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Waiting in line for a movie at Uptown Theater

Filmgoers wait in line for a movie at the Uptown Theatre during the 2016 Napa Valley Film Festival.

Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) organizers have announced an inaugural screenplay competition in partnership with Screencraft, a Los Angeles-based screenwriting consultancy and competition platform.

The competition is open for entries until July 28. Screencraft will evaluate and score the screenplays.

Twenty finalists will be invited to attend this year’s festival, taking place Nov. 8-12 and will receive with complimentary filmmaker passes with access to films, activities and parties, including the industry mixer at Raymond Vineyards.

Two winning finalists will be offered invitations to the NVFF artists-in-residence (AIR) program, hosted by Meadowood Napa Valley. This includes six nights at Meadowood and two days of seminars, panels and networking sessions with film industry veterans. AIR participants include the narrative feature and documentary feature directors who are selected to screen their films in competition at the festival.

Screencraft is also inviting two prominent screenwriters to attend this year’s NVFF to serve as mentors to the artists-in-residence and participate in a panel on writing for film and TV. Academy-Award winning screenwriter Jim Rash (“The Descendants”) will be one of these mentors, with the other to be announced soon. The panel will be open to all NVFF passholders.

Screenwriters can submit their original feature screenplays for consideration through one of the following three platforms:

New passes offer flexibility for locals

Organizers have announced new passes offering different options for participating in this Napa Valley Film Festival, which will feature more than 100 new independent films, 300 visiting filmmakers, actors and producers participating in Q&As, culinary demonstrations, wine tastings, special events and parties, celebrity tributes, awards ceremonies and VIP receptions and dinners.

The new Weekend Pass ($225) is good for those who can only take advantage of the Friday–Sunday weekend. The “Flex Pass” is for locals who only want to see films. This $125 Flex Pass allows the bearer to go to five movies and Q&As, any day, any time, at any of the nine NVFF theaters in the Valley. Holders of any pass may enter into screening venues before those without passes who wait in a rush line to purchase last minute $20 tickets if seats are available.

Popular passes that have been available each year include the movie lover’s Festival Pass ($295/$275 spring sale); the movie fan and partygoer’s favorite Pass Plus ($695/$675); Midweek Pass (Wednesday-Thursday; $125); and the VIP Patron Circle Pass (VIP access starts at $2,500 per person). A 10 percent off locals discount applies to the Festival Pass and Pass Plus for all residents of Napa and Sonoma Country until June 30.

The spring sale ends on June 30. Prices will increase for the summer sale,which runs from July 1 to Sept. 30.

“We are excited to offer more flexible options for those who might not be able to commit to the full festival, or who can’t do more than see a handful of great films and Q&As with the filmmakers,” said NVFF co-founder and director Brenda Lhormer. “We wanted to be responsive to our audiences and make it easier for those who live here or love visiting here to create their own NVFF customized experiences based on time, budget and interests.”

The NVFF’s new Ambassador Program, launched in May, runs through October. Ambassadors can earn credits toward passes for this year or next year by referring their friends, who in turn receive 10 percent off on their new purchases.

Visit or call 707-226-7500 for more information on the screenwriting competition, passes, the Ambassador Program or the festival in general. .