After a year’s absence in participating in the Napa Valley Film Festival, Calistoga will be the site of the first NVFF Drive-In to be held at the Napa County Fairgrounds.
Earlier this year, Marc and Brenda Lhormer, film festival co-founders, spoke about their plans for this year’s event, which takes place Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 7-11. The drive-in will be in an open-sided building that is covered with a roof. A 56-foot-wide pop-up inflatable screen will used. For sound, people will tune to a certain frequency on their car’s radios.
Ten films are being shown from Wednesday through Sunday at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the drive-in.
In addition to the drive-in, the NVFF will show some 100 documentaries and narratives in nine other venues in Napa, Yountville and St. Helena.
Napa locations include the JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Napa Valley Opera House, Uptown Theatre and the second-floor ballroom at the Archer Hotel. Additionally, the Feast It Forward building is the site for the box office, culinary demonstrations and wine- and music-themed afternoons called “Intermissions.” The Westin Verasa Napa will host panel discussions and VIP check-in and serve as festival headquarters.
The Lincoln Theater, with its 1,200 seats, will be the only screening venue in Yountville, and Brenda added, “There’s more activity in St. Helena than ever before.”
Films will be shown at the historic, single-screen, 140-seat Cameo Cinema; the Native Sons Hall, Charles Krug Winery and new this year is an event barn at Las Alcobas. The Farmstead continues as the box office, a screening room, as well as hosting an afternoon wine tasting, branded as “UpValley Intermissions.” On Saturday and Sunday, Brenda said, “We actually expand the whole intermission concept into an artisan pavilion, bringing in local artisans and craftsmen to offer their wares. It is a perfect location.”
Calistoga film schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 7: 5 p.m., THE DANCING DOGS OF DOMBROVA, An estranged sister and brother travel to Poland at the request of their dying grandmother to retrieve an object from her past. 8:30 p.m., RIDE, John McCord is a troubled teen who has spent most of his childhood in a juvenile detention center. A persistent social worker finally finds John a foster home. However, John's white supremacist leanings causes tensions when he meets his foster family and discovers the father is black.
Thursday, Nov. 8: 5 p.m., MADNESS, FAREWELL: A holiday comedy about suicide. 8:30 p.m., WHITE TIDE: THE LEGEND OF CULEBRA: A desperate man goes on a buried treasure hunt for $2 million worth of cocaine.
Friday, Nov. 9: 5 p.m., THUNDER ROAD: A police officer faces a personal meltdown following a divorce and the death of his mother. 8:30 p.m., ORDINARY DAYS: The film follows the mysterious disappearance of a bright, athletic college student over five tense days, played from three different perspectives: her spiraling parents, the troubled detective assigned to the case and finally, the young woman herself. What happens when ordinary days are interrupted by an extraordinary event?
Saturday, Nov. 10: 5 p.m., THE WHINNIES! This year, the program includes two beautiful documentaries shown together: the short film “Devil's Garden,” and the feature length documentary “High-Sensitive Youth in the Horse-Heart-Space.” 8:30 p.m., LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE. The film tells the inspiring stories of Danny and Ron's Rescue (501c3). The film will showcase their unique approach to dog rescue and adoption, which has enabled them to rescue and adopt out 10,000 dogs.
Sunday, Nov. 11: 5 p.m., ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER. The film tells the story of Jim Geiger, a retired forest-worker, and amateur mountaineer from Sacramento, who at 68 years old, attempts to become the oldest American and first great grandfather to summit Mt. Everest. 8:30 p.m., HURLEY. American racing legend Hurley Haywood speaks for the first time about being gay in the 1970s macho world of motor sports, and sets the record straight about his relationship with co-driver Peter Gregg.
At the Drive-in, priority parking is for cars driven by NVFF Passholders. Non-passholders can attend as passengers and pay $20 once parked. Non-Passholder Drivers can pay $20 per film if there is still room for cars on the field. Lexus owners will be assigned “VIP” spaces on the lawn. Bleacher seating will be available for passholders and rush ticket holders who walk in for $20 a person. Enjoy wine from The GRADE Cellars, movie snacks and a weekend food truck.
The Lhormers founded the festival in 2009 and presented the first NVFF in 2011. As well as co-founders, Marc is the executive and artistic director and Brenda is co-director. Before that, the Lhormers ran the Sonoma Valley Film Festival for seven years, from 2001 to 2008.