April 23, 2104—For 50 years, Orange County filmmaker and giant-screen film producer/director Greg MacGillivray and his team at MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF) have been making films that surprise and delight audiences.  From the classic surfing documentaries A Cool Wave of Color and Five Summer Stories to collaborations on such Hollywood films as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and John Milius' Big Wednesday to award-winning IMAX® films like Everest, The Living Sea and the upcoming Humpback Whales 3D, MFF has created meaningful and memorable movies that have both entertained and educated millions around the world.

In addition to this remarkable milestone, Greg MacGillivray is part of an elite club of filmmakers whose films have cumulatively earned more than $1 billion in ticket sales at the worldwide box office. MacGillivray is the first documentary filmmaker to join this incomparable group. MFF has also been nominated for two Academy Awards® and has won numerous accolades including, Best Film of the Year from the Giant Screen Cinema Association.  Throughout its 50 year tenure, the MFF crew has literally traveled to the most remote corners of the globe to bring back stories and images that immerse audiences in places that few will ever experience first-hand.

In celebration of these rare achievements and of 50 years in the filmmaking industry, MFF is proud to participate in the 15th annual Newport Beach Film Festival with two special events and will be honored by the Film Festival with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their work in film.  

“When Jim Freeman and I first started making films in the 1960s, our priority was always on quality and finding new ways to take the audience on an unforgettable adventure,” said Greg MacGillivray.  “I'm proud that my team and I have been able to take global audiences on new adventures for 50 years, and that our films have had such a positive impact around the world. It delights us to no end that we can celebrate right here in our own backyard with our colleagues and friends.”  

“Greg MacGillivray and MacGillivray Freeman Films are groundbreaking filmmakers whose presence is legendary in our community,” said Gregg Schwenk, Executive Director of the Festival.  “We are honored to showcase their incredible work at the Newport Beach Film Festival this year and thrilled to celebrate their 50th anniversary which is a truly remarkable milestone in the filmmaking world.”

The first event will take place on April 29 at 5:00pm at South Coast Village Theater with a retrospective screening of Five Summer Stories.  The film represents the culmination of Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray's first decade of making surf films together. A panel discussion will follow with surfing luminaries Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez, Herbie Fletcher, Pete Townend, Greg MacGillivray and Steve Pezman who will discuss the impact of Five Summer Stories and the dramatic changes in surf culture of the '70s.  

Then on April 30 at 7:30pm at the Regency Lido Theatre, MacGillivray will take audiences on an adventure around the world during a Q&A and a multi-media presentation with film clips and tales from his most memorable filmmaking expeditions, culminating with the Orange County premiere of his newest film Journey to the South Pacific—about a young boy's adventures amid the islands of West Papua-originally produced for IMAX theaters.  The event will conclude with a presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Greg MacGillivray for his impact in the film community.

Five Summer Stories (followed by a panel discussion)
Tuesday, April 29 at 5:00pm
South Coast Village Theater
Special guests include:  Laird Hamilton, Herbie Fletcher, Gerry Lopez, Peter Townend, Herbie Fletcher, Steve Pezman, Stacy Peralta and Greg MacGillivray

A Retrospective with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation plus the screening of Journey to the South Pacific
Wednesday, April 30 at 7:30pm
Regency Lido Theatre
Program includes a multi-media Q&A with producer/director Greg MacGillivray

About MacGillivray Freeman Films
MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world's foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with 37 films for IMAX and other giant-screen theaters to its credit. Throughout the company's 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. MacGillivray Freeman's films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one billion dollar benchmark for box office. For more information about the company, visit www.macgillivrayfreemanfilms.com

About the Newport Beach Film Festival
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. The 15th annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs April 24th – May 1st and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world.