Tom Tardio, CEO, Napa Valley Film Festival

Tom Tardio is CEO of the Napa Valley Film Festival.

After living for more than 35 years in the Los Angeles area and working on the business side of the entertainment industry, this summer Tom Tardio was named CEO of the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Tardio said he still has his home in Southern California but now lives primarily in Napa.

And he’s enjoying it.

Tardio said he walks to work, walks to go out to eat and walks to places like Copia or the Oxbow.

Coming from LA where driving is mandatory, “That just feels really great,” he said. “Love it.”

The Napa Valley Film Festival takes place Nov. 13-17.

1. What about the Napa Valley Film Festival CEO job interested you?

For me it’s not a job. It’s passion. The passion to pull all my experience and relationships together and be a part of something very, very exciting.

2. What’s a common question you get about the Napa Valley Film Festival?

“What are your big films this year?”

3. And what are the big films this year?

I can’t say right now. In mid-October they will be announced. I can tell you we are doing a tribute to Kevin Bacon. We’re very excited.

4. You just moved to Napa in July. What’s one thing you’ve realized so far about Napa Valley?

The passion of vintners is the same passion of a filmmaker. They could talk endlessly about the product from its rawest stage to its final. The passion in the bottle is very similar to the passion that is in the film reel.

5. What do you miss about LA?

I don’t miss the traffic. What I really miss is the Hollywood Bowl. It’s just a beautiful venue for fabulous music.

6. What was your first job?

Cutting tees and greens at a city golf course in Western Pennsylvania at 16 years old.

7. How did you get into the entertainment industry?

(Started at) Columbia Pictures in NYC, transferred to LA, worked my tail off to get the opportunity and exerted the time, energy and commitment to make it work for my family and I.

8. What is the biggest challenge your industry has faced?

Proliferation of social media in the business environment, downsizing of traditional media, volume of consumer viewing options on every screen, and the available options for everyone to spend their entertainment disposable incomes

9. What’s on your to-do list?

Make the Napa Valley Film Festival the greatest west of the Mississippi and one that every member of the community will be proud of.

10. If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

Work hard, commit, follow your gut and be prepared to hit some potholes along the way. But hard work gets you to where you want to be.

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For more information visit: napavalleyfilmfest.org.


Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.