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Napa Valley Film Festival

"The Pollinators" is one of the documentary films scheduled for the Napa Valley Film Festival Nov. 13-17.

The 9th annual Napa Valley Film Festival Nov. 13-17 has announced its narrative and documentary feature film line-ups.

Meadowood Napa Valley will present the winning directors of the Best Narrative and Best Documentary Feature in competition with a $10,000 cash prize at the festival’s Awards Presentation & Reception on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The complete program lineup of approximately 80 films will be announced in early October.

Narrative competition

— “Bring Me an Avocado”—Fun-loving parents Robin and George have their world turned upside down when a fateful event leaves Robin in a coma. While Robin is in the hospital, George does his best to keep his daughter’s spirits up with the help of family friends. Directed by Maria Mealla and starring Bernardo Peña, Sarah Burkhalter, Molly Ratermann and Candace Roberts.

— “Here Awhile”—Anna returns to Oregon to reconnect with her estranged brother Michael, only to reveal that she has decided to end her life via the Death with Dignity Act due to her terminal illness. Michael tries to convince Anna to continue fighting for her life, while Anna does her best to make her remaining days as fulfilling as possible. Directed by Tim True and starring Anna Camp, Steven Strait, and Joe Lo Truglio. World Premiere

— “Justine”—Struggling single mother Lisa takes a job as a nanny to Justine, an 8-year-old girl with spina bifida and two overbearing parents. While Justine’s parents believe its best to keep Justine isolated at home due to her condition, Lisa tries to form a connection with Justine to find out what her true desires are. Directed by Stephanie Turner and starring Glynn Turman, Darby Stanchfield, Josh Stamberg, Daisy Prescott, and Stephanie Turner. Northern California Premiere

— “Lucky Grandma”—Set in New York City’s Chinatown, an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck—and in the middle of a gang war. Directed by Sasie Sealy and starring Tsai Chin, Corey Ha, Michael Tow, Woody Fu, Yan Xi, Wai Ching Ho, and Clem Cheung. Northern California Premiere

— “The Nomads”—Amidst the chaos of massive budget cuts and school closures, a young female teacher introduces men’s rugby to an inner-city North Philadelphia high school. Directed by Brandon Eric Kamin and starring Tika Sumpter and Tate Donovan. West Coast Premiere

— “Run This Town”—The inner workings of a city seen through the eyes of the interns and assistants who run it. A political aide tries to corral his brash, outspoken boss when a young researcher at a newspaper gets word of a scandal that could make or break both of their careers. Directed by Ricky Tollman and starring Ben Platt, Mena Massoud, Nina Dobrev, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, and Scott Speedman. West Coast Premiere

— “Standing Up, Falling Down”—A comedy about the unlikely friendship that kindles between a stand-up comedian and a charismatic, alcoholic dermatologist. Each helps the other find healing, in addition to the confidence to face the “failures” in their lives. Directed by Matt Ratner and starring Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer, Caitlin McGee, David Castaneda, Debra Monk, and Jill Hennessy. California Premiere

— “Stealing School”—Technology prodigy April Chen is accused of plagiarism by a teaching assistant, and the two must stand trial at a secret academic tribunal to determine if April is still eligible for graduation. But in this game of psychological cat and mouse, someone is always one step ahead and nothing is as it seems. Directed by Li Dong and starring Celine Tsai, Jonathan Keltz, Michelle Monteith, Mpho Koaho, Darrin Baker, Jonathan Malen, Matthew Edison, and Vas Saranga. World Premiere

Documentary competition

— “I Am Human”—Meet the world’s first “cyborgs”—a quadriplegic, a blind man, an amputee, a biohacker, and a woman with Parkinson’s disease—the scientists who help them, and one entrepreneur who will stop at nothing on his quest to unlock the brain. Directed by Taryn Southern and Elena Gaby. West Coast Premiere

— “Latter Day Jew”—A gay former Mormon/converted Jew/cancer survivor/writer-comedian finds his spiritual path and prepares for his Bar Mitzvah at age 34. Directed by Aliza Rosen.

— “Motherload”—New mother Liz embarks on a quest to understand and promote the cargo bike movement in a gas-powered, digital, and divided world. Directed by Liz Canning.

— “The Pollinators”—A cinematic journey around the U.S. follows migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. Directed by Peter Nelson.

— “The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion”—The story of how hip hop changed fashion, leading to the stratospheric and global rise of street wear. The film is a journey of African American creativity and the possibilities of a cultural movement on a global scale. Directed by Lisa Cortes and Farah X.

— “The Story of Plastic”—The truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling. This film introduces the heroes and the villains behind one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. Directed by Deia Schlosberg.

— “This Is My Home”—The Black Donnellys, a band composed of two Irish immigrant musicians, embark on an adventure to set a Guinness World Record, playing 60 shows in all 50 US states in just 35 days. Directed by Karl Nickoley. Northern California Premiere

— “Well Groomed”—The humorous, visually stunning world of Competitive Creative Dog Grooming is captured alongside the colorful women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. Directed by Rebecca Stern.

Visit napavalleyfilmfest.org for more information on passes and festival events.

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