Napa Valley Film Festival
October 30, 2018
This year is the 8th Annual Napa Valley Film Festival. Those living in the South San Francisco Apartments are short drive away from this celebration of film, food, and wine. This event has quickly become one of the region’s most celebrated cultural experiences. If you plan on attending this year, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Napa Valley Film Festival?
The Napa Valley Film Festival, or NVFF for short, is one of the top 10 film festivals in the United States. Locals consider it one of their favorite events of the year, while hundreds travel from across the country to attend this premier event.
Over the course of five days, guests are treated to over 100 new independent films as well as studio sneak previews and filmmaker Q&As. All aspects of the event take place in stunning wineries across the Napa Valley. Guests have the chance to interact with filmmakers on a personal level while enjoying decadent wine tastings and film screenings. Culinary demonstrations and parties often take place over the course of the week, and it isn’t uncommon to spot a celebrity while you’re there.
The film program is designed to showcase domestic independent films, allowing the categories to be as competitive as they are artistic. Some categories include:
- Narrative Features and Shorts
- Documentary Features and Shorts
- Special Presentations
- and Verge (a separate program for cutting-edge, adventurous films)
Selections for each category are interspersed with “red-carpet” films, specifically ones that will most likely compete for the Golden Globes or Academy Awards. It’s an excellent combination of Hollywood production and independent finesse. The Descendants, Crown Heights, and The Shape of Water are just a few names screened in years past.
Catching the Stars
One of the most exciting aspects of this event is the possibility of running into a celebrity. Several actors and producers are regular attendees, displaying their love for independent filmmaking. Some notable names who have attended the Napa Valley Film Festival include:
- Will Ferrell
- Viggo Mortensen
- Kevin Costner
- Zoey Deutch
- Kurt Russel
- Katie Holmes
- Judy Greer
- John Travolta
- Jeffrey Wright
- Dev Patel
- Shailene Woodley
- and Michael Shannon
You never know which celebrities you might run into at this event. While it isn’t a guarantee, there is always a major name somewhere in the audience during these five days. Play your cards right, and you just might find yourself striking up a conversation about the screening you just watched with a star.
The Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen, is the opening film this year. So, you may get a chance to meet the man behind Aragorn of Lord of the Rings and Frank Hopkins of Hidalgo.
What to Expect
The NVFF begins on November 7th this year, starting with a few movie screenings and culinary presentations. A Red-Carpet screening will conclude the formal event, leading into two opening night parties. The following day includes tributes to Laurence Fishbourne and Billy Bob Thorton at the Lincon Theater. This tribute includes Charles Krug wine, a renowned brand in the valley. After the tribute, and exclusive A-List dinner party takes place at the Black Stallion Winery.
On the 9th, the first Miner Family Winery Legacy Ensemble Tribute takes place. This honor accepts numerous Groundlings Theater and School alumni. The Davis Estates Visionary Tribute will also be given to Geena Davis on this day. Afterward, a screening of the documentary This Changes Everything takes place.
Once the tributes are awarded and the screening has ended, the Circle Dinner Series will showcase the best food and wine in the Napa Valley area via 20 intimate dinners. These take place simultaneously all over the valley.
Saturday and Sunday wrap up the event with a festival gala and awards ceremony where everyone puts on their best attire. Closing night films are shown, and the “wrap party” is hosted at the Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards. All five days are an extravagant affair filled with entertainment and the finest wine across the bay from San Francisco.
What’s New This Year?
The NVFF is utilizing a festival hub this year, which features a demonstration kitchen where chefs and filmmakers will collaborate to create 12 unique culinary dishes. The hub will also include the NVFF box office, a filmmaker lounge, and a wine pavilion. Also new this year are screenings at a brand-new drive-in theater in the Calistoga Fairgrounds, a pop-up theater at the Archer Hotel, and a screening at the Acacia Barn.
Films to Expect
The opening film is The Green Book starring Viggo Mortensen, but that isn’t the only celebrity making an appearance on the screen at this year’s NVFF. Keep your eyes peeled for these major names in the audience:
- At Eternity’s Gate – Willem Dafoe and Oscar Isaac
- A private War – Rosamund Pike
- Vox Lux – Natalie Portman and Jude Law
- The Front Runner – Hugh Jackman
The cost of attending this event varies wildly. Based on the itinerary you choose, you could pay as little as $125 for the Flex Pass or $2,500 for the intro VIP Patron Circle ticket. There are weekend passes, five-day passes, and the “Pass Plus” that provides additional access to parties and events.
Planning your itinerary is simple. Simple head over the NVFF website for a thorough explanation of what each ticket includes. Choose the option that suits your schedule and budget, then enjoy the festivities! Pro tip: use the 2018 promo code SFTRAVEL for a discount off the Pass Plus and Festival Pass options.
South San Francisco Apartments
When the final party concludes and it’s time to head home, why not return to luxury comfort? The Towers at Rincon are designed with excellence and luxe lifestyles in mind. Specifically crafted for life in the Bay Area, these homes offer a unique layout with expansive views of the water. Fully furnished, modern interiors provide solace, while a host of carefully curated amenities caters to your every desire.
Welcome to a refined sense of luxury living. Welcome to The Towers at Rincon.