The Events You Don’t Want To Miss At The Napa Valley Film Festival

10921591374_d38547ed76_oPhoto Credit: Courtesy Napa Valley Film Festival

The Napa Valley Film Festival, which bills itself as the ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, kicks off today, Nov. 11, and runs through Nov. 15. How apropos that the NVFF lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. The festival features over 100 new independent films and red carpet sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the four walkable villages, as 400 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels and culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, an array of parties, VIP receptions, winemaker dinners and more. From opening night to the closing night wrap party, here are just a few of events you don’t want to miss


Super Bowl 50 Lombardi Trophy Tour
12 p.m. (also at 12 p.m. on Nov. 12)
Village Center Yountville, Yountville
Display of the 8 Lombardi Trophies won by Bay Area teams

“Carol” Screening and Q&A
1 p.m.
Uptown Theatre, Napa
Expected to attend: Composer Carter Burwell and Producer Christine Vachon

Opening Night Film “Somm: Into the Bottle” World Premiere & red carpet arrivals
4:30 p.m.
Uptown Theatre, Napa
Expected to attend: Director Jason Wise, Peter Goldwyn (Samuel Goldwyn Films), Ben Feingold (Samuel Goldwyn Films), Brain McClintic (master sommelier), Ian Cauble (master sommelier), Fred Dame (master sommelier), DLynn Proctor (sommelier), Carole Meredith (winemaker/grape geneticist), Geoff Kruth (master sommelier, Co-Producer), Steve Matthiasson (Napa winemaker), Laura Maniec (master sommelier), Yoon Ha (master sommelier), Jackson Myers (Producer, Director of Photography), Ted Lemon (Sonoma winemaker), Kellie White (sommelier)

Opening Night “Somm: Into The Bottle” Party
8 p.m.
Riverfront Promenade at Napa River Inn, Napa
Glamorous VIP party following the world premiere of Somm: Into the Bottle. Enjoy bountiful food and Napa Valley’s finest wines poured by Master Sommeliers from all over the world and our local vintners. Meet the subjects of the film while taking in the lively entertainment under the stars on the beautiful Riverfront Promenade at the Napa River Inn.


Variety‘s 10 To Taste
11 a.m.
Riverfront Promenade at Napa River Inn, Napa
10 of Napa Valley’s most innovative chefs present their fresh spin on dishes inspired by iconic film scenes in movies such as Big Night, Pulp Fiction and Julie and Julia. A distinguished panel samples the dishes along with the audience and discusses current culinary trends, opportunities and challenges in the industry today. Panelists include Bobby Flay and Lee Schrager.

Awards season screening of “Spotlight”
5:30 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Director Thomas McCarthy tells the compelling true story of the Pulitzer prize-winning Boston Globe investigative reporters who uncovered the story of widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church. Cast: Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery

Festival Gala
8 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Dress to impress in your finest cocktail attire and toast the night with the filmmakers, celebrities, and old and new friends. 30 local culinary stars serve up epicurean delights paired with the best vintages of 50 esteemed Napa Valley vintners. Two main stages featuring over 10 live music performances and intimate live music throughout the party.


Celebrity Tributes
6 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, Yountville
This year’s honorees include John Travolta, Bruce Dern, Keegan-Michael Key, Lydia Hearst, Zoe Kazan, Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock. Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush hosts the onstage tributes and conversations.

Celebrity Tributes Patron Dinner at Traditional Home Showhouse
7:30 p.m.
Patron level members of NVFF’s Patron Circle join fellow Patrons and VIP guests at a festive post-tribute gathering at the site of this year’s Traditional Home Designer Showhouse. Enjoy fabulous food and wine while ogling the height of interior design.

Celebrity Tributes A-Lister/Movie Mogul Dinner Party
8 p.m.
Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena
A-Lister and Movie Mogul members of our Patron Circle continue their Celebrity Tributes experience at an extravagant and delightfully entertaining dinner party hosted by master international vintner and entertainer Jean-Charles Boisset.​ Rub shoulders with celebrities and power players in an unforgettably magical and opulent setting.

Festival Late Night Bash at Martin
10:30 p.m.
Martin Gallery, St. Helena
Join host Erin Martin at her high-style eponymous showroom in St. Helena. Enjoy wines from FAVIA ERICKSON WINEGROWERS and CALDWELL VINEYARDS, beer from STELLA ARTOIS, cocktails by CHARBAY DISTILLERY and premium Tequila tasting with ROGER CLYNE’S MEXICAN MOONSHINE. Soak up the spirits with party snacks from local gourmet food purveyors and dance the night away to killer music by guest DJ’s.

John Travolta stars in "Life on the Line"
John Travolta stars in “Life on the Line”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Napa Valley Film Festival


Life on the Line premiere
5 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Expected to attend John Travolta and Devon Sawa from the cast, Producer Phillip Glasser, Producer Marvin Peart and Kelly Preston

2015 Vintner Circle Dinners
7:30 p.m.
Vintner Circle members pair their world-class winemaking with the talents of top local chefs to present a series of unforgettable experiences of food, wine and lively conversation. Each dinner will celebrate one or more of NVFF’s competition films. Guests will enjoy the company of—and conversation with—the filmmakers. Members of NVFF’s Patron Circle and invited guests enjoy one of the highlights of the festival: a showcase of what makes the Napa Valley one of the premier food and wine destinations in the world, with a special cinematic twist.

Meadowood Napa Valley
Estate Chef Alejandro Ayala prepares the ultimate dinner party for NVFF’s Movie Moguls and celebrity guests

Solage Calistoga Resort and Spa
Chef Brandon Sharp prepares an intimate dinner in the Chef’s Atrium

Vintner Circle After Party
10 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, Yountville
Following the 2015 Vintner Circle Dinner series, Patrons, Vintners and visiting filmmakers head to the Lincoln Theater to enjoy an exclusive art-forward VIP Richard Von Saal-designed backstage lounge — not to be missed! Enjoy a night cap (or two) and spirited conversation into the wee hours.

Marriott Late Night After Party
10 p.m.
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, Napa
Head down to the Marriott for the Late Night Bourbon Lounge. Enjoy that Speakeasy feel at a no-host bar featuring flights of Bourbon, add cocktails by Charbay Distillery, beer from Stella Artois, light bites and music you can move to.


Awards Ceremony
8:30 p.m.
Uptown Theatre, Napa

Closing Night Wrap Party
10 p.m.
The Lounge at City Winery, Napa
This year’s Wrap Party features live music, and more great food and wine. Send the festival off in Napa Valley style.

For more information visit

Napa Valley Film Festival Gala
Napa Valley Film Festival Gala

Photo Credit: Gustavo Fernandez