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Napa Valley Film Festival Raises The Bar In Sophomore Year

Alan Cumming at the Celebrity Tribute

Food. Film. Wine.

This was the theme of the impressive 2nd annual Napa Film Festival (NVFF).

The Valley is still buzzing and It’s hard to believe that only two short weeks ago, the scene in the Napa Valley was centered around celebrities, food, wine and independent film. The opening film and (highlight of the festival) was the fitting documentary, SOMM, the chronicle of four brave souls trying to become Master Sommeliers.

The film festival’s sophomore effort began well before opening night with several lead-up events, including a SOMM cast-media brunch at Ehlers Estate, the highlight event leading up to the festival.  Guests at the invite-only event were able to get an insiders view into the film with the cast and director, Jason Wise. 

The festival officially kicked off on Wednesday with the Somm world premiere screening and after party, just the start of a series of high-octane events.

Thursday’s high points were none other than a red-carpet reception preceding the screening of the new Bradley Cooper film, Silver Linings Playbook.  Following the red carpet affair, the evening ended with other than the Opening Gala held at the Robert Mondavi Winery. The celebration brought out hundreds of sophisticated film goers, wine aficionados, and all-out-partiers.

Following Friday’s roundup of films, the Celebrity Tribute was the highlight of the day’s festivities.  For the 2nd year, Billy Bush hosted the special event, where actor Alan Cummings was recognized for his tremendous body of work on the Silver Screen.  His lastest film,  Any Day Now, played at the Festival in the Narrative Features Competition. Actor Imogen Poots received the “Rising Star” award, as she delivered a spellbinding performance in A Late Quartetwhich played at this year’s Festival.

Saturday’s highlights were the evening’s Winemaker Dinners, where guests had the opportunity to wine, dine and hobnob with the filmmakers themselves.

Finally, the festival was sealed on Sunday with the closing screening of the film, Quartet; Award Ceremony; Closing Night Wrap Party; and VIP After Party at 1313 Main.

As if those events weren’t enough to keep filmgoers busy, throughout the festival, festival attendees had access to perks unique to the NVFF.  Pre-screening wine pourings; wine pavillions – where guests could sample up to twenty wines at each Pavilion each day and VIP Lounges -where guests could escape the bustle and relax with food and wine – were all part of this special festival experience.

The Napa Valley Film Festival has certainly raised the bar for world class destination events, right in the Bay Area’s back Yyard.  We look forward to seeing what year 3 has in store…

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014