Seventh Annual Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Film Line-Up, Special Events and Celebrity Tribute Honorees

The seventh annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is pleased to announce its complete film line-up, including Opening and Closing Night, as well as special events and tributes. NVFF returns this fall with its five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films November 8-12. 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 Culinary Institute of America (CIA)’s new facility, the CIA at Copia, in downtown Napa. The nine screening venues located throughout the valley include the historic Cameo Cinema, Charles Krug Winery, CIA at Copia Theater, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, Freemark Abbey, JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theater at the Napa Valley Opera House, Lincoln Theater, Native Sons and the Uptown Theatre.

“We are delighted with the diversity and quality of this year’s films, food and wine programming and special events,” said Marc Lhormer, co-founder and Executive & Artistic Director. “Our cinematic harvest table is truly overflowing with the stellar results of copious blood, sweat and tears from so many talented artists; truly a feast for lovers of film, food and wine.”


NVFF is excited to announce this year’s line-up of Celebrity Tributes that salute the highest levels of cinematic achievement. The festival will honor Charles Krug Legendary Filmmaker Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, The Intern), Raymond Vineyards Trailblazer Michael Shannon (The Current War, The Shape of Water), and Spotlight Tribute honoree Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name; The Shape of Water). New this year, The Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch Humanitarian Tribute will be presented to Nikki Reed (Twilight, Ian Somerhalder Foundation) and Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder Foundation). The Celebrity Tributes program will take place on Thursday, November 9 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville and will include video highlight reels and intimate on-stage conversations with Access Hollywood’s Natalie Morales.

In addition to the Celebrity Tributes program, Will Ferrell (Anchorman; Daddy’s Home 2) will be honored with the Caldwell Vineyards Maverick Tribute on Friday, November 10, and the first annual Rising Star Showcase at Materra | Cunat Vineyards on Saturday, November 11 will honor a handful of young talent including Ana de Armas (War Dogs; Blade Runner 2049), Odeya Rush, (Lady Bird, Goosebumps), Austin Stowell (Battle of the Sexes, Bridge of Spies), Gregg Sulkin (Runaways, Faking It) and Alex Wolff (My Friend Dahmer; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle).

More honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.


NVFF will kick off with their Sneak Preview Night on Tuesday, November 7 with a special presentation of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ The Shape of Water. The film, directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg, is an other-worldly tale of Elisa whose life is changed forever when she and a co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment at the hidden high-security government laboratory where they work.

The festival’s official opening night film is The Weinstein Company’s The Upside, directed by Neil Berger and starring Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman and Kevin Hart. This crowd-pleasing film is a comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy paraplegic and an unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help him. Closing the festival will be the STX Entertainment film Molly’s Game, directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Idris Elba in the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.

The festival will also play host to an incredible selection of films, including many of this year’s award-contenders, such as:

  • 78/52 – (IFC) An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), the “man behind the curtain,” and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema. Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe.
  • Call Me By Your Name – (Sony Pictures Classics) In 1983, the son of an American professor is enamored by the graduate student who comes to study and live with his family in their northern Italian home. Together, they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them. Directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg. Michael Stuhlbarg is expected to attend.
  • Chappaquiddick – (Entertainment Studios) Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne. Directed by John Curran and starring Jason Clarke, Bruce Dern, Ed Helms and Kate Mara.
  • Crown Heights – (Amazon Studios) When Colin Warner is wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend Carl King devotes his life to proving Colin’s innocence. Directed by Matt Ruskin and starring Nnamdi Asomugha and Lakeith Stanfield. Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to attend.
  • The Current War – (The Weinstein Company) The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon and Katherine Waterston. Michael Shannon is expected to attend.
  • Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool – (Sony Pictures Classics) A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady. Directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Jamie Bell and Annette Bening.
  • I, Tonya – (Neon) Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises among the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the sport is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes. Directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Allison Janney, Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan.
  • LA 92 – (NatGeo) A look at the events that led up to the 1992 uprising in Los Angeles following the Rodney King beating by the police. Directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin.
  • The Leisure Seeker – (Sony Pictures Classics) A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker, traveling from Boston to The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West. They recapture their passion for life and their love for each other on a road trip that provides revelation and surprise right up to the very end. Directed by Paolo Virzì and starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.


As part of the festival’s Sneak Preview Night, Blue Note Napa, in partnership with NVFF, will feature two performances by Dennis Quaid and The Sharks on Tuesday, November 7.

The Award Ceremony will take place at the Uptown Theatre on Saturday, November 11 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 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 immediately follow the Award Ceremony at the CIA at Copia and will feature cuisine from many of the Valley’s local culinary stars, wines Napa Valley’s vintners, Stella Artois beer and cidre, and craft cocktails from local mixologists. Many of the festival’s attending filmmakers and celebrity guests are expected to attend.

NVFF is proud to partner again this year with Lexus and The Weinstein Company (TWC) for the 4th season of Lexus Short Films.  This year four new filmmakers are being chosen from thousands of applicants by a prestigious selection committee helmed by renowned storytellers Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer; Training Day), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman; Monster) and Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water; Wind River). The winning filmmakers will be announced at a special private event at Charles Krug Winery on Thursday, November 9, with Patty Jenkins in attendance, and will also be acknowledged at the NVFF Awards Ceremony on November 11.

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

Core Competitions (previously announced)

Narrative Features:

  • American Folk, Directed by David Heinz
  • The Boy Downstairs, Directed by Sophie Brooks
  • The House of Tomorrow, Directed by Peter Livolsi
  • I Can I Will I Did, Directed by Nadine Truong
  • People You May Know, Directed by Shewin Shilati
  • The Sounding, Directed by Catherine Eaton
  • Stuck, Directed by Michael Berry
  • Tater Tot & Patton, Directed by Andrew Kightlinger
  • The Year of Spectacular Men, Directed by Lea Thompson


Documentary Features:

  • ACORN and the Firestorm, Directed by Reuben Atlas and Samuel D. Pollard
  • Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise, Directed by Jennifer Townsend
  • Coyote, Directed by Thomas Simmons
  • A Fine Line, Directed by Joanna James
  • The Gateway Bug, Directed by Johanna B. Kelly
  • Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies, Directed by Amanda Ladd-Jones
  • Mighty Ground, Directed by Delila Vallot
  • Skid Row Marathon, Directed by Mark Hayes
  • The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot


The Lounge


  • Amanda & Jack Go Glamping, Directed by Brandon Dickerson
  • Class Rank, Directed by Eric Stoltz
  • Coup d’etat, Directed by Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse
  • Entanglement, Directed by Jason James
  • A Happening of Monumental Proportions, Directed by Judy Greer
  • Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town, Directed by Christian Papierniak
  • Life Hack, Directed by Sloan Copeland
  • Quest, Directed by Santiago Rizzo
  • The Relationtrip, Directed by Renée Felice Smith and C.A. Gabriel

Special Presentations

  • 40 Years in the Making – The Magic Music Movie, Directed by Lee Aronsohn
  • The Ataxian, Directed by Zack Bennett and Kevin Schlanser
  • Back to Burgundy, Directed by Cédric Klapisch
  • Bernard and Huey, Directed by Dan Mirvish
  • Breakable You, Directed by Andrew Wagner
  • California Typewriter, Directed by Doug Nichol
  • Constructing Albert, Directed by Laura Collado and Jim Loomis
  • Dog Years, Directed by Adam Rifkin
  • Don’t Shoot the Zebra Pony, Directed by Kathryn Lauritzen
  • Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table, Directed by Leslie Iwerks
  • Fermented, Directed by Jon Cianfrani
  • Food Evolution, Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
  • Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, Directed by Jamie Redford
  • Liyana, Directed by Aaron Kopp and Amanda Kopp
  • Man In Red Bandana, Directed by Matthew Weiss
  • Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen, Directed by Rasmus Dinesen
  • New Chefs on the Block, Directed by Dustin Harrison-Atlas
  • Poisoning Paradise, Directed by Keely Shaye Brosnan
  • Rebels On Pointe, Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart
  • Served Like a Girl, Directed by Lysa Heslov
  • Taming Wild: A Girl and a Mustang, Directed by Elsa Sinclair
  • To the Edge of the Sky, Directed by Todd Wider and Jedd Wider
  • Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, Directed by Anna Chai, Nari Kye


The festival will also feature Short Film Programs: 8 Lounge Shorts: 20 Narrative Shorts; 21 Documentary Shorts; and 12 Short Features (short films that have a run time between 25 and 50 minutes).


About The Napa Valley Film Festival

The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF lights up wine country at the most colorful time of year, November 8-12. NVFF presents over 120 new independent films and studio sneak previews in 9 beautiful venues throughout the Valley. Attendees interact with over 300 filmmakers at screenings, and enjoy wine tastings, culinary demos, winemaker dinners, Celebrity Tributes, the Awards Ceremony and Festival Gala, Opening and Closing Night parties and more.  The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Visit for more information or call 707.226.7500

FacebookTwitterTumblrInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

For information or to buy passes, visit NVFF.ORG or call 707-226-7500.