Film lovers will not want to miss celebrating the only film festival completely immersed in the art of film, food and wine. This year, the Napa Valley Film Festival will once again pair the best new independent films of the year with the globally recognized food and wine found only in the Napa Valley.
From November 13-17, festival attendees will spend their days engaging with over 300 filmmakers at the intimate screening venues and interactive festival hubs found throughout the towns of Napa, Yountville, and St. Helena. Guests will learn the behind the scenes secrets and creative process of each film first-hand from the cast and crew at Q&As and special festival events. The NVFF19 program lineup will feature approximately 80 films comprised of Studio Spotlights, Special Presentations, Verge, Culinary Cinema, and Narrative and Documentary Features and Shorts.
This year, the festival’s core competition program includes 16 films that will not only participate in NVFF’s unique Artists-in- Residence Program, but also screen three times throughout the week of the festival.
From Narrative Features such as Here Awhile and The Nomads to Run This Town and Standing Up, Falling Down these films feature incredible performances by Anna Camp, Billy Crystal, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Ben Platt, Tika Sumpter, and more.
The NVFF19 Narrative Features in Competition are as follows:
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. Napa Valley Premiere
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. World Premiere
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 it’s 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. Northern California Premiere
Setin New York City’s Chinatown, anornery, 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. Northern California Premiere
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. West Coast Premiere
RUN THIS TOWN
The inner workings of a city seen through the eyes of the interns and assistants that 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. West Coast Premiere
STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN
A comedy about the unlikely friendship that kindles between a struggling stand-up comedian and a tragically flawed, but charming and 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. California Premiere
Tech 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. World Premiere
Meanwhile, Documentary Features like The Story of Plastic, The Pollinators, and Motherload will illuminate important social issues inspiring fresh conversations about the world and our responsibility to preserve it.
The NVFF19 Documentary Features in Competition are as follows:
I AM HUMAN
Meet the world’s first ‘cyborgs’ – a quadriple- gic, a blind man, an amputee, a bio-hacker, and a woman with Parkinson’s – 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
Latter Day Jew follows H. Alan Scott, a gay former Mormon/converted Jew/cancer survivor/writer-comedian, as he finds his spiritual path and prepares for his Bar Mitzvah at age 34. Directed by Aliza Rosen. Napa Valley Premiere
Motherload follows new mother Liz on a quest to understand and promote the cargo bike movement in a gas-powered, digital, and divided world. Directed by Liz Canning. Napa Valley Premiere
The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migra- tory beekeepers and their truckloads of honeybees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. Directed by Peter Nelson. Napa Valley Premiere
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 Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion is a journey of African American creativity and the limitless possibilities of a cultural movement on a global scale. Directed by Lisa Cortes and Farah X. Napa Valley Premiere
THE STORY OF PLASTIC
The Story of Plastic uncovers the truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling. This film introduces audiences to the heroes and the villains behind one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. Directed by Deia Schlosberg. Napa Valley Premiere
THIS IS MY HOME
This is My Home follows The Black Donnellys, a band comprised of two Irish immigrant mu- sicians, who 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 travels the humorous, visually stunning world of Competitive Creative Dog Grooming alongside the colorful women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. Directed by Rebecca Stern. Napa Valley Premiere
In addition to the Narrative and Documentary Features in competition, I Want My MTV will play before the festival’s Saturday night Gala. This film is an exciting exploration of the creation of MTV and features commentary from Sting, Billy Idol, David Bowie, Michael Nesmith, The Heart, Pat Benatar, and more. Engaging conversations are bound to take place with a variety of subjects in the documentary during a special post screening Q&A. Throughout the week of the festival, walk the red carpet at studio screenings spotlighting this year’s upcoming hits like Troop Zero starring Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, and Makenna Grace; this film follows the story of a misfit girl recruiting a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts in order to win a competition that will make her dreams a reality.
On Thursday, November 14, NVFF will once again be honoring the cinematic achievements of Hollywood’s favorite stars at the annual Celebrity Tributes taking place at the Lincoln Theater. This year, the program includes tributes to Kevin Bacon, Olivia Wilde, Vanessa Hudgens, and more. All honorees will participate in on-stage conversations with a lively media host to celebrate and dive deeper into their exceptional careers.
New this year, NVFF will showcase a scrumptious series of culinary films at its newest screening venue, downtown Napa’s CIA at Copia. These mouthwatering films will also be the center of the festival’sever-e panding Culinary Demonstration program across the street at the Napa Festival Hub located at the Oxbow Commons.
Inspired by the culinary stories brought to life on screen, NVFF recruits chefs from around the world to bring film-centered dishes directly to a live audience at the Monogram Culinary Demonstration Kitchen. In addition to the Demo Kitchen, the Napa Hub will also host the Cathay Pacific Wellness Lounge’s morning meditation and yoga program, daily wine intermissions with boutique varietals, and a beer garden and bocci court brought to you by Peroni, Saint Archer and Hop Valley.
In an effort to expand their food and wine programming, NVFF is also premiering the Blending Lab, an intimate series of panel discussions where leading industry players analyze, breakdown, and explore the products and innovations currently trending in the world of food, wine, and spirits. The Blending Lab will be located at the festival’s St. Helena Festival Hub at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Additionally, The Three Drinkers, a group of wine and spirits journalists coming from the UK, will be premiering the first episode of their new Amazon Prime series and hosting 4 live Master Classes centered around scotch, wine and more.
We’ll see you at the movies! Interested in participating in the festival?
Choose from a variety of 3-day and 5-day pass options. The 3-day Festival Pass and Pass Plus will
be valid from Friday, November 15 to Sunday, November 17. Visit nvff.org/passes for details on pass benefits.
Interested in an elevated experience?
Attend the Napa Valley Film Festival as a VIP. Whether it’s a private winemaker dinner or a red-carpet premiere, members of the festival’s Patron Circle receive elevated treatment at the film festival, and beyond. For more information on the VIP experience visit napavalleyfilmfest.org/patron