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Sixth Annual Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Film Line-Up, Special Events and Additional Celebrity Tribute Honorees

Lee Daniels, Viggo Mortensen, Dev Patel, Kurt Russell to join Celebrity Tributes on November 10
by Press Release
September 28, 2016

Napa, California (September 27, 2016) – The sixth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) announces its complete line-up, Opening Night & Red Carpet screenings, special events and additional honorees for its Celebrity Tributes. NVFF returns in full force with a five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films in 13 unique screening venues in the four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, November 9-13. Organizers will showcase Napa Valley’s finest food and wine at all special events, the Festival Gala, VIP receptions and Vintner Circle dinners, and will feature a lively series of chef presentations and demonstrations on the NVFF Culinary Stage.

“We’re excited to welcome everyone back to Napa Valley for another year of outstanding cinematic storytelling,” said Marc Lhormer, Co-Founder/Artistic Director. “On top of another great batch of films, our team and partners have collaborated on a series of memorable and surprising special events, as well as an incredible array of food and wine experiences. We expect this to be an epic year.”


The Festival will play host to an incredible selection of films, including many of this year’s award-contenders, like The Weinstein Company’s Lion, which will be this year’s Opening Night film, and Open Road Film’s Bleed for This. As the perfect bookend to the festival, the independent documentary Pisco Punch: A Cocktail Comeback Story will serve as the Closing Night film.

• Lion – Opening Night Screening. A five-year old boy who gets lost of the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home, and survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Directed by Garth Davis and starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman. Dev Patel is expected to attend. (November 9, 5:30pm, Uptown Theatre; encore screening on November 13, 8:15pm, Cameo Cinema)
• Bleed for This – Special Screening. The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he'd ever walk again, made one of sport's most incredible comebacks. Director Ben Younger and Aaron Eckhart are expected to attend. (November 11, 4:30pm, Lincoln Theater)
• The Book of Love – Red Carpet Screening. West Coast Premiere. Henry (Jason Sudeikis) is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife (Jessica Biel) in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie (Maisie Williams), a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic. Jessica Biel is expected to attend. (November 10, 8:30pm, Lincoln Theater; additional screenings on November 9, 8:30pm, Cameo Cinema; November 12, 5:15pm, The Gliderport; November 13, 8:30pm, Uptown Theatre)
• Captain Fantastic – Special Screening. In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent. Director Matt Ross and Viggo Mortensen are expected to attend. (November 11, 5:00pm, Uptown Theatre)
• Generosity of Eye – Red Carpet Screening. A women discovers how her father’s passion for art and for the kids of the Harlem Children’s zone meet in a single act of generosity. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is expected to attend. (November 12, 1:00pm, Uptown Theatre; additional screenings on November 9, 1:30pm, Cameo Cinema, and November 10, 10:00am, The Gliderport)
• Miss Sloane – Special Screening. Miss Sloane is the story of a ruthless lobbyist (Jessica Chastain) who is notorious for her unparalleled talent and her desire to win at all costs, even when it puts her own career at risk. Director John Madden, writer Jonathan Perera and producer Kris Thykier are expected to attend. (November 13, 5:30pm, Lincoln Theater)
• Pisco Punch: A Cocktail Comeback Story – Closing Night Film. World Premiere. Pisco Punch tells the story of one of the world’s greatest forgotten spirits: Peruvian pisco. Director and writer Alan Kropf is expected to attend. (November 13, 5:30pm, Uptown Theatre)
• Youth in Oregon – Special Screening. A man is tasked with driving his embittered 80-year-old father-in-law cross country to be legally euthanized in Oregon, while along the way helping him rediscover a reason for living. Starring Frank Langella, Christina Applegate and Billy Crudup. Director Joel David Moore is expected to attend. (November 10, 5:30pm, Uptown Theatre; encore screenings November 11, 8:30pm, Lincoln Theater and November 13, 8:30pm, Native Sons)


Napa Valley Film Festival Co-Founders/Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are excited to announce this year’s line-up of Celebrity Tributes that salute the highest level of cinematic achievement. Previously announced honorees include Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell who will each receive the Chandon Rising Star Tribute and Chloe Grace Moretz, along with newly announced Dev Patel, who will each receive the Raymond Vineyards Trailblazer Tribute. This year’s Spotlight Tribute recipient is Viggo Mortensen. The Charles Krug Legendary Filmmaker and Actor Tributes will be presented to acclaimed filmmaker Lee Daniels and actor Kurt Russell, respectively. The Celebrity Tributes will take place on Thursday, November 10 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville and will include video highlight reels and intimate on-stage conversations with Access Hollywood’s Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover.


New this year, the Award Ceremony will move from Sunday to Saturday evening, immediately prior to the biggest and most extravagant party, the Festival Gala. During the Award Ceremony, winners of the Juried and Audience Awards will be revealed and each winner will be presented with a large format collectible bottle of wine from one of the festival’s generous Vintner Circle partners. The winners of the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature will each receive at $10,000 check courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley.

In celebration of six fabulous years, the Festival Gala will feature cuisine from more than 30 of the Valley’s local culinary stars and wines from more than 50 of Napa Valley’s esteemed vintners and wineries. Many of the festival’s attending filmmakers and celebrity guests are expected to attend.

The Festival is proud to partner again this year with Lexus and The Weinstein Company with the return of Lexus Short Films (LSF). The four winning LSF filmmakers are presenting their new short films together for the first time. Filmmaker Lee Daniels (Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Empire, Star) will host a lively onstage conversation with the four talented directors following the screening of their short films.

Additional sneak previews and presentations include:

• Burn Your Maps –A family in emotional turmoil is taken by surprise in this quirky adventure starring Vera Farmiga where an eccentric 8-year-old American boy, Wes, has an existential epiphany – he believes that he is in fact a Mongolian goat herder. (November 12, 9:45am, Cameo Cinema; encore screening on November 13, 10:00am, Uptown Theatre)
• Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – An exclusive and intimate conversation with series creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Daniel Palladino, discussing the four new chapters launching November 25? everywhere Netflix is available. (November 12, 1:00pm, YCC Heritage Room)
• Gleason - After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses. Directed by Clay Tweel and featuring Steve Gleason, Michel Varisco and Rivers Gleason. (November 11, 5:15pm, Cameo Cinema and November 12, 5:00pm, Napa Valley College)
• Mr. Church – Mr. Church tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church (Eddie Murphy). What begins as a six-month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever. (November 10, 8:30pm, Uptown Theatre; November 12, 10:00am, Uptown Theatre)
• The Red Turtle - The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds. Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. (November 8, 10:00am, Cameo Cinema and November 10, 9:45am, Cameo Cinema)

The rest of the NVFF film line-up is as follows:

Core Competitions (previously announced)

Narrative Features:
• 11:55, Directed by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder
• American Fable, Directed by Anne Hamilton
• The Book of Love, Directed by Bill Purple
• Folk Hero & Funny Guy, Directed by Jeff Grace
• Heaven’s Floor, Directed by Lori Stoll
• I Love You Both, Directed by Doug Archibald
• Little Boxes, Directed by Rob Meyer
• Love is All You Need?, Directed by Kim Rocco Shields
• Sticky Notes, Directed by Amanda Sharp
• Two For One, Directed by Jon Abrahams

Documentary Features:
• Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race and America, Directed by Matt Ornstein
• Big Sonia, Directed by Leah Warshawski and Charles Todd Soliday
• Colin Hay: Waiting for My Real Life, Directed by Nate Gowtham and Aaron Faulls
• Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary, Directed by Graham Elwood
• Farewell Ferris Wheel, Directed by Jamie Sisley and Miguel M.i.G Martinez
• God Knows Where I Am, Directed by Todd Wider and Jedd Wider
• Magicians: Life in the Impossible, Directed by Marcie Hume and Christoph Baaden
• Magnificent Burden, Directed by Rob Nelson
• Swim Team, Directed by Lara Stolman
• Until 20, Directed by Geraldine Moriba and Jamila Paksima

The Lounge

• All We Had, Directed by Katie Holmes
• American Wrestler: The Wizard, Directed by Alex Ranarivelo
• The Drowning, Directed by Bette Gordon
• Here Alone, Directed by Rod Blackhurst
• Hunky Dory, Directed by Michael Curtis Johnson
• I Am Watching You, Directed by Maureen Bharoocha
• Population Zero, Directed by Julian Pinder and Adam Levins
• Sea Gypsies: The Far Side of the World, Directed by Nico Edwards
• Second Nature, Directed by Michael Cross
• Unleashed, Directed by Finn Taylor

Special Presentations

• Crossing Rachmaninoff, Directed by Rebecca Tansley
• Custody, Directed by James Lapine
• The C Word, Directed by Meghan L. O’Hara
• Decanted, Directed by Nicholas Kovacic
• The Forbidden Shore, Directed by Ron Chapman
• Generosity of Eye, Directed by Brad Hall
• Gordon Getty: There Will Be Music, Directed by Peter Rosen
• In Pursuit of Silence, Directed by Patrick Shen
• Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story, Directed by Brett Schwartz
• The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille, Directed by Peter Brosnan
• Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame, Directed by Tony Girardin
• The Origin of Film, Directed by Mark Kirkland
• Pisco Punch: A Cocktail Comeback Story, Directed by Alan Kropf
• Political Animals, Directed by Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares
• The Promised Band, Directed by Jen Heck
• She Started It, Directed by Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed
• So B. It, Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal
• Strike a Pose, Directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan
• Winning, Directed by Jacqueline Joseph
• Youth in Oregon, Directed by Joel David Moore

The festival will also feature Short Film Programs: 8 Lounge Shorts: 18 Narrative Shorts; 17 Documentary Shorts; and 10 Short Features (short films that have a run time between 25 and 50 minutes).


Variety’s 10 to Taste, presented by Food Network and Cooking Channel will be back again this year on Thursday, November 10 at the NVFF Culinary Stage at the Napa Riverfront. At this foodie-favorite event, ten local student chefs cook and share dishes inspired by iconic food scenes in the movies. An esteemed panel of celebrities will taste and then sit down to discuss the creations, current culinary trends and the role of food in film. Chef Tyler Florence heads the panel, moderated by Variety’s Carole Horst.

NVFF’s annual Pitch Competition: The Pitch Competition connects new writers and filmmakers with the industry’s best creative executives and producers to discover fresh ideas for the next blockbuster film or hit TV series. The Final Smackdown featuring ten finalists takes place at 9:30am, Sunday, November 13 at Copia Screening Room. To submit a pitch, please visit for all the details.

About The Napa Valley Film Festival
The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF lights up wine country at the most colorful time of year, November 9-13. NVFF presents over 120 new independent films and studio sneak previews in 13 beautiful venues throughout the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Attendees interact with over 300 filmmakers at screenings, and enjoy industry panels, wine tastings, culinary demos, winemaker dinners, Celebrity Tributes, the Awards Ceremony and Festival, Opening and Closing Night parties and more. Check out highlights from the 2015 NVFF here. The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Visit for more information or call 707.226.7500

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For information or to buy passes, visit NVFF.ORG or call 707-226-7500.

Presenting Sponsor: Lexus Short Films
Major Sponsor: Meadowood Napa Valley
Leading Sponsors: Stella Artois, Charles Krug Winery, Westin Verasa Napa, Raymond Vineyards, Cognition Studios, Hewlett-Packard
Supporting Sponsors: Merrill Lynch, Terlato Wines, Freemark Abbey, Whole Foods Market, Napa River Inn, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, Indian Springs Resort & Spa, AVMS, CellarPass, ColorZone
Media Sponsors: Travel + Leisure, Wine Spectator, The Tasting Panel / The Clever Root, Traditional Home, Variety, National CineMedia, Xfinity, San Francisco Chronicle

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