The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is proud to announce the Narrative and Documentary Feature Films in core competition during NVFF17, November 8-12. Every year, the filmmakers in competition participate in our Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program, and receive a six-night stay at Meadowood Napa Valley, a luxurious resort and spa. During the first two days of the film festival, AIR filmmakers are given the opportunity to network with industry leaders in panels and masterclasses. In addition, Meadowood awards a $10,000 cash prize to the jury award winner of the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature in competition.
We look forward to providing the rest of the film lineup in September, but are extremely excited to share these core competition films with you today.
NARRATIVE FEATURES IN COMPETITION
Asa Butterfield and Ellen Burstyn in The House of Tomorrow
American Folk — Two strangers, both folk musicians stranded in California, embark on a road trip to New York in the days following 9/11. Starring Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth. Directed by David Heinz.
The Boy Downstairs — A young woman is forced to reflect on a past relationship when she inadvertently moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment building. Starring Zosia Mamet and Matthew Shear. Directed by Sophie Brooks.
The House of Tomorrow — The House of Tomorrow conveys the incredible story of futurist, architect, and inventor R. Buckminster through one teen’s quest to join a punk band and survive high school. Starring Maude Apatow, Ellen Burstyn, Asa Butterfield, Nick Offerman, Alex Wolff. Directed by Peter Livolsi.
I Can I Will I Did — Ben, a dejected young man in the foster system, finds himself immobilized after a horrible accident. His recovery process is slow until he meets a fellow patient at the hospital who breathes hope into his life and introduces him to her grandfather, Taekwondo Master Kang. Starring Mike Faist, Ik Jo Kang, Ellie Lee. Directed by Nadine Truong.
People You May Know — People You May Know follows Jed, a 30-something introvert who has managed to abstain from social media, until he realizes that the life he can fake is much more interesting than the life he actually leads. Starring Nicholas Rutherford, Halston Sage, Kaily Smith Westbrook, Nick Thune and Usher. Directed by Sherwin Shilati.
The Sounding — On a remote island off the coast of Maine, Liv, after years of silence, weaves a unique language out of Shakespeare’s words. A driven neurologist, brought to the island to protect her, commits her to a psychiatric hospital where she fights for her voice and her freedom. Starring Catherine Eaton, Teddy Sears and Harris Yulin. Directed by Catherine Eaton.
Stuck — A New York City subway train stops in the tunnel beneath the city with six complete strangers stuck inside the rear car. The emotions of the trapped, frustrated passengers explode, as the subway car becomes a kind of magical, musical, conduit cell. Starring Ashanti, Omar Chaparro, Arden Cho, Giancarlo Esposito and Amy Madigan. Directed by Michael Berry.
Tater Tot & Patton — A wayward millennial is sent into isolation on a South Dakota ranch, derailing her Uncle’s alcoholic spiral and forcing him to face his consuming grief. Starring Jessica Rothe, Forrest Weber and Bates Wilder. Directed by Andrew Kightlinger.
The Year of Spectacular Men — Fresh out of college and struggling with a breakup, Izzy moves from New York to Los Angeles to move in with her movie star sister. Izzy funnels her energy into dating a colorful bouquet complicated and spectacular men over the course of the next year. She learns that when it feels like the end of your story, it’s often just the beginning. Starring Zoey Deutch, Madelyn Deutch, Avan Jogia, and Lea Thompson.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES IN COMPETITION
David Rome in Skid Row Marathon
ACORN and the Firestorm — ACORN, America’s largest grassroots community organizing group, became a major player in the 2008 presidential election that resulted in Barack Obama’s victory. Big businesses, Republicans, and Right-wing activists took issue with the group and attempted to strike back. The ensuing political drama has served as a prescient foreshadowing of today’s political climate. Directed by Reuben Atlas and Samuel D. Pollard.
Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise — A powerful, provocative documentary, Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise dives off the edge, into the truth of women’s experience in the world. Clips from Thelma & Louise serve as a catalyst for intimate stories by viewers who wrote about the film in 1991 and revisit it today.
Coyote — Coyote shares the inspiring story of legendary sailor, Mike Plant, the “Saltwater Cowboy” (Sailing World) who completed three solo circumnavigations and set the American record for the fastest lap of the planet. His adventurous spirit and colorful past make Plant “as close as yachting gets to a James Dean character” (The New York Times) with a universal story about daring to dream.
A Fine Line — A Fine Line explores why only 6% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, when traditionally women have always held the central role in the kitchen and influenced many of the greatest male chefs. This opens a dialogue on gender inequality, motherhood and career balance, and how this inequity in the kitchen is representative of industries across the board. Directed by Joanna James.
The Gateway Bug — Over 2 billion people on earth eat insects for protein. The Gateway Bug explores how changing daily eating habits can feed humanity in an uncertain age, one meal at a time. Directed by Johanna B. Kelly.
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies — The undisclosed story of Alan Ladd Jr., producer and former 20th Century Fox chairman, the movie mogul who greenlit films such as Star Wars, Blade Runner and Alien. Directed by Amanda Ladd-Jones (Ladd’s daughter).
Mighty Ground — With the help of unlikely friendships along the way, a homeless songwriter tries to kick a hard-core crack addiction and escape the grisly streets of skid row via his love of music. Directed by Delila Vallot.
Skid Row Marathon — A criminal court judge starts a running club comprised of homeless drug addicts, a recovering single mom and a paroled murderer on L.A.’s notorious skid row. As they train together to run in international marathons, they learn to dream big as they are re-acquainted with their own dignity. Directed by Mark Hayes.
The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin — The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin honors beloved storyteller Armistead Maupin, and chronicles his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to reclaim their lives. Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot.