Five Days of Celebrities and Cinema at the Napa Valley Film Festival
Sponsored by the Napa Valley Film Festival
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, around 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. Past Red Carpet presentations have included Lion, The Descendants, The Imitation Game, Carol, Silver Linings Playbook, Spotlight, Twenty Feet From Stardom, and Nebraska, to name a few. A popular trip for filmmakers and celebrities, notable guests have included Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Judy Greer, Michelle Monaghan, Miles Teller, Alan Cumming, James Marsden, Shailene Woodley, and John Travolta, amongst many others.
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 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 nvff.org.
See you at the movies!