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This Year’s Napa Valley Film Festival

Posted by on November 11, 2014

Disclosure: I will be covering the festival the next 5 days as it unfolds upon Napa Valley.  napa-film-festival The Napa Valley Film Festival will transcend into town officially tomorrow night, Wednesday, November 12th with the screening of The Imitation Game and the opening party. This FESTIVAL is an annual event that I look forward to every year.  This year begins its 4th season.

A few highlights of this year’s festival include:

1) Celebrity Tributes

Beginning at 5:30pm on Friday evening, every year the festival honors celebrities that have truly contributed to the filming community.  This year’s tributes include Kevin Costner, Michelle Monaghan and Mike Myers.  And these tributes also guarantee celebrities being present at every festival season.

2) The Films

This year’s festival will showcase over 120 films in a 5 day period in 12 different screening venues.  You can begin your day as early as 9:30am and and go through 11 at night.  There is that much to see. The Napa Valley Film Festival truly excels in showcasing great documentaries, along with narratives, and shorts throughout the 5 day festival.  There is truly something for everyone during this long weekend celebration. Our narrative and documentary Artist in Residence program will bring together 22 feature length films in competition. This program, generously supported by Meadowood Napa Valley, provides the writers/directors with six days of mentoring, networking and accommodations at the luxurious property. And our popular animated short film competition, generously sponsored by Amazon Web Services and Intel, provides a platform for filmmakers utilizing the powerful cloud computing service to create their works. ~Napa Valley Film Festival.

A full list of the films can be seen here.  Definitely make sure to pick out the films YOU absolutely want to see and coordinate your schedule around those. And you will find after the screenings, often times the writers, producers, filmmakers will appear on stage for an on site Q & A with the audience.  A favorite about the festival.  And who knows, there may just be a few celebrities on site while there.

3) The Wine

One of the best parts of the Napa Valley Film Festival is not only the spectacular scenery that greets you along the 29, but the wine that is also showcased at the festival.  With many screening venues offering you a glass of wine to enjoy as you wait for the film to premiere. But, beginning Friday and lasting through Sunday, at 2:30pm, the wine pavilions open up in each screening village offering you many opportunities to try the various wines of Napa Valley. Here’s what the villages are offering:


Friday & Saturday: Crusher Wine District: A collaboration of avant-garde wineries dedicated to cutting edge wines and honest hospitality. Their location in the industrial area of South Napa says it all – authentic, stripped down and a little funky.  There are different wineries being showcased each day.

Sunday: Mexican-American Vintners Association: This pavilion will feature wines produced by Mexican-American vintners, who advocate quality standards for its members, and promote and support the contributions of Mexican-Americans in the wine industry.


Friday: We’re Drinking Merlot! Tasting and Panel: Showcasing some of our favorite “hillside” and “valley floor” producers. Come sample the Best of Napa Valley Merlots! At 3:30, a prestigious panel of wine experts discuss the virtues and characteristics of select Merlots from the Napa Valley floor to the top of the mountains

Saturday: Stags Leap District: House of Cab: Visit the House of Cab for a rare and exclusive tasting of the 2010 Appellation Collection – the Stags Leap District Winegrowers’ limited release of 17 Stags Leap District Cabernets from its member wineries. NVFF Passholders receive priority access to the Wine Pavilion.

Sunday: Rutherford Dust Society Exhibition: Dedicated to encouraging and promoting the highest quality standards in grape growing and winemaking in the Rutherford Viticultural Area, the Rutherford Dust Society’s mission is to help wine lovers and the wine trade discover Rutherford’s unique expression.

St. Helena:

Friday: Next Generation: As representatives of established wineries, the members of NG:The Next Generation in Wine came together to create a wine-friendly community that offers younger wine enthusiasts an alternative way to access their wineries.
Saturday: Spring Mountain District: Above the Napa Valley, on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains that separate Napa Valley from Sonoma Valley, lies the Spring Mountain Winegrowing District with a diverse topography, climate, and collection of soils that are unique to this Napa Valley appellation.
Sunday: Appellation St. Helena: A chance to taste wines from the birthplace of the Napa Valley wine industry and the valleys oldest Viticultural Association.  This is a small group of wines that highlight the exceptional balance of geography, climate, history, and community.
Friday: Downtown Tasting Room Wineries: Before you head into the weekend try some amazing wines from producers who all have their tasting rooms within a quick walk of our Film Festival Village.  You may just have to revisit them between films to try some of the other gems they produce.
Saturday: Non-Traditional Varietal Tastings: A unique opportunity to sample some of the less well known grape varieties that call the Napa Valley “home”. Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo, to name a few.
Sunday: “Off the Path” Wineries around Calistoga: A chance to discover some of the great Napa Valley wines that are often hidden in tucked away corners of the valley.  These are just a few of the gems from around the city of Calistoga.

See what I mean?  A chance to really taste and discover the amazing wines found all across Napa.  You can choose which tasting to partake in at each Wine Pavilion. napavalley

4) Culinary Demonstrations
Be sure to stop into Yountville sometime during the 5 day festival to catch one of the great Chef Demos happening on the Culinary stage.
A few to discover include:
10:30am: Wine Infused Cupcakes
12pm: Wine & Popcorn Pairings
1:30pm: Mixologists Shake it UP: Bar Stars Panel
2:30pm: Charbay Cocktail Takeover: Shake, Stir and Sample
10:30am: Hand Rolled Truffles
12pm: 2 Chefs Zoom in on the Napa Valley Food Culture
1:30pm: How to Taste Like a Pro
10:30am: Elizabeth Binder and Stella Artois
12pm: Spotlight on Chef Michael Chiarello
1:30pm: The Chef and the Farmer
10:30am: We (Heart) Cooking with the Twin Chefs
12pm: Spotlight on Chef Ken Frank
1:30pm: DIY Sushi
And of course, the parties.  With the Opening Night Gala, The Wrap Party and many other special events happening through the 5 day festival.  Get ready to enjoy some films and let me know some of your favorites throughout the festival.
Be sure to follow @jamiegall1930 on Instagram and Twitter as I’ll be covering the festival throughout.

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