The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2015

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Page 38 of 140

38  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2015 UPCOMING A aand . . . action! Film lovers and wine lovers alike will descend upon Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga November 11–15 for the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF). Experiencing any of the 125 new independent films, chef demonstrations, wine tastings, star-studded parties and gala, winemaker dinners and several other receptions and special events means a celebrity sighting or two is likely, if not inevitable. The event's opening night film is the world premiere of Into the Bottle, the much-anticipated sequel to SOMM, which debuted at the festival in 2012. The following day, November 12, NVFF organizers will present the Cannes Film Festival favorite Carol, a romantic drama set in 1950s New York, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and directed by Todd Haynes. That night's big event: the extravagant Festival Gala at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville; the Patron Circle VIP Lounge will be located next door at Domaine Chandon. Details about celebrities attending the Gala and Festival are forthcoming, but past celebrities who enjoyed NVFF include Shailene Woodley, Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Michelle Monaghan, Mike Myers, Colin Farrell, Miles Teller, Dave Grohl and many more. "There will be even more star power on our red carpets and at events and screenings than in previous years," promises Brenda Lhormer, NVFF Co-Founder/Director. "But the heart and soul of what we do is to celebrate the independent films, emerging filmmakers, and the incredible food and wine that defines Napa Valley. The conversations between the artists and our audiences are inspired and power- ful, and are all rooted in the experi- ences of sharing films, food and wine offered at our unique film festival." In 2009, she and her husband, co-founder and Artistic Director Marc Lhormer, reached out to local business leaders looking to develop a brand new downtown Napa. It became clear that the entire Valley would benefit from, and enjoy, an annual film festival, so the couple decided to start big, and planted the festival in all four towns, spanning 30 miles. However, each town was built as a "walkable village." Showcasing the Napa Valley's now-infamous food, wine and hospi- tality were crucial elements from the event's beginning planning phases. One of the more unique events at the Festival this year is Bottle Shock, The Musical, in concert, a dramatic reading of the movie of the same name. The story dramatizes the events that occurred leading up to the famous Judgment of Paris in 1976, and focuses on Jim and Bo Barrett, the father and son team running Chateau Montelena, the winery that produced the winning white wine (Chardonnay) in this famous blind tasting. "We don't necessarily seek out food and wine movies," Lhormer says. "Obviously our audiences eat that stuff up—no pun intended. What we really do is curate a program featuring the best new independent films that no one has seen before, no matter what the subject matter." Now in its fifth year, the NVFF con- tinues to evolve, with its demographic including more young people with disposable income, plus more film, food and wine lovers from all over the country. "Over time, I hope to grow our international audience," Lhormer says. "It just adds to the richness of the conversation after a film screening, over Napa Valley's best food and wine. We want to encourage global thinking, and affect people's lives; give people a reason to talk. Over a glass of wine of course. This is why we do this." Passes are on sale now. Advance lodging reservations are encouraged, as rooms will sell out. For more information, visit www. 5th Annual Napa Valley Film Festival STARRING FILM, FOOD & WINE IN A MULTI-DAY EXTRAVAGANZA by Becky Tsadik PHOTO COURTESY OF NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL A sold-out audience drinks in one of the 125 films that debut at the Festival.

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