24 NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL | OCTOBER 13-20, 2022 CENTERPIECESERIES Empireof Light 2022 - United Kingdom Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Empire of Light is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema. When Stephen arrives as an eager new employee at Empire Cinema, he and Hilary form a quick, if outwardly unlikely, connection. Hilary hides a troubled past, struggling to manage her mental health, while Stephen, a young Black man, grapples with the racism rampant in 1980s Britain. Wounded by aggressions outside their control, they find an escape in one another, but their relationship, like the Empire Cinema itself, cannot last forever, and soon the pair must face the reality of their differing futures. Director: Sam MENDES Producer: Celia Duval, Pippa Harris, Michael Lerman, Sam Mendes, Lola Oliyide, Julie Pastor Screenwriter: Sam Mendez Cast: Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones