Press Contact: Meredith Ewenson

(401) 649-2784

newportFILM Announces Line Up For newportFILM Outdoors, Annual Summer Documentary Series


Highlights to include conversations with activist-investor Bill Ackman and the Pulitzer Prize Winner Ron Suskind as well as a partnership with the legendary Newport Folk Festival™


Locations include fabled Gilded Age Mansions, historic theater and polo fields


NEWPORT / NEW YORK – June 23, 2016 – newportFILM announced today an impressive line up of world-class documentaries for their annual summer series newportFILM Outdoors. The sunset screenings kick off on June 30th and run through September 1st, with weekly Thursday night events that are accompanied by filmmaker conversations, food vendors and pre-film live music. This marks the series’ 7th summer season of hosting screenings at various outdoor picturesque locations, often thoughtfully paired with their film, around Newport, RI.

newportFILM Outdoors’ opening night will feature a special showing of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You in the heart of downtown Newport in the Maya Lin designed Queen Anne Square. The program will continue throughout the season with a notable collection of documentaries including the following highlights:

  • Academy Award® winning director Morgan Neville’s “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble” to screen against the backdrop of the historic Gilded Age Mansion Marble House, one of the Vanderbilt’s summer homes. A conversation with Silk Road Project’s CEO and executive producer, Laura Freid, will follow the screening.
  • Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated” to screen 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 and his wife Cornelia about the film and their son Owen, will follow the screening.
  • Ted Braun’s “Betting on Zero” to screen 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 Ted Braun.
  • Brian Oakes’ “Jim: The James Foley Story” will be shown in the grounds of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, America’s oldest continuous-use lending library, and will be followed by a conversation with director Brian Oakes.
  • Bernardo Arsuaga’s “The Weekend Sailor” to screen on 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” will screen 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, to screen on the historic grounds of the Newport International Polo Club, home of the first Polo Club in the United States. There will be a post-film conversation with producer Nick Ryle.

newportFILM will move indoors for one night in July when they team up again 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,” about the cult folk-rock band Deer Tick, who will be in attendance for the screening.

newportFILM’s Artistic Director, Andrea van Beuren says “Now in its 7th summer, the newportFILM outdoor series remains one of the most popular and well attended events of our year-round program. The newportFILM team has curated a line up 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 history of bringing the most talked about and award-winning films and filmmakers to Newport, RI.  Previous titles 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,” Rory Kennedy’s “Ethel,” 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, once including a curated exhibit of the heiress Doris Duke’s Dior collection and a Dior-inspired picnic contest around a 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 public.

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

newportFILM Outdoor 2016 includes:

Thursday, June 30 

Location: Queen Anne Square, Newport, RI 

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 FamilyMaudeGood Times, and The Jefferson’s, 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 Mr. Lear’s life, work, and achievements, but it is so much more than an arm’s-length, past-tense biopic; at 93, Mr. 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, RI 

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 AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Thursday, July 14 

Post-film conversation with World Champion Sailors, TBA

Location: Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI

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 films tells an inspiring and long-forgotten story.

Thursday, July 21 

Post-film conversation with Ron and Cornelia Suskind

Location:  Saint Michaels Country Day School, Newport, RI

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, RI

In partnership with the legendary Newport Folk Festival™, STRAIGHT INTO A STORM is centered around DEER TICK’s 2015 10th anniversary run in New York City. 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, RI

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, August 4 

Location: OceanCliff Resort, Newport, RI

Thursday, August 11

Post-film conversation with Bill Ackman and director Ted Braun

Location: Ochre Court, Newport, RI

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 Latino’s 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, August 18

Location: Rosecliff, Newport, RI

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 seen before archive (including footage from inside the balloon, shot in real time) and beautifully designed dramatic reconstructions, the film 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, RI

BEING AP takes an intimate but epic look at one of the world’s greatest sportsmen, AP McCoy. Ageing 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.

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. Each outdoor film will have free popcorn courtesy of Kiel James Patrick & St. Michael’s Country Day School. Pre-film live music hour is sponsored by Horan Building Company. Year round newportFILM sponsors are Franklin & Company Design Associates, Park South Hotel NYC, Kirby Perkins Construction and Lexington Partners. The summer seriues is also made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independant affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.