Visit Newport Beach

January 18, 2023


  • Eleven British and Irish actors are being honoured by the acclaimed festival at an exclusive event in London, which takes place in partnership with Variety
  • Letitia Wright, Paul Mescal, Gemma Chan, Micheal Ward, Nicola Coughlan, Naomi Ackie and Toby Jones are amongst the 11 actors being honoured with Artist of Distinction and Breakout awards
  • ‘Living’ is being honoured as Outstanding Achievement in British Cinema
  • Taking place in The Londoner in Leicester Square in the heart of London’s film industry, the exclusive evening is being hosted by Edith Bowman on Thursday February 16th, officially kicking off the BAFTA Film Awards weekend

LONDON (January 18, 2023) — The Newport Beach Film Festival has today unveiled the 11 actors whose outstanding work in film and television will be honoured at an exclusive event on February 16th 2023.  Hosted by Edith Bowman, and in partnership with Variety, the UK Honours will take place in the heart of London’s film entertainment district and officially mark the start of the BAFTA Film award celebrations across the city.

President & CEO of Newport Beach & Company, Gary Sherwin said, “Newport Beach Film Festival is invested in championing unique and extraordinary talent, and our UK Honours have a long history of highlighting the unrivalled creative British and Irish talent working in our industry today. After a two-year hiatus, we are thrilled to be back in London, to celebrate the enormous contribution these actors and the British creative industry as a whole make within the global entertainment community.”

Letitia Wright (Black Panther; Wakanda Forever), Gemma Chan (Don’t Worry Darling), Taron Egerton (Blackbird), Naomi Ackie (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Toby Jones (Empire of Light, The Wonder) are each being recognised as 2023 ARTISTS OF DISTINCTION. These awards are given to actors who have given stellar performances in a wide range of roles and have captivated audiences around the world on the big and small screen.

Micheal Ward, (Empire of Light), Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Lydia West (Inside Man), Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton), and Aimee Lou-Wood (Living) have all been highlighted as BREAKOUT honourees given their unique and distinct performances early in their careers.

In addition to the individual awards, the critically acclaimed new film Living is also being recognised as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement in British Cinema Award. Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen (producers) and Kazuo Ishiguro (writer) are expected to attend to accept the award.

For 24 years, the Newport Beach Film Festival, one of the largest luxury lifestyle film festivals in the United States, has included a dedicated UK showcase during its eight-day program.  In 2015, the Film Festival and Visit Newport Beach partnered to elevate the connection to the UK industry by honouring talent via the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours.

Recent Honourees have included Sir Ian Holm, Richard E Grant, Sir Patrick Stewart, Lord Julian Fellowes, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Ncuti Gatwa, Erin Doherty, Asa Butterfield, Lesley Manville, Charles Dance, Alice Eve, Celia Imrie, Laura Carmichael, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Jodie Turner-Smith, Zawe Ashton, Sheila Atim and Joanne Froggatt.

Also to be presented at the event will be the recipients of Variety’s 10 Brit’s to Watch, an honour the industry publication has been bestowing since 2013 on artists across all entertainment media. This year’s cohort includes Yasmin Finney (Heartstopper), India Amarteifio (Sex Education) and Leo Woodall (The White Lotus).

Further recipients for the 2023 Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours to be announced in coming weeks.

About Newport Beach Film Festival

Recognised as one of the largest luxury lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival brings an international curated collection of films and vibrant cultural gatherings to the beautiful Southern California coast. Committed to championing the work of original storytellers from around the globe, the Festival celebrates contemporary screen culture, cinematic excellence and engages the community in compelling conversations with filmmakers and artists. The 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs October 12-19, 2023 and will spotlight over 300 films from around the world.

Full List of Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours Honourees (listed in alphabetical order):


Gemma Chan

Letitia Wright

Naomi Ackie

Taron Egerton

Toby Jones

Paul Mescal


Aimee Lou-Wood

Dafne Keen

Lydia West

Micheal Ward

Nicola Coughlan



Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen (producers), Kazuo Ishiguro (writer)

Also presented during the event; Variety’s 10 Brits To Watch:

  1. Dolly Alderton — The writer, podcaster and filmmaker adapted her 2018 memoir “Everything I Know About Love” for BBC One and Peacock
  2. India Amarteifio — The actor will play the title role in “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” the upcoming spinoff of the Shonda Rhimes hit
  3. Frankie Corio — The young actor earned raves for her starring turn opposite Paul Mescal in “Aftersun” and will next be seen in “The Bagman” with Sam Claflin
  4. Benjamin Caron — After serving as a director and producer on “The Crown” and helming episodes of “Andor,” Caron will make his feature film directorial debut with “Sharper,” starring Julianne Moore
  5. Yasmin Finney — The “Heartstopper” fan favourite is set to join the cast of another beloved program, “Doctor Who”
  6. Jonah Hauer-King — Following roles in the miniseries “Little Women” and “Howards End,” Hauer-King will star as Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid”
  7. Jenn Nkiru — The artist and filmmaker received a Grammy Award for directing Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” and directed recent episodes of HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness”
  8. Ripley Parker — The up-and-coming writer created the upcoming Netflix U.K. series “The Fuck It Bucket” and is developing a musical based on the music of the Smiths and a play about Emily Dickinson
  9. Bella Ramsey – The “Game of Thrones” scene-stealer led “Catherine Called Birdy” and stars in the highly anticipated HBO series “The Last of Us”
  10. Leo Woodall – After a buzzy turn in “The White Lotus,” Woodall is set to topline the upcoming series “One Day,” an adaptation of the acclaimed David Nicholls novel


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