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Newport Beach Film Festival opens with a big-wave icon – Orange County Register

NEWPORT BEACH — The Newport Beach Film Festival kicked off Thursday night with local musicians, government officials, filmmakers, and, fittingly, big-wave surfing icon Laird Hamilton at Edwards Big Newport 6.

Although it would have been appropriate with the surfing town as the festival’s backdrop, Hamilton was not on site just to represent the common beach man, his movie “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton” was screened as the opening film of the eight-day festival.

Hamilton, who said his stepdad is from Laguna Beach, felt Newport Beach was the perfect location for the West Coast premiere of his film.

“Newport Beach is one of the homes of surfing. I’m tied to Orange County because of surfing, no matter what happens,” said Hamilton, who stood on the carpet with his wife, Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball player and model.

The film tells the story of Hamilton, who refused to compete professionally, yet dominated and innovated the sport of big-wave surfing. The film presents his determination as an athlete and the costs that come with it.

Several Newport Beach City Council members were also…

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