By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz September 26, 2011 at 3:49AM
November 9 – 13 Napa Valley Film Festival's first edition looks like it will be a big beautiful event.
Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer have announced a roster of high profile films to be screened at the inaugural film festival. Showcasing the best of new independent cinema along with the Napa Valley’s finest food, wine and hospitality, NVFF makes its debut with a five-day festival spanning the Valley’s four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga.
The Festival will begin Wednesday, November 9 with a Sneak Preview screening of Clint Eastwood’s much-anticipated biopic, J. Edgar (Warner Bros), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role of J. Edgar, a drama that explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.
The Festival officially opens Thursday, November 10 with The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer and Matthew Lillard. Directed by Alexander Payne, The Descendants follows the unpredictable journey of an American family at a crossroads when family man Matt King (George Clooney), must re-examine his past and navigate his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off Waikiki.
Additional notable films headlining the NVFF include Butter (The Weinstein Co.), starring Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, and Ty Burrell, a comedy set in the Midwest that uses a state fair butter carving competition to satirically discuss the diversity of American politics, and Answers to Nothing (ISA: Paradigm, U.S. Roadside Attractions), starring Dane Cook and Julie Benz, is a graphically honest portrayal of six individuals in a captivating web of intertwining stories.
The documentaries featured during the inaugural Festival are as inspirational as they are diverse and include sneak preview screenings of Undefeated (ISA: Exclusive, U.S. The Weinstein Co.), an intimate chronicle of three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and the volunteer coach trying to help them beat the odds on and off the high school football field. Other prominent documentaries include the world-premier of The Other F Word(Prod Rep: WME, U.S. Oscilloscope), an eye-opening and wise look at veteran punk rockers as they adapt to the challenges of fatherhood.
Closing out the Festival is heartbreakingly, beautiful look at first love. Like Crazy (Prod Rep: UTA, U.S. Paramount Vantage), directed by Drake Doremus and starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence, follows a British college student (Jones) and her American classmate (Yelchin) who embark on a passionate and life-changing journey only to be forced apart when she violates the terms of her visa. Like Crazy was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress for Felicity Jones. Ms. Jones and director Drake Doremus are expected to attend.
The entire film lineup will be announced October 4, including all films in the Narrative Dramatic Competition that will be eligible for the $10,000 cash award, sponsored and presented by Meadowood Resort & Spa. Festival Passes are currently available at www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.
About the Napa Valley Film Festival
The Napa Valley Film Festival is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The festival's co-creators – and Cinema Napa Valley co-chairs – are Brenda and Marc Lhormer, producers and distributors of the feature film Bottle Shock about the historic upset victory by Napa Valley wines over the French at the famous 1976 wine-tasting competition in Paris. Bottle Shock premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival before going on to international theatrical distribution. The husband-and-wife team also ran the successful Sonoma Valley Film Festival from 2001 through 2008.
The inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) debuts November 9-13, in Napa Valley's picturesque communities of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. The 5 day "extended weekend" features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews; conversations with the attending directors, actors, producers, and writers; Opening and Closing Night festivities; Tribute and Awards Programs; wine tasting pavilions and culinary demonstrations; VIP receptions and dinners with Napa Valley's own celebrity chefs and winemakers, and more.
In addition to producing the annual film festival, Cinema Napa Valley presents special film programs throughout the year and provides support to student filmmaking programs in Napa Valley schools. Complementing its work locally, the organization has partnered with the international organization Roots of Peace. Roots of Peace removes land-mines in war-torn regions of the world and replaces them with vineyards and other sustainable crops. To learn more, visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org, follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/napafilmfest, and like on Facebook www.facebook.com/napavalleyfilmfestival.
For more information, visit the following sites:
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Media contact: Dana Pelfini or Thea Bakkar at Glodow Nead Communications, (415) 394-6500 or Dana@GlodowNead.com