The Napa Valley Film Festival has announced its lineup, special events and celebrity attendees. The five-day festival will take place in 13 screening venues in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, Nov. 9-13.
“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.”
Notable celebrities expected to attend include Jessica Biel, Ian Bohen, Josh Charles, Aaron Eckhart, Gordon Getty, Meredith Hagner, Katie Holmes, Sam Huntington, Sam Jaeger, Alex Karpovsky, Rose Leslie, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joel David Moore, Matt Ross, Wyatt Russell and Madeline Zima.
For a full lineup and ticket information, visit NVFF.ORG or 226-7500.
Highlights of this years festival include red-carpet events and special screenings:
Lion – 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. (Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m., Uptown Theatre; encore screening on Nov. 13, 8:15 p.m., Cameo Cinema)
Bleed for This – 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. (Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater)
The Book of Love – 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. Biel is expected to attend. (Nov. 10, 8:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater; additional screenings on Nov. 9, 8:30 p.m., Cameo Cinema; Nov. 12, 5:15 p.m., the gliderport in Calistoga; Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m., Uptown Theatre).
Captain Fantastic – 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. (Nov. 11, 5 p.m., Uptown Theatre)
Generosity of Eye – 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. (Nov. 12, 1 p.m., Uptown Theatre; additional screenings on Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m., Cameo Cinema, and Nov. 10, 10 a.m., the gliderport in Calistoga)
Miss Sloane – 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. (Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater)
Pisco Punch — 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. (Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m., Uptown Theatre)
Youth in Oregon – 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. (Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m., Uptown Theatre; encore screenings Nov. 11, 8:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater and Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m., Native Sons)
Brenda and Marc Lhormer have announced this year’s line-up of celebrity tributes. 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 Patel, who will each receive the Raymond Vineyards Trailblazer Tribute.
This year’s Spotlight Tribute recipient is 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, Nov. 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.
Other film and event highlights
New this year, the award ceremony will move from Sunday to Saturday evening, immediately before 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.
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 vintners and wineries. Many of the festival’s attending filmmakers and celebrity guests are expected to attend.
The festival works again this year with Lexus and The Weinstein Company for 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 an onstage conversation with the four directors following the screening of their short films.
Variety’s 10 to Taste, presented by Food Network and Cooking Channel will be back again this year on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the NVFF Culinary Stage at the Napa Riverfront. At this foodie-favorite event, 10 local student chefs cook and share dishes inspired by iconic food scenes in the movies. A panel of celebrities will taste and then 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 10 finalists takes place at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 13 at Copia Screening Room.