Announcing the NVFF16 Education and Outreach Programs


We are proud to announce our 6th year of Education and Outreach events and the highly anticipated filmmakers-in-the-schools programs that kick off November 7 with INSPIRE 2016, the multi-school student field trip held at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in Yountville. This is the third year that NVFF has produced a classic “field trip” experience for 1,200 Napa Valley middle and high school students from around the Valley.

Students will take in two deeply inspiring documentary films shown back-to-back, followed by thought-provoking and powerful interactive discussions with the filmmakers and subjects of the films. Thanks to generous partners, like Bank of America/Merrill LynchNVFF is able to produce this event, including bussing to and from the theater, and a brown bag lunch from Whole Foods for each student in attendance, at no cost to the district.

After the field trip day, NVFF brings films and filmmakers into the schools during the festival week for presentations and discussions that act as an extension of their existing curriculums. Students experience their own version of a film festival within the walls of their classrooms, as they watch the films with their peers and then have the opportunity to meet and interact with the filmmakers and film subjects from all over the world.

“Our education programs continue to grow and more students are impacted by the inspirational films that address socially critical and important issues that help them think outside of the world they live in,” said NVFF Co-Founder/Director Brenda Lhormer. “Once these young people are exposed to these films, they start to think differently, they become more active and take on their own causes. We hope to produce more events year round as well as contribute expertise, resources and curriculum to teachers who want to engage their students in learning about how to use film and digital media to make a difference in the world.”

A more detailed outline of the 2016 Education and Outreach Programs, as well as new student film competition, can be found below, or by visiting Help us reach our fundraising goal! Make a tax deductible donation to benefit our Education Outreach Program and year round programs. 


Monday, November 7 | Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater

Sonic Sea – Directors: Michelle Dougherty, Daniel Hinerfeld

Watch as Ken Balcomb, a former U.S. Navy officer, solves a tragic mystery involving a mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas and change the way we understand our impact on the ocean. Sonic Sea offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean, underscoring how the ocean’s destiny is bound with our own.


The Rebound – Director: Shaina Allen; Producer: Michael Espositotherebound-mariomoran-quote

The Rebound is the unlikely but true account of the Miami Heat Wheels’ quest for victory and redemption during the year following a crushing defeat at the wheelchair basketball national championships. Director Shaina Allen’s high-octane film presents us with a story of unwavering resolve and a testament to mankind’s innate ability to overcome life’s toughest challenges, including those beyond what meets the eye.



Tuesday, November 8 | Napa Valley Unified School District Auditorium

*Because of the popularity of INSPIRE on Monday, this year for the first time NVFF will host a second day of back-to-back films at the NVUSD Auditorium

Farewell Ferris Wheel – Director Jamie Sisley

The traveling summer carnival has been a much-loved tradition for children and families for as long as most people can remember. The beating heart of this classic entertainment experience is a diligent workforce of Mexican migrant workers, legally employed with the controversial H-2B guest worker visa. The small business entrepreneur/owners who struggle to keep their carnivals alive year after year depend as much on this visa processor as they do on the workforce.


Big Sonia – Director Leah Warshawski

For years, Sonia Warshawski has been an inspirational public speaker at schools, churches and prisons, where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager have inspired countless students, prisoners and ex-cons who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop, which has thrived in the bottom of a now-abandoned mall for 35 years, she is confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop—at age 90—or retire.



Tuesday, November 8 – Thursday, November 10 | Napa Valley Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Big Sonia – accompanied by director Leah Warshawski and subject Sonia Warshawski

Schools participating:

New Tech High School

Napa High School

Farewell Ferris Wheel – accompanied by director Jamie Sisley

Schools Participating:

New Tech High School

Valley Oak Continuation School

Harvest Middle Schoolmark__cameras-1

Until 20 – accompanied by director Jamila Paksima

Schools participating:

American Canyon High School

New Tech High School

Winning – accompanied by director Jacqueline Joseph

Schools participating:

Harvest Middle School

Robert Louis Stevenson Middle

Blue Oak Middle School

St. John the Baptist Elementary

‘Origin of Film’ (in-school presentation of historical cameras)

Award winning filmmaker and director Mark Kirkland (indie films, The Simpsons) gives a unique presentation with antique, Silent Era, 100-year old hand crank cameras. Student will learn their history, their films and the directors and actors that used them. Q and A and “hands on” segment, too!

Schools participating:

Justin-Siena High School

New Tech High School


A selection of cultural and arts focused films will be showcased at NVFF as Special Presentations, with the goal of enriching the Napa Valley community. Teachers interested in bringing students to the following films for free should contact

The Forbidden Shore – accompanied by director Ron Chapman, and 8 of the Cuban musicians featured in the film. Wednesday, November 9

Crossing Rachmaninoff – accompanied by director Rebecca Tansley, and pianist Flavio Villani visiting from New Zealand. Sunday, November 13



For the 2nd year in a row, the NVFF Education and Outreach Programs also incorporate a student journalism course for middle school students who are interested in learning how to research and conduct interviews. As part of this TEEN PRESS program, these middle school students will don media credentials and microphones, and become integrated into the press lines at various red carpet events throughout the valley. The TEEN PRESS curriculum focuses on giving youth the skills to ask thoughtful and deeply researched questions of special guests, and learn that “everyone has a story.”teen_press

In 2016, two Napa County middle schools will have their own Teen Press journalism teams attend NVFF:

Blue Oak Middle School, headed by Humanities teacher Melinda Cooke

8 students from 7th and 8th grade

Harvest Middle School, headed by Journalism teacher Joe Paniagua

5 students from 8th grade


Beginning in the Fall of 2016, the NVFF is partnering with Napa Learns and the Napa County Office of Education to develop a Napa County Student Film Competition. Napa Learns and NVFF will provide workshop opportunities for educators, taught by expert leaders in the Filmmaking community. These educators will then serve as mentors for students interested in submitting films to the competition.

Launching in January of 2017, the competition will hold a call for entries for Narrative Shorts from all high school age students throughout Napa County. Selected students will be featured in a Student Film track in the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival. Winning names and film titles will also be included in the NVFF Commemorative Program Guide and on the website.

By | 2017-08-14T15:04:06+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Education, Festival, Film, News|0 Comments

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NVFF18 • NOV 7 - 11

NVFF18 • NOV 7 – 11