 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.

Rain Venues:

July 2, 23, 30, August 6, 8, 13, 20, 27, September 3: Casino Theater, 9 Freebody Street, Newport

July 9 & 16: St. George’s School, Madeira Hall, 372 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI

About newportFILM

newportFILM is a year-round, non-profit documentary film series in Newport, Rhode Island that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current films, curated from film festivals around the world. newportFILM’s summer season brings the film experience outdoors amongst Aquidneck Island’s most beautiful open-air spaces: thriving nature preserves, sprawling ocean-front lawns, elegant mansion gardens, public parks and working farms are just a sampling of the picturesque venues used.

The newportFILM Outdoors summer series is presented by Lila Delman Real Estate International. Year round newportFILM sponsors are Franklin & Company Design Associates, The Strand Hotel NYC, Kirby Perkins Construction and Lexington Partners.