Lights! Camera! Action! for Newport Seen!

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Barbara van Beuren, Roger Kass

NewportFILM's annual fundraising event never fails to attract Newport's chic cinephile set to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. This year it was estimated that 250-280 attendees gathered to raise money and awareness for NewportFILM, the two year-old brainchild of co-founders Nancy Donahoe, current Board President, and Andrea van Beuren, who also serves as Creative Director.


This year's event was especially noteworthy thanks to the presence of Ethel Kennedy, the subject of a new documentary -- aptly titled "Ethel "-- which, due to weather concerns, was screened later that evening at the Jane Pickens Theatre and Events Center rather than upon the lawn at ITHF as originally intended. The guest of honor spent much of the cocktail portion of the evening relaxing at a small table with friend Alice Lynch and greeting others who were eager to reconnect or to make her acquaintance.


Virginia Keith, friend, Alice Lynch

The crowd was more spirited and mixed-age than usual. Among them were Matt and Anne Hamilton with children Crawford Hamilton, Dory  Hamilton and her fiance Dan Benson, Jane Pickens owner Kathy Staub, senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and congressman David Cicilline. We also saw Katie Brierly of Isoude, Barbara van Beuren, Helene van Beuren, David Thalmann, Norey Cullen, Roger Kass, Rip Irving, and David Ford.


One guest jokingly remarked that there must have been a secret memo sent out encouraging the ladies to wear orange and purple; indeed, the two colors were ubiquitous. The ceiling of the covered outdoor terrace was strung with glowing white Chinese lanterns. Glorious Affairs catered, passing out vietnamese spring rolls and intriguing paper cones that were “planted” in a grassy display tray and which were filled with some truly exceptional sweet potato fries.



Nancy Donahoe, Teresa Conners


After a while, NewportFILM Executive Director Teresa Conners spoke about the organization, the upcoming movie lineup, and thanked patrons and sponsors. Andrea van Beuren then spoke about the merits of documentary film-making, and that it is one of her favorite styles.


NewportFILM is showing movies throughout the summer at a variety of venues. Along with Ethel, films include several family-friendly shorts, Searching for Sugar Man, Knuckleball!, The Queen of Versailles, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, Chasing Ice, and others. The organization's  mission is: "to nurture discovery, creative achievement and community dialogue through the art of film. Serving and celebrating both the film artists and the audiences who view their work, we seek to expand on Newport's proud history of culture and artistic patronage by bringing new and timeless voices in film to the Rhode Island community."


We think that they are succeeding!


                                                            -- Amanda M. Grosvenor


To learn more, visit



Ruth Thumbtzen with granddaughter Michaela Johnson

Sweet potato fries by Glorious Affairs

Kathy Staub, Charles Kehris, Brewer Rowe, Mary Heath,

Mark Stenning

Pat Kidder, Norey Cullen

Kate Brierly & Tara Compton, both in Isoude

Frank & Betsy Ray with Rip Irving

Todd Kessler, Hani Azital, Helene van Beuren

Festive hanging lanterns

Linda Pereria, Joe Martino, Becky Buzzeo

David Thalmann greets Ethel Kennedy, Alice Lynch

Daisy Briggs & mother Dolly Briggs

Virginia Treherne-Thomas, Natasha Harrison

Matt Hamilton, Dan Benson, Dory Hamilton, Anne Hamilton,

Lindsay Leal, Allison Hough, Sam Ohren, Crawford Hamilton

Teresa Conners speaks

Teresa Conners speaks

A captivated audience

Andrea Van Beuren Speaks

Regis de Ramel & sister-in-law Molly de Ramel

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