Intent on making the Newport Beach Film Festival a world-class event, a group of Orange County women has founded the Newport Beach Premiere Cinema Guild.
"We want to help bring cultural events of an intellectual caliber to Newport Beach," said Rita Goldberg, founder of the guild with Lucy Steinberg.
The guild has landed a cinematic coup for its inaugural benefit: a West Coast showing on Nov. 16 of the Beatles 1964 classic, "A Hard Day's Night."
The film, which chronicles a typical day in the life of Britain's Fab Four, will be shown at Edwards Island Cinema at Fashion Island. The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a $100-per-person rock 'n' roll bash at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Last year's festival, which showcased independent films from around the world, was of "such high quality that it made a big impression on me," said Steinberg, wife of celebrated sports agent Leigh Steinberg. "I really enjoyed watching the kind of movies that were so controversial they'd probably never see a theater or television, but that were so important to see."
Lucy Steinberg was especially moved by the acclaimed documentary, "Long Night's Journey Into Day," a portrait of apartheid-torn South Africa's quest for reconciliation.
The next film festival will be March 29-April 5.
"Our guild will raise funds to help bring into our community the films that can teach us about the world, how people treat each other," Steinberg said.
Membership in the guild is open to the public. Information: (949) 253-2880.
Six hundred of Orange County's arts-minded young professionals gathered Saturday night at the Orange County Museum of Art for the second annual Masquerade Ball.
The black-tie gala, where elegantly designed masks are de rigueur, benefited the museum, Opera Pacific, South Coast Repertory and the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Besides cruising food stations, guests danced to a retro band and had the opportunity to pose for photographs that were sent to their e-mail addresses.
"This event has really gained momentum--branded itself as the young-adult social event of the [social] season," said gala chairwoman Jennifer Higby Dauderman, who came as an elegantly dressed 'victim'--complete with neck bites--of her husband Nick Dauderman's suave vampire. "We've all come to realize that art can really unify our age group. We may be busy with our professional lives, but art is the constant that brings us together."
Proceeds of about $33,000 were divided up among the four arts groups. Guests also included Kerri and Danny Sonenshine; Mary-Christine Sungaila, whose mask matched her lipstick-red Escada gown; Jill and Martin Hubbard; and Adam Follman.
A "lightning bolt" pierced the sky over Nellie Gail Ranch on Saturday night. But it wasn't born of a storm front.
The laser-generated special effect was all part of the spine-chilling fun when Broadcom founder Henry T. Nicholas III and his wife, Stacey, staged a Halloween bash in their home for a few hundred pals.
The front and backyards of the multibillionaire's home were transformed into terror-filled landscapes by promoter/designer Jeffrey Immediato. (Immediato gave Orange County the highly criticized re-creation of the Simpson-Goldman murder scene in an Anaheim haunted house in 1996.)
Nicholas, who dressed as Satan for the party, hired Immediato to turn his property into a House of Terror, complete with murky swamp, shroud of fog, gargoyles and ghoulishly presented fare.
Among guests: The Pacific Symphony's executive director John Forsyte, who dressed as Mozart. "I got a big kick out of the tombstone engraved with Rest In Peace and the names of Intel and Texas Instruments," he said. "The party was a wonderful combination of incredible food and frightening effects that kept us all very entertained."
Using theatrical makeup, David Emmes--a founding director of South Coast Repertory--came as a biker "who looked like he'd had an accident," he said. "Those of us involved in theater love to dress up, so the Nicholas party was a welcome invitation. It had a wonderful, imaginative quality."
Ann Conway can be reached at (714) 966-5952 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.