Eighth annual Napa Valley Film Festival to open with 'Green Book', close with 'Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind'

Laurence Fishburne, Geena Davis, Taissa Farmiga and Tye Sheridan among others to be honored at Eighth Annual Napa Valley Film Festival; film line-up announced

                            Eighth annual Napa Valley Film Festival to open with 'Green Book', close with 'Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind'

The eighth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) has announced its film line-up, including for Opening and Closing Nights, as well as special events and tribute honorees today. NVFF returns this fall with its five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films from November 7 to 11. 

Organizers will showcase Napa Valley’s finest food and wine at all special events, including the Festival Gala, VIP receptions and Vintner Circle dinners, and will feature a lively series of filmmaker-chef collaborative demonstrations at the Monogram Appliances Demonstration Kitchen at The Studio by Feast it Forward in downtown Napa.

The 10 screening venues located throughout the Valley include the historic Cameo Cinema, Charles Krug Winery, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theatre, Lincoln Theater, Native Sons, Uptown Theatre, and new this year The Archer Hotel Napa, Las Alcobas Napa Valley and the Drive-In at the Calistoga Fairgrounds.


Marc Lhormer, NVFF Executive and Artistic Director said, "We are eager to share this year’s compelling film lineup with our audiences: playful, poignant and powerful narratives, blended with educational, eye-opening, and inspirational documentaries, with a good helping of star power on top for good measure. We are especially excited to introduce our new #ArtInspiringAction initiative enabling audience members to engage more deeply with the issues raised in many of our films. We look forward to celebrating together at all of our events and parties overflowing with Napa Valley’s finest food and wine."

Laurence Fishburne ('The Matrix', 'Ant-Man and the Wasp') will receive this year’s Charles Krug 'Legendary Actor honor at the Celebrity Tributes program that salutes the highest levels of cinematic achievement.

The Celebrity Tributes program will take place on Thursday, November 8, at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, and will include video highlight reels and intimate on-stage conversations with Access Hollywood’s Natalie Morales. Additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks. In addition, NVFF will be honoring the esteemed alumni of The Groundlings Theatre and School with the Miner Family Winery 'Legacy Ensemble' award on Friday, November 9. 


Accepting on behalf of 'The Groundlings' is Stephanie Courtney ('Progressive Insurance’s Flo'), Taran Killam ('Saturday Night Live', 'Single Parents'), Laraine Newman ('Saturday Night Live', 'Coneheads'), Cheri Oteri ('Saturday Night Live', 'Scary Movie') and Julia Sweeney ('Saturday Night Live', 'It’s Pat'). Later that evening, Geena Davis ('Thelma & Louise', 'A League of Their Own') will be honored with the Davis Estates 'Visionary Tribute' following a screening of the documentary 'This Changes Everything'. The second annual Rising Star Showcase presented by Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards on Saturday, November 10 will honor a handful of young talent including Taissa Farmiga ('American Horror Story', 'The Nun'), Billy Magnussen ('Maniac', 'Game Night'), Camila Mendes ('Riverdale', 'The New Romantic'), Rosa Salazar ('Alita: Battle Angel', 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure'), Tye Sheridan ('Ready Player One', 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix') and Alexandra Shipp ('Love, Simon', 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix').

NVFF will kick off with their Sneak Preview Night on Tuesday, November 6 with a special presentation of Columbia Pictures’ 'The Front Runner'. The film, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons and Alfred Molina, is the story of American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 as it is derailed when he is caught in a scandalous love affair. The festival’s official Opening Night film on Wednesday, November 7 is Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures’ 'Green Book', directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini. 


In the film, Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on 'The Green Book' to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Closing the festival on Sunday, November 11 is HBO Films' 'Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind'. Directed by Marina Zenovich, the documentary gives an intimate look into the life and work of the revered master comedian and actor, Robin Williams.

The Award Ceremony will take place at the Uptown Theatre on Saturday, November 10 in which the 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 Vintner Circle members. The winners of the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature will each receive a $10,000 check courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley. 


The Festival Gala will immediately follow the Award Ceremony at the CIA at Copia and will feature cuisine from many of the Valley’s local culinary stars, wines from Napa Valley’s vintners and craft cocktails from mixologists. The evening will also feature musical performances by Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters and Ethan Tucker. Many of the festival’s attending filmmakers and celebrity guests are expected to attend.

The rest of the NVFF film line-up is as follows:

Core Competitions (previously announced)

Narrative Features:

'Are You Glad I’m Here', directed by Noor Gharzeddine
'Ask For Jane', directed by Rachel Carey
'Cold Brook', directed by William Fichtner
'Grace', directed by Devin Adair
'Only Humans', directed by Vanessa Knutsen
'Spare Room', directed by Jenica Bergere
'Tomorrow', directed by Martha Pinson
'When We Grow Up', directed by Zorinah Juan
'You Can Choose Your Family', directed by Miranda Bailey


Documentary Features:

'A Fatherless Generation', directed by Nathan Cheney
'Afghan Cycles', directed by Sarah Menzies
'Cancer Rebellion', directed by Hernan Barangan (World Premiere)
'Father’s Kingdom', directed by Lenny Feinberg
'General Magic', directed by Matthew Maude and Sarah Kerruish
'The Interpreters', directed by Sofian Khan and Andres Caballero
'The Trouble with Wolves', directed by Collin Monda
'TransMilitary', directed by Gabriel Silverman, co-directed by Fiona Dawson
'Up to Snuff', directed by Mark Maxey



'Madness, Farewell', directed by Benjamin Font (World Premiere)
'Ordinary Days', directed by Jordan Canning, Kris Booth and Renuka Jeyapalan
'Ride', directed by Alex Ranarivelo
'Summer ‘03', directed by Becca Gleason
'The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova', directed by Zack Bernbaum
'The Long Dumb Road', directed by Hannah Fidell
'Thunder Road', directed by Jim Cummings
'We Are Boats', directed by James Bird (North American Premiere)
'White Tide: The Legend of Culebra', directed by Theo Love


Documentary Showcase

'Accidental Climber', directed by Steven Oritt (World Premiere)
'Bias', directed by Robin Hauser
'Hesburgh', directed by Patrick Creadon
'Hurley', directed by Derek Dodge
'Life in the Doghouse', directed by Ron Davis
'My Indiana Muse', directed by Ric Serena and Jennifer Serena
'On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi', directed by Brandon Gross and Skyler Gross
'Science Fair', directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster
'The Price of Free', directed by Derek Doneen
'The Things We Keep', directed by Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman (North American Premiere)
'This Changes Everything', directed by Tom Donahue
'Turning Point', directed by James Keach
'Unlikely', directed by Jaye Fenderson and Adam Fenderson (World Premiere)


Food & Beverage Spotlight

Agave: Spirit of a Nation, Directed by Nick Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri
Brewmaster, Directed by Douglas Tirola
Hiro’s Table, Directed by Lynn Hamrick (World Premiere)
Soufra, Directed by Tomas Morgan
ULAM: Main Dish, Directed by Alexandra Cuerdo

The festival will also feature short film programs with 16 narrative shorts and 16 documentary shorts.