The 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival's Rising Star Showcase

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December 15, 2017
The 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival's Rising Star Showcase

Five Days of Celebrities and Cinema at the Napa Valley Film Festival

Sponsored by the Napa Valley Film Festival

Save the date for NVFF 2018! The ultimate celebration of film, food, and wine, the 8th annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) lights up Nov. 7 - 11, 2018. NVFF presents new independent films and studio sneak previews in beautiful venues throughout the Valley while attendees meet 300 filmmakers at screenings and Q&A's, and enjoy afternoon wine tastings and music, culinary demos, winemaker dinners, the Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, lively parties and more. 2018 Passes on sale now - book early for best rates on five-day passes. Visit for more information, with highlights from 2017 viewable here.

Read on below for details from the past 2017 event.

The annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) lights up Northern California’s premier wine country destination, Nov. 8 – 12, 2017. Now in its seventh year, NVFF has established itself as an ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, and as one of the most entertaining, inspiring and memorable experiences for cultural travelers and film fans. USA Today has ranked NVFF among the Top 10 film festivals in the United States. And unlike most big events, during which locals head for the hills, NVFF is embraced by locals as one of their favorite events of the year.

Over five days and nights at venues throughout Napa Valley, festival attendees have a wealth of entertainment choices: watch the best new independent films, meet the filmmakers and learn where the stories come from at Q&A's, and attend celebrity tributes to talented actors and directors. Wines from over 100 wineries will be available to sample, with delectable culinary demonstrations scheduled to help you enjoy this world-class destination.

NVFF is organized into competitive categories showcasing primarily domestic independent films: Narrative Features and Shorts, Documentary Features and Shorts, Short Features, Special Presentations, and “The Lounge” (a separate program of cutting-edge films for the more adventurous movie-goer). The competition films and special screenings, more than 100 films in all, are complemented with a showcase of high-profile “Red Carpet” films likely to be in the running for Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. This year's 18 Core Competition films include The Year of Spectacular Men directed by Lea Thompson, the documentary The Untold Tales of Armistead MaupinTatter Tot & Patton, and The Boy Downstairs. Presentations in The Lounge include Amanda & Jack Go Glamping, with David Arquette and Amy Acker; Entanglement with Thomas Middleditch; Coup d"Etat with Michael Caine, and Izzy Gets the F**k Across Town with Mackenzie Davis. Dog Years, with Burt Reynolds and Ariel Winter; and the animated African tale Liyana are just two of the special presentations screened during the festival. Click here for the full film program.

Program Overview

NVFF kicks off on Tuesday evening, Nov. 7, with Sneak Preview Night film screenings in St. Helena and in downtown Napa. Wednesday’s Opening Night includes a Red Carpet screening, and Thursday Night includes the Celebrity Tributes as well as a Patron reception at the Napa Valley Museum. Friday Night features the incredible Vintner Circle Dinner Series, nearly two dozen intimate dinners taking place simultaneously throughout the valley, each celebrating one or more of the competition films. Saturday Night includes the Awards Ceremony and Festival Gala, the biggest and dressiest party of the festival, with eating, drinking and dancing to live music well into the night. Sunday Night features a set of Closing Night Films and the Wrap Party at Materra|Cunat Family Winery.

For 2017, NVFF attendees can enjoy a new partnership with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at its new Napa campus at the former Copia building. CIA/Copia includes one of the official NVFF theater venues, plus culinary demonstrations and wine-tastings throughout each day. Variety’s 10 to Taste special experience takes place here during the day on Thursday, with 10 rising star chefs creating dishes evoking famous food scenes in iconic movies. On Saturday, the Festival Gala will rock the venue with 1,800 guests dancing the night away.

Other theater venues for the 180+ screenings include: the historic Uptown Theatre and Napa Valley Opera House in downtown Napa; the Lincoln Theater in Yountville; the Cameo Cinema, Farmstead Screening Room, and Native Sons Hall in St. Helena; and unique pop-up theaters at Charles Krug and Freemark Abbey wineries situated between St. Helena and Calistoga.

Tickets and Lodging

A variety of passes are available now: a Midweek Pass covering Tuesday evening, and Wednesday and Thursday; a Weekend Pass covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday; individual Day Passes; and the new Flex Pass (good for five screenings anytime). These options complement the traditional full Festival Pass, the Pass Plus (adding in the big events and parties), and the VIP Patron Circle. Those without passes can always attend movies for $20 via Rush Lines at all venues. Best bets to get in from the Rush Line (or with the limited time/budget passes) include the Uptown Theatre in downtown Napa and the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.  Passes may be purchased online.

Use promo code SFTRAVEL for a discount off Pass Plus or Festival Pass, or a 4-pack of either.

Lodging establishments throughout the Napa Valley offer special rates for NVFF attendees, especially for those booking three nights or longer. Be sure to book early as rooms do sell out.

The full program line-up and a look at the filmmakers and celebrities attending will be announced in September.  For more information, including highlights from 2016's event, visit

See you at the movies!

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