By Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz September 23, 2013 at 3:30PM
Marc and Brenda Lhormer are the Founders and current Heads of this wonderful event which we have attended, and worked at in various roles, since its beginning.
I always use this Fest when speaking as the best model of a regional Film Festival that I know. In other words I find it a perfect blending of high current level film culture, works and people from the biz and film production world with a community that is film centric, loyal and always hospitable to us 'outsiders'.
May I also add that personally the Northern California Wine Country (which the Fest uses superbly!!) is one of my favorite places anywhere for many years now.
I look forward to attending and supporting this great event this coming up version, November 13 – 17.
From their official announcement -
Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are proud to announce several of the festival’s star-studded headlining
films, as well as the first set of honorees to be feted at the Celebrity Tribute Program, hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. Showcasing the year’s
best new independent films in 12 uniquely designed screening venues along with Napa Valley’s finest food, wine and hospitality, NVFF returns in full force
with a five-day Festival spanning Napa Valley’s four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, November 13 – 17.
On Opening Night, Wednesday, November 13, the Festival will present August: Osage County, based on the award winning play, and directed by John Wells, one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers for television, film and stage. The film stars the legendary Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, as part of a dysfunctional family returning to their home in Oklahoma. Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Abigail Breslin round out the stellar supporting cast. Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks will “wow” audiences with a Gala Presentation, on Thursday, November 14, of Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock and inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of the long road Disney’s classic Mary Poppins took to make it to the big screen. The terrific supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffith, Kathy Baker and Paul Giamatti. Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
In addition to August: Osage County and Saving Mr. Banks, NVFF will unspool the following new films:
The Immigrant, Directed by James Gray, this emotional film brings to life his obsession with social class, in particular the immigrant experience that relates to his Russian Jewish heritage. In search of a new start, Ewa Cybulski and her sister sail to New York from Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Alone and desperate to unite with Madga, Ewa falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who forces her into prostitution. The arrival of Orlando the Magician restores her hopes for a brighter future. Starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner. Courtesy of RADiUS – TWC.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom will be the Festival's Closing Night Film, Sunday, November 17. Directed by British filmmaker Justin Chadwick, this powerful film depicts the tumultuous history of Nelson Mandela and his harrowing life journey from rural childhood to anti-apartheid crusader to President of South Africa. Starring Idris Elba (The Wire) and Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean; Skyfall). Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Nebraska: Yet another remarkable film directed by Alexander Payne, Nebraska captures the effortless acting of an aging man (Bruce Dern) who is convinced he has won one million dollars and travels across two states with his estranged son (Will Forte) to claim his winnings. Payne captures real-life love and heartache through his breathtaking sceneries and script. Dern has already won the best acting prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Nebraska will screen as a Sneak Preview on Tuesday, November 12 at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
One Chance :starring James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Colm Meaney and Julie Walters, and produced by Simon Cowell, this is David Frankel’s sixth feature film. One Chance tells the remarkable true story of aspiring opera singer Paul Potts. Frankel’s previous work includes The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, Marley & Me, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, The Big Year, starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Wilson, and Hope Springs, starring Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell. Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Philomena: The Festival is proud to screen Philomena as its Centerpiece Presentation. Celebrated Director Stephen Frears has always embraced a wide variety of styles, themes and genres. Philomena, based on the book 'The Lost Child Of Philomena' Lee by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, is the true story of an Irish woman who was taken in by nuns as a pregnant teenager. Condemned to a slavish life at the abbey, she is forced to give up her four-year-old boy to an American couple she never meets. Late in life, aided by a journalist, she sets out to find her son. Starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (playing Sixsmith). Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
“We are truly humbled and honored to be presenting these outstanding films prior to their end-of-year theatrical releases,” said NVFF Executive & Artistic Director Marc Lhormer. “These star-studded movies are a nice complement to the over 100 new independent narrative and documentary features and shorts that comprise the main body of our film program. We invite everyone to join us in Napa Valley for a magical celebration at the most perfect time of year.”
This year’s Celebrity Tribute Program on Friday, November 15 will be hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush who will take the stage at Lincoln Theatre in Yountville for the third year, and once again amuse and delight audiences while interviewing the talented honorees and sharing stories.
2013 NVFF Rising Stars:
Miles Teller had the distinct honor and privilege of making his feature screen debut opposite Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the film Rabbit Hole based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. In this tragic family drama, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, Miles played ‘Jason Willette’, a bit of a loner teen who escapes into a world of comic books and science fiction but whose solitary life comes crashing into the couple played by Kidman and Eckhart. Miles’s career is really taking off.
He can currently be seen in theaters in the Sundance hit The Spectacular Now, opposite Shailene Woodley (The Descendants). Other recent film credits include 21 & Over, Project X, and Footloose. Next up are the comedy Get A Job and the fantasy action film Divergent.
Dianna Agron is on her way to becoming one of the most versatile, talented and sought-after young actresses in Hollywood. She is most widely known for playing Quinn Fabray on Fox’s hit television series “Glee” for which she has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards. The “Glee” cast also won ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’ at the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for ‘Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.’ Agron will next be seen in Luc Besson’s The Family, which follows the notorious Manzoni family when they relocate to Normandy under the witness protection program, where fitting in becomes challenging as their old habits die hard. Distributed by Relativity Media, the film also stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was released on September 13, 2013.
John Lee Hancock is a Director, writer and producer, and has established himself as a distinctive voice in filmmaking. His work on The Blind Side led to two Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Actress) and garnered Sandra Bullock her very first Oscar. Previous film credits include: The Alamo, which he directed and co-wrote; The Rookie which he directed; My Dog Skip which he co-produced; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and A Perfect World both of which he wrote with Clint Eastwood directing. Hancock also serves as an advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting Lab.
Additional Tribute Honorees, special events and the full film lineup for the third annual Napa Valley Film Festival will be announced in late September and early October.
About the Napa Valley Film Festival and Cinema Napa Valley:
The Napa Valley Film Festival is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking and cinematic story-telling; enhance and diversify Napa Valley’s cultural landscape, and to provide educational opportunities in and out of the classroom for local students. The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF, November 13-17, lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. NVFF features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the 4 walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees 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 and more. For information or to buy passes, visit NapaValleyFilmFest.org or call 707-226-7500.
Major 2013 Sponsors include Cadillac (Official Automobile Sponsor), Amazon Web Services and Intel (Animated Short Film Category) and Sony Electronics. Leading Sponsors include Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Stella Artois, Meadowood Napa Valley (Artists-in-Residence Program), Terlato Family Wineries, ColorZone and AVMS. Supporting Sponsors include V Estates, Sterling Vineyards, Domaine Chandon/Newton Vineyards, Union Bank, Delta Airlines and Classic Party Rentals. Top Media and Marketing Partners include: Traditional Home Magazine (Napa Valley Showhouse), MORE Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle/ sfgate.com, The Hollywood Reporter, Winecountry.com, Wine Spectator, Food Arts, NBC Bay Area, Mutineer Magazine, Brkly, and Comcast/XFINITY.