4th annual Film Festival, November 12 – 16, 2014, includes $10,000 cash prize for Best Narrative Feature Film, presented by Meadowood Napa Valley
NAPA, Calif. (January 28, 2014) – The increasingly buzzed about Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is now accepting film submissions for the fourth annual event. The ultimate celebration of the best new independent films and studio sneak previews, elevated by Napa Valley’s world-class food, wine and hospitality, NVFF unspools November 12-16, with a five-day immersive experience that lights up the gloriously scenic towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.
NVFF welcomes submissions of any genre and will be selecting approximately 120 new films, including narrative features, documentaries, world cinema, short films, animation, and student works. Organizers are looking for films that will best entertain, inspire, educate and intrigue audiences. NVFF also features a selection of bold, boundary-pushing films in a dedicated venue called The Lounge.
Categories eligible for Juried Awards include: U.S. Narrative Features and Shorts, U.S. Documentary Features and Short Subjects, and the Animated Short Films Category, sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel. Special Jury Awards will be presented for Best Screenplay and Best Ensemble Cast. Audience Awards will be bestowed on Favorites in the following categories: Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Narrative Shorts, Documentary Short Subjects, Lounge Features, Lounge Shorts, Animated Shorts, and Actor and Actress.
Directors of films in competition for Best U.S. Narrative Feature participate in NVFF’s unique Artists-in-Residence Program presented in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley. Directors stay at the luxury resort for six nights during the festival and are treated to special events and workshops with their competition group and industry mentors. Leading the Master Class at NVFF 2013 were film producer Christine Vachon (Kill Your Darlings, At Any Price, Boys Don’t Cry); director/producer Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist; The Grey, Smokin’ Aces) producer J. Todd Harris (The Kids are All Right; Bottle Shock); and producer Kevin Iwashina (Jiro Dreams of Sushi; Chasing Beauty).
“We are in awe of the scale and content of the festival, and the overwhelming support from the community, the filmmakers, the audiences, and the industry for what NVFF has created. The Artists-in-Residence program was of course a particular highlight for us,” exclaimed NVFF award-winning Hank and Asha filmmaker James Duff. “Not only the great panel and program, and the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the legendary Christine Vachon, but also the chance to meet and interact with our fellow filmmakers in a more meaningful way than at any other festival. These are relationships that are going to extend long past this weekend, so we thank the festival for facilitating and encouraging these connections.”
“The Napa Valley Film Festival was an amazing experience, with so many young and innovative directors in one place,” said uber-producer and Artists-in-Residence mentor Christine Vachon. “The discussions were incredibly lively and the hospitality superb. I can’t wait to return.”
“Everyone at Meadowood is honored to be associated with this amazing festival,” said Ann Marie Conover, Director of Marketing & Communications for Meadowood Napa Valley. “We are passionate about the arts in general and film in particular, and we believe in nurturing new talent and sharing our brand of Napa Valley hospitality with filmmakers and film-lovers alike.”
At 2013 NVFF’s Closing Night Awards Ceremony, three-star Michelin Chef Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood presented the $10,000 cash prize for Best U.S. Narrative Feature to Hank and Asha, selected by the Jury headed by director Joe Carnahan. The jury included Dana Harris (IndieWire’s editor in chief), Sydney Levine Sydney’s Buzz), film producer/director Dan Mirvish (Co-Founder, Slamdance), and Morrie Warshawski (industry consultant, writer and teacher). Other prestigious Jurors at NVFF 2013 included Dierk Sindermann, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press; Lissa Gibbs, producer of educational and network documentaries; Jennifer Siebel Newsom, producer/director of the award winning Miss Representation; Musician and film director Dave Grohl; actresses Rose McGowan (Charmed) and Madeline Zima (Californication); Paul Duffy, Amazon Web Services executive; Ryan Tudhope, co-founder Atomic Fiction; and Neil Berkeley, founder of Brkly Productions (creative work includes: Project Runway, Top Chef, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, America’s Next Great Restaurant and more).
Film and special event highlights at the 2013 NVFF included special sneak preview screening of August: Osage County, with co-star Abigail Breslin in attendance; Saving Mr. Banks, before which director John Lee Hancock and star Colin Farrell walked the red carpet; Philomena; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; One Chance; Labor Day; Out of the Furnace and Nebraska. Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush hosted the Celebrity Tribute Program honoring Rising Stars Dianna Agron (The Family, Glee); Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Rabbit Hole); Spotlight honoree Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks, In Bruges); and director John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side). Actors Emma Thompson, Sandra Bullock, Patrick Wilson, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novack all “called in” a hilarious video tribute to their beloved director Mr. Hancock.
“Of course we love the food and wine and beauty of Napa Valley. But it doesn’t stop there: this is an important festival both because of its timing as a final stop on the Fall Awards circuit, and because it draws national media and a national upscale audience who go home telling all of their friends about our movies, said David Glasser, COO/President, The Weinstein Company. “Beyond that, Founders/Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer and their team have distilled the notion of artist meets audience to its essence and crafted the best festival experience anywhere.”
Other festival highlights included Napa Valley’s party of the year, the spectacular Festival Gala in Napa’s Oxbow District; 20 private winemaker dinners for filmmakers, VIP guests and Patron Circle members at exclusive winery estates; The Hollywood Reporter After-Party in Yountville; wine and food fueled receptions and parties; film industry panels and culinary demonstrations; the new NVFF Lifestyle Pavilion, which hosted over 20 wineries pouring, a Stella Artois Beer Lounge, a stunning exhibit of Cadillac’s new ELR, Sony 4K film equipment and interactive displays, and more. It was a true feast for the senses; and organizers plan to make the 2014 version bigger than better then ever.
“NVFF is only in it’s third year, now going into it’s fourth year, and it’s already on it’s way to becoming the festival everyone talks about. NVFF is creating a festival that is trying to not only cultivate the indie scene but to re-invigorate it,” said Jake Oelman, director of the NVFF indie hit Dear Sidewalk. “Its transformation from a great regional festival to a powerhouse base is already underway and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it.”
Filmmakers can submit films at Withoutabox.com. For early submission with discounted entry fees, the deadline is February 28; the regular submission deadline is April 18; the late submission deadline is May 23; and the final extended submission deadline (for withoutabox.com members only) is June 20. Visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org for full film submission details, or call 707.226.7500. Passes on sale now.
About the Napa Valley Film Festival
The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The mission of the Napa Valley Film Festival is to celebrate the cinematic arts and enrich the community by presenting an annual world-class festival and year-round education and outreach programs. The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. NVFF features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the four walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels & culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners and more.
Ron Hofmann, BWR, email@example.com
Brenda Lhormer, NVFF Co-Founder/Director, Brenda@napavalleyfilmfest.org
NVFF Offices: 707.226.7500