One of the most exciting events to hit wine country is almost here! For the 3rd consecutive year, the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) will transform the Napa Valley into a mecca of film, food and wine from November 13 – 17.
From the first year that the NVFF hit the scene, the festival was poised to be a world-class film event, drawing celebrity support from far and wide. This year is no different; just a few A-listers in the star-studded film and event line-up include Colin Farrell, who will be honored with the a celebrity tribute award, the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, Dianna Agron and many more.
This year’s festival will feature 125 new independent films and Napa Valley’s finest wine, food, and hospitality spanning Napa Valley’s four postcard perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.
Attendees will enjoy film panels, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners.
Here is an overview of the fabulous happenings of this five-day event:
Tuesday, November 12:
After the Sneak Preview Night presentation of Alexander Payne’s new film Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, NVFF will open officially with the highly anticipated film, August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
Wednesday, November 13
Two screenings of August: Osage County will take place the evening of Wednesday, November 13 at the Napa Valley Opera House, followed by an Opening Night VIP Dinner Party, hosted by Benchmark Wine Group along the Napa Riverfront.
Thursday, November 14
The Napa Valley Opera House will host a red carpet screening of Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) and starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell. Mr. Hancock and Mr. Farrell will be in attendance with other special guests. Following the film, members of the festival’s exclusive Patron Circle and Pass Plus holders join filmmakers and sponsors at the biggest party of the week at 500 First Street in Napa for the spectacular Festival Gala from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. At the Gala, attendees will enjoy live entertainment from half a dozen different acts, and culinary offerings and exclusive wine pairings from more than 25 Napa Valley top chefs and wineries. As the night moves on into the wee hours, the party will debut a VIP lounge on the building’s mezzanine level for cocktails, nibbles and late night dancing.
Friday, November 15
Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush will host the Celebrity Tribute Program at The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theatre in Yountville. Billy will show video highlight reels and conduct onstage interviews with Festival honorees, Director John Lee Hancock, Colin Farrell and Rising Stars Dianna Agron and Miles Teller. Following the ceremony, there will be a VIP after-party sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter at Groezinger’s Lounge.
Saturday, November 16
NVFF hosts the New Power Lunch: Celebrating Women Making a Difference in Film at 500 First Street. The luncheon will honor the women behind the inspirational and influential films Anita and Sewing Hope, as well as raise funds for the NVFF’s year-round Education & Outreach Programs. On Saturday evening, NVFF Patrons, filmmakers and VIPS will attend a screening of Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, at the Yountville Community Centre Theatre, followed by a series of 18 delectable Winemaker / Filmmaker Dinners, featuring the Valley’s most acclaimed wines and fare.
Sunday, November 17
NVFF will close the festival with the powerful film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. The screening at the Napa Valley Opera House will be followed by NVFF’s Awards Ceremony & Wrap Party hosted by NBC Bay Area weeknight anchor, Raj Mathai.
NVFF will also debut a new LifeStyle Pavilion this year, which will be centrally located in downtown Napa’s Oxbow District. Here, credentialed pass holders will enjoy interactive exhibits, daily film industry panels and culinary demonstrations, and an array of premier wines or refreshing chalices of Stella Artois. The four festival villages will also host individual Wine Pavilions in each town for passholders from 2:30 – 5:00 p.m., Friday – Sunday.